No need to put a wall between you and the surreal beauty of St. Lucia. Stay in one of Jade Mountain’s three-sided, private “sanctuaries” and wake to sea breezes and the delicate call of tropical birds. The bedroom, living area, private infinity pool, and stunning seascape glide into each other, as if by magic. The secret is the innovative, stage-style architecture that fuses nature and living space into a floating, inhabitable work of art. Each sanctuary differs in size and décor, but all feature tropical hardwoods and an open 4th wall that reveals the crowned beauty of the Pitons rising from the Caribbean Sea.
The Excellence Riviera Cancun is an all-inclusive, adults-only resort on Mexico’s storied Riviera Maya coast—close to sacred remnants of Mayan civilization, barrier reefs, and bustling shopping and dining centers like Playa del Carmen. Constructed using traditional materials such as stucco, marble and tile, the architecture of Excellence Riviera Cancun evokes the rich history of the Riviera Maya. Six swimming pools, like those pictured here, wind like rivers across the resort property.
Step into a world of color at Crystal Cove, where each suite is decorated in the vibrant, distinctive style of Barbados. Rounded wicker furniture and plush orange sofas offer intimate seating for morning coffee or evening cocktails—all in full view of either the endless Caribbean Sea or the resort’s fragrant tropical gardens. Each guest also has access to a private balcony or patio, too, plus three lagoon-style swimming pools with unique rock and water features.
The El Dorado Royale is a “gourmet inclusive” spa resort that offers traditional Mexican spa treatments such as Temazcal ritual baths, and more innovative options like chocolate therapy (which is applied to the skin). Thanks to its friendly staff and exquisitely maintained grounds, the El Dorado Royale is one of the top-rated resorts on the Riviera Maya. While visiting El Dorado Royale, try an 80-minute beachfront couples massage with the sea lapping the shore beside you, or take part in a culinary event like a cooking class or wine tasting.
The Royal Estate Butler Villa at Sandals Emerald Bay is a two-story, one-bedroom luxury retreat designed in the architectural style of a traditional Bahamian estate. Pictured here is the living area, which occupies its own floor and looks out to the sparkling sea through a wall of ornate French doors. Upstairs, a sprawling bedroom with mahogany furniture and ocean-view soaker tub is a romantic oasis for a lucky couple. The kicker? A butler to cater to your needs—yours for the week. Other all-inclusive accommodations in a range of styles and price ranges are available at Sandals Emerald Bay.
Uniquely integrated within a 150-acre nature park exclusive for its guests, the sprawling Hacienda Tres Rios offers accommodations adjacent and among mangrove forest, rivers and cenotes, or freshwater limestone sinkholes. Guests can kayak and snorkel the rivers and cenotes, mountain bike across the nature park, and tour the property’s botanical garden and nursery. An all-inclusive resort with several swimming pools, educational and recreational activities, and private beachfront, the Hacienda Tres Rios is family-friendly, and environmentally friendly, too—they follow a sustainable tourism model and seek to preserve the diverse plant and animal species found within the nature park.
Couples Tower Isle, on the coast of Ocho Rios, Jamaica, lays claim to a unique feature—its own private island. On top of that, on this private island, no one wears any clothes. Located 200 yards offshore from the resort’s 19-acre property and accessible by boat, the clothes-free island features a beach, pool, and cabana bar. Back on shore (and back into your clothes, of course), six restaurants—serving Caribbean fusion, Mediterranean cuisine and more—keep you satiated, while recently renovated interiors, featuring vintage-inspired Jamaican décor, keep you downright spoiled.
There’s no destination quite like The Caves Resort in Jamaica. Constructed atop volcano-formed limestone cliffs, The Caves offer 12 one-of-a-kind accommodations, including the Deluxe Clandestino Villa, which is pictured here. A haven with four bedrooms, this thatched-roof villa is nestled into a private half-acre of naturally landscaped Caribbean jungle. Guests can reach the shimmering beach and the cliff-top bar, The Sands, in two minutes on foot. Or, for those who prefer to relax in seclusion, the Clandestino Villa has a private swimming pool shrouded in thick tropical foliage.
Le Blanc Spa Resort’s private beach is a can’t-miss for Cancun honeymooners. After an indulgent morning grazing on room service in bed, don your swimsuit and step out into the flour-soft sand and balmy sea breezes. Intimately arranged seating areas under canopy umbrellas let you snuggle with your significant other, or mingle with other couples over cocktails. Beachfront cabanas under a stand of palm trees provide a bit more privacy. Afterward, take a dip in the azure, bathwater-warm water. You won’t find splashing kids kicking sand in your face—Le Blanc Spa Resort is adults-only.
Taking spa treatments to the next level, the Grand Velas Riviera Maya on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico features 40 “treatment suites” and luxury hydrotherapy facilities, pictured here. At these facilities, guests can embark on an exclusive “water journey” with color therapy steam, a clay room, sauna, and an experience pool featuring sensory pebbles, bubble beds, jets for stiff necks, and soothing waterfall features. All of these treatments combine to improve health and wellbeing with water—and the lavish, contemporary architecture of the spa space doesn’t hurt the healing experience, either.
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is one of the highest-rated hotels in the world, receiving accolades from top travel curators like Condé Naste, who dubbed it the “Most Excellent Spa Hotel” and regular travelers, who bestowed upon it a 2013 Traveler’s Choice award for “Best Luxury Hotel” on TripAdvisor. These awards are thanks to Riviera Nayarit’s deluxe spa services (including hydrotherapy and indulgent ocean view Jacuzzi tubs, pictured here), gourmet dining, and posh guest suites that incorporate contemporary Mexican design. Kids are at home at Riviera Nayarit, too—the resort even offers fun, kid-sized spa treatments.
At Little Palm Island Resort and Spa, located in the Florida Keys and accessed only by boat or seaplane, seclusion is a selling point. There are just 30 suites at Little Palm Island, which helps maintain a sense of intimacy on the property, and its remote setting melts away the stresses of the mainland, which feels very far away. The guest suites themselves also offer tranquil, secluded accommodations nestled on the water among rustling pines. Another plus for those seeking the hush of island life is the resort’s policy that all guests be 16 years-of-age or older.
Curated Trips$105+ More info (TripAdvisor) More info (Catalina Island) More info (Coconut Bay) More info (NCL) More info (Gulf Shores) More info (Visit Myrtle Beach)
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