It might not be as well known as the neighboring islands of St. Vincent, St. Lucia, or Martinique, but Mustique offers natural beauty to compete with any of them — and the Firefly Mustique is the place to stay to enjoy it. This luxury retreat offers five different rooms — many spacious enough to be considered suites elsewhere — each offering Caribbean views, comfortable beds, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, complimentary snacks for sunset, a beach basket with towels, beach games, masks and snorkels, and even a plunge pool in the largest, most secluded room. There's also a restaurant on site, a bar with the best sunset views on the island, a driver to take you to the beach, and a complimentary cell phone to use when you're ready to come back to the room (or if you just need more rum).
It's a private island. It's not your private island during your stay, but one look at Maafushivaru and you're unlikely to care. Located in the Maldives, this exclusive resort offers 50 villas — beach, pool, and ocean — each of which features air conditioning, king sized beds, rainfall showers, and espresso machines, with some offering a private pool, some with private beach-side decks, and some set overtop of the water. Also on-site are a restaurant, pool-side bar, a wine cellar, and a library-themed lounge, as well as a host of activities to keep you busy during your getaway.
Set in the jungle off the coast of the Pacific, Imanta Punta de Mita is a hidden gem of a resort. With architecture inspired by Prehispanic temples, each of the stone-walled casas, villas, and even the main hotel blend the historic-looking outer shells seamlessly with the modern furniture and amenities inside. Along with fantastic views of the ocean and surrounding jungle, the property also offers a spa, multiple infinity pools — many of them private and connected directly to the room/suite/villa — two restaurants, and a rooftop bat that provides fantastic sunset views and multiple areas for lounging. Of course, there's also the beach, where the hotel releases baby turtles as part of its ongoing conservation efforts. [via]
Judging by its solid stone construction, you'd be hard pressed to guess that the rooms at Tsala Treetop Lodge are actually, in fact, located amongst the trees. Located between the coastal towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, this one-of-a-kind resort features stone-masonry details in the entrance and in each of the 10 suites and six villas, which also feature fireplaces, under floor heating, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and comfortable, setting-appropriate furnishings. The resort also features a glassed-in lounge and dining room, large open decks above the forest floor, a restaurant, and a hidden wine cellar. But most importantly, it offers views that you simply won't find at your average, dirt-anchored hideaway.
Situated on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel isn't just an ideal luxury beach resort — it's also a classic piece of architecture. Opened in 1965, its open-air design allows natural ventilation thanks to the trade winds, and has since been updated to allow for 258 rooms featuring more spacious floor plans and upgraded interiors. Also on-site is a golf course, multiple restaurants and bars, a tennis club with 11 ocean-side courts, a large fitness center, and, of course, the beaches, with soft white sand and beautiful views back up towards the mountain for which the resort is named.
Looking for an ideal beach getaway? Sure, you could head to Hawaii, or Bali, or Fiji, or the Bahamas, or some other super-obvious destination. Or you could book a stay at the Patmos Aktis Suites and Spa. Located on the Greek island of Patmos, this luxury resort offers deluxe rooms and suites, poolside suites, suites just steps from the Aegean Sea, and townhouse-like maisonettes offering room for up to 5 people. As the name suggests, there's also a spa on-site, as well as an excellent restaurant and a waterside bar. In other words, everything you need. [via]
It can be difficult to breathe within the walls of some stodgy, high class, five star hotels. But when you visit CastleMartyr Resort in Cork County, Ireland, the fresh air is plentiful. The resort consists of a striking 17th century country manor house that sits adjacent to the ruins of an 800-year-old-castle. Hit the spa to relax, play golf on their Ron Kirby-designed course, or just stroll the grounds and take in the expansive, beautiful surroundings. They even encourage you to take their Irish Setters, who welcome you upon arrival, for a walk around the hotel acreage.
Get all the privacy of a residence with all the benefits of a resort at Sentosa Seminyak. Located on the southwest coast of Bali within walking distance of tons of high-end shopping and dining options — and more importantly the beach — this all-villa resort features 43 three-, four-, and five-bedroom villas, making it an ideal spot for families or groups of friends. Each villa offers open-air spaces, a gourmet kitchen, and its own private pool, while you'll also find the brand new Salt tapas restaurant helmed by Chef Luke Mangan, a gym, a spa, a bar, and Wi-Fi on site — so while there's plenty to do right outside your door, you don't really need to go anywhere at all.
Accessible only by boat and set off the coast of Malaysia in the South China Sea, Gaya Island Resort is an ideal spot to escape the daily grind. This stunning resort features 120 villas and a two-bedroom suite, all with Sabahan elements, and bult using local materials so as to blend in perfectly with the surrounding natural environment. Other amenities include three restaurants, a bar overlooking the infinity pool and floating cabanas, a full-service spa, a library, a fitness center, and a host of outdoor activities including hiking through the rainforest, fishing, kayaking, birdwatching, or our favorite, floating in the pool doing nothing at all.
Perched on a private cliff, on an island hundreds of miles off the coast of Europe, Reid's Palace is an ideal escape in an unlikely spot. This luxury resort offers 35 suites and 128 bedrooms, as well as 5 seasonal restaurants, a cocktail bar with live music, heated sea- and freshwater pools, a sea-level pool, a children's pool, subtropical gardens, a sauna, a spa, a fitness center, two tennis courts, and a salon. Oh, and stunning ocean views.
Most "grottos" you find at hotels (or in the backyard of certain notorious mansions) are man-made additions to already spectacular pools. At Grotto Bay Beach Resort, they're the real thing. This waterfront resort features massive subterranean caves filled with crystal-clear water. Of course, it also offers beach access via its three private beaches and an outdoor pool, as well as non-aquatic amenities like two dining rooms, the Rum House Bar, a Spa, tennis courts, diving, sailing, and nearby golfing. As for the accommodations, they don't disappoint, with 201 ocean view or oceanfront rooms and 11 cozy cottages for a more secluded stay.
Telluride is gorgeous, but it's also fairly busy. If you're looking for seclusion without missing the views, head to Dunton Hot Springs. Just over the ridge from the renowned resort down, Dunton is a reclaimed ghost town that's been transformed into a serene luxury getaway. The accommodations include 13 restored log cabins built in a circle around a saloon — itself restored, serving up fantastic food — and a dance hall, and just steps from the bath house. Just down the river are eight luxurious canvas tents, and you'll also an open air chapel, library, and, of course, natural hot springs on site.