Tulum | Carretera Tulum Boca Paila | +52.1.984.100.1400
Tulum is a total hot spot right now, and this is the THE hotel to stay at – we can't believe it has any availability. The draw to Coqui Coqui is its beautifully rustic aesthetic - exposed concrete walls contrasting animal hide tapestries, the softest white linens draping the bed posts... The exterior looks like a cross between the nearby ruins in Tulum and a well-built sandcastle on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera surf. There are just seven rooms, so it’s quiet with candles only after dark. Their house branded natural hair and body products are stocked in the rooms (one of the owners, Nicolas, founded Coqui Coqui Perfumes). Their clean, simple cafeteria serves some of the best snapper ceviche in town.
Riviera Maya | Carretera Federal Cancún Playa del Carmen | +52.984.875.8000
Rosewood Mayakoba is a huge resort that's very well run and well manicured. You’re surrounded by water, with the Caribbean Sea on one side and freshwater lagoons on the other, which you traverse by boat to get around. It's very family friendly here, with a bunch of pools and a kids club. It's hard to get a bad room as they're all villas - private plunge pools, sun decks and outdoor showers come with each. Also, people come for the top-notch golf course, where they host the only PGA event in Mexico. We don't love a massive resort but this place does it right.
Paget Parish | 60 South Shore Rd. | 800.223.7434
Elbow Beach feels like the British Bermuda of yesteryear. The recent takeover by the Mandarin Oriental group means some of the bright pastels, floral wallpapers and grandad feel are changing to a sleeker look, but we hear the careful charm of the staff and the slow pace still feel delightfully old-school. The resort is home to Veranda, Bermuda's only rum bar, with over 100 varieties of rum and a clubby, jazzy vibe. FYI The Bougainvillea cottages with sea views are said to be the ones worth coming for.
Southampton | 101 South Shore Rd. | +1.441.238.8000
The main building could use a bit of sprucing up, but the resort is one of the largest, most inclusive on the island and a reliable full-service option for families, just over two hours from NYC. There's a big focus here on kids activities and golf, and the course is pretty immaculate, with views of the water and towering coconut palms overhead. The rooms are standard and comfortable with balconies overlooking the beach and mellow, tropical patterns on fabric.
State Road, Rio Grande | +1.787.809.8000
Despite the name, the tropical rainforest this resort is set in is a bigger draw than the beach. This is a place to come if you're into exploring nature as there are guided tours through the forest led by local marine biologists, a bird sanctuary, bike paths, etc. Kids can hang out in the Iguana Club. It has all the upscale amenities you’d expect from a St. Regis property, including their signature butler service (they unpack your bags), Remède Spa, an oceanfront golf course and a Christmas Eve dinner hosted by Jean–Georges’ Fern.
Goop perk: The St. Regis team are offering a 10 % discount on spa and food & beverage and an upgrade upon availability at the time of check-in for goop readers. Offer valid for reservations booked through the in-house team by February 2014, for stays through September 2014 – you must mention the offer when reserving and bring in a digital or physical copy of this issue to redeem the offer.
Antigua | English Harbour | +1.268.460.1014
People rave about the service at this 28-room resort on Antigua - it feels like you are being personally hosted. With just 28 rooms and no kids under 10 allowed, it's an intimate and peaceful getaway for a couple with everything you might need on the property - a large heated pool, tennis courts, a beachside restaurant, private white sand beach, hammocks and snorkeling, a rum bar, a library to relax and read in... The look is English meets Caribbean, with grand colonial style architecture - standout features are the strong mahogany four-post beds with contrasting airy white linens. P.S. Apparently, the old–fashioned rum punch at the Reef bar is not to be missed.
Guana Island | +1.800.544.8262
If you are looking to feel totally secluded and off the grid, Guana is the place. One of the lesser known of the British Virgin Islands, it's also one the few remaining privately owned islands in the area and is minimally developed. There’s not much here besides seven (nearly deserted) white sand beaches, 850 acres of untouched tropical forest, and this small resort with just 15 cottages and three villas. Depending on when you go, you can be one of the only vacationers here with just a few scientists or grad students around studying the ecosystem. The staff at the resort will tell you how best to explore the islands and how to navigate the steep trails, even giving you cell phones so you can call if you'd rather be picked up on your way back. Each room is named after a different Caribbean island and is simply decorated in lots of white. There are no TVs, phones or much else to distract you from completely unplugging. P.S. People rave about Xavier, the young Spanish chef at the on-site restaurant...
Jamaica | Ocho Rios | 800.837.4608
The resort is known for having the same feel now as it did when it opened (when Sir Winston Churchill used to come here to paint) – colonial-style cottages offsetting the tropical beachside setting with a bit of a retro Jamaican feel, croquet and polo on the lawn, and no TV’s to be found. The rooms are as on the beach as it gets (open the door and step in sand) and they are happy to bring you breakfast on your veranda if you don't feel like making it over to the palm-covered dining room...
Barbados | Paynes Bay | +1.415.400.5000
The raison d'être here are the 'house ambassadors'. Once you book, you are assigned to someone that basically looks after you throughout your trip. Your ambassador will do everything from picking you up at the airport, to getting a rum punch, setting up ‘jet lag revival’ massages upon arrival and arranging private dinners on the beach. Complimentary ice cream (we hear the house rum raisin is pretty insane), water and fruit by the pool and champagne breakfasts are nice perks. It's a small place with only a handful of rooms and is adults only – so best for a couple.
Port Antonio, Jamaica | +1.876.633.7000
You can be as private or social as you like at this resort, which feels like a village of waterfront villas. Most people spend the day lounging by the infinity pool overlooking the sea, but you can chill by the private pool in your villa for a more secluded experience. The rooms are newly refurbished, simple and modern, keeping the gorgeous setting the focus, with features like outdoor soaking tubs and sun decks. The town of Port Antonio, where the resort is located, was a hotspot in the 60's and part of the experience is checking out the restaurants, bars and live music in town. Fun feature: If you get tired of the beach, there's a screening room that you can reserve to watch movies in.
Anguilla | Barnes Bay, West End | +1.264.497.7000
If you are looking to escape your social scene on the Upper East Side, don't come to this chicest-beach-house-you-have-ever-seen, designed by Kelly Wearstler, where the look is more heels than flip flops. The restaurants and bars are a step above your typical Caribbean resort experience – fresh made pasta at the signature restaurant Cobà, frozen cocktails and hummus wraps at the Half Shell, and cocktails and sushi for a very buzzy happy hour at the Sunset Lounge. The two-story spa and cute boutique that features local jewelry designers makes it a fun place to come with girlfriends.
Amelia Island | 98 South Fletcher Ave. | 904.277.4851
This place oozes Nantucket-style, shingle-lodge B&B charm - only you're on the beach in Florida. It feels like the holidays this time of year, which is nice if you want to be somewhere warm but not totally escape the season. Small antique-y rooms feature oversized tubs and flannel blankets while rocking chairs are set up in front of a brick–lined fireplace in the reception room where you can take your evening drink and hors d’oeuvres during social hour. The 'innkeepers' make you feel like you're a guest in their house, and we hear the homestyle breakfast is a real highlight.
Little Torch Key | 28500 Overseas Hwy. | 800.343.8567
Lush tropical plants tower over the thatched-roof bungalows on the private white sand beach of this luxury resort on Little Palm Island. No phones, TV’s or kids under 16 makes it a romantic, secluded retreat with not much else to do besides lounge or learn how to deep sea fish or sky dive. The resort's SpaTerre offers delicious sounding treatments inspired by the area - Coconut Sugar Body Polish or a Margarita Key Lime Pedicure. They also offer massages on the beach for optimal relaxation.
Naples | 280 Vanderbilt Beach Rd. | 239.598.3300
Admittedly not one of the most exciting getaway options, the Ritz in Naples is a classic, large-scale resort experience without the international flight. You can check in and pretty much never leave, with seven different dining options, beach sports, extensive spa and a really great kids program called ‘Nature’s Wonders’ that features an in-house aquarium and classes on natural sciences, sea creatures and ecosystems for ages 5-12.