Esencia – Mexico
Mexico’s Caribbean coast is home to some really romantic beach hideaways and January is a great time to go. Esencia set on a stunning white sand beach, is one of our favourites. It has just 29 white, minimalist rooms set among lush tropical gardens. Relax in the spa, snorkel off the beach, explore nearby Mayan ruins or sip tequila at one of the stylish bars in Playa del Carmen.
Explora Easter Island – Chile
Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, is one of the most remote places on earth. In February the islanders hold their annual Tapati festival – a two week celebration of song, dance, parades and competitions. Explora is by far the most luxurious accommodation on the island with its brand new 30 room property opening in January 2008. in the meantime, guest are housed in comfortable local houses complete with hot tub. A trek to the Moai statues followed by a Pisco Sour cocktail on the beach is out of this world. Explora starts from £200 per person per night including all meals and excursions.
Villa St Lucy – Barbados
Villa St Lucy is a lovely seven bedroom villa – perfect for a family holiday over Easter. There are endless things for all the family to do here from world class golf (the villa is on the 18th hole of Royal Westmoreland golf course), a brand new spa, tennis, swimming and white sand beaches just 10 minutes away. There is also a kid’s club during school holidays plus the villa has its own 17m oval infinity pool. The villa comes with a housekeeper and a private cook can be arranged if self-catering is too much like hard work. Rental over Easter starts from £9,625 a week for 14 people.
Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires – Argentina
April is a great time to visit Buenos Aires, when the weather cools into autumn. Dance tango in the street, eat a steak the size of your handbag, sip Malbec into the early hours or snap up bargains at the growing number of designer boutiques. Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires is a stunning new hotel combining a restored 1932 palace with a contemporary building. A lush tree-lined garden, excellent spa facilities and an underground art gallery are just some of the features of this elegant hotel.
Hermitage Bay – Antigua
Head to Antigua in May and see some of the world’s finest custom-made yachts in Antigua Race Week. Nelson’s Dockyard is the hub of the action with parties and live bands playing into the night. Hermitage Bay is a brand new boutique hotels set on the islands’s west coast. It offers a luxurious retreat when you’ve had your fill of Race Week fun. There are 25 suites hidden among large tropical gardens. The Hillside Suites all have plunge pools and the Beach Suites are steps away from the ocean.
Almyra – Cyprus
June is a great time to go to the Almyra, especially if you have young children. The weather is lovely and warm without being overly hot. The hotel has a fantastic ‘Baby Go Lightly’ service where you can pre-book all the food, nappies and other baby paraphernalia you need. There is also now a new crèche that accpts children from six months old.
Bushcamp Company – Zambia
Walking with wildlife is an unforgettable way to experience an African safari and July is the best time for seeing the animals. Located in the South Luangwa National Park, Bushcamp Company specialises in bespoke walking safaris between five luxurious camps along the Luangwa River. Walk from camp to tcamp in the style of an original pioneer, or base yourself at one camp and walk out morning and afternoon. The guides here are excellent and the South Luangwa valley is known for its outstanding wildlife, which includes the leopard.
Le Mas Candille – Cote d’Azur
Le Mas Candille is a charming Relais & Chateaux hotel set in pretty Provencal parkland in the hills above Cannes. It is the perfect retreat from the busy Cote d’Azur but just 7km from Cannes so you can join the action when you want to. Rooms are cosy and traditional in the old farmhouse and bigger and more contemporary in the new building. The hotel has the only Shiseido spa in Europe, three outdoor pools and a Michelin-starred restaurant with beautiful views over the Mougins valley
Birkenhead House – South Africa
September is a great month for the Cape as it’s right in the middle of whale watching season, when the Southern Right Whales come to calve. You can take a boat trip and get right up beside these mighty mammals, or you can spot them while relaxing at Birkenhead House in Hermanus – a friendly boutique hotel, full of rare antiques, Persian rugs and original paintings. There are two pools, a gym, spa and two excellent swimming beaches.
Elsa’s Kopje and Loisaba Wilderness – Kenya
For fans of the film Born Free, a visit to Elsa’s Kopje in Meru National Park is a must. This luxurious lodge is on the site of George Adamson’s first camp. Relax after a game drive in the ultimate ‘pool with a view’, looking out across the plains. Loisaba Wilderness offers a different safari experience as the emphasis here is on activity. There’s a spa, tennis, camel trekking, rafting, mountain biking and riding. You can even spend a night under the stars in Loisaba’s Star Beds hosted by traditional warriors.
Le Prince Maurice – Mauritius
November is a lovely time to go to Mauritius as the weather is at its best. Le Prince Maurice, on the northeast coast of the island, is a stylish and sophisticated all-suite hotel. Set over 60 acres with its own lagoon, the hotel boasts the only over-water villas in Mauritius and a floating restaurant. Golfers can use the two 18 hole courses at Bell Mare Plage five minutes away, while the children’s facilities are excellent and the Guerlain Spa is a absolute treat.
Copacabana Palace – Rio De Janeiro
Rio is a place that really does live upto the hype. In true Brazilian style, the New Year’s Eve celebrations are lavish with Copacabana beach setting the stage for amazing fireworks. Overlooking the long, curving sweep of this beach, the elegant façade of Copacabana Palace is a city landmark. One of the best hotels in South America, it has two of the city’s top restaurants, the city’s largest hotel pool and even a rooftop tennis court.