While we enjoy the snow as much as the next skier, there is something to be said about leaving behind woolen mittens, Sorel boots and toques for some sun and sand. Whether you’re looking to jet away next week or are planning for February/March, there are plenty of exotic and nearby destinations guaranteed to fill your warm weather wishes. Here are our top 5 picks for places worth escaping to during the dark and cold winter months.
The Jalousie Plantation
Only a 3 1/2 hour flight from Miami, it’s not hard to score a great airfare even in the winter, thanks to the many airlines that service this beautiful Caribbean island. What makes St. Lucia so enticing is the majestic landscape, unspoilt beaches and rainforests, as well as the fantastic resort options. Our pick? The Jalousie Plantation set amongst 100 acres of rainforest, which was once an 18th century plantation. The property spans right down to the sandy shore, and the Caribbean Sea. We love the charming accommodations, which blend the old Colonial style with contemporary furnishing and amenities. The Luxury Villas offer stunning views of the Piton Mountains or the glistening waters, and includes a private plunge pool on the patio. Let’s not forget the personalized butler service included when you book a villa. When it comes to dining, you’ll want to have an elegant dinner in the Great Room, followed by drinks at The Late Night Bar. Not to be missed is of course the spa, found right amongst the lush foliage of the rainforest. Here the treatment rooms are above the forest floor, in a unique tree house setting. If rest, relaxation and some indulgence are what you’re craving, this is the destination for you.
L'Auberge in Punta del Este
PUNTA DEL ESTE, URUGUAY
Often referred to as the “St. Tropez” of South America, Punta del Este can be found on the southern tip of the Uruguay. It’s a favourite destination of the elite from Buenos Aires, thanks to being only a short flight from the city. Think of it as the Hamptons is to New Yorkers. You’ll find a great beachfront, fresh seafood being served up at the restaurants, and an active nightlife, including an ultra-popular casino. If a major night out is on the agenda you’ll find most of the bars and clubs on a strip in La Barra, located about six miles north.
When it comes to winding down, we suggest booking into Hotel L’Auberge a historic property, architecturally anchored by the 150ft Tuscan-style tower. While it’s not beachfront, travel time to the water is less than 20 minutes. Our favourite onsite feature is the quaint and cozy tea room, which serves up mouthwatering Belgium-style waffles and offers tranquil views of the well-manicured gardens. Other notable amenities and services include 24-hour room service, free Wi-fi in the rooms, an outdoor pool, musical events in the garden and a gym which can be found at the top of the tower. Plus if you’re dying for some great shopping, Buenos Aires is only a hop away.
Get our rundown of Where to Shop in Buenos Aires.
The Breakers, Palm Beach
With average temperatures in February and March around 25°C (78°F), you’ll be able to throw on a sundress and sandals without a second thought. If images of snowbirds — we mean older travellers taken haven in the sunny state come winter, not the planes — are what you envision, don’t fret. You can absolutely find luxury, seclusion and first-class hotels. Both Miami and Palm Beach are two destinations that come to mind. We’re fans of The Breakers in Palm Beach, a legendary luxury hotel that has spent over $250 million in the past decade to ensure its quality facilities. You’ll also find 10 restaurants, two golf courses, an on-site spa and stunning beachfront accommodations. It’s pure luxury, relaxation and sunny shores, very close to home.
For those looking for a more adventurous getaway, taking a road trip down to The Keys is a fun way to spend a week. READ MORE