This week Tripadvisor released their list of top beaches in the world. For the wanderlust in all of us, reading that list scratches an itch, for sure. Grace Bay Beach in Turks and Caicos is No. 1, followed by Varadero Beach in Cuba, then Turquoise Bay in Exmouth, Australia. Quarta Praia in Morro de Sao Paulo, Brazil and Eagle Beach in Aruba round out the Top 5. Pack your bags.
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As we come out of the pandemic, though, that wanderlust goes much, much deeper, after two years of lockdowns and restrictions. “Wanderlust” is a lust for wandering. Those who travel for travel’s sake. So today we’re recommending travel destinations that are warm weather (it’s only the 2nd of March after all), true soul re-generating and recalibrating places.
One of the ways to proceed with a luxury holiday is to hire a consultant to handle everything for you – plan, book, literally hold your hand through the entire process. These travel consultants act almost like a personal concierge, putting together a true bespoke experience for you and your family. Travel does get a little complicated in a post-Covid world. What are the Covid rules in the country you’re traveling to? That’s why many people seek out a consultant.
Anyway, here are five primetime Caribbean and Central America destinations to get the wanderlust bug buzzing again:
Bequia Beach Hotel – Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
A boutique hotel with nostalgic old-world charm, located on an expansive white sandy beach. The colourful and spacious beachfront rooms open up onto Friendship Bay, a beautiful beach that you can practically have all to yourself on this quaint and relatively undiscovered island in the Grenadines.
If you feel like exploring further, hop aboard their super-yacht, Star of the Sea, and sail to the UNESCO heritage site, Tobago Cays for a day or two swimming with turtles, snorkelling in the reef and between sandy inlets. Cruise in utter luxury back to the hotel in time for sunset cocktails, grilled lobster and dancing to the live steel drums on the dance floor in the sand.
Islas Secas – Chiriqui Archipelago, Panama
A very exclusive eco-resort on an untouched 14-island archipelago 20 miles off the Pacific coast in Panama. But this feels far more remote. Only one island is developed with the hotel, restaurant, spa and casitas, giving you an enormous adventure playground to explore.
Venture out by boat or kayak for bird watching, snorkelling and beach hopping with a delicious hotel picnic in tow. This mini resort can be hired exclusively for big events and has only 12 Casitas. Each has their own plunge pool and deck, an incredibly romantic and private hideaway.
GoldenEye – Oracabessa, Jamaica
The boutique island getaway, GoldenEye’s name is not a coincidence. This idyllic little cluster of whitewashed cottages and suites on Jamaica’s Oracabessa Bay is indeed the home of acclaimed author Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond.
He penned all 14 of his James Bond novels in his villa, now the hotel’s centrepiece. Idyllic little private beaches are dotted all over the very private and relatively unknown resort. It’s a secret favourite amongst celebrities and those looking for a little laid back luxury. Most rooms are beachfront or on the dreamy lagoon with swim-up hillside spa and treetop restaurant.
One and Only Mandarina – Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
A gorgeous new resort in the luscious and relatively undiscovered Riviera Nayarit in Mexico. Standalone wooden treehouses and villas with private pools, elevated above the treetop canopy are scattered amidst the rainforest and mangroves. All designed for indoor and outdoor living with incredible views of the ocean and the surrounding Sierra del Vallejo mountains.
Choose between Alma, the farm to table restaurant, Carao by famed Mexican celebrity chef Enrique Olvera, situated dramatically on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Or choose Jetty Beach Club, located on the resort’s private beach, serving fresh seafood grilled to perfection over charcoal.
Amanyara – Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
A sanctuary away from the busy bustle of Grace Bay, glamorous waterside villas and sleek pavilions grace the resort, many with their own private beach. Once there you won’t need to lift a finger as each villa comes with their own personal butler. The hotel has a partnership with university scientists and professors from Miami that have created custom programs for children of all ages to learn about astrology in this zero light pollution location. There’s also the fragile eco-system of the mangroves in the nature reserve and marine life at the onsite coral nursery that surrounds the hotel.
There is so much to explore without ever leaving the resort. That includes the signature Asian inspired spa, multiple restaurants and Malcolm’s Road beach, a spectacular sunset spot, best gazed at from the sumptuous daybeds on the shore.
Top image: Amanyara, Courtesy of Aman
Click on image to enlarge and view gallery. Images: Courtesy of Aman