We’ve all reached that point in winter when the world outside our window seems endlessly dreary. For a much-needed boost, why not escape to summer? Here are four fabulous adventures sure to provide the sunny warmth you crave.
Try a Luxe Island Adventure
Love a classic Caribbean destination? Jet away to the Platinum Coast on balmy Barbados. Known for powdery white-sand beaches, gloriously clear waters and stunning sunsets, this west-coast district is unsurprisingly dotted with upscale villas, hotels and entertainment spots. Winter temperatures sit well into the 80s F/high 20s C, the perfect antidote to your seasonal blues.
Book the 5-star Fairmont Royal Pavilion for a memorable luxury stay. Featuring pale pink stucco and generous balconies for every room and suite, this plantation-style gem sits along a half mile of pristine beach on Alleynes Bay. On your first evening, you can relax into the island spirit with a delectable dinner at the on-site Palm Terrace Restaurant, which offers wide-open views of the ocean sunset. For an itinerary in laid-back mode, spend each morning soaking up island sunshine on the hotel’s beach chairs or floating in the hot tub by the outdoor pool. After lunch at the casual Beach Club, you can head off site for adventures such as a tour of the world’s oldest rum distillery, Mount Gay, or a shopping day in Bridgetown’s famous duty-free stores.
Prefer to spend your downtime in active mode? Your rate includes all non-motorized water sports, which means you can kayak, snorkel, paddleboard and sail to your heart’s content. After hours of play, renew your energy with a spa treatment delivered in your room by the hotel’s experts.
Play Along the Riviera Maya
If you need more scope for your adventures, explore Mexico’s Riviera Maya south of Cancún. This tropical coastal region offers natural and cultural attractions in equal measure. Beautiful beaches emerge from lush jungle and hidden cenotes surprise, while the coast’s colorful coral reefs provide extraordinary snorkeling opportunities. You’ll find all the shopping and entertainment you need in the area’s vibrant towns.
Playa del Carmen, with its lively central district and sandy shoreline, makes a great base for your visit. And set within nearly 600 acres of tropical forest at the north end of town, the gated resort community and spa Fairmont Mayakoba offers serene accommodations with views of canals, gardens and beachfront. Vacationing with family or friends? Keep your stay exclusive in a private residence, and take advantage of extensive kids club offerings for your little ones.
After breakfast in airy restaurant Brisas at Maykana, grab a community bicycle and pedal to the beach for a heady day of water and sunshine. The resort’s busy lineup of activities ranges from volleyball and soccer tournaments to windsurfing and boogie boards. For a transcendent experience in nature, sign up for a sunrise paddleboard experience.
Need a break from sand between your toes? Tee off at the spectacular El Camaleón, Latin America’s first PGA and LIV course, known for its use of the landscape’s natural features. For more fun, stroll Playa del Carmen’s iconic Fifth Avenue, packed with an eclectic blend of stylish boutiques, souvenir shops, live entertainment and eateries.
Find Your Inner Aloha in Maui
Brimming with tropical splendors, Hawaii is a classic destination for a winter getaway. Key into the island culture’s harmonious approach to life, and you’ll get a double dose of warmth to lift your spirits. Maui’s Wailea community is the ideal homebase, with its luxury resorts, upscale shopping and dining, and a truly dramatic coastline. You’ll find outdoor adventures for everyone, including safe swimming and surfing, fantastic snorkeling tours, and golden-sand beaches that are perfect for lounging with a good read or strolling with your sweetheart. For a special treat during the winter months, keep an eye out for the humpback whales who make the island waters their seasonal home. Sightings from shore are common, but you can also take a boat tour to get an up-close view of these magnificent creatures.
If you’re looking for more familiar pleasures, Wailea Golf Club has three gorgeous golf courses, including the 18-hole Blue Course, famed for its sensational views of soaring Mt. Haleakalā volcano. Love a good shopping outing? You can browse your favorite high-end retailers at The Shops at Wailea, also home to chic local boutiques and award-winning Hawaiian restaurants.
Where to stay while you’re in Wailea? Try Fairmont Kea Lani, a 5-star, family-friendly resort set just off Polo Beach, with accommodations ranging from spacious suites to modern three-bedroom villas. After you make yourself at home, savor authentic, sustainable Hawaiian cuisine at Kō, then unwind in the hotel’s spa and three swimming pools. If you want to participate in Hawaiian culture, the resort runs activities like ‘ukulele lessons, hula classes and the chance to paddle a traditional canoe.
Safari in Kenya’s Masai Mara
Delight your inner child with a safari adventure in this iconic national reserve. Known for its sweeping savannah landscapes and amazing wildlife diversity, the Mara will melt away your winter doldrums with its sunny clime and exceptional experiences.
Can’t do without your creature comforts? Never fear. Secure a spot at Fairmont Mara Safari Club to put the glam in glamping. The complex features 38 luxurious tent accommodations with canopied beds, private decks, and solar-heated water in the en-suite bathrooms. Between outings, you can laze by the hotel’s swimming pool or enjoy a relaxing professional massage. For great eats, choose between a bush dinner and cosmopolitan Kifaru restaurant, or host a group barbecue at the Boma.
Of course, the star of your visit is the park’s unforgettable natural wonders. For an opportunity to see the Big Five (lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalo) up close in their natural habitat, sign up for a game drive through the savannah. Night safari drives are also available so you can glimpse the region’s nocturnal creatures out and about on their business. Interested in local culture? Schedule a visit to a nearby Maasai Village to learn about folkways that stretch back centuries.
If you’re catching a flight back home in Nairobi, pause for a day or two and explore this lively East African hub city. Book a stay at Fairmont The Norfolk and enjoy the elegant, timeless ease this colonial treasure has offered since 1904. Just a 10-minute drive away in downtown, you can sample the city’s thriving cultural and culinary scenes.
Feeling inspired? Then choose your adventure and start packing for the summery stay you deserve.