DiamondHead Beach Resort & Spa, Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
Here, it’s all about the beach. Located just 10 minutes from Estero Island’s dining and shopping area, the DiamondHead resort sits right on the Gulf of Mexico’s white sands. Each of its 121 airy suites comes with a king bed, kitchenette, living area with sleeper sofa and, most importantly, an oversized balcony overlooking the water.
Head to the beach concierge, who will help you sign up for a parasailing or stand-up paddleboard lesson, book you a beachside Thai yoga massage or snag you a reservation at Chloës, the resort’s upscale restaurant that serves locally caught grouper and snapper. Complete your stay with an Alligator (a frozen Piña Colada with melon liqueur) at the poolside Cabaña’s Beach Bar and Grille, then take in a hermit crab race or enjoy a game of volleyball on the beach. Rates from US$165. —Mandy Savoie
Conrad New York, New York City
A luxury hotel a few blocks from the World Trade Center site (and now featuring spacious suites and great views of the Hudson River), the Conrad New York is a great place to stay. Damaged 14 years ago on 9/11, the property has been refurbished and rebranded, with a focus on high-end finishes and impeccable service. The sun-filled lobby features modern furniture and a soaring atrium, and the guest rooms have massive windows, WiFi and custom “mood channels” on the TV.
The location in Lower Manhattan is both convenient and relatively quiet. This is more of a residential area, which means you’ll see families with strollers enjoying The Battery on the nearby riverfront. During your stay, make sure to visit the rooftop patio, Loopy Doopy, where you can sample the happy-hour favourite: Prosecco with artisan ice pops. Rates from US$329. —Pam Fieber
The Crane Resort, Barbados
Perched high above the renowned Crane Beach, famous for its soft pink sand, sparkling turquoise water and coconut trees, sits The Crane. Located on Barbados’ southeast coast in the parish of St. Philip, this historic property (the island’s oldest resort) oozes island luxury thanks to its tasteful Caribbean decor—think coral stone walls, natural timber doors and antique furnishings. Plus, the lush suites feature private infinity or plunge pools and beautiful touches like locally carved mahogany four-poster beds.
The massive property has all the amenities a sun-seeker could want, including a full-service spa, award winning-restaurants—offering Thai, Japanese, Italian and Caribbean cuisine—and the Crane Village, a shopping area complete with a duty free store and ice cream shop. And the pools here are just as fabulous as the beach; the complex features four pools complete with waterfalls and stunning views of the sea below. Rates from US$349. —Sara Samson