For those of us who may have somehow overlooked making a holiday plan, or didn't make one purposefully (to stay home and be cozy) and are now wishing a bit of sun was in the plan, we have compiled the last minute holiday guide. Some tried and loved, some recommended, these beautiful properties are waiting to welcome you last minute.
Palm Springs | 257 South Patencio Rd. | 760.864.6411
It feels more like Tangier than Palm Springs at this family-run pensione that channels the rustic romance of Morocco and the Mediterranean. Villas are filled with hand carved wooden furniture, with lemon and olive trees right outside your window. Fountains, fire pits and colored glass lanterns decorate the outdoor courtyard where group yoga and evening screenings of old movies happen (there are no TVs or phones otherwise). P.S. We hear the Moroccan villa is the one to stay in.
This spectacular location built on Native American spiritual ground is so transformative and relaxing we didn't even mind that the rooms were nothing to write home about. In the spa area, sure, there are some tiles falling off the jacuzzi wall and the ladies locker room could use a new carpet, but the treatments here, like the psychic massage and the sedona clay wrap transport you to a place where judgement evaporates. Body treatments range from reiki to lymphatic drainage while spiritual treatments include meditation, hypnosis and past life regression. It's like 3 years of therapy in 3 days.
Just opened this past September, the Andaz Maui is a relaxed and affordable change up from the Wailea beach big hitters (Four Seasons, Fairmont…). Designed by David Rockwell, we hear the open-air lobby is kind of insane - you enter on a footbridge that crosses an infinity pool to arrive at a sandpit where you're encouraged to remove your shoes while checking in…on an iPad. It's super contemporary, even in the spa, which is done apothecary style, meaning your therapist will custom blend locally grown herbs, plants and fruits for your treatment. Oh, and Morimoto’s here.
Punta de Mita | Montenahuac S/N | +52.329.298.4242
Iman means magnet in Spanish, and Imanta really does draw you in. It's one of the best resorts we have ever been to - totally secluded and authentic. Located in a perfectly remote area outside Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Gold Coast, where the softest sand beach meets 250-acres of dense tropical rainforest on the ocean. It's the kind of place where you can horseback ride through the jungle and end up on the beach. It feels truly one of a kind here, with no hint of chain (that commercial vibe). Fish dishes are based on what is caught fresh that day. All the rooms have floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors that open up to beautiful outdoor stone bathtubs and showers.
Film director Zoe Cassavetes is raising funds for a new film project titled Day out of Days. Below, she explains the impetus for the film.
"I think films are an amazing way of not only telling a story, but in my case, showing a moment in life, a piece of the culture and some of the subjects that we are faced with..."
"Mia (the main character) is a 40 year old actress who's not only struggling to stay relevant in her profession, but also at a breaking point in her life. She's a well-rounded human who laughs and cries and makes mistakes and has the courage to go on. The film world is a little short on these subjects and it would be nice to balance that out."
"I think celebrity and fame has reached out of control proportions and it's not only affecting people in the business, but it's seeping into the general public’s consciousness. There is this way of penetrating fame that is open to anyone if they dare to be outrageous enough. The press (and its followers) prey on negativity and every move one makes can be documented now. The quality of the art is kind of low on the list. It's a strange world and I thought it would be interesting to see how someone navegates through that scenario."
Tulum is a total hot spot right now, and this is the THE hotel to stay at – we can't believe it has any availability. The draw to Coqui Coqui is its beautifully rustic aesthetic - exposed concrete walls contrasting animal hide tapestries, the softest white linens draping the bed posts... The exterior looks like a cross between the nearby ruins in Tulum and a well-built sandcastle on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera surf. There are just seven rooms, so it’s quiet with candles only after dark. Their house branded natural hair and body products are stocked in the rooms (one of the owners, Nicolas, founded Coqui Coqui Perfumes). Their clean, simple cafeteria serves some of the best snapper ceviche in town.
Elbow Beach feels like the British Bermuda of yesteryear. The recent takeover by the Mandarin Oriental group means some of the bright pastels, floral wallpapers and grandad feel are changing to a sleeker look, but we hear the careful charm of the staff and the slow pace still feel delightfully old-school. The resort is home to Veranda, Bermuda's only rum bar, with over 100 varieties of rum and a clubby, jazzy vibe. FYI The Bougainvillea cottages with sea views are said to be the ones worth coming for.
If you are looking to feel totally secluded and off the grid, Guana is the place. One of the lesser known of the British Virgin Islands, it's also one the few remaining privately owned islands in the area and is minimally developed. There’s not much here besides seven (nearly deserted) white sand beaches, 850 acres of untouched tropical forest, and this small resort with just 15 cottages and three villas. Depending on when you go, you can be one of the only vacationers here with just a few scientists or grad students around studying the ecosystem. The staff at the resort will tell you how best to explore the islands and how to navigate the steep trails, even giving you cell phones so you can call if you'd rather be picked up on your way back. Each room is named after a different Caribbean island and is simply decorated in lots of white. There are no TVs, phones or much else to distract you from completely unplugging. P.S. People rave about Xavier, the young Spanish chef at the on-site restaurant...
Little Torch Key | 28500 Overseas Hwy. | 800.343.8567
Lush tropical plants tower over the thatched-roof bungalows on the private white sand beach of this luxury resort on Little Palm Island. No phones, TV’s or kids under 16 makes it a romantic, secluded retreat with not much else to do besides lounge or learn how to deep sea fish or sky dive. The resort's SpaTerre offers delicious sounding treatments inspired by the area - Coconut Sugar Body Polish or a Margarita Key Lime Pedicure. They also offer massages on the beach for optimal relaxation.