The seasons are changing and the temperatures are dropping, so warm-weather travel is top of mind. With the cold weather coming in full force, here are a handful of domestic and international escapes that are ready to welcome you with sun, sand and tropical cocktails. Get ready to trade in your snow boots for sandals!
Opal Sands Resort in Clearwater Beach, FL
As the best ranked beach in the nation for the last two years by TripAdvisor, the powder white sands and sparkling Gulf coast waters will welcome you with open arms and tropical weather any time of the year. The modern and upscale Opal Sands Resort, located along the south end of Clearwater Beach provides guests with panoramic views at every turn thanks to its curved design. The floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies in each room serve as the perfect frame to watch dolphins swim by and stunning sunsets. Opal Sands is helping guests disconnect on vacation with their Sensory Overload amenity, which offers guests Jabra Elite 85h Noise Cancelling Headphones (or disposable ear plugs for guests who don't want a whole new pair of headphones), Earth Luxe Essential oils (lavender oil for relaxation, peppermint oil for headaches, tea tree oil to disinfect and eucalyptus for decongestion), and an Ugg travel set equipped with a sleep mask. The Sensory Overload amenity (starts at $106 for the basic version with ear plugs/ $532 for luxe version with noise cancelling headphones), leaves you with no other choice but to lock away your phone and unplug in paradise. Also, opt for a treatment from the Social Addiction Spa Series at the Opal Spa that offers specific treatments for ailments caused by excessive technology use. Guests can choose four 25-minute treatments - from a chair massage to treat neck hyperextension, to hand reflexology, to treat hand pain from scrolling and typing away to even a scalp massage, to treat headaches from eye straining, you're bound to feel rejuvenated. For more information, visit https://www.opalsands.com
St. Kitts Marriott Resort in Frigate Bay, St. Kitts
Located on a golden stretch of beach and bursting with Kittitian hospitality, St. Kitts Marriott Resort offers an incredible island escape for a fraction of the cost. With new airlift from New York and Dallas, the island is quickly becoming more accessible for North American travelers. Travelers looking to get lucky should escape to the island of St. Kitts and hit the tables at St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino - home to the largest Vegas-style casino in the Caribbean with 300+ slot machines and 20 table games. When you need a break from rolling the dice, you can explore the island’s rainforest and zipline across the rainforest canopy to bump up that adrenaline, walk over to the nearby Frigate Bay Strip to bar-hop by the beach and get a taste of local island flavor at the resort’s Friday Fish Fry and beach bonfire. Golf pros looking to perfect their golf swing can book a tee time at the resort’s Royal St. Kitts Golf Club - where you can aim for a hole-in-one between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Dine at St. Kitts Marriott's newest restaurant La Cucina for an authentic taste of Italy during your Caribbean escape. For more information, visit https://www.marriott.com/
Lions Dive Beach Resort in Willemstad, Curacao
Perched atop Curaçao’s idyllic palm-studded beach, LionsDive & Beach Resort, known as the island’s sportiest hotel, features lush grounds, spacious suites and a 50-meter infinity pool overlooking the resort’s private beach and the Caribbean Sea. Just a five-minute walk from great selection of dining and shopping at the island’s well-known, The BLVD, this resort is the perfect vacation spot. After a long day of shopping and exploring, head down to the beach to enjoy some time under a palm tree, enjoying a delicious blue, Curaçaoan cocktail with the sound of the Caribbean waves roaring in the background. Home to more than 35 captivating beaches, a diverse heritage spanning 55 different cultures (including Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese), fun family activities and unique European architecture, Curaçao remains an unrivaled tropical escape in the Southern Caribbean. Curaçao’s natural beauty, world class snorkeling sites, stunning beaches and idyllic weather - due to its location on the outer fringes of the Hurricane Belt - makes this island a no brainer to escape to any time of the year. For more information, visit https://www.lionsdive.com/en/
Art Ovation Hotel in Sarasota, FL
Sarasota offers travelers a memorable experience that is equal parts urban sophistication and natural beauty. Beyond its cultural offerings, it’s also the gateway to miles of award-winning beaches with fine sand and shallow waters, such as Lido Beach and Siesta Key Beach. Art Ovation Hotel, inspired by Sarasota’s vibrant arts and culture scene, is located in the heart of Florida’s cultural coast. Perfect for travelers who enjoy both beach vacations and the arts in all its forms, the 162-room boutique hotel is located in downtown Sarasota, surrounded by an enviable number of art galleries, theaters, and restaurants, all while a short trolly ride away from beautiful beaches. The first property designed to fully immerse guests in the creative and artistic experience that the city has to offer, Art Ovation incorporates one-of-a-kind programs and amenities including a robust Artists in Residence program, in-room instruments for private jam sessions, live performances, art demonstrations and art exhibitions displayed throughout its public spaces. Their newest exhibitions, unveiled in October features four distinct installations from an impressive portfolio of artists titled, “The Independent Eye,” “Zero + One,” “Hallelujah” and “Watercolor Spectrum”. For more information, visit www.artovationhotel.com.
Playa Largo Resort & Spa in Key Largo, FL
Breakaway to the laidback sunny Key Largo for a Caribbean-esque escape without leaving the country. Situated along 14 acres of the Florida Bay, Playa Largo Resort & Spa has all of the makings for an unforgettable beachfront getaway. Upscale guest rooms and suites reflect its lush tropical island surroundings, and additional luxe amenities include a waterfront zero-entry pool, a private beach and 15-slip marina for fishing and watersports activities, in addition to a coastal-inspired spa and dockside dining options. When the sun goes down each day, guests are signaled by the ringing of the Eventide Bell to follow the sound of live music and gather for Eventide, a daily celebration of the transition from day into night. Guests can indulge in light bites and complimentary signature cocktails served in a halved pineapple that is adorned with fresh fruit. For unobstructed sunset views, guests can kayak or paddleboard out to watch the spectacular display from the water. Elevate your beachfront escape with the new water table at Sol by the Sea that offers guests the chance to kick off their shoes, dip their toes in the water and have front row seats to stunning Key Largo sunsets while enjoying seafood cuisine. Revel in romance and opt for the Chimnea package that provides a fire butler to start your bonfire at the beachside firepit along with blankets, s’mores supplies and take it step further with a bottle of wine and a charcuterie board upgrade. For more information, visit www.playalargoresort.com.