Let Loose In Luxury This Summer At These Five-Star, Beachside Hotels

HOTEL MARTINEZPhoto Credit: HOTEL MARTINEZ

WHERE TO SOAK UP THE SUN IN LUXURY THIS SEASON.

BY: LAURA SCHREFFLER

VICEROY RIVIERA MAYA

VICEROY RIVIERA MAYAPhoto Credit: VICEROY RIVIERA MAYA

Viceroy Riviera Maya, just outside of Playa del Carmen, is a special place. Think: private villas on the edge of the rainforest, sultry breezes, swaying palm trees, brilliant, gemstone-blue water lapping at your feet, and seven miles of white-sand beachfront, home to the world’s second biggest coral reef. All 41 residence-like villas — all with jungle views — are thoughtfully designed with secluded outdoor showers, private plunge pools, hammocks, and patios with chaise lounges, with luxurious touches like full-size ROIL and Natura Bissé bath products, Italian linen bathrobes and slippers, and Bose sound systems. The elegantly designed, ocean-accessible, 1,700-square-foot Beachfront Villas are the standouts here thanks to those aforementioned views, deep soaking tubs, and personal majordomo (butler) who provides a nightly aroma-therapeutic turndown service, a pillow menu, and a hand-made soap concierge. Yes, you read that right. There’s also two great restaurants, including the fine dining concept La Marea, which is now helmed by the exciting young cook, Julio Cesar Chavez , and an award-winning spa in WAYAK, which specializes in the ancient Mayan traditions native to the area. On that front, quite uniquely, the resort also has its own resident shaman who prepares and dries herbs from an on-site garden for personalized treatments. Water sports are naturally on offer, including diving and snorkeling, private yacht and catamaran charters, and even a dolphin discovery area. Cenote tours and romantic, candlelit beach respites, featuring floral arrangements and tiki torches in a private seaside palapa are just part of what makes the Viceroy so special, but you’ll really have to see it for yourself to experience the true breadth of its magic.
Playa Xcalacoco Frac 7 Riviera Maya, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

VICEROY RIVIERA MAYA

SOFITEL KIA ORA MOOREA BEACH RESORT

SOFITEL MOOREA Photo Credit: SOFITEL MOOREA French Polynesia is a massive area, comprising some 118 islands (roughly the size of Europe) and sometimes, one wants for more than a dedicated beach vacation. Fair enough — whatever floats your boat, right? Which is why it would be remiss not to mention the wild allure of Moorea, an island known for its beautiful beaches and volcanic mountains, lush green cliffs, waterfalls, rainforest hiking trails, and the spirit of adventure. For those who want that untamed, surrounded-by-nature vibe, but still want to sleep on Egyptian cotton in an overwater bungalow, the French-owned Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea offers that happy medium — and you’ll be happy there, indeed. The resort is located on a secluded, picture-perfect slice of white-sand beach on Temae, the longest of the islands, within a protected marine area, dotted by 113 luxurious bungalows built over the water, on the beachfront, or amid landscaped gardens. Our pick: a luxury horizon overwater bungalow that offers unobstructed views of the lagoon, a private solarium, glass floor viewing panels, and private terraces and sundecks. But it’s the local partnerships that make this resort so remarkable. The powers that be work with the best of the best on island, whether it’s learning how to make home remedies or flower crowns with local Yvette León, ATV’ing up Magic Mountain, a dance party on a private motu with Temoana Tours, or snorkeling with sharks and stingrays. On property, there are just as many special offerings, from outrigger canoeing to private dinners at K, a beachfront restaurant under a cathedral ceiling made with Kahaia wood from the Tuamotu atolls, to spa treatments utilizing natural exotic ingredient such as raw-organic coconut body oil, zesty orange, sweet vanilla, fruity mango, or even avocado at Le Jardin Spa & Beauty. Here, you’re truly in for a tropical treat.
Moorea-Maiao 98728, French Polynesia

SOFITEL MOOREA Photo Credit: SOFITEL MOOREA

CONRAD BORA BORA NUI

CONRAD BORA BORAPhoto Credit: CONRAD BORA BORA

There are few places in the world that are as magical as Bora Bora, and if you’re looking for a dedicated, luxurious island getaway where the only thing you have to do is decide which cocktail to order with dinner, then the breathtaking Conrad Bora Bora Nui is the place for you. A first-class flight on festive Air Tahiti Nui to Papeete, French Polynesia’s capital, gets you in the mood for your island adventure. Recover from your long plane ride with a night at the new Hilton Hotel Tahiti, the only five-star property on the island, or jump on a hopper flight to the Bora Bora airport, from where you’ll take a private resort pontoon or a direct flight to the hotel that lands on a floating helipad. From there, it’s pure hedonism all the way thanks to white-sand beaches, awe-inspiring sunsets, and overnight stays in majestic overwater bungalows dotted with traditional Polynesian décor (the crème de la crème of which is the 3,229-square-foot, two-story Presidential Bungalow which features two bedrooms, three bathrooms, an infinity pool overlooking the ocean, whirlpools, sunbeds, a bar and lounge area, and three terraces). Service here is next-level, whether that’s through the new five-star host butler service that help with your packing and unpacking, resort tours, shoe and flip-flop care and repair, morning beverage delivery, and even tutorials on how to properly style and wear a Tahitian pareo. At the superior hilltop Hina Spa, which is embedded into a volcano and overlooks the lagoon, traditional Polynesian treatments as well as a new partnership with French skincare brand Biologique Recherche are on offer. On the culinary tip, there are delectable dining concepts, such as a catered champagne picnic lunch on the private inlet of Motu Tapu; a traditional Polynesian fire dance dinner; and a floating canoe breakfast. The resort also features an overwater lounge and swim-up pool bar, a fitness center, tennis court, golf simulator, educational experiences revolving around the local manta rays with a dedicated on-site marine biologist, and all the kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and paddle-boarding you can handle.
BP502 Vaitape Bora Bora 98730, French Polynesia

CONRAD BORA BORAPhoto Credit: CONRAD BORA BORA

MANDARIN ORIENTAL, CANOUAN

Mandarin Oriental CanouanPhoto Credit: Mandarin Oriental Canouan
Nestled along an idyllic, white-powder stretch of Godahl Beach, Mandarin Oriental, Canouan offers the ultimate in barefoot luxury. Located in the heart of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, this elegant property is comprised of luxurious colonial-style suites and villas — including the pièce de résistance, a four-bedroom, hilltop villa — a nearly 5,900-foot illuminated runway for private planes, and five square miles of lush, tropical terrain that includes a championship, 18-hole, Fazio-designed golf course, superyacht marina, picturesque white-sand beaches and the largest natural coral reef in the Caribbean. You can do as much or as little as you like here, and it’s all at your beck and call: five dining options, a beach-side infinity pool, three night-lit tennis courts, a fully equipped fitness center, and even a kids club. For those who really want to relax, the spa is where it’s at, with three-hour treatments available in an ultra-private, overwater spa bungalow that also include a boat transfer and treats. Where do we sign up?
Carenage Bay, Canouan Island VC0450, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Mandarin Oriental CanouanPhoto Credit: Mandarin Oriental Canouan

IBIZA GRAN HOTEL

IBIZA GRAN HOTELPhoto Credit: IBIZA GRAN HOTEL

It’s a common misconception that Ibiza is all party, all the time. While that’s true to some extent, it’s also a great place to relax, regroup, wine, and dine. At Ibiza Gran Hotel, steps away from the Bay of Ibiza across from Dalt Vila (the city’s old town) in Talamanca, you can do both. Yes, it’s steps away from Pacha, the ultimate superclub, but it’s also an oasis of art, fine dining, and pampering. To start, stay in the Gran Suite Isla Blanca, which looms over the bay in its majestic opulence thanks to a private terrace, sundeck, heated hydro-massage swimming pool, steam shower, private kitchen, cocktail bar, and wine cellar, with butler service, private chefs, personal trainers, and Bentley airport transfers on request. It’s home to two exceptional restaurants, Downtown Ibiza by Giuseppe Cipriani, defined by 1960s décor, delectable Italian fare, and one heck of an aperitif hour; and the fusion of Mediterranean meets Kaiseki cuisine at the newly minted, Michelin-starred La Gaia by Óscar Molina, and, for the first time ever, a one-year residency from global brand, Zuma, as well as ASAL from chef Mario Sandoval. The new restaurants will be accompanied by the new late-night venue Club Chinois, courtesy of the team at the world-famous Mayfair London eatery, Park Chinois. Add in the stylings of Open Spa, a den of relaxation with hydromassage pools (jets, cascades, and swan-neck fountains), a plunge pool, Turkish bath, a Finnish sauna, aroma and contrast showers, saline inhalation bath and a relaxation zone with heated beds, and we’d say you’re more than ready for Pacha, Amnesia, Privilege, and so much more.
Passeig Joan Carles I, 17, 07800 Eivissa, Illes Balears, Spain

IBIZA GRAN HOTELPhoto Credit: IBIZA GRAN HOTEL

HOTEL DE MAR GRAN MELIÁ

Gran Melia De MarPhoto Credit: Gran Melia De Mar

If sultry sea breezes, the magic of the Mediterranean, and adults-only bliss/debauchery is your personal best, then Mallorca’s Hotel de Mar Gran Meliá should be at the top of your summertime bucket list. Every aspect of your stay is tailor-made for a complication-free, luxury vacation: Stay in the elegantly designed Royal Suite RedLevel — for Melia’s VIP guests — 1,100 square feet of indulgence with a whirlpool tub and sea views, two furnished private balconies, a rain shower, a lounge with its own fully equipped butler’s pantry, and a fully stocked mini-bar with your favorite must-have libations. Here, there are three restaurants: Perseo, which exudes 1950s Riviera-style glamour offering outdoor dining surrounded by pine trees with sea views; Arrels Restaurant By Marga Coll, which offers incredible 5-course gastronomic breakfasts and 7-course evening tasting menus; and Bardot, a glorious spot named in homage to French icon Brigitte Bardot; two outdoor pools, the Sky Pool and the main pool overlooking the sea at Bardot, the hotel Pool Club, with an exclusive area with Bali beds and a sundeck by the sea;and the beautiful SPA by Clarins with treatments aplenty as well as its own water ritual thermal circuit. And finally, the team here creates experiences. Whether that’s a special journey to the Miró Mallorca Fundació, where Catalan artist Joan Miró created his best works, capped by a five-stage breakfast made by chef Marga Coll in a private, reserved part of the museum; a private boat and airplane adventure with a guided visit to local Ferrer and Ribas winery; olive oil tasting by the Tramuntana; or a luxury shopping excursion in a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce to Palma’s most exclusive shopping district (with stops at Louis Vuitton, Mulberry, and Escada), followed by lunch, dinner, and desserts, everything you’ve dreamed about in an upscale summer vacation can truly be yours.
Paseo de las Illetas, 7 07184 Majorca – Illetas

GRAN MELIA DE MAR Photo Credit: GRAN MELIA DE MAR

ROUND HILL HOTEL & VILLAS

ROUND HILLPhoto Credit: ROUND HILL
Round Hill is often named one of the best hotels in the world for a reason: It manages to embrace the true, “don’t worry about a thing” Montego Bay vibe in the most decadent of ways. This 100-acre waterfront resort is full of it all: luxurious, individually designed villas and boutique oceanfront rooms — all designed by Ralph Lauren — award-winning seaside dining, and an exquisite spa that lies nestled in a lush tropical hillside along a private bay of turquoise Caribbean waters. But first, the villas: As designed by the Polo Pony and regarded as some of the finest in Jamaica, each includes a private pool surrounded by lush, secluded tropical landscaping; made-to-order breakfasts, specially prepared in the villa each morning; and a bespoke pillow menu, among other offerings. Its Spa at Round Hill follows suit with the upscale ethos, with wellness offerings, including transformative yoga in an open-air pavilion with sweeping views of the sea, an outdoor Vichy shower under a canopy of tropical foliage, and an extensive treatment menu focused on natural and indigenous influences, all set in an 18th-century plantation house by the sea. There’s a plethora of dining options as well, the highlight of which is modern Caribbean-focused fare courtesy of James Beard award-winning chef Martin Maginley, and all the activities you could possibly imagine, including river rafting, rum tasting, and waterfall hikes. Don’t miss nearby attractions such as Glistening Waters, home to the largest and most brilliant bioluminescence lagoon in the world.
John Pringle Drive, Montego Bay, Jamaica

ROUND HILL
Grand Pineapple Villa Suite

Photo Credit: ROUND HILL

HÔTEL MARTINEZ

HOTEL MARTINEZPhoto Credit: Jerome Kelagopian

There are few places more glamorous to enjoy some fun in the sun than the historic Hôtel Martinez in Cannes, home of the storied Cannes Film Festival. This centurial institution, which faces the Mediterranean Sea and the Lérins Islands, underwent a major facelift in 2018 but has retained its Roaring Twenties vibe in a modern, utterly compelling way that truly embraces the hedonistic French Riviera lifestyle. Architect Pierre-Yves Rochon, who initially sketched plans for the hotel’s signature La Palme d’Or restaurant in 1985, was enlisted to re-create its well-recognized Art Deco style throughout, including the white marble, light-filled lobby, glass-enclosed elevator with views to the sea and beyond, and the refreshed guest rooms highlighted in yachting style with white lacquer furniture and splashes of sky blue or pale yellow throughout, nods to the land of sea and sun. The most recent updates to the property are its penthouse apartments, which have been named in honor of legendary French actress Isabelle Huppert and Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Frémaux. The former is decorated in light shades of white and gold in a wide variety of textures, from leather to silk, with custom rugs dotting the simple, Cocteau-inspired décor, while the latter was designed as a masculine boudoir with bold furnishings in cooler tones, for a more refined, subdued style. From the bathroom resembling a celebrity dressing room to the black-and-white tiling recalling reel-to-reel film, it is truly an ode to the festival of yesteryear. Each penthouse has its signature scent as well, courtesy of Mane perfumer Julie Massé; Huppert’s with notes of tuberose from Grasse, Frémaux’s capturing his preferences in notes of cypress, cedar, and fig leaf. Michelin two-star chef Christian Sinicropi of the hotel’s La Palme d’Or restaurant is developing a special menu to be served in these apartments — akin to the special menu he prepares for the festival’s jury — for a complete experience that captures all the cinematic magic of Cannes. Don’t miss the extensive, global-inspired libations at Bar Martinez, where a truck offering 4,356 possible experiences of gin are available, as well as the refreshed beach club La Plage, with its ambiance of uncluttered luxury, a blend of Art Deco, Miami Beach, the yachting world, and the French Riviera. Newly revealed for summer is L’Oasis du Martinez, a lush, natural haven of peace and rejuvenation away from the hustle and bustle of Cannes with plants, a private swimming pool, its Spa by Carita, and a Technogym-equipped fitness area.

73 Bd de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes, France

HOTEL MARTINEZPhoto Credit: Romero/Hotel Martinez