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There may still be a chill in the air, but summer is getting closer, your chance for summer vacation along with it. That’s right: you don’t have to skip summer vacation just because you’re all grown up. But are you looking for a romantic getaway for two, or a summer vacation that is fun for the whole family? These ten top destinations for summer travel offer a range of relaxation that will leave you refreshed and ready for the autumn ahead.
1. Sandy Lane
Location: St. James, Barbados
Summer Rates: $1,000-9,000
Golf Courses: 3
Sandy Lane is not your average summer vacation destination. The resort prides itself on feeling less like a hotel and more like a friend’s home – a friend that happens to own a sprawling palatial Barbados estate overlooking the Caribbean Sea. (We happen to think that’s the best kind of friend.)
Bringing the kids along for a family summer vacation? While you relax at the spa or sample a new vintage at the luxury resort’s wine cellar, your children will be busy making new friends at Sandy Lane’s Treehouse Club which offers everything from movies and crafts to pool parties and sailing lessons.
You might also want to take time to admire your Sandy Lane friend’s backyard: Sandy Lane is home to three magnificent championship golf courses. Don’t miss your chance to play the legendary Green Monkey course, a course built from a quarry by renowned golf architect Tom Fazio, and open exclusively to Sandy Lane guests.
2. One&Only Palmilla
Location: Los Cabos, Mexico
Summer Rates: $575-1,000
Golf Courses: 3
So you want the natural beauty and pristine beaches of Mexico, without the tourist traps and Tijuana traffic? For your next summer vacation try the One&Only Palmilla Resort in Los Cabos. While it’s not as physically removed as other top destinations, Palmilla resort’s gourmet fusion cuisine, state-of-the-art tennis facilities, and three world-class golf courses designed by Golden Bear Jack Nicklaus will help you feel a million miles away from all of your work and worry. Plus, the close location means little-to-no jet lag, giving you that much more time to play.
3. Sandals Whitehouse
Location: Whitehouse, Jamaica
Summer Rates: $298-860
When you and your special someone need a romantic getaway for your summer vacation, look to Sandals – romantic getaways are what Sandals resorts were made for. Sandals Whitehouse is a splash of European resort grandeur amid the pristine beaches and lush tropical landscapes of Jamaica’s southern coast. With its stunning location and inspired design, Sandals Whitehouse provides the best of both summer travel worlds, for those who can’t decide whether they’d rather spend their summer vacation taking in the breathtaking views of the Caribbean coast or strolling through the cafes and shops of a beautiful European seaside town.
4. Beaches Turks & Caicos
Location: Turks & Caicos
Summer Rates: $900-2,500
If you think that having kids means sacrificing luxury on your summer vacation, think again. Like all Beaches resorts, Beaches Turks & Caicos is specifically designed for both family holidays and romantic getaways. From pools for the family to nightclubs during after hours, Beaches has something for every age group. Beaches Turks & Caicos also knows that summer vacation is no time for work, and offers full butler service for all top-shelf luxury suites.
5. The Gleneagles Hotel
Location: Perthshire, Scotland
Summer Rates: £315-1,440 ($509-2,327 USD)
Golf Courses: 3
Would you rather spend your summer vacation working on your aim than your tan? Head north to the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland. What it lacks in tropical beaches, it makes up for in 850 acres of picturesque Scottish countryside ripe for hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and even falconry and gundog training. If you get bored of Gleneagles’ more novel summer vacation pursuits, recharge at The Spa at Gleneagles or at one of the luxury hotel’s championship golf courses, including the world-famous King’s Course and the PGA Centenary Course, home of the 2014 Ryder Cup.
6. Hotel Byblos
Location: Saint-Tropez, France
Summer Rates: 734-1,854 € ($1,020-2,577 USD)
Only open from April through October, Hotel Byblos was made for summer vacation. The expansive hotel is styled after a Mediterranean coastal village, as colorful and joyous as summer itself, and pays homage in its details to the timeless beauty of Greece and ancient mythology. From a luxurious spa to a bustling nightlife with clubs and live shows, Hotel Byblos offers no shortage of activities. No matter if you’d rather explore the French Riviera on a private yacht or just take it in from the shore with a cocktail in hand, if there’s a way to enjoy summer vacation in Saint-Tropez, Hotel Byblos has it.
7. Royal Hotel
Location: Sanremo, Italy
Summer Rates: 310-1,364 € ($430-1,895 USD)
Situated in Sanremo, at the heart of Italy’s picturesque Riviera of Flowers, the historic Royal Hotel is a luxury hotel with a rich history and has played host to European royalty who would travel from far and wide to enjoy a warm summer vacation along the Italian Riviera. Now you can enjoy your own summer vacation at this deluxe luxury hotel, reveling in its sumptuous old world décor and taking in stunning views of the Mediterranean and nearby Imperatrice Promenade.
8. Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
Location: Kruger National Park, South Africa
Summer Rates: 5,500-17,000 ZAR ($790-2,445 USD)
Looking for a truly wild time on your summer vacation? At Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in South Africa, you can view African wildlife up close during a day or night safari tour. From the safety of safari vehicles, rangers will guide you through the magnificent African wilderness where big game, exotic birds, and other curious creatures roam free. After your tour, head back to one of four beautiful luxury safari lodge locations, to indulge in total relaxation at Amani Spa, enjoy cutting-edge five-star cuisine under the moonlit African sky.
9. The Mauna Lani Bay
Location: Island of Hawaii
Summer Rates: $395-1,500
Golf Courses: 2
Sometimes summer vacation traditions are traditions for a reason. Hawaii may be a favorite, but that’s only because its landscapes and beaches are among the most beautiful in the world. The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows lie along the shore of Hawaii’s Big Island, and offer a variety of options – all of which are the ultimate in luxury vacation living. The serene and rejuvenating Mauna Lani Spa is rated among the best spas in the world. Meanwhile, the resort’s award-winning championship golf courses are a triumph, with lush greens giving way to rocky cliffs and magnificent views of the Pacific.
10. Cocoa Island
Location: South Malé Atoll, Maldives
Summer Rates: $680-3,040 (A bargain compared to winter rates!)
If you’re looking for a summer vacation that truly emphasizes “vacation,” it doesn’t get much more secluded than Cocoa Island. The island itself is little more than a thumbprint of pristine white surrounded by the rich turquoise of the Indian Sea. Wooden docks extend out from the private island’s white sands to individual Dhoni inspired suites and villas, while the island’s services lie nestled among the trees on shore. Between myriad wellness programs and the healthful locally-influenced gourmet menu from restaurant Ufaa, you are sure to leave Cocoa Island feeling reborn. If you want to turn your revitalizing summer vacation into a real event, you can fully rent Cocoa Island and all of its services for the special event of your dreams.