DREAMSCAPES Fall/Winter 2017
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TRAVEL SLEUTH - SWEETHEART ESCAPES
 
(2015 - Winter/Spring Issue)

Writer: JANE STOKES



Few love potions are more powerful than the prospects of sun, sand and sea with your loved one by your side. So kick those snow boots aside and rush your sweetheart to the airport.

Canadians have so many enviable opportunities to forget about the deep freeze as they bask on some of the world’s most magnificent beaches. So to pinpoint just the right personal choice for your dreamiest romantic getaway, wedding or honeymoon, let’s envision escapes in one of three tantalizing locations.

Florida

Much of the Sunshine State perimeter is lapped by sea water creating a long, luminous string of white-sand beaches. Stroll together and become one with an ecosystem where palm trees, dune grasses and meandering Intracoastal waterways bask in sync with native habitats of marine life, bird life and brine-loving reptiles. Even Florida’s theme parks captivate lovestruck couples in a world of fantasy. Consider:

Sunset Key Cottages, Key West: Situated on a solitary island exuding Old Florida charm, each cottage has its own front porch and a pre-stocked kitchen. Arrange a romantic private dinner on the beach under a canopy of stars. westinsunsetkeycottages.com

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Orlando: Giving an illusion of the Italian Riviera, this romantic interlude includes spa treatments and sunset music in the piazza featuring live opera, folk and sing-along performances. It’s also great for a multi-generational wedding scenario. loewshotels.com

South Seas Island Resort, Captiva: Emerge from your one-bedroom villa into bountiful gardens and trails; soak in a hot tub; cycle to explore nature; and plan a picnic on a sugar-white beach. southseas.com

The Sundy House, Delray Beach: An acre of exotic gardens will shield your love-nest suite from view, even though the buzz of Atlantic Avenue is nearby. Board a free shuttle to the beach. sundyhouse.com

The Palms Hotel & Spa, South Beach: This chic hideaway in Miami Beach also gives back to nature with sustainable programs and its critically acclaimed farm-to-table menu. thepalmshotel.com

The Caribbean 

Dotting the Atlantic Ocean for more than 1,600 kilometres from the Bahamas to Aruba, the Caribbean gives us a sun-kissed playground beyond belief. Indigenous flavours vary greatly from isle to isle, so each island offers something completely different.

Tribal societies first populated these islands centuries ago. While 16th-century Spain, England, France, Holland, Portugal and Denmark left their multicultural fingerprints in this paradise, today, it is descendants of African slaves who welcome the sun-seekers of the 21st century. Try:

The Sandpiper Inn & Cottages, South Abaco: Experience the Old Bahamas in the heart of Schooner Bay where nature buffs enjoy refined colonial hospitality, fresh foods and modern comforts, gentle wildlife and a luminous beach rimmed by a 360-degree horizon. sandpiperabaco.com

Bucuti Beach Resort, Aruba: On an exotic dry island best-known for its clear skies and chalk-white sand, Bucuti is secluded on Eagle Beach where your suite features a king-size bed, private terrace and plush furnishings. bucuti.com 

Sandals Royal Bahamian, Nassau: Renowned for hosting couples in love and memorable on-site weddings, this intimate location on Cable Beach is a dream-come-true property, where everything is included, even the cost of taking your vows. sandals.com

Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, Tobago: This serene resort is perfect for those who relish time spent with their sweetheart as well as a round of golf. The property is highly rated for its spa, fine dining, nature trails and dive trips. magdalenagrand.com  

Sandy Lane, Barbados: One of the most preferred jet-set destinations of the 1960s, Sandy Lane, with its spa and 18-hole golf courses, is now pampering guests again after an extreme-luxury upgrade. sandylane.com

Mexico

Certainly the beaches are grand, the recreation is never-ending and the resorts offer land-of-plenty catering aimed at every tourist’s needs. Be sure to roam inland to view a profusion of landscapes, elevations and ecosystems as well as see, hear and touch the cultural cornerstones of Mexico’s past and present.

In fact, history here is so profound Mexico has 32 locations on the United Nations’list of World Heritage Sites. Equally alluring, numerous colonial cities, such as Guadalajara, Magdalena, Tequila, Morelia and Oaxaca, are eye-popping gems and feature more than 60 native cultures, all of which are bound to stir your emotions. Contemplate:

The Viceroy, Riviera Maya: Sheer pleasure awaits you in a private villa, equipped with a personal plunge pool and outdoor rain shower and surrounded by the jungle foliage of the Yucatan Peninsula. And it’s just steps away from a pearlescent-white beach. viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

BarcelóIxtapa, Pacific Coast: If your wedding or getaway includes multi-generational guests, escape to eternally sunny Ixtapa for an all-inclusive resort experience where everyone can overindulge in seaside activities, fine dining and entertainment. barcelo.com

Hacienda Xcanatun, Mérida: Explore remote Mayan sites by day, then retreat into the plantation world of the 1700s in this opulent stone house converted into 18 private suites, and famous for its holistic spa treatments, fine dining and tropical gardens. xcanatun.com

Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Los Cabos: Its Department of Romance helps guests concoct surprises, which may include setting the stage for a unique marriage proposal, organizing a fairy-tale wedding or planning a honeymoon sweeter than ever expected. rosewoodhotels.com

Hacienda Flamingos, Riviera Nayarit: On the dreamy Pacific coastline, discover what it’s like to live for a few days in the Great House on a grand colonial estate. This intimate hotel has been refurbished with natural stone and wood and delivers a refined and lavish lifestyle. rivieranayarit.com

 
 
 
 
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