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As the sun was beginning to slip behind the bay, I wasn’t anywhere near Rosewood Little Dix Bay’s crescent-shaped beach. Nor was I clad in some breezy sundress, sipping a rum punch by the bar.
While other guests at the resort were doing what most people like to do in the Caribbean – that would be relax – I was dressed in workout gear, prepped to spend the next 90 minutes hoisting a 25-pound kettlebell over my head. Although I was no sight to behold during the balmy outdoor class, the scenery was beautiful: sea, sand and that setting sun.
I had flown to the Virgin Gorda getaway in the British Virgin Islands to dedicate several hours a day to contorting, lifting, calorie melting, and sweating as part of the resort’s new series of yoga and fitness retreats run respectively by yogi Johnny Anzalone and Frankly Fitness founder, Frank Baptiste.
Little Dix’s program is part of a growing trend happening at warm weather hideaways around the globe: One-of-a-kind fitness retreats taught by coveted instructors in locales that also allow vacationers to get their much-needed chill on.
If you’re thinking of heading to the Caribbean for a romantic, week-long winter getaway, here’s an idea: Instead of spending all seven nights on one island, why not split your time between two? Island hopping is easier in some destinations than others, so here’s a roundup of five two-island options that are not only easy to combine logistically, but also feature varied landscapes and ambience. Note: Caribbean resorts do command premium rates until mid-April or so, but if you check deal-finder sites, including ShermansTravel.com’s nifty price-comparison tool, you may be able to score some last-minute price breaks. Or, if you want to see multiple islands, you can always take a cruise. Check back next week for details on my favorite ships and itineraries. Read more
These six sexy properties have played home away from home to everyone from the Obamas to Madonna, providing the perfect respite for royalty, rock stars, and heads of state. So, whether you are looking to globe trot, celebrity spot, or simply live in the lap of luxury, you may want to hunker down in one of these world class properties for otherworldly accommodations and simply the best spa treatments on the planet. Enjoy…
If you’re reading this and just beginning to plan your wedding (it is, after all, not only holiday season, but also “engagement season”), you should take a look at Villa Aquamare on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. I stayed here for a few days earlier this year and know that this intimate and luxurious three-villa enclave, which is set above a private beach park with stunning sea and sunset views, makes an ideal spot to exchange vows in front of close family and friends (see wedding set-up at left, courtesy of Melissa Barlow) and keep the party going for days to come.
Rentable by the week (although 3-4 day periods may also be available at certain times of the year), Villa Aquamare’s three five-bedroom villas (shown at right, courtesy of Villa Aquamare) feature 30-foot vaulted ceilings and 24,000-square-feet of living space accommodating up to 36 people (12 people in each villa, including children). With their contemporary décor, spacious living areas/lanais overlooking an infinity pool and the shimmering blue Drake Channel, and light-filled bedrooms with large terrace, deep soaking tub, and outdoor rain shower, they welcome guests with every luxury imaginable.
Couples looking to slow down, reconnect and kick back (while kicking their TV habit) should consider a visit to the British Virgin Islands. It’s just a half-hour flight from San Juan to Beef Island/Tortola and then a 10-minute to 40-minute ferry ride from the airport to your resort. This relaxed and friendly nation of 60 islands is all about the water – and the sparking aquamarine sea that laps Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Peter Island, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada, and other isles is some of the prettiest on the planet (pictured above). There are a variety of relaxing and luxurious resorts to choose from, but here are my three picks for the state of mind you seek: Read more
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