Velaa private island in the Maldives.
Photo: Courtesy of Velaa

11 Dreamy Destinations Sure to Inspire Wanderlust

Exciting new resorts and happenings from the Hamptons to Lake Como, St Tropez to Belize

The rooftop pool at Alaia Belize. Photo: Alaia Belize

1. Alaia Belize

Situated on a pristine stretch of San Pedro’s Mar de Tumbo coastline, the luxury resort Alaia Belize offers a panoramic view of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site popular with diving enthusiasts. Guests can explore the area’s famed Great Blue Hole dive site, visit a Mesoamerican archaeological site, or zipline over the jungle, then rejuvenate at the resort’s stunning rooftop pool or K’in Spa and Wellness Center, then enjoy a wine tasting at the hotel’s private dining Wine Club.

Entrance at Bagatelle St. Tropez. Photo: Mister Tripper

Pizza chocolat Dulcey aux cacahuètes caramélisées (chocolate pizza with caramelized peanuts) at Bagatelle St. Tropez. Photo: Joann Pai

2. Bagatelle St. Tropez

The iconic restaurant on St. Tropez’s legendary Pampelonne Beach, Bagatelle reopens with a refreshing new look by design Sam Baron. Provençal painter Charlotte Julliard sets the scene with a transportive mural inspired by the Posidonia, an underwater seagrass. Rattan furniture, colorful textiles, and custom accessories create a festive atmosphere for a reimagined menu of refreshing Mediterranean classics made with the freshest seasonal ingredients.

The new Sands Beach Club at Banyan Tree Mayakoba. Photo: Banyan Tree Mayakoba

3. Banyan Tree Mayakoba

This five-star eco resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico, recently underwent a $50 million renovation, helmed by award-winning Sordo Madaleno Architects, which included the addition of 34 new beachfront pool suites, the Sands Beach Club, and seven over-the-water Lagoon Sunset Pool Villas. Wander along plush lagoons and through mangrove forests, play 18 holes at El Camaleon, the PGA Championship golf course, and sample decadent meals, including a romantic private dinner served on a trajinera boat, then finish the day with a holistic spa treatment like the Rainforest, a ten-step hydrothermal experience designed to offer head-to-toe relaxation and revitalization.

Casa Hormiga in Bacalar, Mexico. Photo: Courtesy of Casa Hormiga

Casa Hormiga in Bacalar, Mexico. Photo: Courtesy of Casa Hormiga

4. Casa Hormiga, Bacalar, Mexico

Located on the Mexico-Belize border in Quintana Roo, under-the-radar Bacalar is home to the spectacular “Lake of Seven Colors,” a tropical lagoon that sparkles with hues from turquoise to indigo. The new 18-room Casa Hormiga captures the unique energy of the area with wabi-sabi style rooms made using natural materials, low-key activities like yoga and sound meditation in the Nest, and healing rituals, including multi-sensory experiences inspired by the elements of earth, water, and fire.

Sí Sí Restaurant at the EHP Resort & Marina. Photo: Courtesy of EHP Resort & Marina

5. EHP Resort & Marina

This Hamptons mainstay has reopened following a multimillion-dollar transformation. The cornerstone of the re-envisioned EHP Resort & Marina is the gourmet restaurant Sí Sí, overseen by chef Dane Sayles, that serves international cuisine like seafood paella, whole roasted branzino filled with baby spinach and wild mushrooms, and handmade pastas like bucatini verde with lobster. Luxury suites overlooking Three Mile Harbor are appointed with Frette linens and Acqua di Parma sundries, while amenities include sunrise yoga, tennis, and a Peloton-filled fitness area located in a former chapel.

Photo: Ted Gushue

Photo: Ted Gushue

6. Il Sereno, Lake Como, Italy

The striking Il Sereno on Italy’s Lake Como unveiled a shoppable penthouse, the first of its kind in Europe, as well as nine new picturesque suites, all designed by Patricia Urquiola. Here, guests can tour the glamorous Italian lake in one of the hotel’s signature Riva boats, swim in the massive floating pool, and enjoy Michelin-starred meals at Ristorante Berton Al Lago.

7. Sunset Beach, Shelter Island

Already a major destination for trendsetting Hamptonites, Shelter Island hotspot Sunset Beach has joined forces with fashion label Marni for a chic interior and exterior reimagining. Up through Labor Day, the collaboration includes a colorful redesign of the hotel’s boutique, now rendered in citrusy yellow and orange, where pieces from Marni’s Spring/Summer ready to wear women’s and men’s collection are presented. The label’s attention-grabbing style carry over to the guest suites, game room, and outdoor areas, wrapping the entire property in playful style.

Oku Ibiza. Photo: George Roske

8. OKU Ibiza, Spain

New hospitality brand OKU Hotels has debuted their first property in Ibiza, Spain featuring one of the island’s largest pools. Nestled alongside Cala Gració beach, the OKU Ibiza features a zen-like design, earthy suites, and locally sourced fusion cuisine crafted in the kitchen helmed by internationally-acclaimed Executive Chef Mark Vaessen. Start the day with an invigorating yoga session and artisan coffee, then unwind at the spa before wrapping up the day with sunset cocktails and music from the house DJ.

Palm Heights in Grand Cayman. Photo: Courtesy of Palm Heights

9. Palm Heights, Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands’ first all-suite boutique hotel, Palm Heights is filled with art and collectible design by Marcel Breuer, Mario Bellini, Pierre Paulin, and Vladimir Kagan, to name just a few. Here, creative director Gabriella Khalil has cultivated a dreamy getaway including the Garden Club outdoor wellness space, two pools hidden within lush walls of greenery, and farm-to-table restaurant Tillies overlooking Seven Mile Beach and the Caribbean Sea. Plus, the hotel regularly hosts visiting chefs, fitness trainers and athletes, musicians, and writers who contribute to Palm Heights’ creative ambience.

The Rooster in Antiparos, Greece. Photo: Yannis Rizomarkos; Styling by Anestis Michalis

10. The Rooster, Antiparos, Greece

Live in harmony with unspoiled Aegean beaches and dramatic Cycladic landscape at the newly opened resort The Rooster on the Greek island of Antiparos. Passionate about preserving the under-the-radar destination, owner and founder Athanasia Comninos crafted the 17-key hotel with an eye toward sustainability and wellness. Enjoy organic meals, take a cooking class at the on-site farm, or unwind at the holistic spa then retreat to one of the private residences, each with views of the Aegean Sea, crafted by local artisans.

Velaa private island in the Maldives. Photo: Courtesy of Velaa

11. Velaa, The Maldives

Situated on one of the islands within the Noonu Atoll in the Maldives, this secluded resort includes a number of private villas including the Patricia Urquiola–designed Nika residence. Guests at Velaa can enjoy golfing on the José María Olazábal–designed course and lessons at the on-site golf academy, diving, watersports, game fishing, among other recreational activities. Then, enjoy a decadent meal in the sculptural Tavaru Tower or fine dining restaurant Aragu. New this year is the Velaa Spa which offers luxe treatments like a chardonnay body scrub or green caviar facial.

Cover: Velaa private island in the Maldives.
Photo: Courtesy of Velaa


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