The winter doldrums are here in full force. If you live east of Cincinnati, don’t even look at the Weather Channel until late March. Of course, the frigid forecasts mean one thing — many of us are spending even more time than usual daydreaming about sunshine and tanning lotion. We’ve pulled together a list of 13 of the world’s sunniest destinations because, even if you can’t travel very far right now, you can always use your imagination.
Turks & Caicos
The Somerset on Grace Bay
Average Winter Temperature: 81 Degrees
With more than 50 luxury villas and suites, Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The Somerset is a T&C hideaway fit for romance or family-friendly romps. With pools, pleasant year-round weather and crystal blue water — The Somerset on Grace Bay offers guests 12 miles of undisturbed beaches — you’re guaranteed a memorable vacation with one other person or 10.
Sunny Isles Beach, Florida
Acqualina Resort & Spa
Average Winter Temperature: 68 Degrees
A Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel located about 40 minutes north of Miami, Acqualina recently unveiled its renovated guest suites, dressed in cool, calming tones to contrast with the resort’s brilliant blue Intercoastal Waterway views. With four on-site dining options (including Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Il Mulino New York), as well as a 20,000-square-foot Five-Star spa and beach access, the daydreams don’t even stop when the sun goes down.
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
Average Winter Temperature: 79 Degrees
Tucked between Panama and Nicaragua on the Central American isthmus, this 154-room oasis offers guests sightseeing, star-gazing and zip-lining, all in the confines of a remarkable rainforest. The lodge-like Four-Star resort is situated near an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course and features an infinity-edge plunge pool, state-of-the-art spa and four on-site restaurants.
Belmond La Samanna
Average Winter Temperature: 83 Degrees
Surrounded by the vast blue Caribbean Sea, Belmond La Samanna is situated on St. Martin’s finest beach, Baie Longue, so it’s no wonder why critics and discerning travelers adore it so. From bamboo cabanas to on-site nanny services, this is a place meant for total relaxation.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Viceroy Riviera Maya
Average Winter Temperature: 73 Degrees
Riviera Maya is a gem of a destination, not only because of its historic significance to the Mayan civilization, but also because of its natural splendor. Should you ever take your eyes off the picture-perfect landscapes, you’ll notice that this 41-villa resort stuns with a figure-eight plunge pool, a private pier and swinging hammocks that dot the property.
Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
Average Winter Temperature: 63 Degrees
A nature-filled retreat at the foot of El Yunque National Forest, this property is located on a former coconut plantation, and is rife with hiking trails running along a 483-acre nature reserve. The resort also offers every guest the acclaimed St. Regis butler service — who knows when you might need a golf cart ride to the sand? — as well as access to the 10,000 square-foot spa, oceanfront golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Fern.
Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay
Average Winter Temperature: 77 Degrees
When we asked a resident how the weather was in Lana’i, he replied, “We don’t have weather in Hawaii.” An unchanging paradise, Lana’i is perhaps the least-developed Hawaiian island. Luckily, this Four-Star dream is fresh off a 2014 redesign (enhanced lobbies, upgraded outdoor spaces, refashioned rooms) that introduced even more opulence to a place that we weren’t sure could handle any more.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Belmond Copacabana Palace
Average Winter Temperature: 80 Degrees
As host to the World Cup in 2014, and future home of the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro is a hotbed for athletic competition and luxury relaxation. Belmond Copacabana Palace, an Art-Deco stunner established in 1923, is situated just blocks from the white sand beaches, and the throngs of roller-skating, surfing, skateboarding and sightseeing that make the city so vibrant.
Palm Beach, Florida
The Colony Hotel
Average Winter Temperature: 76 Degrees
From U.S. presidents to British royalty, The Colony has played host to some of the world’s most influential people since it opened in 1947 along Florida’s Gold Coast. Every colorful room and villa is decorated with bold, Palm Beach flair, courtesy of famed interior designer Carleton Varney, which maximizes visual impact without forsaking an ounce of comfort.
Soufrière, St. Lucia
Ladera Resort Saint Lucia
Average Winter Temperature: 84 Degrees
In an area of the Caribbean often overrun by cookie-cutter resorts with little native flavor, this 37-suite gem has a way of standing out. Local fare is inescapable at Four-Star Ladera’s open-air restaurant Dasheene. Breathtaking views of the Pitons are unavoidable from your private quarters. Nightly jam sessions, serving up tunes only fit for the tropics, are inevitable.
Rosewood Sand Hill
Average Winter Temperature: 53 Degrees
Opened in 2009, the Five-Star Rosewood Sand Hill is a California-cool hideaway halfway between San Francisco and San Jose, just miles from the campus of Stanford University and downtown Palo Alto. Contemporary, posh and pet-friendly, the property offers a pool for lounging, delicious fare at the Four-Star eatery, Madera, and well-kept grounds for strolling. Do pack a light jacket for your walk. Though you won’t encounter any snowflakes, Bay Area winds can get gusty.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires
Average Winter Temperature: 80 Degrees
The capital of Argentina and the purported birthplace of the Tango, Buenos Aires doesn’t dance around the fact that it’s one of the Southern Hemisphere’s premier destinations for tropical climates and history. Still, the best news is that it’s generally pretty warm. Whether you visit an ancient cemetery, like Cementerio de la Recoleta (just three minutes from your suite at this Four-Star stunner), or lounge beachside at famed Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur, make sure to pack your shorts.
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Average Winter Temperature: 69 Degrees
Deemed the largest upscale hotel in Arizona, the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge is a 316-acre oasis in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. Just north of Scottsdale, the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended resort is a great jumping-off point for the region’s great adventures, from golf and hiking, to horseback riding and exploring the town’s countless fine arts collections.