Have you seen today’s weather forecast for Colombo, Sri Lanka? If you said no, go ahead and take a quick look. Nice, right? We don’t know exactly where in the world you are right now, but we’d guess the forecast your local meteorologist gave this morning isn’t nearly as pleasant. Now, imagine mixing that cloudless, 82-degree outlook with world-class accommodations and wonderful cuisine. And the good times aren’t just to be had on an island in the Indian Ocean this season, either. As the following upscale properties prove, there are unforgettable vacations awaiting you all over the map. You just have to decide exactly how much sun you’re attempting to get.
El Mangroove in Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Average December Temperature: 88 Degrees
Who doesn’t love spaces that meld the indoors with the outdoors so seamlessly that you can hardly tell where one starts and the other ends? At this 17-acre Costa Rican paradise that opened in February 2014, both worlds are handled with such grace that you won’t know whether to kick your feet up in your indoor hammock or take in the view from your hanging pod on the terrace. After you figure out what you’re going to do first, prepare to be stumped again when you try to decide where you’re headed next. With the property seemingly fixated on providing optimal comfort (many rooms come with a sofa bed), cuisine (the elegant Makoko and casual Matiss restaurants) and customized itineraries (paddleboarding, zip-lining), your head will spin from all of the options.
Rosewood Mayakoba in Riviera Maya, Mexico
Average December Temperature: 75 Degrees
White sand beaches. Emerald mangrove forests. To call the Rosewood Mayakoba’s colorful surroundings merely an alternative to the current drab conditions outside your office would be a bit unjust. This stunning 130-suite Riviera Maya gem — Rosewood Mayakoba is a part of the larger Mayakoba resort community that is vaguely connected to a Baynan Tree and Fairmont by an intricate network of canals — provides pops of vibrancy at nearly every turn, be it with sparkling blue waters at the main beach club or golden spirits coming from Agave Azul Sushi & Tequila Bar. Even beyond the sharp hues, however, an air of whim (a host of bridges connect the islands) and romance (private plunge pools, garden showers) also help define the place. Combine those attributes with a docket full of activities (championship-quality golf at El Camaleón, dolphin excursions, Mayan storytelling) and you have the makings of a vacation to please everyone under the rainbow.
Cape Weligama in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Average December Temperature: 81 Degrees
Since we’ve already gushed over Sri Lanka’s near-perfect climate (December to March is high season), we’d best hone further discussions on something a bit more tangible. Cape Weligama, which opened its doors on October 1, is the island’s newest upscale escape. The 40-room retreat is as much a proud showing of Mother Nature’s wonders as it is a display of celebrated architect Lek Bunnag’s genius. The Indian Ocean’s sapphire waters and the stunningly craggy coast serve as a border for a property that Bunnag designed to appear like a traditional Sri Lankan village (terra-cotta-tiled roofs) that has upped the aesthetics ante (colonial-influenced furniture, stone tubs). As you enjoy your fresh coconut juice by the crescent-shaped infinity Moon Pool, you might briefly think about your friends back home, slugging around in their North Face parkas. Sadly, that empathy will melt away shortly after the orange- and sandalwood-packed massage commences on your private veranda.