As the year winds down, it’s time to think about your 2013 escape, and what better way to flee from everyday life than with an island vacation? Our editors chose five far-flung island getaways to start planning for now.
This exotic island is just a 45-minute flight from Bangkok, but it feels incredibly far removed from city life. Off the eastern coast of Thailand, Koh Samui has seemingly endless talcum-sand beaches, swank resorts (Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, Six Senses Samui), majestic natural landscapes and historic temples. In August, attend the five-day Fisherman’s Village Festival for local eats and music from Thai rock bands; boating enthusiasts can check out the island’s international yachting regatta in May.
Known for its spectacularly diverse landscape — beaches, mountains, rainforests —this Caribbean island has a lot to offer visitors looking to engage in the tropical environs. Water sports, whale watching, yachting and sunbathing are popular activities. Those looking for a little seclusion should head to Sugar Beach, recently rebranded a Viceroy Resort, for a stay in one of the beachfront bungalows, which feature four-poster beds, sun lounges and private outdoor Jacuzzis.
It’s referred to as the “magical isle,” and if you’ve visited before, you know why — the laid-back island has miles of pristine beaches, a collection of charming small towns, waterfalls, rainforests and Haleakala National Park. In mid-2013, Maui will add another luxury hotel to its cadre, Andaz Maui at Wailea. As the hotel brand’s first resort, the new beachfront property aims to open LEED-certified with 297 guest rooms, two restaurants, a spa and four outdoor infinity-edge pools.
Many of the islands in the Caribbean celebrate Mardi Gras with wild parties and parades, but you can find a more mellow affair at Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, set on a 300-acre private island two miles off Antigua’s coast. Those looking for a truly secluded beach experience can head to Jumby’s Pasture Bay Beach, a natural preserve for endangered turtles and romantically inclined sunbathers.
Although there are several ultra-luxe resorts dotting the white sandy shores of the Maldives already, high-fashion conglomerate LVMH is aiming to open its next property, made up of 46 luxury villas, on Randheli in Noonu Atoll next year. Don’t want to wait until it opens to visit the island paradise? Book a room at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, located within the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve of Baa Atoll.
Photo Courtesy of Rosewood Hotels