PHOTOS: XAVIER R. MARAÑÓN
Take off for a romantic sojourn this Valentine’s Day weekend to any one of these dreamy and memorable getaway spots.
Want to get away from it all? We mean…really get away? Skip the hustle and bustle of the beloved Bahamas you’re accustomed to and take the one-hour jaunt from Miami to Eleuthera via a Silver Airways twin-engine turboprop. Once there, less than an hour’s ride from North Eleuthera Airport you’ll pull up to French Leave Resort, newly part of the Autograph Collection (one of only three hotels in the Caribbean with that designation). A true escape from your hectic everyday life, French Leave’s 14 gorgeous oceanfront villas are plush and cozy all at once. Order in breakfast, wrap yourself in the deliciously soft Frette robe that awaits in your closet, and lounge on the private patio with your coffee. If you’re up for a swim, the infinity pool is conveniently located barside—perfect on a hot day that calls for a cocktail—or hop in your personal golf cart and head to the private beach, just across Queen’s Highway, where sand as soft as velvet stretches endlessly and a picnic basket lunch can be delivered at your request. (You can pre-order it on your in-room iPad, which is essentially a digital butler.) If by some chance you tire of being entirely at leisure, grab a kayak for two, paddle board or snorkel, then relax in the hot tub before dinner at the on-site 1648 An Island Restaurant, a popular spot not only for guests but for locals as well (it’s a hot spot for birthday celebrations, where in lieu of cake guests dive into the Bahamian specialty Guava Duff, a dessert of guava-rolled dough covered with a sinfully rich rum sauce. The resort is named after a former land owner who had to make his own “French leave,” and fortunately for the rest of us, now it’s ours, too. Queen’s Highway, Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera, Bahamas; visit frenchleaveresort.com.
Amara Cay Resort
Laid-back oceanfront Amara Cay Resort in Islamorada is back in business after being closed for repairs after Hurricane Irma—and just in time for a Valentine’s tête-à-tête. Recognized in November as a ‘Top Resort in the Florida Keys” by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler, Amara Cay summons with 110 guestrooms and suites, a beautiful new resort pool, Reelburger restaurant and resort grounds with kitschy games and lush lawns. The chic yet understated resort rests along the Atlantic Ocean, presenting lush lawns and palm-peppered, graceful views making an authentic sense of place with comforts of the Keys life. Blending time-honored diversions with pure relaxation, the casually redefined retreat inspires guests to curate a personal, non-scripted journey the #AmaraCayVacay way. For more information on Amara Cay Resort or to make reservations, visit amaracayresort.com or call 305.664.0073.
Mahekal Beach Resort
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
With Playa del Carmen’s first casino having just opened on the famed Fifth Avenue, Mahekal Beach Resort has rolled out the “Lucky in Love” escape for stays through February 28. Couples can embark on a romantic rendezvous at the area’s first casino, The Tequila Barrel Bar & Casino, and enjoy a package that includes a “Chips & Guac” welcome amenity, “Double Down” with drink vouchers/food and beverage credit, complimentary “Two of a Kind” paddle boards or kayaks, oceanview bungalow-style accommodations fit for a “King & Queen” (see what they did there?) that include an open-air patio and crocheted hammocks; a celebratory haute yacht for high rollers (pending winnings); a “Feel Like a Million Bucks” VIP Couples Cabin experience at Revive Spa; beachside Bali-bed turndown for the “lucky pair” complete with pillows and pashminas; and an “All-in” chef’s table dinner at Fuego. The package starts at $792 per night and is subject to availability. To book, visit mahekalbeachresort.com or call 877.235.4452.