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  • Writer's pictureJuliet Weller

Are you feeling the warmth?

Plunge pool patio. with ocean horizon.
St. Lucia Viceroy Sugar Beach

With fall creeping into North America, and perhaps, fully entrenched in some places, there will come a time when you long for something warmer than hot chocolate. A warm-weather getaway is within reach at these short-haul, sun-splashed hot spots.

Saint Lucia - Lava-inspired wellness baths

This eastern Caribbean island lays claim to the world’s only “drive-in” volcano, where travelers can wheel into the dormant La Soufrière volcano and sooth sunburns in a mineral-rich mud bath at Sulphur Springs. A ten-minute drive away, the 119-room beachside Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort sits in the shade of the emerald Pitons volcanic spires. This honeymoon favorite underwent renovations in autumn 2021, which means returning guests can look forward to swish updates such as new beachfront bungalows and additions to the already-impressive art collection, ranging from Warhol prints and drone photography to outdoor sculptures.

Aruba - better than an infinity pool

Off the coast of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean, Aruba is called “one happy island.” Take an open-air jeep or ATV to see the Conchi Natural Pool, a pristine swimming area formed by a ring of volcanic rock, inside the Arikok National Park. Just a half hour away, the palatial, 320-room The Ritz-Carlton Aruba satisfies the need for softer adventures with a 15,000-square-foot beachfront spa; a glitzy 24-hour casino; and a wave-lapped beach where frozen fruit cocktails are delivered via Segway.

Rafting on the Martha Brae River

Jamaica - Not your average river cruise

My homeland! With 132 Ralph Lauren-appointed rooms with four-poster beds and whitewashed cottages that date back to its 1950s heyday, Montego Bay’s historic Round Hill Hotel and Villas is like a retro travel poster come to life. Once you’ve settled in, learn Jamaican history and legends on a gentle, languid cruise down the jade-green Martha Brae River on a 30-foot bamboo raft. Miss Martha’s Herb Garden at the embarkation point is worth a stop for browsing local medicinal plants.

Puerto Rico - Nature's glow

A frequent fixture on best-of lists, the airy Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is a 1,400-acre, 96-room sanctuary with an outdoor sculpture garden; two 18-hole seaside golf courses; and the Bill Bensley-designed indoor/outdoor Spa Botanico, nested in a garden of ficuses and pineapples. As evening arrives, don’t settle into your beachfront suite just yet – Puerto Rico’s Atlantic coast has some of the world’s brightest glow-in-the-dark bioluminescent bays. Take a nighttime kayaking trip or glass-bottom boat tour into Laguna Grande, La Parguera, or Mosquito Bay.

Los Cabos, Mexico - A grown-up playground

All-inclusive resort Grand Velas Los Cabos feels like an adult playground. Guests can choose from seven gourmet restaurants, from Cocina de Autor – which serves an eight- to ten-course tasting menu – to open-air Cabrilla, a go-to for ceviche, seafood, and poolside cocktails. The new Tequila & Mezcal bar serves 140 choices of Mexican spirits. A million-dollar art collection decorates the space, and the smallest of the 307 suites spread out more than 1,000 square feet. Don’t miss the beachside horseback riding; local guides can arrange a sunset ride along the glittering Sea of Cortés.

Man and woman standing near 500 year old tree
Visit One&Only Mandarina to see "La Abuela"

Riviera Nayarit, Mexico: A rain-forest resort

I'll give a plug for the Riviera Nayarit - I live here. Sun-steeped afternoons in Puerto Vallarta invite travelers to stroll the Malecón esplanade, peppered with art sculptures, or take in a concert at the open-air Los Arcos Amphitheater. To leave the bustle behind, stay at the rain-forest-shrouded One&Only Mandarina in Nayarit, a newly debuted, ultra-private resort of 105 villas and treetop hideaways. Guests can try breathwork classes, meditation, and flow yoga sessions on the Aura Deck, or swing into the saddle at the Mandarina Polo & Equestrian Club for lessons in the noble sport.

When you're ready for your winter time warm-up, it might be too late to get the destination you want. North America wintertime is high tourist season for the warm locations, so PLEASE do not wait to contact me and start the planning and booking process. Here's the green button that gets you started.

'til next week


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