With the holiday season finally here, we share the top luxury hotels in the U.S. and beyond that offer festive travel inspiration, minus the cold and snow. Below, we’ve included tropical hotels for those looking to plan one last warm-weather getaway before the year comes to an end.
Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués in Acapulco, Mexico (pictured)
Blending Mexican hospitality and Asian refinement, the tranquil oceanside eco resort features 45 private pool villas and spacious three-bedroom residences set atop the dramatic hillside of Punta Diamante, offering sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and Puerto Marqués Bay. With three restaurants and a bar, in addition to in-villa dining options, legendary “Destination Dining” experiences and al fresco dining that can be arranged poolside, Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués offers a fantastic array of authentic, fine dining Mexican culinary experiences. For Christmas, the hotel will have a buffet menu and live stations at La Nao, terrace and Reflections pool starting at 7:30pm. Guests can indulge in a complimentary drinks and beautiful views.
The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, FL
As one of St. Petersburg’s most prized resorts, The Vinoy embodies Old Floridian grandeur and boasts luxurious outdoor amenities, including its private marina, championship-grade golf course and two relaxing outdoor pools, offering the ideal sunny backdrop to spend the holidays. The historic Mediterranean Revival resort is located in the heart of downtown, just a short walk from the new St. Pete Pier, which has transformed into a “Winter Beach” this winter, with a beachfront ice-skating rink and holiday market with local vendors, as well as holiday concerts and festive events scheduled throughout the season. Plus, The Vinoy will have some tasteful décor of its own, including twinkly lights, decorated white Christmas trees and plenty of holiday wreaths.
JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa in Orlando, FL
The JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa is making vacation feel like a home away from home this holiday season from the moment guests walk through the door, with a twinkly lit tree upon entry, in-room holiday movies teed up on the TV and even a Candy Cane-themed miniature golf course on the 6th floor activity deck to soak up the warm weather. The resort is also boasting winter activations including kid-approved elf story time, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus and a swanky Bonenkai (translation: forget the previous year) New Year’s Eve celebration for adults at its Asian-inspired rooftop lounge, illume, complete with live music and views of the surrounding fireworks.
West Bay Club in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
With Turks and Caicos’ December temperatures averaging 82°, Grace Bay Resorts’ West Bay Club in Providenciales is a perfect warm-weather resort for families wanting to escape the winter chill for the holidays. The beachfront resort boasts two dining options, Drift, located directly on the world-famous Grace Bay Beach, and the all-day Caribbean cuisine-focused Bar & Kitchen, to enjoy an indulgent meal together as a family while taking in the breathtaking views of Providenciales’ crystal blue water. For those who prefer to cook, the suites include full chefs’ kitchens. After eating, the world-class concierge at West Bay Club can coordinate activities for the entire family, including kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding, beach volleyball and other tropical activities to soak up the unbeatable beachfront setting.
ESPACIO The Jewel of Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii
Travelers can “Holiday in Honolulu” and enjoy an ultra-private, spacious, and festive reprieve at ESPACIO, The Jewel of Waikiki. Each of its nine full-floor suites will don holiday wreaths and Christmas themed balcony lights and can be outfitted from top to bottom in high-touch Christmas décor upon request through the hotel’s partnership with local event planner Current Affairs. Its expansive luxury suites occupy a private floor with personal elevator entry, an ocean-facing balcony equipped with a Jacuzzi, and dry sauna as well as a fully equipped chef’s kitchen with Thermador and Meiel appliances. Private holiday meals prepared by onsite French-Japanese tasting concept Mugen can be enjoyed on the hotel’s stunning rooftop infinity pool deck overlooking Waikiki Beach and include the freshest available ingredients from Hawaii and around the world (i.e. Sasanian Osetra Caviar, Mizayaki A5, Hirame ). Additionally, contactless holiday gifting may be arranged through the hotel’s partnership with Neiman Marcus Ala Moana, whose personal stylists will curate an extraordinary vacation wardrobe available in-suite upon arrival.
Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas
A quick flight from most southeastern U.S. states, this luxury oceanfront resort offers travelers a tropical yet close-to-home respite for the holidays with 1,000 acres of outdoor space woven with holiday décor and unlimited holiday fun for every type of traveler, including: seven elaborate pools complete with swim-up bars, private poolside cabanas, and aquariums; festive drinks and holiday treats at over 40 international dining spots, including the new Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House, helmed by six-time James Beard award-winning Chef Marcus Samuelsson; holiday-themed activities for kids like arts & crafts, scavenger hunts, and culinary lessons at the Explorer’s Club; and 24 water slides, interactive rides and a lazy river at new family-friendly luxury oceanfront waterpark Baha Bay. Guests can also book a multi-bedroom suite in The Reserve – a hotel-within-a-hotel concept with a private entrance and 24/7 butler service – and utilize the resort’s private concierge service, which can decorate the suite with holiday decorations including garland, mistletoe, and twinkling lights upon request. Plus, when travelers book by December 21, 2021, they’ll enjoy up to 15% stays through April 30, 2022.
Villa La Estancia Riviera Nayarit in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
Averaging 73° F during the month of December, this AAA Four-Diamond rated resort located on the soft sands of Banderas Bay is celebrating the holidays with multi-course gourmet dining and celebratory décor featuring an illuminated Christmas tree in the grand lobby. La Casona, Villa La Estancia’s top-rated Mexican steakhouse, will host three elegant meals accompanied by live music and expertly paired wines on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Foodies can anticipate a sampling of the finest cuts of local beef and fresh seafood and lobster. Those seeking ease and convenience during holiday travel will be able to retreat to this tropical locale without complicated logistics through the resort’s all-inclusive plan. Highlights include three daily meals and unlimited cocktails at eight restaurants, on-site entertainment, resort activities (paddle boarding, beach volleyball, family theme nights, etc.) and limitless visits to the Hydrotherapy Circuit at Tatewari Spa – the #1 Spa & Wellness experience in Nuevo Vallarta. Adventure seekers can also venture out to Sayulita, one of Riviera Nayarit’s 23 micro-destinations to participate in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Patron Saint Feast from December 1-12, or partake in ocean sporting events at Banderas Bay’s anniversary celebration closer to their homestead at Villa La Estancia.
Alaia Belize in San Pedro, Belize
Within a truly glamorous setting, Alaia Belize’s warmth and authenticity allow you to enjoy the spirit of the festive season and experience the magic that “la Isla Bonita” has to offer throughout the holidays. From the location minutes away from San Pedro town, the ultimate island getaway experience awaits with the enchanting Caribbean Sea only steps away. Enjoy holiday specials at Alaia’s onsite restaurants Sea Salt for Belizean-inspired cuisine, Asian-Fusion dishes at the Vista Rooftop, and The Deck located on the beach for Christmas and New Year’s. Other offerings include tastings at Alaia’s Wine Club, mixology experiences at the Piano Bar, and discounted treatments at their K’in Spa. Full details for each holiday offering listed here.
Zemi Beach House in Anguilla
Trade in the winter blues for Caribbean hues at Zemi Beach House, Anguilla’s luxury boutique hotel nestled on Shoal Bay East. With an average temperature of 85 degrees, holidays at Zemi feel even better than at home. From Christmas Eve BBQ Dinner at 20 Knots, accompanied by live music by Greg Hazel, a chef’s tasting menu with wine pairing, to a Christmas Day Jazz and sushi offering complimented by English influenced Rhum tastings, Zemi Beach House is offering guests a plethora of events, special menus and activities to make this holiday season a very merry one. Younger guests of Zemi can enjoy Kid’s Club activities such as cookie decorating, treasure hunts and even a Christmas party with Santa! To end the year off on a high note, Zemi Beach House is hosting an intimate cocktail reception with an elegant New Year’s Eve Celebration dinner followed by an extravagant firework display on the powdery beaches of Shoal Bay.
Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai
As grand as it gets, Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai is surely a Santa approved getaway! Throughout the month of December, Atlantis is celebrating the holidays with themed dinners, brunches, kids Christmas activities and more. Beginning on December 18th, families can head over to the famous Lost Chambers Aquarium and catch a unique glimpse of Scuba Santa who will be diving amongst 65,000 marine animals, followed by a family film fest of holiday movies under the stars at the majestic Royal Beach. For guests staying at The Palm on Christmas, Santa will be delivering delightful gifts including games, activity books and more! To make it a New Year’s Eve to remember, Atlantis, The Palm is hosting a grand gala dinner, followed by a magical firework display – Dubai style. For more information, check out here and here.
The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village in Cape Coral, FL
Westin Cape Coral, a tropical retreat in the heart of Southwest, Florida is offering a special Christmas and New Year’s package for the holidays this year, which includes a 3-night stay in the resort’s Mariner Suite and chef curated dinners for up to (4) per guest room. The resort’s Esterra Spa & Salon will also be getting into the holiday spirit, with festive treatments like the Cranberry Pedicure with a cranberry and cedar foot soak and a Rosemary Facial using rosemary face oil. For those in town on New Year’s Eve, book the New Year’s Count Down Package that includes 2 nights in a 2-bedroom suite, bag drop deliveries throughout the night made up of décor, sweet treats and champagne, and a dinner for 4 at the resort’s Marker 92 Waterfront Bar & Bistro. The Nauti Mermaid Dockside Bar & Grill, will also host a fun New Year’s brunch, where guests can enjoy both an open bar and a full buffet.
Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is known for the longest Christmas celebration from the day after Thanksgiving to mid-January. Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico, offers a slice of paradise on a private peninsula. The resort will be unveiling a slew of new holiday programming each week leading up to the holidays. This week, the resort announced a local coquito making class exclusive to its guests. The resort offers all-suite, bungalow-style accommodations; three pools including Puerto Rico’s largest lagoon-style pool, Puerto Rico’s first floating waterpark over the ocean, a full-service spa, five on-site culinary eateries and two 18-hole world-class Tom Kite-designed golf courses. Off property, travelers can explore the waterfalls in El Yunque National Rainforest, kayak in one of the three bioluminescent bays on the island or see American history firsthand by touring the 18th century fortress Castillo San Cristóbal in nearby San Juan. Puerto Rico is one of the most accessible destinations for travelers from the U.S. right now with the convenience of travel without a passport.
The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club in Waikiki, Hawaii
With an average temperature of 77°F in December, Hawaii is the ultimate tropical holiday destination. Stay at Waikiki’s most Instagrammable and pet-friendly hotel, The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, a retro-inspired boutique hotel set only moments away from the iconic Waikiki Beach. For a real holiday treat, book the newly launched Society6 Suite (call 808-923-8882 to book) where guests will be surrounded by a curated collection of Soiety6 items that are also available for purchase via the Society6 x Surfjack Collection. Soak in Hawaii’s famous sunshine poolside at the customized Wish You Were Here pool, which offers Aqua Zumba and nightly live music or dine at the award-wining regional cuisine from Mahina & Sun’s, which serves a seasonal menu dish for the holidays. The Honolulu City Lights will also dazzle Waikiki with an electric parade of lights and a 50-ft tree lighting ceremony while the Honolulu Marathon, one of the largest in the nation, takes runners through the Honolulu Christmas lights and Waikiki Beach.