Summer may be over, but as working-from-home is still the norm and local curfews are in full effect, this may be the perfect time to escape and treat yourself to an a trip. DDW takes a look at the very best destinations where you can still take a dip and enjoy the last few months of the year:
Dubai & Abu Dhabi
The United Arab Emirates have become a favourite holiday destination for travellers the world over. Centre focus has historically been on Dubai as a fun-loving city state, but the neighbouring Abu Dhabi has come a long way and now boasts a myriad of wonderful options including pristine beaches, luxury hotels, outdoor activities and world-class museums (such as the Jean Nouvel designed Louvre).
For the ultimate UAE adventure, try splitting your time between the two Emirates (they’re an easy 1.5 hour drive apart from each other) and try to experience the unique settings each has to offer. Our favourites include:
A truly unforgettable experience, this five star hotel is composed of private tented villas, each with their own pool and set apart from each other in the middle of the desert. The name of the hotel comes from the Arabic for “beautiful eyes” or “wild cow” which refers to the wild Arabian oryx antelopes that live in the Dubai desert – they are curious creatures so don’t be surprised if they approach your villa first thing in the morning.
Tip: Make sure to get the hotel to send you a knowledgable driver or you may end up spending hours driving in the desolate desert – even the clearest directions and GPS may not be easy to follow.
Indulge your senses in this luxuriously private hotel that spans nine restaurants, Arabesque architecture and more than 65 acres of immaculate gardens, soothing fountains, arches, domes and an expansive one-kilometre sweep of Jumeirah Beach. For those looking to relax by the pool there’s also the Drift Beach Club, with stunning blue water and dramatic backdrops of the Dubai skyline.
Tip: Access is available via day pass or for hotel guests.
Nurai is a secluded private island 15 minutes from the shores of Abu Dhabi. Built for ultimate relaxation and comfort, the private island ensures that you can have absolute privacy and disconnect from the outside world whilst enjoying 5 star accommodation and food. Onsite are private villas, five restaurants and bars, a beach club and spa. For those looking to celebrate with family and friends – the whole island is also available for booking.
Tip: Don’t forget to bring your reservation number (day passes available on the hotel website) when you go to the ‘Welcome Centre’ on Saadiyat Island.
Beachfront luxury is the main focus of this idyllically located hotel; white sand beaches and turquoise water surround the prestigious Saadiyat island and the St Regis is its crown jewel. Just seven minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi and a mere 20 to the international airport, visitors are quickly transported to this oasis of calm on the Arabian Gulf. Check out the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and bars or take a day trip to the neighbouring cultural area or shopping malls.
Tip: Go visit the new Louvre or the exclusive Saadiyat Beach Club for fun outdoor activities on the water.
Tulum – Mexico
A hacienda once owned by Pablo Escobar, this striking hotel has been meticulously refurbished by art dealer Lio Malca. Malca, who has advised global exhibitions of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat for decades exhibits part of his impressive collection throughout the hotel. Visitors are treated to dramatic features such as giant entrance curtains made of hundreds of antique lace Mexican wedding dresses and jaw-dropping vistas. The hotel’s coveted private beach is easily accessible from the main house and its 42 rooms are impeccably designed.
Tip: Rooms sell out quickly but if you aren’t able to snag one, do make sure to stop in for some fresh calamari and other brilliant seafood.
Boho-chic par excellence. This hotel is the physical manifestation of the ‘gypset’ movement – complete with tents, cabanas, tapestries, as well as Asian, Moroccan and South American decorations. The main Macondo restaurant opens out onto the beach and its perfectly bohemian beachscape complete with live band and gorgeously youthful clientele.
Tip: Grab a drink and stroll through to the beachside whilst taking in the sunset and live music.
This ecologically conscious 19 room boutique hotel serves delicious food and runs its own beach-side yoga and meditation classes. Book yourself into the spa for treatments whilst taking in the sea air.
Tip: Book your spa appointments early before they fill up
An exclusive, 20 room, Malibu Beach House located on the iconic Pacific Coast Highway and across the street from the world-famous Surfrider beach, this hotel was originally built in 1953, and recently transformed to its current luxurious standard. Inspired by the picturesque landscape and rich heritage of California surf culture – it offers an authentically local experience and personalised service in an exceptionally private space.
Tip: Ask reception for a wetsuit and surfboard to tackle the waves.
Drifting above the Pacific, the Nobu Ryokan Malibu is a triumph of architectural carpentry and subdued hospitality. This intimate 16 room, retreat honours the traditional Japanese Ryokan, complete with teak soaking tubs, indoor/outdoor fireplaces, serene outdoor spaces, timeless artwork and gracious accents. Seamlessly blending traditional Japanese minimalism with the elegant flair of the California coastline, this discerning sanctuary boasts a rich, natural aesthetic and an ethos of pure tranquility.
From the moment guests arrive, they are treated to unforgettable views of Pacific Ocean and tranquil landscaping, ensuing an escape from the outside world. Exclusivity and privacy are foremost, with an emphasis on low-key comfort and high-end indulgence. Guests are treated to a host of luxurious amenities, gracious service and delectable Nobu comforts.
Tip: Get Nobu food as room service whilst staring out at the Pacific at sunset…a dream.
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