We at Oyster love safari adventures and hiking in national parks, but sometimes, we simply want to relax and recharge. Certain resorts are better suited for a leisurely trip, with amenities such as 24-hour butler and room service, ample loungers by the pool and beach, and expansive spas with tons of soothing treatments. So if you're looking to unwind, here are the 12 best hotels for a lazy getaway.
A 20-minute flight from Tahiti, The Brando is one of the world’s most exclusive private island retreats. The luxurious all-inclusive resort is named after actor Marlon Brando, who purchased the island in 1967 after filming “Mutiny on the Bounty” there. It houses 35 private villas, all of which have plunge pools, showers and separate outdoor bathtubs, and direct access to a beautiful white-sand beach. The room rate covers all meals (including 24-hour room service delivered to villas, the beach, or pool, plus cuisine from a two-Michelin-star chef), most alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and one treatment per day at the holistic spa. Visitors can lounge by the ocean or pool, or take part in unlimited activities such as exploring the lagoon in a Polynesian outrigger canoe or attending lectures about local marine life.
The 173-room One&Only Palmilla is easily one of Mexico’s most luxurious properties, thanks to top-notch facilities, personal concierges, butlers, aromatherapy turndown service, and excellent dining. Guest rooms and villas are elegant and inviting, and all have furnished terraces — many with ocean views — and separate showers and tubs. Some even include private pools. Impressive features include one of the area’s only swimmable beaches, an elegant spa with couples’ treatments, and two gorgeous pools, one of which has a swim-up bar. Dining options are also notable, particularly a steakhouse by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. With a six-to-one staff-to-guest ratio, visitors will be hard-pressed not to feel extremely pampered here.
Located on a private island just a 15-minute speedboat ride from the Maldives airport, the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa offers visitors a high-end luxury getaway. There are 65 spacious villas here, all with ocean views, private outdoor pools (except most Lagoon Villas), on-call butlers, and fully stocked minibars with premium alcohol, sunscreen, and disposable underwater cameras. Guests have ample ways to laze the day away, from lounging on gorgeous beaches or by the ocean-view infinity pool — where attendants will mist visitors with chilled water or polish sunglasses — to getting relaxing treatments at the Ayurveda-focused spa, to eating at two gourmet restaurants that offer a variety of cuisines.
Tucked away in the jungle village of Kamala, the luxe Bell Pool Villa Resort Phuket provides a peaceful, exclusive experience for its crowd of mostly couples. There are just 16 gorgeous villas here, all featuring private garden courtyards with large pools, living spaces, and bathrooms with separate showers and soaking tubs. Larger units have full kitchens. Butler service is also available 24/7. A full range of in-room spa services and dining can be arranged, so most guests spend their time inside their villa. Still, an outdoor restaurant is available for Thai and Western food, and a free shuttle and bicycles provide easy access to the beach.
The 30-villa MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa is a beautiful all-inclusive property set along a stretch of white-sand beach on a secluded peninsula in the Seychelles. The spacious stand-alone villas — either on the hilltop overlooking the ocean or just steps from the beach — offer expansive terraces with private plunge pools, sunken tubs, and bar areas, as well as canopied beds and spa-like bathrooms. Private butler service is included, and guests are allowed to curate their meals and dine anywhere at anytime. Aside from utilizing their villa, visitors can take advantage of an infinity-edge pool overlooking the beach, a small spa with open-air treatment areas, and free unlimited water sports and scuba diving.
The 46-villa Gili Lankanfushi is often considered to be the top resort in the Maldives, and for good reason. Located just 20 minutes by boat from the airport, this eco-friendly resort is all about laid-back luxury. Guests are encouraged to walk around barefoot, and each visitor is taken care of by a personal butler with the title Mr. Friday (available 24/7). All of the huge units here are overwater bungalows, featuring outdoor terraces and rooftop decks, bathrooms with jetted tubs and showers, and living spaces. A beachfront infinity pool, spa with ocean views, exceptional restaurants, and a meditation area are just a few of the highlights.
The luxurious Rosewood Mayakoba is a stunning beachfront property situated within the resort community of Playa del Carmen, about a one-hour drive south of Cancun. A serene atmosphere, high-end spa with an outdoor heated pool and relaxation areas, and six pools (including three in an adults-only beach club) make this resort particularly attractive to couples seeking a lazy getaway. The 129 spacious suites have separate showers and tubs, private plunge pools, and modern amenities. Personalized butler service adds to the posh feel. Water sports, fitness classes, and an 18-hole golf course make this suitable for active vacationers as well.
The ultra-luxurious Nanuku is an all-inclusive resort occupying three acres of Fiji‘s Coral Coast. There are only 14 stand-alone villas and suites here, all providing stunning ocean views from private terraces, easy access to the beach, and swish amenities such as golf carts, jetted tubs, separate showers, and free minibars. Many add private pools. An added perk: Guests are assigned a personal butler and nanny to help with organizing activities and looking after children. Loungers are available on the beach and by the infinity pool, and the spa offers open-air treatment rooms for singles and couples. The bar and restaurant have flexible meal times and plenty of options for private dining.
The all-inclusive Sandals Grenada Resort & Spa is a luxurious, couples-only resort spread across 17 acres on the southwestern tip of the island. All of the 225 rooms are chic and modern, featuring marble bathrooms and iPod docks, and some add private pools and whirlpool tubs. Travelers looking to have an extra leisurely getaway should book a room with personal butler service. Lovely grounds house five pools, an elegant spa, a beachfront with loungers, and numerous restaurants to suit all tastes. Fire pits, gazebos, and swinging chairs overlooking the water are romantic touches.
Located along Maui’s lush, secluded east coast, the Travaasa Hana overlooking Hana Bay offers a rustic luxury experience and all-inclusive packages. Visitors must make the long, but stunning, drive along the Road to Hana, or take a short flight from the main airport (free with some packages), to reach this peaceful oceanfront property. Once there, guests are rewarded with breathtaking views, excellent on-site dining, and two outdoor pools, plus a spa with various treatments and outdoor hot tubs (all-inclusive packages include credits for spa treatments). The 71 stand-alone bungalows have separate tubs and showers, and huge furnished terraces with garden or ocean views. Friendly staff are on hand to shuttle guests around via golf carts, and tipping them isn’t allowed.
The upscale Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa is a well-reviewed all-inclusive property in Bavaro. Set along a beautiful white-sand beach, this family-friendly hotel offers a long list of features, many of which are geared toward travelers looking to unwind. In addition to the lounger-lined beach, the property has a stellar outdoor pool — one of the largest in the Dominican Republic — with a swim-up bar and lazy river. A spa with indoor and outdoor areas, several restaurant options, 24-hour room and concierge services, and waiter service at the pool and beach are also available.
The adults-only Secrets Wild Orchid is a luxurious all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It comes with a plethora of features to keep guests wanting a lazy vacation happy. With a whopping 10 restaurants and cafes, plus eight bars, guests have plenty of dining options. Room service is also available 24/7. Couples wanting some privacy will likely appreciate the “Secrets box” in each room, which allows guests to get their meals without opening the door. Multiple pools, ample sunbeds on the beach, and a large spa with hydrotherapy provide spots to relax. Upgrade to a Preferred Club swim-out room for direct private access to the VIP pool and a whirlpool tub on the balcony, or opt for a Suite with massive Jacuzzis in both the bathroom and on the balcony.
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