Planning a getaway?
Take a peek at the hottest spots on our radar
By Rachel Bowie
As the relaxed hours of summer become a distant memory, our minds can’t help but wander to thoughts of that fall or winter getaway. With so many destinations to choose from, and so few days to take off, we looked around the world to find some of the most luxurious hotels and resorts to escape to. So silence your BlackBerry, buy a new pair of shades and start pricing out airfare — it’s time to plan a little post-summer R&R.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Spread over two islands that are linked together by a 500-meter walkway, the Conrad Maldives resort is surrounded by a blue lagoon and coral reef, making it the ultimate tropical paradise to indulge in. With accommodations on both Rangali and Rangalifinohlu islands, guests can choose to stay in a Beach Villa, complete with its own private garden and plunge pool, or in a Water Villa, built on stilts over the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Recently re-branded as a Conrad property, the resort offers seven restaurants and three bars on-site, not to mention two different spas including The Spa Retreat and the Over-Water Spa, both featuring a variety of holistic treatments to try. Guests at the Conrad Maldives also have access to different types of water sports, private yacht excursions, even a glass-bottomed boat ride. After a day at the spa or at the beach, check out the Wine Cellar, a restaurant with over 800 wines to choose from.
Flight Time from NYC: Approximately 15-18 hours
Must-Do: Make a reservation to dine at Ithaa, the resort’s all-glass underwater restaurant, the first of its kind in the world.
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai
As the first resort to open its doors in Dubai, Atlantis, The Palm is already setting the bar high. The 1,539-room resort is unlike any other — there are 17 on-site restaurants (including Nobu, opened by sushi mogul Nobuyuki Matsuhisa and Robert DeNiro), a variety of luxury boutiques to shop in and water entertainment that rivals an authentic deep-sea adventure. Guests will love the Aquaventure water park featuring seven water slides, two of which catapult riders through shark-filled lagoons. In addition to that, there is the Ambassador Lagoon, a marine habitat and underwater exhibit that is home to several hundred species of marine life; the Lost Chambers, a maze of underground tunnels that help bring the myth of Atlantis to life and Dolphin Bay, a dolphin education and conservation center.
Flight Time from NYC: Approximately 13 hours
Best Amenity: When making your reservation, ask to stay in the Lost Chambers Suites. The Suites are three stories high and offer mesmerizing views that look directly into the Ambassador Lagoon from the master bedroom, creating the illusion of being under the sea.
Fairmont Monte Carlo
Hey big spender, if an escape to Monte Carlo is calling your name, the Fairmont Hotel is the place to stay. Following an extensive refurbishment last year, the hotel’s original design has been completely updated, creating a tribute to the style of the Riviera, filled with glamour and Mediterranean colors. A landmark on the Côte d’Azur, the hotel features 619 rooms and suites, not to mention three restaurants and bars, a year-round heated swimming pool and the ever-popular, in-house Sun Casino. L’Argentin Restaurant is a can’t-miss, known for its South American cuisine and refreshing atmosphere. The hotel’s re-designed entrance is unique, accessible from one of the most famous hairpin bends in the world, and the renovated lobby features a suspension bridge that offers views over the Pointe de la Vigie, the open sea and the yachts that meet at the Port of Monaco.
Flight Time from NYC: Approximately 9 hours
Must-Do: Enjoy a drink at the new lobby bar Saphir, perfect for cocktails, a quick bite or a nightcap set to music.
InterContinental Beijing Beichen
The Olympics may be over, but there are still plenty of reasons to visit Beijing. And when you do, the best place to stay is the InterContinental Beijing Beichen. After playing host to Olympic athletes, coaches and officials during the Games this year, the hotel opens its doors to all travelers this September. The 16-story property is the closest luxury hotel to Beijing’s National Stadium and features three restaurants, two bars and an indoor, heated swimming pool. In addition to that, the Spa InterContinental will offer a variety of treatments to help you refresh after a day spent sightseeing.
Flight Time from NYC: Approximately 14 hours
Must-Do: Book the hotel’s “New Beijing” package, an Olympic-themed insider experience that helps you relive the best Olympic moments. The experience includes two tickets to swim in the National Aquatics Center as well as a guided rickshaw tour of the Beijing Olympic Village.
Haymarket Hotel, London
The perfect spot for the stylish and chic international traveler, the Haymarket Hotel is right in the heart of London’s theater district and mere steps from Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery and St. James’ Park. The hotel has 50 spacious suites for guests to stay in, not to mention an exclusive townhouse, all outfitted in an eclectic mix of contemporary and whimsical décor. This trendy boutique hotel offers several spaces for guests to relax in, including a conservatory and library, perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee or catching up with friends. Located in the John Nash Regency Building, the hotel is ultra-modern and appeals only to the most sophisticated of guests.
Flight Time from NYC: Approximately 7 hours
Must-Do: Leave plenty of time to dine at Brumus restaurant, a brasserie with a modern English menu. Also, plan to take a dip in the hotel’s 60-foot pool, complete with gold sofas and contemporary art lining its perimeter.