New Warm Weather and Beach Destinations for Winter
BySandra Ramani on November 24, 2015
Migrating south isn’t just for the birds. Here, the 12 much warmer places to go this season.
Courtesy Four Seasons Resorts
The islands of Hawaii are a perennial winter getaway favorite, but a host of new hotel openings in 2016—mainly on Oahu—have helped shine an even brighter spotlight on the destination this season. Oahu welcomed its first Ritz-Carlton with the July opening of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki(from $599, two-night minimum required; 383 Kalaimoku St.; 808-922-8111; ritzcarlton.com), a sleek, 38-story tower with 307 residential-style suites, all with ocean views, kitchens, and washer/dryers. Other draws include a cabana-ringed eighth floor infinity pool (the highest on Oahu), a gym designed by celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, and eats courtesy of BLT Market, Dean & Deluca, and Japan’s Sushi Sho. Also in Waikiki, The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club (from $185; 412 Lewers St.; 808-923-8882; surfjack.com), opened in April, celebrates a vintage-inspired, art-infused vibe, from the handcrafted furnishings and wallpaper in its 112 rooms to the vinyl-spinning DJs around the pool. Noted Hawaiian chef Ed Kenney oversees the Mahina & Sun’s restaurant, while the onsite Swim Club hosts events that draw both guests and locals, from creative workshops to filmmaker-led screenings. And on the sunset-fronting western coast, the Four Seasons Ko Olina (translation: “place of joy”) (from $654; 92-1001 Olani St., Kapolei; 808-679-0079; fourseaons.com) is framed by the Waianae mountains on one side and white sand beaches on the others. Settle into one of the 371 rooms, then enjoy strolls around the North Shore, sunset reef tours, private dining experiences, or just relaxing around the pools.
Maui’s got some news, too. Following a $100 million re-do, the oceanfront Wailea Beach Resort-Marriott, Maui (from $519; 3700 Wailea Alanui Dr.; 808-879-1922; waileabeachresort.com)—originally opened as Wailea’s first-ever resort—will relaunch on December 24, 2016, with a host of upgrades. Room and suites feature new furnishings and technologies (including personal device mirror-casting, custom music streaming, and personalized Netflix and Hulu content); the multiple pools include one for scuba training, one for adults, and another for kids; and new dining options range from a gourmet food truck and a beach bar (for acai bowls in the morning and cocktail at sunset) to Humble Market Kitchin from pioneer Hawaiian chef Roy Yamaguchi.