Five Great Getaways for Spring

Ninamu beach IMG_8855

Whether you’re in the grips of a “snowmaggeddon” winter or just thinking about a tropical escape, here are five great getaways for spring, with recommendations from our Hotel-Scoop correspondents for distinctive places to stay around the world. Start dreaming, then get packing!

French Polynesia

You might think of French Polynesia as an exotic escape from North America’s winter, but peak season in Tahiti and its sister islands runs from May through October, when the region’s winter rains abate. Springtime in the northern hemisphere, then, is an excellent time to run away to paradise.

I’d go back in a heartbeat to the Ninamu Resort, a deluxe “summer camp” on a remote private island. Owner Chris O’Callaghan and his wife Greta built and operate this Robinson Crusoe-style getaway with seven rustic bungalows, great food, and plenty of modern conveniences. From swimming with giant manta rays, to deep-sea fishing (you might catch your dinner), snorkeling, sailing, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and more, you won’t be bored here. If you’d just like to chill, the resort has a peaceful white sand beach (that’s Ninamu in the photo above) that’s a real-life tropical-paradise fantasy.

Ninamu is located in the Tikehau Atoll, a quick one-hour flight from the island of Tahiti. Tahiti Tourism has more details to help you plan a trip.

Lumeria Maui grounds, Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii

Hawaii is a year-round destination, with near-perfect weather most of the time. And spring is no exception. If you’re looking for a getaway that’s more peaceful than flashy, consider Lumeria Maui, a high-end wellness retreat. Correspondent Nancy Brown described Lumeria, located outside the Maui town of Makawao, as “a 24 room oasis where you can take part in meditation or yoga classes or catch a little R&R.” I’ve stayed at Lumeria, too, where the rooms on this former plantation are simple, but the gardens are gorgeous, and it’s a convenient base for exploring Maui’s less touristy upcountry region. With daily yoga outdoors on the sunny lawn, you’re bound to forget all about winter and whatever else ails you.

Caribbean

In mid-April, prices throughout the Caribbean begin coming down, but the weather across the region is just as fine as it is in January or February, making it a good time for an island adventure or a trip to Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Editor Tim Leffel found high-end luxury, and all-inclusive prices, at the revamped Blue Diamond Resort and Spa on the Riveria Maya, near Playa del Carmen, Mexico. He especially enjoyed the huge suites with spacious bathrooms, the fine dining, and the top-shelf bar. A regular pool, a lap pool, and of course, the beach draw water-lovers, or you can book an afternoon of relaxation in the spa. Sounds like a fine spring to me.

Tanque Verde pool IMG_1269

Arizona

I traveled to Tucson, Arizona last spring, where I had one perfect blue-sky day after another. It was a good thing the weather was fine, since part of my trip included horseback riding, and I’m an admitted horse wimp. Still, the staff at the family-friendly Tanque Verde Ranch can take even a novice rider like me and show her a good time. Besides time in the saddle, with trail rides, lessons, and rodeo-style round-ups, there’s hiking among the giant cacti in the nearby Saguaro National Park, mountain biking along the desert trails, tennis, volleyball, and yoga. From pancake breakfasts to cowboy barbecues with lively music, meals are fun, too. Many of the guests are multi-generational families who’ve been coming to the resort for decades, and I can see why.

Portugal

Spring comes early to Portugal, compared to the rest of Europe, making it a good option for a European getaway before the peak summer tourist season. I’m envious of editor Tim’s cycling trip across Portugal, a country that’s still on my bucket list. I’m particularly jealous of his stay at Pousada D. Joao IV, a former convent turned luxury hotel. He found that the interior “mixes museum quality pieces with more modern furniture,” while the extensive grounds include orange trees, statues, and a swimming pool. Looks like a very cool spot for a spring escape.

Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller, author of the books, Moon Handbooks: Ontario and Living Abroad in Canada. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller.

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