Ask a dozen people for their favorite slice of paradise for soaking in some sunshine and you’ll get a dozen different answers. And to be fair, everyone has his or her own recipe for the perfect day at the beach. Or by the pool? Serene solitude or heart-of-it-all action? Nothing with you but a book? Or fawned over by an attentive waiter keeping the cocktails full and the towels folded? The simple truth is, there are a lot of ways to soak in the rays. So we rolled up our sleeves (and our pant legs), grabbed the shades and dug in a little deeper to the debate to find those extra touches that put some spots over the top. Here are our best destinations for sunbathing.
There are days when nothing beats pampering. Reclining in a private poolside cabana, with the sound of surf crashing in the distance. The waiter not only knows your name but he has your drink refreshed before the ice cubes start to melt. And the only decision on your agenda is whether you should order the crab stuffed avocado sandwich before or after your spa treatment. For those times, nothing beats one of Inspirato’s resort properties at Andaz in Wailea or Montage Kapalua Bay.
Endless sugar white sand and gently swaying palm trees make for postcard-perfect sunbathing moments as the azure water laps at your feet. And nearly all of our residences offer you a place to sink your toes only a few steps from your residence. But sometimes getting off the beaten path adds another level of the exotic to your beach time. Head to Upper Shoal Bay on Anguilla for some of the Caribbean’s whitest sand or the Baths on Virgin Gorda to wander amid the otherworldly collection of house-sized boulders that lead through hidden grottos to deserted stretches of beach.
Sometimes privacy is a beautiful thing, whether you are dreaming of a place where you can float in the pool uninterrupted, or just need a place where the kids can scream and splash to their heart’s content without disrupting the neighbors. For those times, nothing beats the Inspirato Residences in Mexico. From Los Cabos to Punta de Mita, spacious pool patios, a stone’s throw from the surf, provide just the right mix of exclusive solitude. And when you are ready for some exercise, you can always work on your tan from the deck of a paddleboard.
Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica
Sometimes you can’t decide where to pull up a lounge chair to take your sun-soak. Start the day alongside your own private pool, enjoy that last cup of coffee in the tranquility of your residence. Midday, wander down to the (sublime) action at the Poro Poro Club pool and enjoy some lunch. When the kids get antsy, head to the beach and enjoy your book while they try to spot the Howler Monkeys in the jungle canopy.
While we all dream of the far off and exotic, we know that sometimes you’re just looking for a simple spot to recharge the solar batteries. On NASA’s list of the sunniest places on the planet, Las Vegas makes the list. Sure there are pools everywhere and attentive cocktail waiters at the ready but Vegas has perfected the pool party in ways other destinations only dream of. When you get tired of the luxurious pool deck at the Vdara Hotel & Spa, pick your poison from the two dozen other poolside parties on the strip. Enjoy a late dinner. Catch a show. Stay up all night. You can always take a poolside nap tomorrow.