If you are finding it hard to thaw out after a Canadian winter, the good news is that there are other parts of the world where the sun shines brightly and sandy white beaches beckon. To get some sun to even out your ski-goggle tan lines, here are some island escapes with luxury hotels that are calling your name.
A recent addition to the Raffles Hotels and Resorts’ group, Raffles Udaipur opened last summer in the state of Rajasthan in northwestern India.
On its own 21-acre private island in Udai Sagar Lake, the hotel is reached via a short boat ride, allowing bird-watching enthusiasts to enjoy Mother Nature. The hotel itself features 101 spacious rooms and suites that combine western cultural references with nods to Rajasthan’s royal heritage and Mughal architecture. The eight restaurants include Sawai Kitchen, the heart and soul of the hotel, serving Indian heirloom dishes, and the Writers Bar, a place for relaxing with excellent cocktails or traditional English tea.
When Waldorf Astoria’s first hotel in the Maldives, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, opened its doors in September 2020, it started up the motors of its fleet of yachts—the only way to reach the three private islands. Clean-cut furnishings in the 119 villas take this not-so-humble lodge to a new level, and the 11 dining options include a private treetop bamboo pod or sharing plates with your villa neighbour in the cave-like wine cellar. Transfers to the hotel are available 24 hours a day, but really, why would you bother leaving the resort if you don’t have to?
Been to Phuket? Not interested in another trip to Bali? How about China? A visit to the southern end of Hainan Island is where you will find Ian Schrager’s first hotel in China. There are other luxury hotels in the area, but none has its own private stretch of ocean like the 501-room Sanya EDITION. With an additional 11 private villas to choose from, the design is very much Schrager, with clean designs, oak finishes, and floor-to-ceiling ocean views. Dining is easy with a host of restaurants and bars to choose from, but you cannot pass up a boat ride to Xian Hai By The Sea, the hotel’s signature seafood restaurant with a Cantonese touch. Kids are welcome and encouraged to crash the party with dedicated children-only areas.