Whether you prefer a cozy oceanfront villa or you’re more the private-island type, these ELLE editor favourites are bound to inspire you.


Bodrum, Turkey

Imagine a resort that feels like a village, with paths leading from your private pavilion—where the pool is all yours, by the way—through a forest to the hotel’s main house and then down the hill to the private beach club. If the locally inspired (and mouth-wateringly-delicious) meals, hammam-like bathrooms and stunning Ottoman-meets-Mediterranean style of the resort don’t have you convinced, just let the dedicated yoga studio, traditional spa and three-storey library with a view lure you into a world away. It’s history wrapped up in luxury.

Hotel Il Pellicano

Porto Ercole, Italy

This storied resort—tucked chicly into a private cove overlooking the Mediterranean Sea—is ’60s-era glamour with a contemporary twist, and the details are nothing short of perfect. Old-money Italians mingle with young hipsters—even photographers Juergen Teller and the late Slim Aarons were won over by its charm. Take a stroll down to the sunning dock at the sea’s edge, or savour a Michelin-starred meal in one of the property’s two restaurants. The rooms are stylish yet don’t take away from the classic feel of the hotel, which has amenities we love, like must-have beach bags and a gorgeous boutique. ELLE Australia editor-in-chief Genevra Leek describes it as “a modern spirit paired with old-school Italian polish.” To that we say, “Saluti!”

Hotel San Cristobal

Baja California, Mexico

The consummate mix of hippie chic, surfer cool and rustic Mexican decor right on the beach exists—we promise. It’s easy and casual here, yet every detail is just as it should be, from the giant cacti and organic farm-fresh cuisine (Those tacos! That guacamole!) to the traditional tiles and chairs. Hugging the rocky coastal Sierra de la Laguna mountains, the beach is surfer-approved and just a few kilometres from the charmingly artsy town of Todos Santos. “The area is remote and undeveloped—perfect for couples to go exploring,” says ELLE Turkey’s Neslihan Denizer. Named after St. Christopher, the patron saint of travellers, this hotel is an über-cool Baja hideaway.

Four Seasons Voavah

Baa Atoll, The Maldives

If you knew you were going to be stranded on a desert island, what would you bring? Well, if that island happened to be picture-perfect, you-can-stop- dreaming-now kind of resort, you wouldn’t need to bring much at all. A Four Seasons property, this jungle- meets-beach private island is small yet very well equipped. With only four accommodations (villas or suites) and a private yacht available for guests, it’s part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is basically the definition of “paradise,” according to the team at ELLE Spain. Swim with dolphins, spot manta rays or swing on a perfectly Instagrammable hammock overlooking an iridescent-blue lagoon. The discreet staff are at your beck and call for whatever your heart desires, from massages at the spa and incredible Lebanese-inspired meals to a cocktail to sip while you relax on that hammock.†

Cameron Neuschwanstein Alpsee Resort & Spa

Bavaria, Germany

On the quaint Lake Alpsee, in the southernmost part of Germany, sits this extraordinarily chic resort. The setting itself is the purest vision of nature one could imagine, so it’s no surprise that 19th-century Bavarian kings chose to build their castles overlooking its snow-capped mountains and green forests. The rooms are cozy yet elegant, with the right balance of warm colour and natural elements, and the spa will draw you in with its incredible treatments. So whether you’re up for a gastronomic delight, hiking around the lake or discovering famous castles, your time here will be as memorable as (we assume) it was for those kings.

Villa La Madonna

Piedmont, Italy

Perched on a hill in northern Italy, this is a place in which your heart, soul and taste buds will delight. Serving the epitome of Italian fare in a setting that is unrivalled, the hotel’s terrace restaurant staff will also set up your table in the middle of the vineyards if you like. The editors at ELLE Sweden say it has a “magical, beautiful environment, fantastic food and the nicest treatment.” The resort—which closes for the winter and reopens every year in March—has just 18 impeccably decorated rooms, each with its own private terrace. Tranquility reigns over the vineyards and will reign over you too thanks to the yoga, body treatments, grape harvesting and even truffle hunting on offer. Life actually shifts gears here. It’s so peaceful you’ll swear you can hear the grapes asking to be picked.

Rae’s On Wategos

Byron Bay, Australia

The decor of this eight-room Spanish-mission-style hotel is bohemian chic meets intellectual meets surfer, creating a sophisticated yet casual vibe. The location is nothing short of ideal, as confirmed by Leek: “It sits in front of the most beautiful beach in Byron Bay.” Dolphins are regulars in the waves, and since the hotel is not huge, the friendly staff can eas- ily keep you posted on when they put on their best shows. After a treatment at the spa (try the two-hour full-body massage) and a mouth-watering meal at the restaurant, don’t be surprised if your pillow has been sprayed ever so gently with Rae’s signature sleep mist and there’s a cup of herbal tea waiting to coax you into a deep sleep.

Maia Luxury Resort & Spa

Mahé, the Seychelles

On the southwestern coast of Mahé are 30 thatched-roof villas nestled in a forest at the edge of a white sandy beach. This is Maia Luxury Resort & Spa, where the philosophy is “Whatever, wherever, whenever.” The fact that your villa (equipped with Hermès products and a Bose sound system) comes with a private butler and the accommodation is all-inclusive means that not many decisions need to be made—aside from fun ones, such as whether to have champagne or chardonnay while you soak in the tea light- and frangipani-decorated outoor bathtub on your private terrace. And don’t leave without trying the spa’s Dancing Fingers Massage or Banana Leaf Wrap. If you need more convincing, just ask ELLE Middle East’s editor-in-chief, Maria Aziz. “I went there for my honeymoon, and it was just a dream!” she says. Case in point.

Kimpton La Peer Hotel

West Hollywood

If great design gets your heart racing almost as much as your new spouse, this is the place for you. The Kimpton La Peer is minutes from über-cool boutiques Maxfield, Acne and John Elliott as well as the Pacific Design Center, and the hotel’s own contemporary neutral-hued decor—think white-oak herringbone floors, leather walls, brass details and original artworks—will appease your expert eye. “Though you’re only steps from bustling Melrose Avenue, the property is incredibly private and serene—perfect for a romantic night in,” says ELLE Canada art director Jed Tallo. Up that romance factor with help from a bath butler. (Yes, you read that right.) The property’s signature suites come with a giant soaker tub that, upon request, will be filled for you and spiked with Ole Henriksen essential oils and a scattering of orchid petals.

Silversands Grenada

St. George’s, Grenada

You may think you’ve already done the Caribbean, but you really haven’t if your trip didn’t include a stay at Silversands Grenada. The moment you enter the minimalist-chic lobby (picture soft tones and natural textures like wood and marble), you get an impressive view of the 100-metre-long pool—which the hotel claims is the longest in the Caribbean. The luxe suites are high-tech in an actually-makes-your-life-easier way. You can dim the lights, open the shades or have remote-controlled curtains drape around you all without leaving your king-size bed. But the real draw is the beachfront and poolside villas. Each one comes with a private pool and a personal valet. Of course, you’d be remiss to skip the spa, where you could easily spend days working through the extensive treatment list inspired by the local environment. Relax with a detoxifying coconut scrub or step into the ice cave to soothe the sunburn you get after you inevitably forget to reapply SPF.

This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue of ELLE Canada. Subscribe here


Serena Williams Partners With Away on Travel Collection

Two Ways to Stay in New York City

You Can Now Book A Room In A Royal Palace