Head for the weather soak up the style at a design-led escape.
If the waning unreliabe weather has left you feeling a little pale and disinterested, it could be just the right time to jet off to one of these luxe hot spots to boost your tan and top up your zest for life. In Mexico, The Cape serves up lashings of mid-century style alongside laid-back vibes and yummy pan-Pacific cuisine. For a safari experience beyond compare, the eco haven at Singita Lebombo Lodge has big game to spare, while Florida’s Four Seasons Orlando is a dream family-friendly base from which to explore the incredible Walt Disney World – just wait till you try out those epic water slides! Finally, for something a little more intimate, boutique beauty the Owl and the Pussycat works barefoot chic to perfection. Whichever you choose, we can guarantee those strength-sapping blues will be kicked into touch in an instant.
LOS CABOS, MEXICO
The lowdown Laid-back luxe meets surfer chic in a beachside retreat.
Best for Sun-worshippers who want to get away from the crowds.
At the southern end of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, Los Cabos is renowned for its spas and golf courses, not to mention the epic surf, so expect your flight to be packed. But don’t despair – tucked away in a cove, The Cape enjoys awesome privacy, amazing views and a hip, friendly vibe. Designed by Marisabel Gómez Vázquez, one of Mexico’s leading interior designers, each of the 161 rooms boasts mid-century-style furnishings with hand-painted tiles underfoot leading to a private terrace (many of which are dressed with a hammock-style day bed).
The resort’s Manta restaurant offers a pan-Pacific reinterpretation of local cuisine – think miso fish tacos, cactus salad and calamari tempura. After settling in, keep trim in the treatment rooms of the hotel’s Currents spa, explore the coastline by boat or hit the restaurants, bars and nightspots in downtown Los Cabos itself. Or just chill and take in that jaw-dropping view…
SINGITA LEBOMBO LODGE
KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH AFRICA
The lowdown An eco-friendly must-visit that’s big on style.
Best for Wildlife fans who want to get up close and personal with nature.
If you want a front-row seat at the cinematic experience that is the Kruger National Park, this newly revamped lodge is the ideal spot to tick off the Big Five. Suspended over the N’Wanetsi River, eco-conscious hospitality is the name of the game, with solar-powered air con and texture-rich natural materials à gogo.
The 13 suites are decked out in an unshowy, safari-light style and there’s a four-bed private villa, complete with staff, if you’re feeling extra flush. The communal spaces have a real outside-in vibe and, alongside all that nature, there is some serious indulgence, including a wine studio and breathtaking rooftop viewing area.
In addition to the daily game drives, the range of activities includes stargazing, a thrilling walking safari and a relaxing massage overlooking the bush.
Food-wise, there are healthy smoothies on tap and divine global-inspired dishes by celebrated chef Liam Tomlin. Even if you don’t get to spot everything on your list, a few days hanging out here with Mother Nature will enrich your mind, body and spirit.
FOUR SEASONS ORLANDO
ORLANDO, FLORIDA, USA
The lowdown The newest luxe hotel on the Walt Disney World block.
Best for Families who love a big dose of style along with their fun.
The concept of ‘family friendly’ doesn’t get any more ‘family’ or ‘friendly’ than Walt Disney World in Orlando. But where to go after you’ve done striking a pose with Mickey? A stylish retreat with just enough pizzazz to maintain that ‘Have a nice day’ mood is the perfect solution and the Four Seasons Orlando has both style and razzmatazz in spades.
Minutes from the Magic Kingdom park, the hotel is an oasis of pretty neutrals and elegant textures (think limestone floors and Dedon hanging chairs), juxtaposed with all the fun of two 74-metre-long water slides, a lazy river and a splash zone. The complimentary kids’ club means grown-ups are free to join a yoga class or simply relax by the adults-only pool; and when it comes to dining, everyone is equally content: Livingetc loved Capa, the Spanish-style grill, which is all moody, dark-wood elegance, while Lickety Split is, well, ice-cream heaven for those Little Livingetcs.
OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT
GALLE, SRI LANKA
The lowdown An intimate boutique stay on the edge of the Indian Ocean.
Best for Super-chic style combined with warm Sri Lankan hospitality.
Ever fancied a massage by the beach? The Owl and the Pussycat can easily make that happen – for every day of your stay. Combine that with barefoot luxury and inspired fusion dishes made up entirely from local produce and this new getaway marks the epitome of boutique-hotel style on the island.
Comprising 16 suites, the hotel’s décor draws from the owner’s natural ‘citizen of the world’ mentality: an exotic blend of Moroccan-inspired tadelakt walls, colourful Indian-inspired furniture and Greek Islands-like linen fabrics.
Head chef Anthony D’Costa (recruited from London) ensures the hotel’s cuisine is just as much a reason for enjoying your visit. Each day is an eye-opening experience of food discovery, leaving you wanting more.
After wining and dining, we took a short tuc-tuc ride to Galle, where we were rewarded with the delights of the fortified Old Town and the beautiful Unawatuna beach.