Published Nov/Dec 2005

Left: The Whitsundays in Australia are well-known for excellent boating. Tourism Australia photo

These warm-weather getaways let you laugh at winter weather.
By Theresa Russell

Thoughts of getting away from the everyday routine often result in dreams of sandy beaches, sun and multi-colored sparkling waters. Whether you dream of a Caribbean or South Pacific vacation, the choices are unlimited. Consider these resorts for a relaxing winter getaway.

Colorful Caribbean escapes

The Caribbean is the quintessential island getaway with a multitude of resorts to suit any need.

For families, La Cabana Beach Resort on Eagle Beach in Oranjestad, Aruba, caters to those looking for a value-added island experience. All accommodations are suites–ideal for families–and include a fully equipped kitchen, private balconies or patios. Three swimming pools, five walking and jogging trails and a variety of water sports–like snorkeling, windsurfing and sailing–keep families occupied through the day.

Club Cabana Nana for children age 5–12 provides fun, structured activities and gives parents a chance to have time for themselves.
Several on-site restaurants and bars offer distinctive dining experiences.

Another family resort option was founded when a group of friends vacationing in the Bahamas discovered a resort for sale. Today, the Cove on the charming island of Eleuthera consists of several cabanas with 26 rooms and suites high above the beach. The main lodge offers a restaurant, complete with a Paris-trained chef. A comfortable gathering room and gift shop share the space with the restaurant.

Relaxing by the pool or on the pink sand beach melts away stress. Activities like snorkeling, kayaking and tennis take place on the grounds of the resort or its beach.

Historic Puerto Rico dates back many centuries and boasts miles of sandy beaches. Located in Fajardo is one of the most fabulous resorts on the island, the Wyndham El Conquistador.

The expansive resort offers plenty of lodging and dining options. One of the special things about the resort is the excursion to their privately owned Palomino Island. An entire day can be spent snorkeling the waters, swimming to the island, relaxing in a lounge chair or hiking to the top of the island. The casino is a popular spot to visit before or after dinner and the Golden Door Spa offers services to further relax those muscles that may be sore from swimming or hiking in El Yunque National Park.

Suitable for families or couples, this resort also offers the upscale La Casitas. The different casitas come equipped with a butler at your service and offer plenty of space for hosting a special family event or small reunion.

On the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, The Buccaneer, a destination beach resort set on 340 lush acres, features villa-style accommodations on Mermaid Beach. All 138 rooms have balconies or terraces with excellent sea and island views plus tropical breezes. Three beaches, a golf course, a spa, tennis courts and snorkeling equipment provide everything to keep the most active guest busy at the resort. Four restaurants provide dining options offering everything from poolside menus to classic cuisine with a Caribbean flair.

For adults only

An adult-only getaway is Club Med Turkoise on the northeast side of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos. All-inclusive packages include gourmet dining, nightly entertainment, premium beverages, sports lessons (there’s even a trapeze), tips and gratuities.

The 290 rooms have recently received a face-lift and the exteriors have been painted in bright Caribbean colors. Fitness classes–the newest offering, belly dancing–keep guests in shape during their stay. Guests can also learn to scuba dive.

The beach is wonderful and stocked with water sports equipment for both novice and advanced enthusiasts. A massage pavilion right on the beach lets the waves take away stress.

Far away off the coast of Queensland, Australia, the 74 islands known as the Whitsundays sit in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Hamilton Island–part of the Whitsundays–offers spectacular beaches, great adventure and amazing sunsets. For adults looking for a quiet time undisturbed by children, the luxurious Hamilton Island Beach Club offers everything necessary for a relaxing getaway.

Guests are met at the ferry or airport by their hosts. Tropical garden landscaping, an infinity pool, uninterrupted views of the Coral Sea and rooms with a minibar, VCR, CD player and bathrobes enhance the experience.

The resort features its own gourmet restaurant, which was recently redesigned during an extensive renovation. The guest lounge provides a perfect spot for cocktails, or just to sit and plan the day. Activities on the island include many active options like snorkeling, scuba diving, sea kayaking, parasailing, waterskiing and others.

At an island resort, the only thing you have to worry about is relaxing. The rest of your cares, worries and everyday concerns from home will drift away with the surf.

Theresa Russell is a contributor from Round Lake, N.Y.

Club Med Turkoise offers adults a chance to scuba in brilliant Caribbean waters. Club Med photo

Before You Go
To plan your island getaway–or a cruise to tropical climes–contact your nearest AAA Travel agent. Ask about member benefits offered by our travel partners, including Travel Impressions–with getaways to SuperClub Resorts®–or Tauck World Discovery–with vacations to Australia. List of offices to serve you. Call 1-888-366-4222 for AAA Travel.

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