11 Sun-Drenched Winter Escapes

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As the dark cold days of winter settle in, most of us find ourselves daydreaming of white sandy beaches and ice cold rumrunners. Warm destination resorts range from sun-drenched luxury spas to budget-conscious beach cottages big enough for the whole family.

1. Rincon, Puerto Rico

An informal guest house located on the ocean, Beside the Point at Tamboo is a perfect sun-drenched vacation destination for both families and couples. A long-time surfer destination, Rincon is located on a peninsula along the west coast of the island. Stick your umbrella in any one of the twelve local beaches or sign up for surfing lessons and learn to ride the waves with some world-class surfers.

2. Long Key, Florida

Lime Tree Bay Resort is nestled on the bayside of this 2-mile long island paradise. Hammocks sway enticingly as you wander throughout the tree-filled property. This resort features on-site watersports, shuffleboard and lots of quiet. Offering kitchenettes and treehouse accommodations, families or couples will find this budget friendly destination a welcome sun-filled retreat.

3. Turks & Caicos Islands

The Parrot Cay Resort & Spa is a luxury 5-star resort accessible only by boat. Situated on a private island with its own mile-long tranquil beach, you’ll find yourself spending long lazy days filled with diving, dining and massages. It may be only 575 miles from Miami, but its a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world.

As one guest from New York shares, “My 4 day romantic vacation at Parrot Cay was over the top in every way. The service is excellent from the moment you get off the plane to the time you sink into your soft bed, The facility is amazing. The food is terrific. The staff is extremely attentive and calls to make sure you are happy.

4. Zihuatanejo, Mexico

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Located just outside of the hopping resort town of Ixtapa, theAmuleto Resort provides a peaceful place for tranquil relaxation and reflection. Each of this boutique resort’s five private suites offer infinity pools and exquisite views of the bay from your own private terrace. Children under 16 are not allowed (unless the complete resort is booked by the family) making this a romantic adult getaway unlike any other.

5. St. James, Barbados

Sandy Lane is a luxurious golf resort featuring three golf courses including the well-known Green Monkey, designed by Tom Fazio. When not teeing off, you will find yourself enjoying the award winning spa services at this world-class premier resort.

6. Rancho Valencia, California

Just off the beaten path and about half and hour outside of San Diego sits theRancho Valencia Resort and Spa. Finely manicured gardens cover the property which features tennis, pools, a spa and dining. Not far off is Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo and Mission Beach.

7. Hopkins, Belize

Charming Hopkins Village is home to the small 27-room Belizean Dreams Resort. Sitting on the Caribbean Sea, guests can have a poolside massage while sipping a cool umbrella-topped drink. The Belize Barrier Reef and Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve are located nearby. As one family vacationer comments, “We had an amazing stay! The staff was friendly and attentive to our every need. This resort is spotless and well maintained, the restaurant is fun and serves great food. Love the beach bar.”

8. Acapulco, Mexico

The Fairmont Acapulco Princess is built to resemble a 15-story Aztec pyramid complete with terraced gardens. The resort offers five free-form swimming pools and a private golf course. Located right on Revolcadero Beach, their 480 acres is adorned with lush gardens replete with flamingoes and swans.

9. St. Petersburg, Florida

In the style of Key West, the Plaza Beach Hotel is the perfect place for families to return year after year. The staff at this 39-suite resort is extremely pleasant and the amenities are kept updated and geared toward family pleasure. Sitting right on St. Pete Beach, you can choose between hanging out in the soft warm sand or at the pool overlooking the ocean. Kitchenettes offer family-friendly budget options plus there’s a family BBQ area complete with cabana right on site.

10. St. Mary’s, Jamaica

The couples-only resort idea started right here, at theCouples Tower Isle Resort. Snuggled into the coast line of Ochos Rios, this newly renovated resort features an all-inclusive package with meals, beverages, activities and accommodations – for “Couples Only”. You can lounge on the private white sandy beach, play tennis, golf or have a daily couples massage.

11. Puntarenas Costa Rica

High on a hilltop in the lush natural rainforest isVilla Calletas, offering the discriminating traveler a one-of-a-kind combination of both mountain and seaside resort. With a private beach for resort guests at its base, Villa Calletas is located 1,150 feet above sea level offering canopy views of the rainforest, scarlet macaw fly-bys and scenic ocean terrace views.

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