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January 2022

by Maggie Smith

Romance is in the Air

Planning a romantic weekend? There’s still plenty of time to book a quick getaway for Valentine’s Day, and few destinations are more romantic than an island by the sea! Choose a secluded island getaway and breathe in the briny sea air, soak and swim in the ocean, walk along a soft sandy beach–and elevate mind, body and spirit.

Little Palm Island Resort & SpaFlorida

Touted as the only private island in the United States, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa specializes in “Get Lost” adventures, meant to spark relaxation and reconnection. As part of the Florida Keys coastline, the 4.5 acre playground nurtures a reset with no in-room telephones, alarm clocks or televisions. Remote, only accessible by boat or seaplane, it conjures Robinson Crusoe fantasies. Wellness buffs can hide away further in the indoor/ outdoor SpaTerre, and yield to the Ocean Wave Four Hands Massage to further harmonize with the setting. Enjoy long walks along the shore, and gaze at flocks of birds taking flight!

Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection, Hawaii

Everyone's going to Hawaii these days, for its sparkling waterfalls, lush greenery and amazing cuisine. For the ancient Hawaiians, the Big Island represented fire and ice: both passion and peacefulness, the great balance of yin and yang that exists in all of us. Hawaii remains a terrain that brims with palpable “mana,” the word the Hawaiians use for spiritual energy. 

Set where Hawaiian royalty turned for healing rites, the Mauna Lani honors Hawaiian traditions in manifold ways, none the least of which happens in the luxury property’s Auberge Spa. From beachside yoga to petroglyph hikes to cultural workshops, immersive activities embrace the outdoors. Inside, don’t miss the Hawaiian cure for everything; a lomi lomi massage.

Rosewood Little Dix Bay, BVI

An unpretentious island, rampant with natural beauty, this BVI favorite got hit hard by Hurricane Irma. Known for its national park, The Baths, a grotto-filled stunner amid megalithic rocks, the island has been recovering steadily. Rosewood Little Dix Bay, founded as a resort by Laurance Rockefeller in 1964 and reopened in January 2020, took a hiatus of nearly four years to be refurbished. With stunning rooms (try the Treehouse Suites), open-air dining outlets and plenty to do, the icon proudly trumpets its Sense, A Rosewood Spa. Overlooking Sir Francis Drake Channel, it specializes in Caribbean-invoked treatments. 

Savoy Palace, Funchal

Madeira, while modern, takes travelers back in time. Part of Portugal, but autonomously governed, it sits closer to Morocco than Europe. Hauntingly beautiful, with soaring cliffs, mountains and six diverse ecosystems (including a rare cloud forest), Madeira’s extraordinary culture stems from its history as a seafaring stopover and global port. With a penchant for keeping indigenous traditions alive, the island also has spawned edgy artists and designers, such as Nini Andrade Silva, who is responsible for interiors (and concept), including the furniture and art, at the fabulous Savoy Palace in Funchal. Retreat to its Laurea Spa, the largest wellness center in Europe, which Silva has created as a metaphor for Madeira’s Laurissilva Forest. Save an hour for the immense thermae, then yield to the signature Laurea Massage, which utilizes hot and cold local volcanic stones.

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