We might be having a mild spell in the UK, but it’s not shorts-and-flip-flops mild, is it? And that’s what we’re all craving here at i-escape HQ. We’d instantly say yes to a trip to any one of these sunny spots….
Life ticks over at an easy pace in Jamaica, but you’ll never be short of things to do: discovering the island’s intriguing history, visiting local markets, zip-wiring through lush green landscapes… One of the most charming hotels we’ve come across is Jakes – a collection of shabby-chic cottages with a distinctly bohemian vibe; this is the real Jamaica, without a high-rise in sight. Jake’s Restaurant serves an imaginative seasonal menu (we loved tucking into the delicious jerk pork and smoked marlin dip with crackers), while Dougie’s Bar mixes up a knockout rum punch and only closes when the last guest leaves!
i-escape gift: a starfish travel candle or incense with a burner.
Almost completely tourist-free, Tioman island (where they shot the movie South Pacific) is tricky to reach but well worth the effort. We love JapaMala, a jungle outpost set on its own picture-perfect cove that’s ideal for honeymooners. The beautiful villas were built around nature and have stunning views of the rainforest and sea. We loved listening to chirruping birds and rolling waves from our beach lounger, before cooling off with our snorkels and spotting tiger fish, blue crabs, red snapper and garoupa.
i-escape gift: a fruit basket, a welcome drink and bedtime chocolate.
Long renowned for its white-sand beaches and laid-back feel, Goa makes for the perfect winter getaway. YogaMagic Eco Retreat is a wonderfully relaxing place where you can practise your sun salute, enjoy healing Ayurvedic massages, and take a dip in the naturally filtered pool. The delicious food is almost entirely vegetarian, the tented rooms are beautiful, and we loved the selection of healthy juices that are available all day to help boost and cleanse your system.
i-escape gift: a private dinner on the night of your choice, with the menu tailored to you.
You don’t have to fly far to find sunshine this winter. Lanzarote has a striking volcanic landscape, vast blue skies and lovely sandy beaches – not to mention wonderfully warm temperatures all year round. In the sleepy village of Guatiza is this 200-year-old, 2-bedroom farmhouse, which is full of character (high-beamed ceilings, mosaicked bathrooms). But there’s no danger of style over substance: the kitchen has everything you could ever need, there’s a small but well-equipped gym plus a sauna, and the fab pool area is a brilliant spot for alfresco meals.
i-escape gift: a generous welcome hamper and a bottle of wine.
Pure escapism is the order of the day at this luxurious barefoot resort. The stilted, thatched suites sit serenely in the shallow azure water, with private sundecks, four-poster beds, and big bathrooms with tubs surrounded by windows so you can literally soak in the views. The array of dining options includes a candlelit restaurant and an underground wine cellar and deli room, and the resort’s ethos is “there’s no such thing as ‘no’”. What’s more, the island is tiny, private and low-key – perfect for a relaxing romantic getaway.
i-escape gift: a bottle of bubbly and a 20-minute spa treatment per person.