The Best Destinations for Solo Travel This Valentine’s Day
Spending this Valentine’s Day on your own? Although it can be hard to avoid starry-eyed romantics during the mushiest time of the year, don’t let that derail your plans for a sun-soaked getaway. It may seem like most resorts cater to couples and families, but there are plenty of hot spots for solo travel—simply follow our lead!
Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort is an upscale adults-only all-inclusive close to Cancun’s most popular tourist beach, yet worlds away from its frenzied vibe. Avoid over-the-top PDAs by booking an oceanfront suite with its own private dipping pool and whirlpool bathtub, not to mention its broad expanse of pristine beach. 24/7 room service means you’ll never have to leave your sweet digs if you choose not to, but you’ll likely be tempted by the resort’s stellar spa, fabulous a la carte dining and lively on-site nightlife.
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A tiny island on which monkeys actually outnumber people, Nevis makes up for its size by extending as warm a welcome as you’ll find in the Caribbean. The disarmingly friendly, small-town atmosphere is best experienced at the lovely country cottage-style escape of Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, which, although homey, boasts luxurious accommodations. Guests and locals alike enjoy getting together for beach barbecue nights with live music, and the dining is first-rate in the club’s Great House main mansion.
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Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club—a GHL Hotel—is a pristine escape on the westernmost point of Curacao. Boasting drool-worthy scenery and a gorgeous beach at the base of a cliff, the resort’s perks also include a complete onsite dive shop offering incredible snorkelling and diving excursions. (One of the Curacao’s most unique marine sites-an underwater cave known as “The Blue Room”—is minutes away. Complimentary scheduled transportation to sister resort, Sonesta Kura Hulanda Village & Spa in the heart of Willemstad’s UNESCO World Heritage site, is also available, providing the perfect opportunity to explore the colourful colonial architecture, historical sites, unique museums of the cosmopolitan city centre.
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You don’t need to have an entourage to receive VIP treatment in the “Crossroads of the Americas,” but by the time you leave Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis you’ll probably have one. It’s impossible to be a wallflower at the hotel’s hot nightlife emporiums—especially with the infectious beats pumping throughout the 66th floor’s indoor/outdoor dance club labyrinth, and the rooftop pool, which also attracts a hip and happening set. The interior throughout is a mini-museum dedicated to musical legends, and you’re mere minutes away from other cultural and historical attractions including the famous Panama Canal, the Bio Museum, and the UNESCO World Heritage site Casco Viejo.
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Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort is ideally situated on the “Happy Island.” Although it sits on a bustling activity beach, it also faces a natural bird sanctuary, so the vibe is up to you depending on whether you’re feeling social or serene. No matter what you choose, no rental car is required, as the resort offers complimentary Palm Beach water taxis, and gourmet dining, fabulous shopping and electric nightlife options are all just steps away. Be sure to check out Pure Indulgence, the resort’s appropriately-named new sea-view spa.
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6. Dominican Republic
Solo sporty types will be totally engaged at Casa de Campo at any time of the year. It’s a massive surf-side vacation community—7,000 acres in all—with a private island for sunbathing and snorkelling. (Thankfully, golf carts come with each room for easy exploration!) The top-notch sports instruction and facilities include three championship golf courses and a comprehensive equestrian centre, offering English and Western riding, polo and even donkey polo! There’s also tennis, sport shooting (clay, trap and skeet), kayaking, paddle boarding and sailing. Soothe aching muscles at the end of the day at the facility’s spa and health and wellness retreat.
7. Cayman Islands
It’s with good reason they named the most luxurious hotel on Grand Cayman the “Kimpton Seafire.” Each night, as the sun dips towards the horizon, every ocean-facing room in the uber-stylish resort is treated to a spectacular light show, with the blazing sunset reflecting off the gently rolling waves along Seven Mile Beach. Greet the next morning with a relaxing yoga session on the beach, then continue the core workout with 60-minutes on a stand-up paddleboard, gliding over the blissfully warm, crystal-clear waters. Round out the day with some serious retail therapy at the nearby Shops at Camana Bay, where you’ll find world-class shopping and beauty services, along with a weekly farmers’ market every Wednesday.
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8. Riviera Maya
Who needs a mate to spoil you when you can spoil yourself silly with an incredible spa week? Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita is a secluded oasis of pampering boasting one of the most comprehensive spas in the Riviera Maya. It’s an upscale adults-only all-inclusive resort with an incredible range of treatments. Superb facilities include an impressive thalassotherapy (water healing) centre, a Mayan healing “temazcal” ceremony, hatha, vinyasa yoga, pranayama and breathing sessions. Private dipping pools, seaside whirlpool circuits and a calm sea on a pristine beach add to the liquid luxury.
9. Puerto Rico
The San Juan Marriott & Stellaris Casino is located on stunning Condado Beach, minutes from San Juan’s historic city centre and flanked by trendy neighbourhoods filled with cosmopolitan attractions. It’s also a perfect base for outdoor activities, as zip-lining, horseback riding and waterfall-chasing are just short treks away. The glitzy casino attracts high rollers, and some of the eclectic on-site dining goes very late. With live music and salsa nights, the Red Coral Lounge is ideal for solos seeking to “go local” and learn a dance step or two, and an alluring seaside water circuit adds to its overall appeal.
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Though the Bahamas are liberally peppered with all-inclusives geared towards couples and families, there’s a specific region that’s all about boating. The Abacos Island chain is the sailing capital of the Caribbean, and Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbor Marina is the best place to experience the yachtie’s life. Take a sailing class or island-hop with a boat rental or public ferry. The neighbouring islands are a stone’s throw away from each other, and each has its own allure and attractions, from drop-dead gorgeous beaches and party bars, to cultural attractions like a sculpture foundry and a wooden boat building centre.
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