Introduction | Secluded Retreats | City Lights | Into the Wilderness | Along the Shore | Best Values | Urban Classics | Country Grandeur | Beachfront Property | Rustic Lodges | Inns and Country Houses | Overwater Bungalows | Private Islands
Kona Village Resort, Hawaii
For those who get a rush from nature, this resort maximizes the effects: thatched-roof hales come with wide windows open to trade winds; lomilomi massages are given beside the ocean, where sea turtles, yellow butterfly fish, and yellow tang roam. For lovers who prefer the great indoors, there are no distracting TV's or phones. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii; 800/367-5290 or 808/325-5555; www.konavillage.com; doubles from $495, including meals.
Simonton Court, Key West
When you check into the circa-1880 former Cuban cigar factory, ask for the Bird of Paradise Room. Then wend your way down brick paths through the tropical two-acre compound to a mansion. Inside your room on the third floor, climb the spiral staircase to your own widow's walk. Hide away with a bottle of Veuve on your little rooftop, high above the butterfly-mad red poincianas. 320 Simonton St., Key West, Fla.; 800/944-2687 or 305/294-6386; www.simontoncourt.com; doubles from $195.
Ocean Club, Bahamas
The Ocean Club has always been favored by movie stars for its worldly manner and louche seclusion. The layers of luxury added in 2000 make it more seductive than ever. Sprawling suites are outfitted in Frette, menus are devised by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the golf course was designed by Tom Weiskopf. The clincher: the brand-new Mandara spa. Paradise Island, Bahamas; 800/321-3000 or 242/363-2501; www.oceanclub.com; doubles from $635.
Rio de Janeiro Marriott
Copacabana Beach. The name alone tugs at your heart: perpetual sun, soft sand, a mesmerizing landscape. With the addition of a 16-story pink-marble-and-glass luxury hotel, this sentimental icon is even more alluring. Every detail reminds you which city you're in: proud chandeliers sparkle in the lobby, a pianist tinkles "The Girl from Ipanema" in the bar, and a rooftop pool allows swimmers to play under the watchful eye of Christ the Redeemer. 2600 Avda. Atlantica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 55-21/2545-6500; www.marriotthotels.com; doubles from $195.