The island’s grande dame hotels are looking younger than ever.
On gorgeous Flamands Bay, the rebranded Cheval Blanc St.-Barth Isle de France has all the touches you’d expect from its owner, luxury-brand behemoth LVMH: crisp white rooms, a fitness center overlooking the sea, and the Caribbean’s only Guerlain spa.
Nearby, the Hotel Taïwana recently debuted 22 individually designed rooms and suites, some with private pools.
A four-year renovation has given Le Guanahani—the island’s largest hotel, with 67 rooms and two beaches—new suites, a refreshed lobby, and beach-meets-safari design flourishes, like framed maps and custom furniture by Luis Pons.
In Vieques, the names and phone numbers of all the island’s taxi drivers are posted on a sign outside the airport, which is an indication both of its size and its degree of formality. No need for Uber here. Vieques, just off the eastern tip of Puerto Rico—and accessible by a puddle jumper from San Juan—has a sleepy, eccentric, instantly likable charm: Tulum without the yoga, Harbour Island without the WASP’s. “Vieques is like a really good indie rock band,” says Simon Baeyertz, a former music industry exec who moved here four years ago and, with co-owner Rob Feldmann, opened the hotel El Blok in August. “Maybe it’ll get discovered, maybe it won’t. But it will never be a big pop star. It’s the White Stripes, not Taylor Swift.”
They say you never really appreciate something until it’s gone. That’s how I’ve felt ever since I was twelve when my family and I packed up our bags and headed from a remote island in the Bahamas to the bustling city of New York. There are many extraordinary islands with such unique sights and experiences scattered across the Bahamian waters—the pink sands of Harbour Island (and the swimming pigs!) in the Exumas, fishing in the Abacos, or roaming around Fort Charolette in Nassau. And these are just a few.
Travelers who love nothing more than to put their toes in the sand will want to visit these four beaches in destinations from Florida to the Galápagos.
Seaside Beach, Seaside, Florida
Pastel wood-paneled houses border the dunes on picture-perfect Seaside Beach, along Florida’s Gulf Coast. You’ll spend your day by the water, followed by a ride on a cruiser bike and a family-friendly seafood dinner in town.
If you're passing through Savannah, Georgia or Charleston, South Carolina, you’ll find a pristine wildlife area, with meandering marches, palm trees and lowcountry landscape. You’ll also find Bluffton, where Southern Living’s newest idea house, has all the trimmings of modern luxury and comfort, set on the picturesque sea island.
Just back from the Hamptons, T+L editorial assistant Katie James reveals her packing musts.
Nearly every Friday in July and August, I find myself toting a weekend bag to work—and rushing like mad to catch the 6 o’clock train en route to the Hamptons. Growing up, I spent summers out East, where I play golf in the morning, hang at the beach club in the afternoon, and eat dinner with family before heading to John Scott’s Surf Shack for a Corona with friends. And while my beauty regimen tends to be low maintenance out at the beach, I never leave home without these essentials:
La Prairie Foam Cleanser: I love feeling squeaky-clean after a day on the beach, where I often leave covered in sand and surf. This La Prairie formula provides a deep cleanse, and natural plant extracts counter balance for a soothing, moisturizing effect that keeps skin hydrated, and never dry. Not to mention the packaging and rosy scent are super luxurious. $80
Over the next 18 months, lighthouses around the Mediterranean are going to get a makeover. The multi-country Mediterranean Lighthouse Project, known as MED-PHARES, intends to restore nine historic lighthouses, lanterns and watchtowers in Italy, Tunisia, Lebanon and France, with the hope of reaching out to more throughout the Mediterranean.
The discreet charms of the classic, East Coast–elite-style summer vacation: Devin Friedman finds his inner WASP on Martha’s Vineyard.
People are always going on vacation and putting on a straw sombrero and drinking a beer and feeling relaxed and saying, You know what, this is the real me. But that’s not the real you. The real you isn’t the person who is totally stress-free and good-humored and loves to make funny rum cocktails for people he barely knows, who thinks that version of herself embroiled in the careerist rat race is an impostor, who says If I just never came home and instead opened a bookstore/beach bar/sundress emporium here and bought a character-building chapeau I could spend the rest of my days being the real me. Somewhere deep inside the folds of our cortexes, we know that (1) we’re never going to move here and buy the hat and the bookstore and that (2) if we did, the old us would come and take the ferry over and hunt us down by the smell of our fear and aftershave and climb back into our bodies again and make us anxious and ambitious and money-conscious just the way we always were. Getting to not be you for two weeks is what it’s all about anyway. One of the great unsung joys of going on vacation is that you get to be a poseur. So my feeling is, pose like crazy, enjoy it, then hide the pictures of you in the hat.