Warm-Weather Escapes

As the serene wintery white scene devolves into a gray slushy mess, you’ll no doubt be daydreaming of a little beach time

Photo: Courtesy of 1 Hotel

Unless you lost all access to the Internet and cable television, you’ll be well aware that this weekend’s winter storm blanketed much of the South with record snowfall. Parts of West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland were buried under nearly forty inches, according to the National Weather Service. Now, as the serene wintery white scene devolves into a gray slushy mess, you’ll no doubt be daydreaming of a little beach time. Allow us to help in that endeavor with three new tropical getaways:

1 Hotel South Beach
Miami, Florida
Miami is riding a wave of stylish new hotels, and 1 Hotel South Beach has all the good looks and luxury you’d expect, but with a thoughtful eco-friendly attitude. There’s a farm stand in the lobby stocked with fresh fruits and veggies from a rotating lineup of local producers, fleets of Tesla electric cars and beach cruisers for any outing (though we doubt you’ll want to leave), and the rooms are outfitted with 100% organic linens, reclaimed wood headboards, and chalkboards instead of notepads to help eliminate paper waste. If you’re after sunshine, the hotel has four pool decks, including a cabana-lined rooftop option with 360-degree views of the beach and city. Bonus: Chef Tom Colicchio makes his Miami debut at the helm of three of the hotel’s four restaurants.—

Playa Grande, Dominican Republic
Perched atop sixty-foot cliffs on the Dominican Republic’s north coast and surrounded by 2,170-acres of pristine Caribbean jungle, Amanera feels a world away from the snowy South. Each of the twenty-five gorgeous glass-enclosed casitas comes with private garden space for lounging and dining, and, most importantly, unobstructed ocean views. Thirteen of them also include their own infinity pools. There’s also plenty of opportunity to stay active while you’re recharging. Play a round on the golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., where ten of the eighteen holes are along the coast—more than any other course in the western hemisphere. Or you can opt for high adventure with kite-surfing lessons, canyoning trips (where you’ll rappel off of hundred-foot waterfalls), and jungle hikes. In the winter, keep your eyes on the horizon and see if you can spot one of the humpback whales that populate the area this time of year.—

El Blok
Vieques, Puerto Rico
gardenandgun.com_files_Winter-Escape-Puerto-Rico-1There’s something startlingly fresh about this twenty-two-room inn on Vieques—a small island off Puerto Rico’s eastern tip with some of the region’s most beautiful beaches—that has little to do with its relative newness. Part of that might have something to do with the design. The sculptural modern building is made largely of concrete and resembles a hunk of coral harvested from the reefs off the coast. And the whole place has a laidback sociable vibe that mirrors the island’s let’s-go-barefoot personality. The food (and drinks) at El Blok could also account for some of that. The hotel calls itself “a restaurant and bar with rooms.” Helmed by the immensely talented chef Jose Enrique, Puerto Rico’s first chef to be named a James Beard finalist, and chef de cuisine Katie Savage, the restaurant will focus on the flavors of the Caribbean—from the land and sea.—