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The most swoonworthy adults-only stays in paradise

There are times when grown-ups - parents or not - need uninterrupted time away from kids. With this in mind, we’ve checked into some of the world’s most swoonworthy hotels and resorts - all of which are strictly just for adults and come with glamorous settings, superb dining, attentive service, and next-level luxuries. They’re also gloriously free from screaming babies, mess-making toddlers, and demanding teens.

Galley Bay, Antigua

The scene: A dazzling white three-quarter mile beach, a brilliantly blue lagoon, and a bird sanctuary filled with pelicans, herons and frigates set the scene at this adults-only hideaway on Antigua’s peaceful west coast. You’ll be a 25-minute drive from the airport and 10 minutes from Fort Barrington - the stone structure built in 1779 to guard the entrance of St John's Harbour.

The sleep: The spoil-you factor is high in the stylish rooms and suites, all of which have classic Caribbean décor, terraces or balconies with large chaise longues, and arresting sea views. Some have their own plunge pool and direct beach access. Expect king-size beds dressed with white linens, coffee machines, flatscreen TVs, Wi-Fi access, and deluxe bathrooms.

The stay: Take a break from doing nothing with holistic treatments and indulgent therapies at the spa. Snorkel at the watersports centre or take a dip in the lagoon-style freshwater pool. Enjoy the ocean-facing restaurant for romantic dinners, the coffee shop for sweet treats and the rum shack for sunset cocktails. Live entertainment is available on selected nights.

More information and to book: Galley Bay

Sandals Emerald Bay, Bahamas

The scene: Surrounded by 500 acres of postcard-perfect foliage and backed by a sparkling mile-long white beach and azure Great Exuma waters, this adults-only paradise takes the Sandals experience to another level. It even has a par-72, 18-hole championship golf course designed by golf legend Greg Norman.

The sleep: Available in two categories, the 249 contemporary-style villas tempt with lashings of glamour, four-poster mahogany king-size beds, flatscreen TVs, marble bathrooms with deep-soaking bathtubs, his-and-hers vanities and all mod cons. All villas have terraces that are perfect for al fresco dining and ubiquitous sea-gazing.

The stay: The all-inclusive luxury forces you to unwind immediately. There’s a 17-room spa with a state-of-the-art gym, steam room, plunge pool, and yoga studio, and an exciting round-the-clock activity schedule that includes tennis, beach volleyball, rock wall climbing, and scuba diving for PADI-certified divers. On the food and drink front, you’ll have a choice of 11 restaurants as well as six bars serving limitless premium spirits and Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks® wines.

More information and to book: Sandals Emerald Bay

Little Arches Boutique Hotel, Barbados

The scene: With a desirable address just 150 yards from Enterprise Beach (also known as Miami Beach), this hacienda-style hotel is located on the outskirts of Oistins - the buzzy fishing village on Barbados’ south coast. You’ll be a 15-minute drive from the airport and within easy distance of Christ Church’s best attractions (including St. Lawrence Gap).

The sleep: There are 10 uniquely-styled rooms, all with artist-commissioned watercolours, wrought-iron furniture, and terracotta flooring. Amenities include four-poster beds with luxe linens, attractive bathrooms with Gilchrist & Soames toiletries, flatscreen TVs, and coffee machines. The more salubrious suites have a private plunge pool or outdoor Jacuzzi.

The stay: It’s impossible not be wowed by the roof-deck freshwater pool with hammocks and cushioned sunloungers, the divine mini spa, and the award-winning signature restaurant serving creative Caribbean, Asian and Mediterranean fusion cuisine. You’re spoiled further with free-to-borrow tandem bikes, eager-to-please staff, and a terrace for end-of-day cocktails. If you’re tempted, the 18-hole Barbados Golf Club is only a five-minute drive from the hotel.

More information and to book: Little Arches Boutique Hotel

The Caves, Jamaica

The scene: The Caves cottages overlook the cliffs, cavernous caves, silk-sanded beach and turquoise-tinted waters of Negril on the westernmost tip of Jamaica. The setting is sublime; close enough to hear the crashing of the waves and far enough away from the bars and music clubs. One hour from Montego Bay airport.

The sleep: Spread across the tropical grounds, all of the 12 romantic cottages delight with vibrant colour schemes, plush queen-size beds, boho-chic décor, and outdoor terraces. Thoughtful extras include love seats, fluffy bathrobes, and well-stocked minibars that are replenished daily. You’ll also have free Wi-Fi and a CD player with albums, but no TV.

The stay: There’s little about this place that doesn’t spark joy, especially the saltwater pool, the cliffside Jacuzzi, and the spa that offers treatments with pure flower and plant essences. For eats and treats, head to the thatch-roof pavilion restaurant for local cuisine, the relaxed bar for amazing rum-based cocktails, and, of course, the caves for private candlelit dinners. A selection of watersports such as snorkelling, jet skiing, parasailing, and kayaking can be arranged.

More information and to book: The Caves

Jade Mountain, St Lucia

The scene: High on a hillside above the 600-acre Anse Chastanet estate in St Lucia’s south-west, this otherworldly resort offers to-die-for views across the Caribbean Sea and towards the soaring emerald-green Pitons. You’ll be a 10-minute walk from the beach, a short drive from Soufrière, and within easy distance of the award-winning Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens.

The sleep: Accessed by a network of bridges and causeways, the 29 self-styled sanctuaries have 15-foot-high ceilings, king-size beds, huge living spaces, bathrooms with chromotherapy whirlpool tubs and rain showers, private infinity pools, and an open fourth wall for unforgettable  views. There’s limited tech, but you can request Wi-Fi if you can’t cope with a digital detox.

The stay: On-site activities include jungle cycling on free-to-use mountain bikes, hiking, kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, and sunset cruises on the resort’s private yacht. There’s even a chocolate laboratory where you can enjoy tastings, estate trips, and truffle making classes. Further thrills include a fitness studio and spa, an all-day restaurant for a gourmet fusion menu designed by an award-winning chef, and private transfers to the soft-sand beach.

More information and to book: Jade Mountain

Viceroy Riviera Maya, Mexico

The scene: Just a short drive from the coastal town of Playa del Carmen, this rustic-chic boutique resort promises a laid-back yet luxurious stay for those craving peace and quiet. A lush jungle setting lines a seven-mile stretch of luminous white sand. Guided trips to the pre-Hispanic cities of Cobá and Tulúm can be arranged on request.

The sleep: The 41 villas tucked away in the gorgeous grounds are all perfectly private. Expect heated plunge pools, outdoor terraces with hammocks, four-poster beds swathed with luxe linens, and lots of polished wood. There’s also flatscreen TVs, iPod docking stations, minibars, and bathrooms with deep-soaking tubs, his-and-hers sinks, and indoor and outdoor showers.

The stay: Exceptional facilities; a sculptured lagoon pool, butler service, a small gym, private or group yoga lessons, tequila tastings and a spa for holistic treatments. There are also two alfresco restaurants for modern Mexican dishes created with local ingredients, a relaxed bar for tropical cocktails and a private beach area with thatched roof cabanas.

More information and to book: Viceroy Riviera Maya

Secrets Papagayo, Costa Rica

The scene: Just minutes from the village resort of Coco Beach this contemporary Secrets adult only resort overlooks the rolling mountains, tropical jungle and pristine Gulf of Papagayo. 20 minutes from the airport with surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing and sunset cruises available nearby.

The sleep: Available in varying categories, the 202 wow-factor suites assure views of the gardens or the Gulf of Papagayo, a private furnished terrace or balcony, a king-size bed with pillow menu (or two double beds), and a generous-size bathroom with shower, bathrobes, and slippers. There’s also a free minibar, coffee machine, and unlimited Wi-Fi access.

The stay: There’s no shortage of Unlimited-Luxury® privileges here; two pools, two white sand beaches, indulgent spa, a vast arrange of therapies, beauty rituals, 24-hour gym, four à la carte restaurants, a buffet venue, a grill, a café, and several ocean front bars. The resort also offers live music, karaoke nights, themed parties, cookery lessons, yoga sessions and rum tastings.

More information and to book: Secrets Papagayo

Hurawalhi Island Resort, Maldives

The scene: Arrive by seaplane to this sumptuous adult only resort in the northern Lhaviyani Atoll. A private island, with a barefoot castaway vibe, surrounded by a beautiful blue lagoon, an excellent house reef and infinite stretches of brilliant white sands.

The sleep: The collection of 90 luxurious villas; 60 over-water and 30 on the beach are available with or without infinity pools and sunset views. All villas have contemporary décor, soothing colour palettes, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, king-size beds and spacious bathrooms. There is also a private sundeck with chaise longues, tables, and chairs.

The stay: Designed with adults in mind, the watersports (windsurfing, kayaking, catamaran sailing, deep-sea fishing, private guided snorkelling, speedboat excursions), tennis courts, fitness centre, five-a-side football pitch, games room, and spa will keep you busy for hours. And it’s just as fabulous on the food and drink front; not least for the sunken bar, overwater champagne pavilion, and the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant located 5.8 metres below the sea.

More information and to book: Hurawalhi Island Resort

Veranda Paul and Virginie, Mauritius

The scene: Named after the characters of Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre’s 1788 novel, this romantic adult only hotel is set on a private lagoon close to Grand Gaube. The hotel runs a shuttle bus three times a week to Grand Gaube where you will find hip bars, cool music venues, designer boutiques, craft shops and gourmet restaurants.

The sleep: Available in three categories, the 81 sea-facing rooms overlooking the stunning surrounds offer sleek and sophisticated décor with calming neutral hues and contemporary fixtures and fittings. All have king-size beds with luxe linens, flatscreen TVs, minibars, tea and coffee-making facilities, and a furnished balconies or terraces for all-day lounging.

The stay: Those looking to fill their days with exciting activities can take a catamaran trip to the tiny Ile aux Bernaches, explore the local area on a tandem bike, play tennis, and try kayaking, snorkelling, windsurfing, and pedal boating. More chilled-out diversions include two pools, a blissful spa for couples’ treatments, and morning yoga classes. There’s also a restaurant and bar with daily entertainment as well as the option of booking private dinners under the stars.

More information and to book: Veranda Paul and Virginie

Layana Resort Koh Lanta, Thailand

The scene: Set on the paradise island of Koh Lanta Yai, this intimate, adult only resort is surrounded by beautiful greenery, white sands and the shimmering Andaman Sea. It’s just 90-minutes by car and ferry or alternatively you could access the island by speedboat transfer between November and April (subject to weather and sea conditions).

The sleep: The 57 guest rooms, suites and villas spread across the grounds feature exquisite Thai décor, king-size beds, a choice of pillows, balconies with daybeds and open-air rainshowers. Bathrooms have glass-enclosed showers and sunken bathtubs. For ultimate luxury and privacy, select an ocean front suite with your own outdoor lounge area.

The stay: For somewhere that feels so blissfully remote, there’s plenty to do: a saltwater infinity pool, a spa with signature island treatments, a yoga platform, a high-tech gym with cardio equipment and optional personal training sessions. There is also a great restaurant for Thai and Mediterranean fare, a bar for sundowners and an activity schedule that includes wine tasting, cookery classes, elephant trekking and watersports.

More information and to book: Layana Resort Koh Lanta

An Lam Retreats Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam

The scene: Tucked away on a secluded cove between the lush jungle and the silky white sands of Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam’s first adults-only resort is accessed only by boat. A shuttle runs once a day to the coastal city of Nha Trang - the so-called Riviera of the South China Sea that is famous for its exciting diving sites, tropical islands, hot springs, waterfalls, and ancient ruins.

The sleep: There’s 34 individually-designed standalone villas, all with modern Vietnamese décor, balconies or terraces, and panoramic beach or mountain views. Each has an elevated king-size bed dressed with crisp white linens, flatscreen TV and DVD player, minibar, and free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms have rain showers, deep-soaking bathtubs, and bathrobes and slippers.

The stay: Facilities include Butler service, a jungle spa, a freshwater pond, cardio equipment, a gym with free weights, yoga classes and a beachside infinity pool lined with sunloungers. Equally worthy of your attention is the restaurant, rooftop bar and terrace - all offering magnificent views over Ninh Van Bay. Boat charters, cruises, mountain trekking, and guided countryside tours are also available.

More information and to book: An Lam Retreats Ninh Van Bay

Spa Village Resort Tembok, Bali

The scene: Just steps from a dazzling volcanic beach on Bali’s secluded northeast coast, this Zen-like resort caters for grown-ups seeking clichéd tropical thrills spiced up with otherworldly spa pampering. The beautiful fishing village of Tembok is right on your doorstep while the cultural hub of Ubud is only an hour’s drive away for ancient holy sites and traditional dance shows.

The sleep: The 31 rooms feature dark Balinese woods, neutral soft furnishings, marble bathrooms, and terraces or balconies overlooking the gardens or the ocean. The suites are set on upper levels and have spacious living areas while the larger villas come with their own private entrances, outdoor pavilions, and plunge pools. Tech is non-existent to encourage chilling out.

The stay: The seven-room spa is the undisputed star for its customised treatments and therapies with local ingredients, wellness workshops, and healing rituals. Elsewhere, you’ll find a spectacular infinity pool, all-day restaurant, and gym with yoga and fitness classes. You’ll also be within easy reach of three of the island's best dive sites, including the USS Liberty shipwreck at Tulamben - a cargo steamship sunk by a Japanese torpedo in 1942.

More information and to book: Spa Village Resort Tembok

Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Fiji

The scene: Set on an idyllic sandy beach on the volcanic island of Malolo, this gorgeous retreat seduces with the only over water bungalows in the country. Likuliku Lagoon is easily accessed by boat and close to Mondriki Island, the location of the 2000 movie Castaway starring Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt.

The sleep: You can chose between a beach, garden or over water bungalow all with amazing panoramic views, sophisticated all-wood interiors, indoor and outdoor showers, king-size beds, tea and coffee-making facilities, Wi-Fi access and plunge pools - some bungalows also have private bathing pavilions.

The stay: Likuliku meaning a place of calm waters aims to pamper and relax. There is an infinity-edged pool for balmy days, a beachside restaurant with an ever-changing gourmet menu and relaxed bars for anytime drinks. You can also enjoy a state-of-the-art gym, DVD lounge, the spa, snorkelling, surfing, kayaking, guided walking tours and trips to the local villages of Yaro and Solevu.

More information and to book: Likuliku Lagoon Resort


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