With March just around the corner, we’re looking forward to leaving winter behind. From Busan to Buenos Aires, these are the nine escapes we’ll be watching this spring.
Tequila Valley, Mexico
Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Madres, the Tequila Valley is one of Mexico’s most underrated destinations. The region is just an hour west of Guadalajara, yet its blue agave fields and charming villages with pastel buildings and cobblestone streets make it feel worlds away. Base yourself in the town of Tequila at the elegant Hotel Solar de las Ánimas, one of the area's newest hotels that's helping put the valley on the map. Located right on the main square, the colonial-style property features lush courtyards, colorful tile murals, and a rooftop bar and pool that overlooks the Tequila Volcano and the historic 18th-century cathedral. In neighboring Amatitán, visit Hacienda El 20 stable for a horseback riding excursion through the agave fields followed by a meal at Ruinas Chimulco Restaurante, where you can dine in the ruins of a 17th-century hacienda. Just don’t leave without trying its signature spirit: the Tres Agaves distillery (coming this summer) will eventually offer tours, tequila tastings, and talks with jimadores (farmers who harvest an average of 150 agave plants a day).
Busan, South Korea
Seoul may be the first place that comes to mind when you think of South Korea, but Busan, a seaside city in the south, is one of the country’s most beautiful spots in the spring. In April, the cherry blossoms are blooming and cultural events like the Samgwangsa Temple Lantern Festival, which displays more than three million twinkling lights, are in full swing. It’s also warm enough to stroll along Haeundae Beach and explore Gamcheon Culture Village—a coastal, clifftop artist community full of candy-colored houses, bright murals, and sculptures. Plus, with the Olympics wrapping up, you’ll have the place all to yourself.
This dry desert island off the coast of Colombia is popular year-round, but come springtime—the edge of low season—hotel rates drop dramatically. Travelers hoping to score a deal should visit in April or May, when rooms can be booked for half-price. Set along a quiet stretch on Palm Beach, The Ritz-Carlton is one of island's grandest resorts, featuring a 15,000-square-foot spa, two cabana-lined pools, and four upscale restaurants including a soon-to-be-opened outpost of Manhattan’s Italian eatery, Casa Nonna. We wouldn’t blame you if you chose to while away your days by the crystalline water, but for the more adventurous, there’s also jeep safari tours, catamaran snorkeling trips, and sunset booze cruises. Meanwhile, guests at the Renaissance Aruba Resort, which encompasses a 40-acre private island and marina, can take a free schooner to lounge on a beach flocked by flamingos and iguanas.
Sun Valley, Idaho
Looking to fit in a last-minute spring ski trip? Sun Valley, Idaho, has long been passed up for the glam ski resorts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming—but now, thanks to a crop of new hotels, it’s getting its due recognition. Opened in 2017, the Limelight Hotel was the first property to come to Sun Valley in nearly two decades and paved the way for future developments. Following on its heels is Hotel Ketchum, a boutique hotel that just debuted this month with a heated outdoor pool, roaring fireplaces, and a mountain-chic lobby that pours local Idaho craft beer. When you’re not on the slopes, grab breakfast at the rustic log cabin brunch spot Kneadery, wood-fired pizza at Enoteca wine bar, or tapas and refined Mediterranean cuisine at Town Square Tavern.
Although it may be spring in America, in Sydney, autumn is just getting started. Splurge on a stay at the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour. Designed by local award-winning architect Richard Francis-Jones, this $500-million, 590-room stunner is the city’s largest new hotel in more than 15 years. And the property doesn’t disappoint, with its French restaurant, three bars (including a glam champagne bar), and rooftop infinity pool overlooking the waterfront. The harvest is at its peak in the fall, so it’s a good time to make a day trip to the Hunter Valley wine region, just two hours outside the city. There are more than 150 vineyards in the area, but the chardonnay at Scarborough tops the list, as do the biodynamic wines at Krinklewood.
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This 18th-century port's quaint whitewashed buildings and blue-shuttered homes exude the perfect blend of Moroccan-meets-Mediterranean vibes. Bordering the Atlantic coast, Essaouira is an easy escape from Marrakesh’s bustling medinas. Bed down at Hotel Riad Villa Maroc: considered Morocco’s first official riad hotel, the property stands out with its four stylish townhouses decked in neutral-colored antiques, textiles, and handicrafts. When hunger strikes, head t10 minutes outside town to the hilltop La Fromagerie for a cheese-making tour and a taste of organic goat and camel cheeses. Meanwhile, in the heart of Essaouira, you can taste Moroccan specialties like lamb tagine and mint tea in a cozy, traditional setting at Restaurant Adwak.
Windswept coastlines, medieval castles, and a vibrant capital make Wales more than worthy of a spring getaway. For those who want to embrace nature, book a room at Palé Hall, an 1870s country estate that once hosted the likes of Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill where you can spend your days fly fishing, hunting, and hiking the sheep-roamed countryside. Culture vultures, on the other hand, may want to extend their trip in Cardiff, the nation’s young capital known for its expansive art museums, performance programs, and Edwardian arcades. Check in the Exchange Hotel, a restored 19th-century building that once served as the central coal exchange during the industry’s heyday. Fresh off a $50 million renovation, the 240-room hotel has a farm-to-fork restaurant, an exhibition space, and a grand hall hung with crystal chandeliers and elegant oil paintings.
Savannah is breaking away from its buttoned-up Southern roots with a crop of chic new hotels, upscale cocktail bars, and restaurants run by celeb chefs. We've got our eyes on the upcoming Perry Lane Hotel, which will debut a trendy rooftop pool and bar, a wine market, and restaurant. In January, Sean Brock brought Husk to Savannah—it's now the largest of the four famous outposts and the only one to have a raw bar. Order the lowcountry shrimp and ham cracklin’ cornbread with Georgia cane butter. After you’ve had your fill, meander over to Artillery, a design-forward drinking den that opened last summer and is raising the bar for the city’s craft cocktail scene.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
If you want to visit Buenos Aires on a budget, it’s best to go from March through June, when you can take advantage of low rates at high-end hotels like the Faena—a sultry Philippe Starck number done up in velvet, white leather, and ruby-red accents—or the Home Hotel, which features a lush garden, meticulous mid-century décor, and outdoor pool all within the heart of hip Palermo. Spend your Sunday afternoon browsing retro wares and eclectic antiques at the San Telmo market before fueling up with veggie-centric dishes at the airy Artemisia Cocina Natural. In the evening, sip a nightcap at The Harrison, a speakeasy hidden beneath one of the city’s best sushi bars.