It’s finally springtime. Hallelujah! If you're like us, you're itching for sunny skies, warm temps, fruity cocktails and a flirty/sexy dress to match. From Maui to Madrid, these are the 7 destinations on our radar this month.
The City of Light comes alive in spring as stylish Parisians mingle at sidewalk cafés, flower stands spill out onto the squares, and—as cliché as it sounds—couples stroll hand-in-hand along the Seine. To experience it like a local, rent your own Paris Perfect pad. We love the 25 Place Dauphine apartments, hidden in a leafy square at the tip of the Île de la Cité. The flats feature original 400-year-old wood beams, crystal chandeliers, gilded furnishings, and thoughtful touches—like fresh baguettes delivered daily. Guests also have access to exclusive experience like chocolate and pastry tours of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, soufflé-making demonstrations at Philippe Excoffier restaurant, and multi-course cooking classes with a Cordon-Bleu trained chef in her private residence. If you'd rather go the hotel route, Paris, of course, has more than enough digs to choose from whether you're looking for cute and intimate, grand and splashy, or stylish and design-centric. Don't miss the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris in the designer’s haute couture house as well as the Art Paris Art Fair, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in April. The show will host 143 contemporary art galleries in the Grand Palais, with a special spotlight on Swiss works.
April is the best time to visit Maui purely for the insane lineup of festivals and activities planned this month. Make your home base the year-old Westin Nanea Ocean Villas on Kaanapali Beach. We wouldn’t blame you if you never left your oceanfront cabana or lagoon pool, but you’d be remiss not to explore the cultural offerings outside the resort. Kick it all off at Mele Mei, a two-month event that celebrates Hawaiian culture and music. Foodies should hit up the Maui County Agricultural Festival, which features cooking demonstrations, livestock exhibits, and food stalls with some of the island’s freshest bites as well as the East Maui Taro Festival to taste taro cinnamon rolls, watch hula performances, shop for handmade local crafts, and try your hand at lauhala weaving, poi pounding, and kapa making.
JS Tip: A host of new flights to Hawaii have recently launched, and, as a result, prices have plummeted so you can find great deals right now.
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Reaching the high 60s, Madrid’s mild April forecast makes it perfect to walk around Retiro Park’s Crystal Palace, rose gardens, and tranquil lake filled with row boats. In the evening, watch the sunset over the Templo de Debod, a 2nd-century BC Egyptian temple that was transported to the hilltop Parque de la Montaña. This spring shoulder season also has affordable hotel rates and less tourists compared to the summer. For design on a dime, check into the Generator, Madrid, the hip hostel’s newest outpost in the trendy Malasaña district. The digs stand out with a rooftop hot tub, a buzzy restaurant, and a cocktail bar painted by local artists.
As Virginia’s coolest up-and-coming city, Richmond has a lot to offer, including a booming craft beer and cocktail scene, charming boutique hotels, and offbeat art galleries. April marks the debut of VCU’s $41 million Institute of Contemporary Art, which has 41,000 square feet of space for films, performances, and rotating art exhibits. For happy hour, there’s Little Nickel, a retro-chic tiki bar that opened in January, and Jasper, a new Carytown cocktail lounge helmed by two of Richmond’s best bartenders. Order the Expat Willy, a concoction of Scotch, orgeat, coconut, Jerry Thomas bitters, and absinthe. At the end of the day, bed down at the Quirk Hotel, a funky stay with modern art installations, a design-forward restaurant, and a killer rooftop bar overlooking downtown.
During Bali’s dry season, it’s prime time to hit the beach—as long as you don’t mind the crowds. Drop your bags at COMO Uma Canggu, the brand’s third and newest Bali address just northwest of Seminyak. It has everything you’d want in a Bali escape, from a swanky beach club and surf camp to a yoga retreat and Shambhala spa sanctuary. If you don’t mind the splurge, book the duplex penthouse with its own 33-foot rooftop pool and personal butler. For those who prefer jungle tree houses over oceanfront villas, Capella Ubud is right up your alley. This new tented camp hugs the Wos River, in the heart of Ubud’s rainforests and rice paddy fields. Designed by Bangkok-based architect Bill Bensley, each of the lush pavilions comes with a private saltwater plunge pool and eclectic interiors done up with hand-carved furniture, vintage maps, and plaid throws. Don’t miss the personal itineraries, including a market tour with a Balinese chef, sacred temple rituals, visits to the Ubud Monkey Forest, plus a helicopter ride to a secluded beach for a gourmet picnic.
Namibia is gorgeous in April, with balmy 75-degree temperatures and constant sunshine to explore the country’s barren, lunar-like landscape. Start along the stark Skeleton Coast, where you can stay in a luxury tent at the Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp and spot oryx, mountain zebra, giraffe, and elephants on game drives. Then, make your way south to the remote Namib Desert to see the sunrise over Sossusvlei, a salt pan bordered by 1,000-foot dunes and 900-year-old camel thorn trees, whose dark, dead branches are an eerie contrast to the soft red sand beyond.
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After a long snowy spring, nothing sounds better than a getaway to this vibrant Caribbean isle. Bed down at the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, Cuba’s first five-star property, opened last June in historic Old Havana. Once a century-old, European-style shopping arcade and silent-film theater, the building was transformed into a grand 246-room hotel, with three bars, three restaurants, a 10,000-square-foot spa, and a rooftop swimming pool overlooking Parque Central, the Capitolio, and the National Museum’s Palace of Fine Arts. Inside, you’ll find Art Deco-inspired accents, soaring 18-foot ceilings, and bright, tropical shades that evoke Cuba’s colorful culture. There’s also a tobacco lounge with cigar and rum pairings, a small subterranean museum that displays contemporary works by local artists, and Bar Constante, named after the bartender who allegedly invented the Hemingway Daiquiri.
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