Let's face it: we're too old for jello shots and bikini contests. But that doesn't mean we adults can't have a spring break of our own. Here, we trade bottomless booze and body paint for trend-setting hotels, world-class art and Michelin-starred restaurants.
Arrive, Palm Springs, CA
At Arrive, Palm Springs' newest hotel, partying starts at check-in. That's because the bar—a trendy poolside space serving up retro drinks like hard root beer floats—doubles as the hotel's front desk. Mingle there, taking in the beautiful San Jacinto mountain scenery, then head upstairs to recharge in your strikingly modern guestroom. You'll find upscale amenities like outdoor patios with Modfire fireplaces and private gardens, plus, a fully stocked minibar bar priced just like nearby liquor stores (more $$ to blow later!) Ready to hit the town? Bootlegger Tiki, Palm Canyon Drive's mixology-centered newcomer, has a 12-2AM happy hour, kitschy luau-themed décor, and hangover-worthy cocktails (we love the cheekily-named Mango Unchained.) Or, if live music is more your jam, check out Melvyn's, the storied supper club-style hangout once frequented by Hollywood heavyweights like Frank Sinatra.
Mar Adentro, Los Cabos, Mexico
We know what you’re thinking. Los Cabos for spring break … revolutionary. But don’t judge just yet. We promise to upend every notion you may have about this former spring break party town. After hurricane Odile ripped through the area in 2014, a new wave of luxury properties popped up on the scenic peninsula, completely transforming the coastline. The centerpiece? Mar Andetro, the ultra modern 198-room development on the Sea of Cortez. Designed by renowned Mexican architect Miguel Angel Aragonés, the sleek steel and polished-glass resort is one of this year's most hotly anticipated openings. Eat your way through the resort's five world-class restaurants, de-stress in the state-of-the-art yoga and fitness facilities, or, simply stretch out on the private beach club or one of two sparkling oceanfront pools. Like we said, not the Los Cabos from your college days.
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The Moorings Village and Spa, Islamorada, FL
Seeking grown-up Florida fun? Look no further than Islamorada’s Moorings Village and Spa. The definition of an adult's playground, the 18-acre property offers every outdoor activity imaginable, from deep sea fishing to wind surfing, kayaking and snorkeling. The resort itself is a collection of 18 darling cottages—all shaded under a canopy of coconut palms, and connected by wooden walkways that lead to a 1,100-foot beach. With scenery like this, it's no wonder the hotel has served as the backdrop to countless photo shoots including Victoria Secret and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. For a delightfully lazy afternoon, settle into one of the many hammocks with a great read and a fruity drink, or turn things up a notch at the nearby Lorelei Cabana Bar, which has dancing, live music, and one of the best Mai Tai's in the Keys.
The 404 Hotel, Nashville, TN
For such an intimate boutique hotel (only 5 guestrooms!), the 404 in Nashville's Gulch neighborhood punches well above its weight. There's a James Beard-nominated restaurant, a rotating gallery of artwork, thoughtful amenities including keyless entry and "invisible" service, and a smart, industrial aesthetic (think: exposed timber beams, steel trusses and vintage leather furniture.) And because there's no receptionist or manager on-site (communication is done via email), you'll feel like you're crashing at a cool friend's apartment. Get a taste of the local culture by exploring some of the neighborhood's top attractions: Two Old Hippies, a rock 'n roll-themed boutique, sells music memorabilia and Southern decorating guides, while contemporary art space Galerie Ravin features work by the likes of Andy Warhol and Alex Katz. When hunger strikes, dig into Southern dishes like gulf flounder, skillet cornbread and quail ravioli at chef Matt Bolus' 404 Kitchen.
Hotel Saint Cecilia, Austin, TX
You may not be college-age anymore, but stay at Hotel Saint Cecilia and you'll feel a part of the in-crowd. For starters, the boutique hideaway is basically a trade secret among big-name musicians like Emmlylou Harris, Thom Yorke and the band members Foo Fighters—something we should have predicted as the place is named after the patron saint of music. The interiors channel a rock 'n roll spirit, with mohair headboards, in-room pianos, turntables and American flags à la Jasper Johns. Geek out in the hotel's lending library, where you can rent a guitar or sign out a vintage LP (the staff is always happy to dole out recommendations.) When you're ready to soak up some sunshine, workout in the 50-foot heated lap pool or borrow a cruiser and peruse South Congress' thrift stores, food trucks and organic markets.
Faena Hotel Miami Beach, FL
The cool kids have been flocking to Miami for spring break for years, but never with as much style or panache as now—all thanks to a number of high-end luxury hotels that have emerged in the haute Mid-Beach ‘hood. There’s the new Thompson Miami Beach and Ian Schrager's Miami Beach EDITION, but bed down at the 169-room Faena Hotel Miami Beach, and you'll feel like a bona fide baller: Baz Luhrman-designed interiors with butler service, a 150-seat cabaret-style theatre, a lobby accented with gold-leafed and floor-to-ceiling murals will do that to a person. Need a few hours' escape from the over-the-top grandeur? The Tierra Santo Healing Spa uses ancient healing techniques and indigenous ingredients (Amazon white clay, Palo Santo oil and babassu butter) to heal and restore. After a treatment, tuck into South American fare like grapefruit-topped corvina crudo and roasted korobuta pork belly at celebrated chef Francis Mallmann's signature restaurant, Los Fuegos.
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Hotel B, Lima, Peru
Don’t let its stately Belle Époque-style exteriors fool you: this 17-room mansion has serious sex appeal. Built in 1914 as the summer getaway of then-president Augusto Leguia, the hotel's romantic interiors and funky, Peruvian art offset its aristocratic address in Lima's posh Barranco district. There's Pacific Ocean views, aromas of jasmine and sweet fig, and a rooftop sundeck with a sexy plunge pool—plus, guestrooms with deep-soak tubs, breezy balconies and vases of freshly cut roses. Outside, the city's Spanish colonial architecture and crumbling cliffs provide the perfect backdrop for your romantic spring break sojourn. Take your partner to dinner and Peruvian sangria at Isolina, an earthy tavern serving heaping portions of Limeño home cooking. Then, back at the hotel, slip the skinny black tie (which functions as a cheeky "Do Not Disturb" sign) on your doorknob and put those hookups from your college days to shame.
Blue Lagoon 101 Hotel, Reykjavík, Iceland
The coolest spring break destination of them all? Reykjavik, Iceland, where the seasonal high in March hovers around a frosty 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Bed down at the über design-minded Blue Lagoon 101 Hotel and you'll barely notice those subzero temperatures. The creation of designer Ingibjörg S. Pálmadotirr, the hotel's black, white and gray palette provides an achromatic backdrop against which heavy wood furnishings, roaring fireplaces, and rich leather fabrics, pop. In guestrooms, you'll find all the luxe amenities you need to counter the cold, including heated oak floors, Icelandic wool throws, and spacious walk-in showers from which you can see the glaciers visible from just across Reykjavik's bay. Because no visit to Iceland is complete without a visit to a geothermal pool, clear an afternoon to float in the steaming, milky blue waters of the Blue Lagoon, which is purported to have healing powers.
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