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9 Off-the-Grid Tropical Vacations

From hillside villas in Thailand to beach bungalows in Belize, these nine tropical vacations will fulfill all your Castaway dreams.

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1

Sugar Beach, St. Lucia

If location is your top priority, then Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort delivers in spades. The former sugar plantation sits on 100 acres of rainforest overlooking the Caribbean’s cerulean waters and St. Lucia’s twin Pitons. Plus, the digs aren’t too shabby either. Spacious villas and bungalows are done up in all-white, with swinging chaise lounges, plunge pools and butler service. For those hoping to explore, the resort is a stone’s throw away from the island’s botanical gardens and sulphur hot springs, but we wouldn’t blame you if you’d rather brain-off and bliss-out in the treehouse treatment rooms at the Rainforest Spa.

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Banyan Tree Samui, Thailand

Nestled on a secluded cove on the southeast side of Koh Samui, Banyan Tree’s stilted villas cascade down the hillside, with dramatic views of the turquoise Gulf of Thailand. The whole resort is picture-perfect from its beautifully landscaped gardens to the private beach, which is bordered by rocky boulders and swaying palms. Then there’s the three-room residences that have everything you’d want in a hideaway, including a pool, jacuzzi, daybed and dining area (and that’s just on the terrace!), as well as a butler and personal chef to cater to your every whim.

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Cheval Blanc St-Barth Ilse de France, St. Bart's

From the French firm that owns high-end brands like Louis Vuitton and Moët & Chandon comes the glam Cheval Blanc, one of the island’s most exclusive resorts. The chic maison on the Baie des Flamands beachfront is like a photo out of a glossy magazine — sprawling villas draped in bougainvillea and heliconia have an effortlessly elegant West Indies style with whitewashed interiors featuring vintage French fabrics and furnishings, marble baths, and views of the turquoise sea and surrounding tropical gardens. But that’s not all the resort has to brag about: it’s home to the only spa in the Caribbean that offers signature Guerlain treatments; there’s weekly outdoor fashion shows at The White Bar; and a 69-foot yacht and a fleet of mini mokes are available for guests to borrow for an afternoon of sailing or shopping.

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4

Desroches Island Seychelles, Seychelles

This slice of paradise off the eastern coast of Africa will fulfill all your Castaway fantasies. The nearest strip of sand is a 40-minute plane ride away, and there’s no other properties on the island — so you’ll have the place all to yourself. Just imagine bedding down in your own blonde-wood villa, complete with a plunge pool, indoor/outdoor bathroom, and nine miles of white-sand beach at your doorstep.

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5

Florblanca, Costa Rica

On Costa Rica’s western coast, Florblanca has easy access to the country’s vibrant cloud forests and windswept shores. Each breezy room puts nature front and center with open-air living areas and island-chic decor like teak furnishings, handmade hammocks and tropical prints. Come to surf the swells along the five-mile Santa Teresa Beach Break then take a break to nosh on fresh fish tacos at the beachside Nectar restaurant or indulge in a Costa Rican coffee scrub treatment at Spa Bambu.

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St. Regis Princeville Resort, Kauai

This 9,000-acre enclave lays claim to one of the most stunning tropical spots: it sits on a cliff overlooking Hanalei Bay and the Kauai’s famous Nā Pali Coast. And as is expected of the luxe St. Regis brand, everything is over-the-top from the 11,000-square-foot Halele’a Spa to Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Kaua’i Grill. Our favorite spot? Makana Terrace, where you’ll tuck eat fresh sushi rolls while watching the sunset over Makana Mountain.

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7

Parrot Cay by COMO, Turks & Caicos

On a private island just 45 minutes by boat from Providenciales, Parrot Cay by COMO is all about seclusion — which is why it’s a favorite among A-list celebs like Bruce Willis and Keith Richards (though you’ll only spot them if you’re lucky). Befitting its Hollywood clientele, the glam residences have white-draped four-posters, sun-decks, Balinese-style furniture and a soothing blend of cream, terracotta, and beech wood touches. While away your days on a plush daybed by the infinity pool, joining an outdoor yoga session, or relaxing with a holistic Shambhala spa treatment.

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8

El Secreto, Belize

Hidden between fronds of palm trees and a deserted stretch of sand is El Secreto. The Belize retreat has a laid-back yet luxe vibe seen in its thatch-roofed villas (done up in natural woods, with carpentry designed and handcrafted by local artisans) and its massive infinity pool, decked out with overwater hammocks, cabana beds, and the Sand Bar, which serves killer frozen coconut mojitos. Don’t miss a Bamboo and Hot Sea Shell massage at the Ikal Spa’s tree-top treatment rooms as well as a meal at the open-air restaurant, which sources produce from the resort’s organic garden and fish from the morning’s fresh catch.

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Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, Brazil

As the only hotel in Iguaçu National Park, Belmond Hotel das Cataratas nabbed a prime spot on the edge of one of the world’s largest waterfalls. The resort sports a playful vibe from its pastel Portuguese-colonial exterior to its retro-tropical design (like the 1950s-inspired pink and peppermint color palette). During the day, Belmond’s concierge can arrange a hair-raising helicopter ride over the gorge or a jungle trek to catch a glimpse of colorful toucans, giant butterflies and other exotic wildlife.

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