8 Off-the-Grid Tropical Vacations to Add to Your Bucket List
From hillside villas in Thailand to beach bungalows in St. Lucia, these eight tropical vacations will fulfill all your Castaway dreams.
Chelsea is Brooklyn-based travel writer, editor, and photographer. When not home eating her way through NYC, she's gallivanting across the globe, sailing the coast of Croatia or hiking the peaks of Peru. Her superpowers include booking flight deals and sleeping in small plane seats.
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.
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 are 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.
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 St-Barth, 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; a yacht and a fleet of mini mokes are available for guests to borrow for an afternoon of sailing or shopping; and its team of "Alchemists" are devoted to custom itineraries and experiences, from private dinners on the beach to oenology lessons.
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 are 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.
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 décor—like teak furnishings, handmade hammocks, and tropical prints. Come to surf the swells along the five-mile Santa Teresa Beach, 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.
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 Kauai’s famous Nā Pali Coast. And as is expected of the location, everything is over-the-top—from the 11,000-square-foot Halele’a Spa to Makana Terrace, where you’ll tuck in to eat fresh seafood while watching the sunset over Makana Mountain.
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 been a favorite among A-list celebs like Bruce Willis and Keith Richards. Befitting its Hollywood clientele, the glam residences have white-draped four-posters, sun-decks, Balinese-style furniture, and a soothing blend of cream, terra cotta, 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.
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.
What to Pack on Your Trip
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Men’s Dress Casual Outfit for Walking Around in Warm Weather
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Men’s Comfy Outfit to Wear on a Flight (Amazon based)
Women’s Sustainable Swimsuit Outfit
Women’s Cute Romper Outfit to Wear in Maine
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