6 Dreamy Spring Break Destinations to Escape to From Westchester

Keg stands not the family friendly activity you’re looking for? Crowds of college students crushing your girl-cation vibes? We’ve got you covered.

It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that the term “spring break” can be found in a thesaurus under “binge drinking” and “debauchery” … and “eleven college students passed out on the lawn with stolen traffic cones.” When the first fourth of the year folds away and your warm-weather dreams start to shake you awake at night, it can feel daunting trying to decide which getaway will suit your needs. Whether you’re breaking out of dodge or breaking alone, these destinations will shatter the preconceived notion of what a spring getaway is all about. (Keg stands not included…unless that’s your vibe, then we fully support you.)

For Adventurers

Lovango Resort and Beach Club
St. John’s US Virgin Islands

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As the sunrise drips across the horizon line of Caneel Bay and the morning calls of pelicans echo in the distance, your feet will hit the wooden bungalow floor with a righteous purpose. Tucked away in the cradle of the US Virgin Islands (USVI) is the oasis of Lovango, a private island just a ten-minute ferry ride away from Redhook, St. Thomas, and Cruz Bay, St. John.

Lovango Resort and Beach Club
Courtesy of Lovango Resort and Beach Club

As the silhouette of the island sweeps into view from the water, the eye is unable to choose one thing upon which to focus, and instead bounces from beautiful vistas to serene shorelines to smiling faces greeting you at the dock. The island is home to 45 acres of unimpeded wild beauty and encourages guests to immerse themselves in the perspective shift of hustle and bustle to reaching for symbiosis with nature.

Lovango Resort and Beach Club
Courtesy of Lovango Resort and Beach Club

Finding the exceptional balance between stylish and rugged, the resort is occupied by 17 glamping tents and treehouses, and for a plusher experience, guests can rent a villa or cottage. Perched in the lush forest canopy, the tents and treehouses offer the duplicity of spending your nights in a rainforest without sacrificing any level of comfort. (They can be disassembled for hurricane season, so a win for practicality). Guests are treated to amenities of MALIN+GOETZ hygiene products, iPads equipped with Netflix for late-night movie watching, and Matouk towels. In the morning, waltz up to the Treetops Lounge breakfast buffet to enjoy the biggest complement to your locally grown morning cuppa — the gentle crashing of Caribbean waves.

Lovango Resort and Beach Club
Courtesy of Lovango Resort and Beach Club

All these details and flourishes came naturally to the experienced Nantucket-based hoteliers Mark and Gwenn Snider, owners of Little Gem Resorts, who purchased 42 acres of Lovango Island in 2019. The couple immediately got to work building what would be the first new resort in the USVI in three decades.

The resort offers a two-hour excursion to Honeymoon Beach on St. John for those who want to try their hand at snorkeling. For the sun worshippers, snag a chaise lounge at the island’s very own beach club, plant yourself in front of the 70-foot infinity pool with a good book, and let the trade winds be the only thing that moves you from that spot. If you’re feeling sporty and packed shoes with laces, the island offers three hiking trails that take about 30 minutes each to finish — and the reward at the end of the rocky terrain is 365-degree views of paradise, with vistas as distant as St. Croix.

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Close out your perfect day swimming and sunning with dinner waterside at the Beach Club Restaurant, where Executive Chef Stephen Belie and his team delicately curate dishes with local ingredients in mind. Perhaps the most difficult part of your stay will be deciding between the Caribbean lobster schnitzel, king crab and grits, or a true menu standout, the Boursin gnocchi with sea-urchin butter and lobster. Imbibe a cocktail built with a selection of Little Gem Spirits, the resort’s private label of liquor distilled from breadfruit. For more casual bites throughout the day, The Beach Grill offers gourmet grab and go, or cool down with a sweet scoop of house-made ice cream from the general store.

Snorkel with wildlife or spend your days lounging by the pool club.
Snorkel with wildlife or spend your days lounging by the pool club. Courtesy of Lovango Resort and Beach Club.

As the welcoming committee slips the first rum drink into your hand, it becomes apparent how different your vacation is about to be from a standard spring-break getaway. When you’ve found a paradise as pure as Lovango, stepping off the dock will be your hardest goodbye. —CC

Seasonal rates begin at $1,195/night for glamping options and $2,250/night for cottages and are subject to availability.

For Solo Explorers

Bequia Beach Hotel
Bequia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

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Forget the mobs and bustle of Floridian beaches — located just 100 miles west of Barbados, the largest of Saint Vincent’s Grenadine Islands embodies the kind of slow-life tropical getaways the Caribbean is known for. At just seven square miles, Bequia (“beh-KWEE”) is about the size of Jefferson Valley in Yorktown, but with about a third the population. The island is home to a vibrant community, colorful wildlife, and pristine beaches that typify the Windward Islands — and which can be less than a hundred feet outside your door when you stay at Bequia Beach.

Just a short jaunt from Barbados on the hotel’s private twin-engine turboprop, Bequia Air, the hotel sports vintage 50s styling mixed with contemporary Colonial architecture on historic Friendship Beach. Imagine an old-school beach resort with plenty of WiFi for all your Instagram needs (and trust us, you’ll be tikking and tokking from the minute you arrive until the chill island vibes finally quell your e-ddiction).

Bequia Beach Hotel
Photo courtesy Bequia Beach Hotel

The hotel sports a bevy of bungalows in one- and two-bedroom varieties, plus standard rooms with private patios or decks overlooking the Atlantic and shared pools (fresh and saltwater). Patrons can enjoy morning yoga outside the gym or massages and spa treatments in between buffet breakfasts and light lunches at Blue Tropic, the ocean-front hotel restaurant and bar, where shady palm trees grow straight through the floorboards and frozen daiquiris flow with abandon. (Ask your bartender about Sunset Rum, if you’re feeling adventurous.) Dinner alternates between traditional island fare and theme nights on the beach, while a second restaurant with a more classic Italian menu is built into the hills.

Bequia Beach Hotel
Photo courtesy Bequia Beach Hotel

Guests looking for something a little more private can also book the Estate Villa, a four-bed/four-bath property with infinity pool, bar, full kitchen, two family rooms, and a view of Mustique in the distance (DJ and bartender optional). Further up the island, guests can lounge in Grenadine Hills, two massive properties tucked into a residential community that come with their own butler. The smaller can house up to 10 guests over three floors, while the larger adds a two-bedroom apartment and two-car garage onto a Tuscan-inspired three-bedroom with master annex, office, VIP suite, and wine cellar.

From bungalows to bistros, Bequia remains full of wonder and wild beauty.
From bungalows to bistros, Bequia remains full of wonder and wild beauty. Photo courtesy Bequia Beach Hotel.

Excursions to tour Bequia and day trips to its neighboring islands are absolute musts, along with stops for lunch at Jack’s Beach Bar and snorkeling with sea turtles off Mustique. If that’s still not relaxing enough, you can always drop off the radar by renting the Star of the Sea, Bequia Beach Hotel’s private six-bedroom superyacht, which you can also spot on Bravo’s Below Deck (captain and crew included). —DZ

Seasonal rates are subject to change and start from $502/night.

For Empty Nesters

The Boca Raton Yacht Club
Boca Raton, FL

The soft Florida sun will be no match for your jovial disposition as you cross the threshold into the near-hundred-year-old Mediterranean masterpiece, The Boca Raton. The 200-acre property, spanning five different lodging options, recently underwent a transformation to the tune of a cool $200 million. While the influence of famed architect Addison Mizner is still as prevalent on the property as it was in 1926 when he built a 100-room inn, the world-class dining options and championship golf course are welcome touches. Let’s set the record straight on this: There is no wrong choice when booking this slice of paradise, but the adults-only Boca Raton Yacht Club is teeming with luxe flourishes that feel plucked out of your wildest Roaring Twenties dreams.

The Boca Raton
Photo courtesy The Boca Raton

The midrise getaway faces Lake Boca Raton, each room privy to a water-view balcony. Included in each room is a minibar stocked with beverages and snacks, for when those late-night cravings come calling. Every detail at The Boca Raton Yacht Club, from the carpeting to the bolts on the bedposts, is draped in luxury, with the white and blue color palette swirling throughout the room like the bath-water-temperature Atlantic skirting along the horizon. You will almost feel a twinge of guilt having to stand on the delicately laid tile floor of the hotel’s elevators.

Exclusive for those staying at the yacht club is access to Flybridge, a fine-dining restaurant and lounge that parades out a complimentary European continental breakfast that leaves no carb or fat behind — the freshly sliced prosciutto is a salty testament to that. In the evening, enjoy an intimate curation of Executive Chef Peter Annewanter’s meticulous creations in either a three- or five-course tasting menu.

The gastro-tourism is never-ending within the walls of The Boca Raton, with Major Food Group spearheading four of the twelve dining options harborside. The Flamingo Grill, home to a sun-soaked terrace where you can watch golfers meander the course, elevates the cookie-cutter definition of surf and turf. Inching closer and closer to opulence served on ceramic, the steak tartare is a transformative hand-chopped Wagyu that can only be enjoyed parallel to a local catch, brought in by the boat captain that morning. If running over to the beach club on the complimentary water taxi is on the agenda, your oceanfront picnic will come with equal sophistication from their three fab dining destinations. The notion may strike you as sacrilegious to order a bagel outside of New York, but the South Florida outpost of Sadelle’s will cue a praise chorus that could be heard back in SoHo.

The Boca Raton
Photo courtesy The Boca Raton

A love letter to the Alhambra Palace of Spain, Spa Palmera’s majestic architecture may inspire relaxation on its own. Soak any worries away in the Moroccan-influenced baths. The Swiss showers, coupled with a deluge warm-water massage, achieve a level of pampering that doesn’t require a passport or time machine. The Forbes Travel Guide Five Star spa is open to all guests, and those staying in the Yacht Club can experience the amenities sans having to book a treatment to enter.

The grandeur of The Boca Raton is never cumbersome, instead, it’s softly apropos of a new golden age of travel, where compromise doesn’t enter the air. The property’s effortless symbiosis between sand, sea, and green meld together for a gilded and glistening stay fit for Mizer himself. —CC

Seasonal rates for the yacht club begin at $545/night.

For a Girls’ Trip

Sandals Dunn’s River
Ochos Rios, Jamaica

The crooning of Bob Marley will innately echo through your mind, the idea of “Don’t worry about a thing” coming naturally once you set eyes on the newly renovated Sandals Dunn’s River waterfront luxury resort in Ochos Rios.

Several airlines fly the easy four-hour trip from JFK to either of the Caribbean nation’s main airports, each approximately 90 minutes’ driving distance to the hotel. By press time, American Airlines is expected to have launched a new non-stop flight from Miami to Ocho Rios, giving travelers options on how they choose to make the journey. What helps Dunn’s River pull away from the vertical of all-inclusive resorts is the sheer number of options. The property boasts 12 global gourmet restaurants of various cuisines, nine bars (including a swim-up bar and a Rum Club), and comfortable beds (both in the rooms and by the pools for daytime lounging and sipping). Gathered around with nothing but sun and smiles, it’s a gift to have nowhere to be but where you are in the moment.

Sandals Resorts
Photo courtesy Sandals Resorts

For more room to spread out, Sandals Dunn’s River is the first property in the resort chain’s portfolio to debut a new suite model, the Coyaba Sky Villa Swim-up Rondoval Suites. These accommodations feature private open-air rooftops complete with telescopes, giving guests unparalleled access to the Ocho Rios skyscape. Guests who book a stay will be met with their own Stargazing Concierge, a celestial spin on the brand’s butler services. Upon request, the Stargazing Concierge will arrange bespoke stargazing experiences for guests to enjoy on their private rooftops, from moonlit cocktail hours to wine and cheese nights. A complimentary custom star map of your personal stargazing experience, created by The Night Sky, is a souvenir like nothing on earth.

Sandals Resorts
Photo courtesy Sandals Resorts

If you’re in the mood to be active, you can enjoy unlimited access to land games and activities including golf and water sports, or check out the expansive gym with views of the turquoise water. Catch a snooze in a beachside hammock during sunset, or dance to the DJ’s beat depending on your preferences and energy levels — but be forewarned that the swim-up bar is good for incurring a second wind or two. For those feeling adventurous, the hotel can easily arrange a boat ride and tour with Island Routes to Dunn’s River Falls, the nearby landmark where you can hike up 180 feet through refreshing waterfalls and natural swimming pools. For a somewhat elevated yet still relaxed and authentic Jamaican meal, dine at Miss T’s Kitchen, a quick cab ride away.

Round up the girls for a day overflowing with R&R at the Red Lane Spa. Popular treatments include the Neroli Jasmine Candle Massage and the Blue Mountain Coffee Scrub. For an indulgence to luxuriate in, the Deeper Relief with CBD massage can feel particularly decadent after a long morning of travel.

With little to do but rest, eat, drink, swim, and appreciate the wonderful weather, scenic beauty, and chosen family — and with no children in sight at the adults-only hotel — there is nothing but endless island time, and, well, rum. “Cause every little thing gonna be all right” indeed. —LT

Seasonal rates begin at $347 per person, per night.

For Less Than a Two-Hour Flight, But a World-Away Feeling

The Charleston Place
Charleston, SC

Spanning multiple city blocks, the center of Charleston’s circulatory system is the iconic hotel, The Charleston Place, which in three decades has left a legacy beyond just a place for out-of-town travelers to drop their luggage. The historic European-inspired building ebbs and flows the crowds, culture, and Southern hospitality throughout the city, taking in curious tourists and locals alike and pushing them back out into the city changed, charged, and revitalized.

There is no greeting as suitable to The Charleston Place as the stunning stallion fountain roaring as you pull under the resplendent porte-cochère. Through the beckoning double doors spreads a sprawling waltz of marble and columns, christened by a stately grand staircase. While you crane your neck upward in awe, the 2.5-ton glimmering chandelier will hold your gaze for a long while.

The Charleston Place
Photo courtesy of The Charleston Place

Flop down on a plush mahogany bed in one of the 434 guest rooms (or a suite, if you’re feeling fancy) furnished with free-standing armoires, striking Carrara marble showers, L’Occitane amenities, and a subtle blue and green color scheme that works as an instant breath of tranquility — and don’t forget to check out the map of 19th-century Charleston wallpaper that lines the hallways.

The Charleston Place
Photo courtesy of The Charleston Place

Generous sunlight filters into the hotel’s rooftop saltwater pool and steamy jacuzzi, equipped with a retractable roof for fresh air on extra bright afternoons. A simple stroll out of the pool room will land you in the property’s spa, ready to melt away that residual plane stress you don’t even know you’re still carrying. A heavy focus on well-being and rejuvenation, the spa offers the full spectrum of facials to hydrate and nourish skin — and even a 25-minute version for your little ones on their way to becoming self-care gurus. For a different approach to balance and realignment, opt for a massage that brings weary muscles the recharge they’ll need to walk around The Holy City.

The historic Holy City is as walkable as it is charming.
The historic Holy City is as walkable as it is charming. Photo courtesy of The Charleston Place.

There is no need for excess or grand flourishes at The Charleston Grill. The brass light fixtures and simple, clean bar are enough to sound the trumpets for the marquee invitee: the artfully crafted and consciously built menu. Crafted by Chef de Cuisine Suzy Castelloe, the dishes are coastal clean, with local ingredients allowed to scream from the rafters to assert their presence rather than gussied up with fillers, smoke and mirrors. Indulge in the smoked fish salad with blinis, seared scallops in brown butter, and a cowboy rib-eye. The specialty cocktail program, adorned with such gems as the Aqua Virgo (Botanist Gin, St. George Aqua Perfecta, Dry Vermouth), and on-call sommelier act in perfect harmony with every morsel on your plate. To start your day off right, reach for the best Lowcounty fare you could dream of at The Palmetto Cafe, open for breakfast and lunch. Expertly choreographed plates flit out of the kitchen at light speed, wafting symphonies of savory Southern-style eggs benedict, fresh locally made yogurt, and house-baked flaky pastries.

Understated opulence and whispering luxury, The Charleston Place will captivate you from the first note of a Southern drawl. —CC

Seasonal rates begin at $592/night.

For a Family-Friendly Indulgence

Amanera
Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic

The allure of the kids’ club is strong when relaxation and rejuvenation top the itinerary, but if the timing is right for next-level family togetherness, the Amanera offers serenity and playful indulgence for all ages, all at once.

AmaneraRio San Juan, Dominican Republic
AmaneraRio San Juan, Dominican Republic. Photo courtesy of Amanera.

Situated on the Dominican Republic’s northern coast where the jungle meets the sea, the resort is perched cliffside, with a sweeping panorama of tropical forest, blue-green waters, and golden sand that acts as a lush runway, of sorts, between the two. The clean, minimalist architectural design generates an undeniable air of ease and elegance that encircles guests like a Caribbean breeze gently seasoned with local flavor and rhythm.

Amanera
Photo courtesy of Amanera

The refined, laidback vibe takes shape the moment you deplane a nonstop flight from New York or Newark to Santiago or Santo Domingo (each is a 2.5-hour drive to Amanera), where a resort agent takes charge of the luggage and fast-tracks you through immigration and into a luxury vehicle stocked with water and petite jars of nuts and dried fruit.

Amanera
Photo courtesy of Amanera

Refreshing chilled towels and warm, gracious hospitality greet you on arrival at Amanera, which boasts luxurious accommodations not in a tower, but in private finely appointed casas and casitas — each with breathtaking liquid vistas and many with personal pools, affording uninterrupted and unabashed family fun. In addition to one- and two-bedroom sleeping quarters, double vanities and separate living space allow a family to spread out; dressing closets and a WC guarantee privacy.

Dining takes place at the resort’s main hub, where towering walls of glass escort nature’s resplendence to the table, or at the sheltered open-air beach club at the edge of the sand. Seasonal and local ingredients are featured in both elevated Dominican dishes and inventive international cuisine, and for adventurous eaters, a ceviche-making class blends lunch with a lively family activity. (DIY tacos and churro cooking may be a more palatable option for some!)

Amanera
Photo courtesy of Amanera

Additional all-ages experiences include guided treks through the protected jungle preserves (with a civilized breakfast at a rustic treetop pavilion), birdwatching with binoculars, and local-horseman-led trots through the forests along the shore. Yoga classes are geared toward young and not-as-young practitioners, along with one-on-one personal training sessions too. Mom and Dad may opt for a respite on the beach, happily gazing at their kids enjoying sand-sculpting assistance and kite making and flying.

Refresh and revive with views that feed the soul.
Refresh and revive with views that feed the soul. Photo courtesy of Amanera.

For families that view vacation as an invitation to indulge enrichment, Amanera provides limitless learning opportunities, from surfing and pickleball lessons, to dancing, drawing, inspired-painting tutorials, and more. Beachside kayaks and standup paddleboards await spur-of-the-moment personal use, with how-to sessions always a possibility.

Off-property scuba diving, boating and fishing excursions, and cultural day trips can be arranged, though no Aman-experienced traveler would argue with a decision to stay put and soak up as much of the Amanera ethos as possible — apart from a brief chauffeured drive down the road to the resort’s spa. Then again, on-site massage time at your casa or out on your pool deck takes family bonding and memory making to a whole new destination. —MGL

Seasonal rates begin at $2,300/night.

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