Family vacations get a bad rap for being cumbersome and sometimes downright hokey (Thanks, dad, for the llama tour of these historical ruins!), while the newfound freedom college students enjoy only takes them so far — namely, Europe on a study abroad program.
Spring break, then, represents something completely different: getting away from
responsibility it all.
And it's not about the destination. Does it really matter where in the world you are as long as there's nothing to think about but chilling, balling and 'gramming your way through life for a week?
Not if you're twenty.
For the rest of us — who are slightly wiser, and blessedly more deserving of some time off — we've assembled some spring break alternatives that elaborate on the laissez-faire travel planning of our university days while allowing for some serious R&R.;
In other words, this is how to do spring break like an adult, because you're not trying to run from anything—you just want something new to look at when you finish sending that email.
Try: , Japan
The newly opened Amanemu overlooks Ago Bay in Ise-Shima National Park. Each of the 24 suites and four villas features its own onsen, the traditional Japanese hot springs. Designed by , the property is built to resemble a contemporary interpretation of traditional Japanese minka homes. It also features a 22,000 square foot spa offering watsu water therapy, a lotus pond with a meditation pavilion and a yoga studio, not to mention a restaurant offering a local, seasonal menu.
Try: , South Africa
Located about an hour north of Cape Town, this 590-acre wine farm boasts twelve Cape Dutch cottages brought back to life by local Karen Roos, a former magazine editor, as well as an edible garden and two buzzy restaurants. Once you've finished exploring the vineyards, unwind in the "living" Garden Spa, which offers a sauna, gym, steam room and hammam.
Try: , Tulum
This uber-stylish hotel's reputation precedes it—Coqui Coqui may be Tulum's hottest of hotspots, with awe-inspiring interiors (think polished concrete and white muslin, freestanding baths and designer hammocks) and a line of covetable Caribbean scents that capture the locale's easy-breezy essence. In addition to the minimal, haute-rustic residences, there's a spa and beachfront restaurant that often has a line snaking out the door.
Try: , Portugal
This cubist villa in the heart of Portugal's unspoiled Alentejo region features just five rooms and shares a border with a local nature preserve, making it the ultimate off-the-beaten-path getaway. (One that's still on the path enough to offer wi-fi and Aesop amenities, naturally.) Panoramic views and of olive groves and gently sloping hills are sure to entice guests to wander aimlessly—and will make for some spectacular Instagrams.
Try: , Saint-Paul-de-Vence
Nestled atop a hill in the South of France, Le Mas de Pierre boasts a pool and spa and is just downhill from the storied La Colombe D'or. Rooms are outfitted in a charming French country style and luxurious ocean breezes beckon visitors down to nearby Cote d'Azur. Once you've had your fill of olive trees and sun-faded shutters, immerse yourself in the world-class art collection at the nearby .
Try: , Italy
Situated right in the middle between Rome and Florence, this exceptional property in the heart of Tuscany's Val d'Orcia is not to be missed. Monteverdi's three villas and twelve-room hotel are each outfitted in classic Tuscan fashion with whitewashed stone walls, centuries old exposed-beam ceilings and fine linens. Oh, and you're in Italy, so the food at Monteverdi's restaurant, Oreade, is organic, farm-to-table, and as sumptuous as the surrounding views.
Try: , Cartagena
Hotelier and local fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi turned one of the city's old residences into a stylish boutique hotel and spa with an international clientele. Each of the seven bedrooms features a different theme inspired by Tcherassi's own collections and offers interior views of the courtyard, where a wading pool and living plant wall create a compelling background for conversing over a cocktail from the open-air bar.
Try: , Jamaica
Your inner teen will revel in the super-luxe playground that is the Trident Villas in Port Antonio, Jamaica. Part of the Geejam group, world-renowned properties popular with recording artists like Bjork, Florence and the Machine and Beyoncé, Trident features thirteen oceanfront villas, each equipped with its own private terrace and jaw-dropping ocean views.