5 Places to Visit Before 2023

Hotel Rangá: An Icelandic Bucket List Experience

Set in the countryside of South Iceland, Hotel Rangá promises even the pickiest of travelers the coziest of comforts they’re used to, paired with the unique exhilaration that only comes with exploring the vast land of fire & ice. The country’s most spectacular sights, from the iconic Golden Circle, to the film-famous Þórsmörk natural reserve, can be uncovered along the South Coast.

Located in the adventure capital of this region, sits Hotel Rangá, a lux and rustic oasis ideal for soaking in Iceland’s myriad of natural wonders. Guests of Hotel Rangá can choose their own adventure(s), whether they wish to take a Super Jeep to an ice cave, ride an Icelandic horse, or chase countless waterfalls.

After exploring, there’s no better place to relax than in one of the hotel’s suites – themed after each of the seven continents – from Africa to Antarctica. Beyond their rooms, guests can cozy up with a book, belly up to the bar for a Viking beer, or slip into one of the property’s outdoor, geo-thermal heated hot tubs. The acclaimed Restaurant Rangá, serves seasonally inspired and modern Nordic cuisine, from reindeer carpaccio to wild mushroom soup, alongside river and volcano views.

One of the greatest highlights of staying at Hotel Rangá is the bucket list topper of seeing the swirling greens and blues of the Aurora painted across the sky. The hotel’s secluded location offers optimal viewing given less artificial light pollution, and Northern Lights wake up calls are also available. On clear nights when the Lights may not visit, an onsite stargazing observatory with a roll-off roof and high quality astronomical telescopes is a perfect alternative.

From lights chasers to nature lovers, the South Coast allows everyone to check off something on their bucket list with a memorable stay at a hotel as one-of-a-kind as Iceland itself. Visit hotelranga.is.

Rancho Pescadero – Where Mexican Soul meets Earth-inspired Luxury

Located in the quaint fishing town of El Pescadero, the luxurious oceanfront Rancho Pescadero is immersed in the uncomplicated pleasures of Baja’s striking landscape. Embraced by wild deserts and majestic mountain ranges, the sprawling 30-acre property is a playground of native flora and fauna, offering guests a front row seat to nature’s live show.

Fresh off the heels of a ground-up transformation and meticulously designed to blend with its surroundings, Rancho features 103 suites and villas, an environmentally conscious focus, an ethnobotanical culinary program, and a reimagined concept of destination wellness.

The journey begins at an unmarked concrete entryway where guests transcend into a paradise filled with lush plants popping with bursts of color. From there, they travel by brick or sand path through grounds that unfold from the desert to the dunes. Twelve beachfront villas with plunge pools, fire pits and outdoor showers are complemented by spacious suites with sweeping coastal and ocean views and bohemian-chic décor that takes travelers on a journey through Mexico with custom pieces sourced from local artisans.

At the resort’s 25,000 square-foot wellness pavilion, guests create their own blend of home-grown herbs, which they forage for in the gardens and transform into oils, tinctures and scrubs for spa treatments rendered in cozy outdoor treatment nests. With experiences ranging from native cacao ceremonies and guided meditations to Reformer Pilates and aerial yoga, there’s something for everyone’s version of wellness.

Dining leaves nothing to be desired, with the elegant Kahal seafood restaurant that hugs the curves of the secluded shoreline to boast sunset views, the earthy Botánica garden restaurant, which emphasizes locally grown produce; and Centro, a social hub with fresh Mexican fare and a rooftop breakfast bar where guests can count whales in the distance as they sip their morning coffee.

The resort is adults-only, a member of Virtuoso, and part of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection of luxury properties. Flights are available out of Newark International Airport to San Jose Del Cabo International Airport via JetBlue and American Airlines. From there, it’s an hour ride to Todos Santos. www.ranchopescadero.com

Thompson Zihuatanejo

Hidden along the white sands and surf and swim-friendly waters of Playa La Ropa on Mexico’s Pacific Coast lies the charming fishing village of Zihuatanejo. Located just north of the more bustling Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo has been a longtime hideaway for creatives like Andy Warhol and Betsy Johnson.

The sophisticated beachfront boutique, Thompson Zihuatanejo, is the ideal retreat for those looking for a getaway off the beaten path. Designed with a balance of the old world and new, Thompson Zihuatanejo’s unique 56-room (no two rooms the same) property offers suites with private plunge pools framed with rustling palms and coconut trees, along with swim-up suites, ideal for those traveling with a group. Accommodations reflect the signature Thompson mid-century style and are accented with Oaxacan clay light fixtures, local artwork, and a natural palette dipped in earthy tones to create a laidback meets luxury feel.

Here hotel guests can indulge in a one-of-a-kind resort setting with an ocean view and seasonally inspired culinary experiences. Under the watchful eye of Executive Chef Javier Garcia Cerrillo, the resort is home to two critically-acclaimed restaurants, Ceniza and HAO, and various culinary pop-up events. Guests can observe unique dining techniques, such as open fire cooking, and indulge in Zihuatanejo specialties, and even learn from the master himself during an intimate cooking class on the sand.

With a full-service beach club, a relaxing spa, two tennis courts, morning yoga, a trio of swimming pools, and the warm Pacific steps away, there is plenty of relaxation on tap at Zihau’s only resort with a beach. Whether traveling as a couple or in a group, Thompson Zihuatanejo offers something for everyone in an ideal picturesque setting, including arranging offsite tours, from sport fishing to snorkeling to explore the surrounding area. Visit www.thompsonzihuatanejo.com for more information on this unique Mexican destination.

Paradise Is Closer Than You Think: Resorts World Bimini

Situated on Bimini, Bahamas – the closest Caribbean island to the U.S. just 50 miles off the coast of South Florida – Resorts World Bimini welcomes travelers to a pristine paradise without the need to stray too far from home. The oceanfront complex encompasses a chic Hilton hotel with 305 rooms including 18 ground floor suites, four pools, an incredible spa, a private marina for boats and yachts up to 100 feet in length, a lively casino, and seven restaurants and bars. One of its most recent additions includes Resorts World Bimini Beach: a day club where laidback luxury meets Tulum vibes with private cabanas, two pools, VIP bottle service, DJ entertainment, and a four-acre stretch of beautiful white-sand beach. It has also welcomed big-name entertainers on its stage, such as Iggy Azalea, Ja Rule, Flo Rida, Ky-Mani Marley and more, solidifying its title as the place to see-and-be-seen on the island. 

For downtime, guests can pass by the Serenity Spa for a revitalizing treatment, enjoy bites from the Sushi Bar – created by Top Chef winner Hung Hyunh – for some of the freshest seafood on the island, or take in the Bahamian sun from the rooftop infinity pool (bonus: it’s adults-only). Every Saturday, Resorts World guests are invited to an exclusive event on the rooftop to enjoy a sunset happy hour and hors d’oeuvres while taking in the uninterrupted views of Bimini Bay. 

How to get there: hop on a direct flight to Nassau and connect to Bimini via Western Air, or fly first to Ft. Lauderdale then hop on a brief 25-minute seaplane flight with Tropic Ocean Airways or two-ferry ride aboard the Balearia Caribbean. The resort also began welcoming world-class cruise ships with the completion of the RW Bimini Cruise Port in late 2021, which most notably docks Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady, as well as Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruises. 

Book your stay in Bimini bliss or learn more at www.rwbimini.com

Barnsley Resort

Tucked away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Northwest Georgia lies Barnsley Resort, a 3,000-acre getaway where nature, history, and hospitality come together. The storybook site is home to a 55-room Inn as well as 39 charming cottages dotting the village green, ranging from one to seven bedrooms each, providing an ideal home base for couples or families.

Whether travelers prefer to spend the day practicing their swing at the 18-hole Jim Fazio golf course, saddling up for a guided horseback ride through the rolling hills, exploring the Manor House Ruins and Gardens that date back to the 1840s, or indulging in well-deserved rest and relaxation at The Spa at Barnsley Resort. This resort-meets-village caters to every traveler’s passion.

For those looking for an extra thrill, take advantage of the resort’s newest activities including archery, axe throwing and air rifles for additional outdoor fun. For an additional dose of excitement, scope out the Beretta Shooting Grounds by High Adventure Company for sporting clays on two 14-station courses as well as seasonal wingshooting from October through March. Whether travelers are novice or savvy shooters, on-site experts can guide and elevate everyone’s game.

The resort’s culinary program is under the helm of Executive Chef Javier Cuesta, who merges his global knowledge and passion for working with local ingredients to showcase elevated Southern dishes. With on-site restaurants ranging from fine dining at the recently refreshed 19th-century farmhouse-turned-restaurant, Rice House, to Southern comfort food at Woodlands Grill and al fresco barbeque and pizza at the Beer Garden, guests can feast their eyes (and appetite!) on farm-to-fork cuisine. On weekends, guests would be remiss to skip on the resort’s bourbon ritual, which entails a tasting of the resort’s pecan-infused Woodford Reserve.

 

Whether you’re seeking a relaxing getaway or an adventurous escape, Barnsley Resort serves as the ultimate retreat to unplug, reconnect and escape together.

 

 

MORE STORIES

Get an inside vue on the latest in luxury. You heard it here first.