For many people, now is the time to start thinking about future travel plans once restrictions are lifted. We take a look at some of the top luxury locations in the Americas to catch up with loved ones in a safe and private setting.
From rural Rhode Island to the Pacific Coast of Panama, these gorgeous getaways offer exclusive escapes with something for everyone, from snorkelling to sunbathing, hiking to horseback riding.
Islas Secas, Panama
Combining exceptional marine wildlife, wild fauna and flora and a little-touched, Jurassic Park-style setting, the Pacific Coast of Panama is one of Central America’s best kept treasures. Far less trodden than the Caribbean side of the country, Islas Secas, a privately-owned archipelago of 14 beautiful islands in the Gulf of Chiriquí, recently launched as a full-service resort. An inspired eco-destination befitting the most intrepid traveller seeking the utmost in privacy and exclusivity, the resort combines the wonders of Panama’s incredible natural land and seascape with genuinely sustainable hospitality and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for adventure.
Set totally off the grid, 33 nautical miles from the nearest town, Islas Secas is home to four individually designed Casita sites sleeping up to just 18 guests on one of the islands, and will launch a further three Tented Casitas that truly invite nature in when it reopens in December. The resort is an idyllic base from which to undertake thrilling marine safaris and immersive natural experiences by land and sea: snorkelling and diving amidst the aquatic wonders of the Gulf; exploring the biodiversity of Coiba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site; and swimming, paddle boarding and ‘e-foiling’ the archipelago’s fish-storied waters.
For the cash-rich, time-poor traveller, there is also a short landing strip on one of the islands where HNW guests could land their own helicopter or small private plane, allowing for faster and easier access from mainland Panama. Islas Secas has a raw beauty and natural energy that makes the islands the perfect luxury experiential holiday.
Nightly rates at Islas Secas start from US$ 2,000 (currently approx. £1,619) per night on an all-inclusive basis, including all F&B, select activities on and off-island, and road and boat transfers between the city of David Airport and Islas Secas.
Hotel Esencia, Mexico
Set on the unspoiled ivory sands of the Riviera Maya, on what is widely considered the most beautiful stretch of beach on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, Hotel Esencia continues to enhance its reputation as one of the chicest hotels in the world. In the five years since being purchased by American entrepreneur and entertainment powerhouse, Kevin Wendle, it has cemented its reputation as one of the world’s hottest beach retreats – a spot that prides itself on excellent service as much as it does gorgeous art and interiors, and offering its well-heeled guests the utmost privacy.
Originally built as the private holiday home of an Italian duchess, the design-minded boutique hotel is both right on paradisiac Xpu-Ha beach and enveloped by beautiful verdant Mexican jungle on a self-contained estate. Brand-new for this year was the launch of the hotel’s most private suite, taking exclusivity to the next level: the Presidential Bungalow, a Caribbean-style beachfront bungalow set on its own 30,000ft2 independent plot, featuring all the comforts and super chic signature amenities of Hotel Esencia. With the highest ceilings in all the hotel, this exceptional accommodation sits under a traditional palapa roof and inside, there is a spacious central living area that opens up onto a private beach.
There is also a master king bedroom overlooking the Caribbean Sea; an adjacent living area that is convertible to a second bedroom; a spacious master bathroom suite with double sinks, bathtub and shower; a large walk-in closet; guest bathroom with shower; and expansive wrap-around outdoor terrace with unobstructed views of the water. It also includes 120 feet of private beachfront, with sunbeds and a separate beach palapa for lounging or beachfront private dining, as well as butler service.
Nightly rates in Hotel Esencia’s new Presidential Bungalow start from $2,599 (currently approx. £2,103). This rate is based on two people sharing on a room only basis and is subject to 19% tax and 10% service.
Rio Palena Lodge, Chile
Set in a pristine Andean valley on the banks of the magnificent Rio Palena, Eleven Experience’s Rio Palena Lodge just north of Aysen, Chilean Patagonia is the ultimate remote base from which to embark on a series of tailor-made adventures or a mindfulness fishing escape. Rio Palena Lodge offers guests a chance to truly switch off and disconnect from modern day life. Sleeping up to 14 guests in seven en-suite bedrooms, Rio Palena Lodge allows guests to fish practically from the front door, in a region that is famous for large brown and rainbow wild trout.
These special super-charged trout thrive in the glacial waters of the myriad lakes, rivers and streams in this far-flung and remote part of Patagonia. With Eleven’s superb team of highly professional guides and experience managers, guests of all ages and skill levels will be encouraged to join in. Patagonia is a bucket list destination – a truly remote and pristine landscape with stunning wild scenery, Andean forests, snow-capped volcanoes and mountains. For non-fishing days, Eleven’s experience managers can arrange sightseeing picnics, cooking classes, wine tasting or a relaxing massage at the lodge; for those after a little extra adventure, horseback riding and hiking in the Andes can be arranged.
Rates start from £5,796 per person based on 2 people sharing one room for 8 nights. The price includes one night in Puerto Varas, 6 days of guided fishing, one-day of heli-fishing, all fishing equipment and flies, fishing licenses, pre-arrival planning, breakfast, lunch, après and dinner, house alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, laundry service and round-trip transfers from Palena Airfield.
Ocean House, Rhode Island
Renting a cottage is a treasured tradition for visitors to Watch Hill, a small, peaceful coastal village in America’s smallest state of Rhode Island. Cottages afford the spaciousness, convenience and privacy of a personal residence, but with all the luxury amenities of a five-star resort, and cottage rental here is ideal for families or groups who seek intimate, self-contained and expansive accommodation.
Enter the Ocean House: an iconic New England seaside resort perched high on the bluffs of Watch Hill, built in 1868, just after the Civil War. The Ocean House’s collection of rental properties ranges from cosy two-bedroom bungalows to sprawling seven-bedroom homes, and guests have the added convenience of a dedicated ‘Cottage Concierge’ to coordinate requests before and during their visit.
With six to choose from, there is something for everyone, and each comes complete with full access to the Ocean House facilities. The Old Schoolhouse is directly next to the hotel; a charming two-bedroom beach bungalow with oceanfront views, originally built in 1852. Echo Lodge, meanwhile, is a recently renovated six-bedroom house boasting three storeys and charming traditional elements of a beach-style New England cottage, conveniently positioned within walking distance of Ocean House and Watch Hill village.
Three Master Suites, each with private decks, plus three additional en-suite bedrooms make it perfect for multi-generational families and groups of friends. Wickiup, which means ‘Hut’, is a registered historic home in the Watch Hill Fire District, built in 1890. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, it is a picture-perfect shingled cottage with the bones and provenance of 1900, but completely restored throughout. This impeccably restored turn-of-the-century home is located within a quick walk of the Ocean House beach and exhibits gorgeous architectural details, an outdoor shower with patio and a large grill.
For more information on Ocean House’s Cottage Collection, or to enquire about rates, visit the link below.
Main image – Hotel Esencia Presidential Bungalow