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Room to Roam

Is 2020 a bust for travel? Not quite. Here are 11 idyllic places for an exclusive, socially distanced getaway.

At this point during the current public health crisis, you’ve likely had vacation plans upended, leaving you to re-imagine alternative travel options for this year and next. While hotels are working painstakingly hard to make travel as safe as possible for their guests, you might be seeking more exclusive, socially distanced options for your family. Enter the concept of a safe-cation — the perfect solution for those longing to take a trip that makes them feel protected while keeping themselves and their loved ones safe.

Imagine being sequestered away in a remote beachfront villa.

Socially distanced safe-cations promise families the security of being isolated while spending quality time together in ultraprivate settings. Imagine being sequestered away in a remote beachfront villa or taking over an entire island and calling it your very own while still enjoying a variety of activities as you please. Complete resort buyouts, once reserved for weddings and corporate retreats, are becoming a more commonplace option for traveling with family and friends.

Understandably you might still be uneasy about the prospect of traveling. However, any of the following recommendations are sure to make even the most safety-conscious traveler feel like venturing out again.

VILLAS WITHIN RESORTS

CASA DE CAMPO RESORT & VILLAS | DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Located on the southeastern shores of the Dominican Republic, Casa de Campo encompasses 7,000 tropical acres within a private gated community. This luxury Caribbean destination is home to three Pete Dye-designed golf courses, including one of the most challenging and best-designed courses in the world: the Teeth of the Dog. This legendary course, with seven oceanside holes, tops most golfers’ bucket lists.

With enough activities for non-golfers as well, Casa de Campo is an excellent choice for a multi-generational vacation. Endless activities are available to entertain family members of all ages. It’s also the site of the 2021 ClubLife Couples Tournament and ClubLife Chef of the Year Celebration, both scheduled for April.

There are tennis courts, an equestrian center, a polo facility and a shooting center. In addition to the beach club, where you can enjoy snorkeling, kayaking and paddleboating, there are three separate pool areas, one of which is adults-only. There are dozens of dining options, ranging from gourmet restaurants to food trucks, coffee shops and everything in between.

Fully staffed private villas range in size from three to 10 bedrooms, each with a private pool, a butler, maid service and a personal concierge. Breakfast is prepared daily by the staff in your home, and all villas come equipped with golf carts for use within the resort.

Health and Hygiene Safety Measures: Casa Cares Program

Rates: Villas range from $799 to $12,999/night. Club Members will receive a complimentary room upgrade upon check-in (subject to availability), early check-in/late check-out (subject to availability), a complimentary 30-minute golf lesson at the Casa de Campo Golf Learning Center, a $100 resort credit per room when staying in an Elite-class room or a $200 resort credit per room when staying in Villas. Contact the ClubLine to book.

 

SEVEN STARS RESORT & SPA |
TURKS AND CAICOS

Perfectly positioned on the sugary white sands of Grace Bay, Seven Stars Resort & Spa embraces the natural environment and beauty of the Turks and Caicos Islands. With staff that anticipates your every whim and exceptional accommodations and amenities, Seven Stars is one of the Caribbean’s most iconic, top-ranked luxury resorts.

A recent top-to-bottom redesign of the resort’s 167 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and spacious suites showcases a new look and feel for the hotel. Contemporary leather seating and sophisticated furnishings with neutral blue and beige tones pay homage to the region’s pristine beaches and famously tranquil waters. At 3,250 square feet, the enormous Ocean Front Premier Suite is a home within the hotel. It accommodates six people comfortably in three luxurious guest rooms.

Unwind at either of the two oceanfront, heated saltwater pools or soothe your body and soul at their world-class, full-service spa. Their Anywhere Dining program allows guests to enjoy a private dining experience at virtually any spot around the resort. The staff will even plan a private dinner in the Tasting Room, a 2,500-bottle wine cellar.

Health and Hygiene Safety Measures: Clean Stay Promise

Rates: Three-bedroom suites range from $275 to $699/night

THE PGA NATIONAL RESORT | FLORIDA

A golfer’s dream, the PGA National Resort and Spa is home to five championship golf courses and a renowned golf academy, although you don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy what this property has to offer. The state-of-the-art sports and racket club offers fitness buffs the opportunity to try any number of their more than 70 weekly classes. If that sounds too strenuous, spend the day lounging by the zero-entry pool or being pampered at their European-style spa, which provides guests with exclusive access to the Waters of the World healing mineral pools.

This luxurious resort-lifestyle community has an array of two-bedroom Club Cottages available to reserve that gives families or golf groups the ability to socially distance themselves. Enjoy all the resort benefits in the privacy of your own space. Although the property has several gourmet dining options, consider a quiet dinner on your outdoor terrace. Prepare it yourself in the cottage’s fully equipped kitchen or have room service delivered right to your door.

Health and Hygiene Safety Measures: Travel with Confidence Program

Rates: Club Cottages from $299/night. Through Sept. 30, Club Members can pay for one night and get the second night half off or take advantage of the Florida-resident 20% discount — even if you aren’t a Florida resident. Contact the ClubLine for details. 


LUXURY VILLA RENTALS

WIMCO VILLAS | ST. BARTS 

With more than 30 years under their belt, WIMCO is known as a leader in luxury villa rentals. Attention to detail both before and during your vacation is their forte. Unlike at other companies, their “villa specialists” personally inspect — and often stay in — the homes they recommend. This gives them the unique ability to suggest homes that are superbly matched with your family’s vacation needs. In addition to providing villa options, their dedicated Travel Services team is available to arrange the best flights or charters, airport transfers, rental cars and other transportation needs.

They are happy to stock your villa with groceries, fill your bathroom with your favorite toiletries, arrange for a sunset massage on your balcony.

Once you’ve booked, leave the details to them. WIMCO concierges are completely at your disposal to make your vacation experience seamless. They are happy to stock your villa with groceries, fill your bathroom with your favorite toiletries, arrange for a sunset massage on your balcony or even have workout equipment delivered. No ask is too big or too small. 

For those missing their annual European holiday, St. Barts is an excellent alternative. Consider Villa WV BBE, a one-bedroom romantic retreat; Villa WV Lao, a contemporary three-bedroom home; or Villa Casa del Mar (aka WV CMA), a six-bedroom villa that is perfect for multigenerational vacations. These are three of WIMCO’s standout villas, all with magnificent ocean views and heated pools.

Health and Hygiene Safety Measures: St. Barts COVID Safety Information and  Villa Cleaning and Concierge Protocol

Rates: Villa BBE starts at $2,900/week | Villa Loa starts at $13,000/week | Villa Casa del Mar starts at $30,000/week

INSPIRATO | KIAWAH ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA 

Inspirato is a leading luxury hospitality company where members enjoy access to hundreds of luxury hotels and a collection of more than 60,000 of the world’s most exclusive vacation homes. Last year, they launched the Inspirato Pass, the world’s first-ever luxury-travel subscription that offers endless travel for a monthly fee with no additional nightly rates, taxes or fees. Although you can only hold one active reservation at a time, you’re able to book your next trip on the day you check out.

While Inspirato has an incredible portfolio of luxury homes worldwide, golfers will be drawn to those on Kiawah Island. Just 25 miles south of Charleston, this high-end golf destination is best known for its five championship courses. The Ocean Course is one of only four courses to have hosted every major PGA event, and in 2012, Golf Digest named it America’s Toughest Course. This private community also has miles of secluded beaches, a five-star spa and more than 20 miles of bike trails. Some of their most beautiful residences on the island include Driftwood Dunes, a five-bedroom home located just steps from the beach, or the Osprey, a newly renovated six-bedroom house overlooking Osprey Point Golf Course.

Health and Hygiene Safety Measures:  Inspirato Clean Vacation Commitment

Rates: Inspirato Pass Memberships begin at $2,500/month


RESORT BUYOUTS

ÀNI PRIVATE RESORTS |
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

ÀNI Private Resorts is a collection of ultra-exclusive resorts specifically designed to host small groups of friends and families. Their newest location, ÀNI Dominican Republic, is perched on a 5-acre peninsula delivering breathtaking 270-degree oceanfront views of both the sunrise and sunset. With 14 suites (10 masters and four guest suites), the resort can accommodate up to 28 adults, plus children.

This all-inclusive property is always rented to a single group in residence.

This all-inclusive property is always rented to a single group in residence; however, rates are adjusted according to the number of guests in your group. Your private playground includes two large pools, water slides, tennis courts, mountain bikes, paddleboards and underwater sea scooters. This ultimate group vacation spot is yours alone to enjoy.

Flawless service and attention are core to the ÀNI Private Resort philosophy. The ÀNI staff can assist with arranging local excursions, salsa lessons, daily massages, cooking classes and everything in between. They will even babysit your children and organize a treasure hunt.

Health and Hygiene Safety Measures: ÀNI Safety Protocols

Rates: Private resort buyout from $4,925++/night for eight Guests

CAERULA MAR CLUB |
SOUTH ANDROS, BAHAMAS

Photo credit William Torrillo, 2020

Just a 20-minute flight from Nassau or a 60-minute flight from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Caerula Mar Club is the ultimate Caribbean hideaway. Nestled on 10 pristine beachfront acres of the minimally developed Bahamian island of South Andros, this luxury boutique resort can accommodate 56 guests in six private villas and 18 Clubhouse Suites. This hidden gem is the brainchild of Canadian HGTV design duo Bryan and Sarah Baeumler, who coupled modern tropical decor with breezy outdoor living spaces, inviting guests to relax and reconnect with nature.

Photo credit William Torrillo, 2020

Caerula Mar Club has three on-property dining options that each incorporate fresh, local ingredients in their fare. Fuel up for the day with a smoothie or superfood bowl from Switcha, then head over to Driffs, a poolside/oceanfront bar for lunch, before finishing off the evening with dinner at Lusca, their upscale fine-dining restaurant.

A diver’s paradise, South Andros is home to the world’s third-largest fringing barrier reef. Adventure seekers can hike inland to explore any number of Blue Hole underwater caves, while back onshore, you can practice yoga, hang out at the pool or book a massage at the spa.

Villas - Photo Credit Caerula Mar Club

Health and Hygiene Safety Measures: Well-being and Safety Policy 

Rates: Resort buyout from $32,000/night and requires a minimum three-night stay

HOLLAND PEAK RANCH | MONTANA 

Socially distanced by design, the Holland Peak Ranch in Condon, Montana, offers complete isolation from the public. Ideally situated within 1,000 acres of what is known as one of the last remaining wild and intact landscapes in North America, this very private, exclusive-use hotel is a sanctuary for those looking to escape from it all.

The Ranch can accommodate 16 guests spread between three luxurious residences. The 10,000-square-foot Homestead Main House is the perfect retreat for 8 to 10 guests, while the other two cabins each comfortably sleep four. Stylishly decorated for mountain living, the homes combine rustic charm with luxury amenities. You’ll find massive stone fireplaces, reclaimed timber beams and heated floors, alongside state-of-the-art appliances and handmade furniture. Oversized picture windows give way to unspoiled lakefront and mountain views.

Depending on the season, guests can enjoy horseback riding, fly-fishing, mountain biking, cross-country skiing or ice skating on the Ranch. The staff can also arrange for whitewater rafting, snowmobiling or a visit to Glacier National Park. The Recreation Barn is stocked with family games, including a pool table and foosball, and it has space to host a meal for everyone on the large deck overlooking the lake.

Health and Hygiene Safety Measures: Allotted 48 hours in between each visit to ensure sufficient time to clean and sanitize all accommodations thoroughly

Rates: Resort buyout from $5,500/night


PRIVATE-ISLAND BUYOUTS

NALADHU PRIVATE ISLAND | MALDIVES 

An exclusive island takeover is perhaps the ultimate socially distanced getaway because every space is yours and yours alone. Should you rent Naladhu Private Island, you’ll have access to 20 luxurious villas, each with a private pool and 24/7 butler service. Enjoy meals in your residence or at the Living Room, their private beachfront restaurant, where the chef is always happy to indulge special requests. This island paradise has a luxury spa, access to water sports and even a private yacht for island hopping and snorkeling.

Health and Hygiene Safety Measures: Stay with Peace of Mind Program

Rates: Private-island buyout package from $35,000/night

ANANTARA MEDJUMBE ISLAND RESORT | MOZAMBIQUE 

Medjumbe Island, off the coast of Mozambique, is an excellent choice for those seeking absolute seclusion. This intimate property accommodates 24 guests in 12 luxurious villas, each with private plunge pools and panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. Days at Medjumbe can be spent blissfully sunbathing on the island’s powdery white-sand beaches or scuba diving in the surrounding crystal-clear water. Rejuvenate your soul with a pampering spa treatment or sleep under the stars on the beach in a four-poster bed surrounded by flickering candlelight. This sanctuary has every extravagance that guests could ever dream of. Enjoy chef-prepared meals with sweeping ocean views in your villa or at Jahazi, their oceanside restaurant. The staff is also happy to set up a private table for two on a quiet stretch of beach.

Health and Hygiene Safety Measures: Stay with Peace of Mind Program

Rates: Private-island buyout package from $19,280/night

ISLA PALENQUE | PANAMÁ 

Just a 15-minute boat ride from Boca Chica on Panama’s northwest coast, Isla Palenque is located on a remote 400-acre private island. This all-inclusive, sustainable resort has recently been named one of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. Eight modern luxury casitas featuring king-size beds, beach hammocks, an outdoor soaker tub and a shower line the shore of Playa Palenque. In addition to the casitas, there is a six-bedroom beachfront villa that works well for large families that want to stay together. Spend your days basking in the sun by the infinity pool, indulging in a massage in the privacy of your room, or paddleboarding along the coast during low tide. A highlight of any stay at Isla Palenque includes hiking through the island’s rainforest and jungle with a private guide. 

Health and Hygiene Safety Measures: Enhanced COVID-19 Protocols

Rates: Private-island buyout package from $11,400/night


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