Six Perfect Beach Vacations for the Person Who Doesn’t Like the Beach

There are trips, and then there are vacations—we’re here to talk about the latter.

Don’t get us wrong, we love a complex itinerary (it’s sort of what we’re known for), but have you ever gotten home from a trip more weary than when you left? Sometimes, your precious OOO days are better spent on a beach with the perfect read in hand than battling jetlag and taking on an ambitious multi-stop itinerary. So, we’re rounding up six beach resorts that can deliver immersive experiences that will keep you from—well, we’ll just say it, getting bored. From stateside retreats to jaunts to Mexico and the Caribbean, even the least beachy person in your travel crew will find things to love across these six locales.

The American Riviera: Rosewood Miramar Beach

The darling of Montecito, Rosewood Miramar Beach is one of those properties that despite having “beach” in its name, is so much more. After a gorgeous ninety-minute drive north of Los Angeles, you’ll be greeted by its bubblegum pink jolly (file under: sparks joy) and the warm welcome of the team. The Rosewood Miramar Beach arrival experience feels akin to setting foot at a swanky friend’s beach house mansion—that is, the kind of friend who casually has work from Mel Bochner and Fernando Botero hanging in their library. With one look out from your Beach House Suite patio onto the turquoise and white umbrella-lined beach, even the most high-strung travelers’ nervous system is sure to be re-regulated.

Experiences Beyond the Beach

Miramar Picnics: Admittedly, this activity plays off the beach, but with a special epicurean focus to allow you to soak up the lapping waves with a glass of Chateau d’Esclans, Dom Pérignon, Krug, or Ruinart in hand. Depending on which champagne brand you prefer, the culinary team at Rosewood Miramar Beach can customize a picnic experience designed to highlight the quintessential qualities of the brand through unique pairings and complementary experiences. Each picnic offers a distinct atmosphere—think a whimsical escape to Southern France paired with Dom or an earthy and music-filled showcase paired with Krug.

Beekeeping Experience: Offered seasonally and bookable in advance with your SmartFlyer travel advisor, resort guests can experience the captivating world of honey harvesting alongside Executive Chef Partner Massimo Falsini. Without leaving the grounds of Rosewood Miramar Beach, you can discover its bustling apiary where nature’s most industrious workers are pollinating and producing honey. Throughout this experience, you will learn the art behind beekeeping and honey harvesting, discover bees’ environmental impacts on their surrounding climates, and more. Not to mention, you’ll be able to take home a jar of your harvested honey from the hives as a memento from your special stay at Rosewood Miramar Beach.

Resort Retail: We’ll admit that now and again, a trip is spurred by the need for retail therapy. And while beach trips don’t typically fit in that category, the on-property outlets at Miramar are far from typical. For a taste of Italy, wander into Brunello Cucinelli for their legendary fine cashmere, ready-to-wear, and accessories. For the wellness guru, a stop at goop Sundries is a non-negotiable to browse founder Gwyneth Paltrow’s clean beauty and resort fashion with elevated beach essentials picks, including some products that are exclusively at Rosewood Miramar Beach. But no trip to Miramar is complete before stopping into The Webster for a creative curation of goods from the best labels in the world; work with your SmartFlyer travel advisor to book an in-suite appointment with one of The Webster stylists.

The Island of Hawaiʻi: Kona Village, a Rosewood Resort

Experiences Beyond the Beach

There’s often a misconception that beach properties are devoid of stories and history. A check-in at Kona Village, a Rosewood Resort is the surest thing to change that narrative; here, it’s impossible to walk the shores of Kahuwai Bay without immersing yourself in the healing properties of this sacred destination. The history of Kona Village dates back to the mid-sixties, and in the intervening decades, the resort has amassed a loyal following of repeat guests who were thrilled to see Rosewood Hotels & Resorts brought in to usher the beloved resort into a new era. The beach is just the beginning of this special resort, complete with a spa built into the black lava flow with views toward the Hualālai volcano.

Paniolo Night: A lesser-known element of Hawai’i’s history, the Big Island’s legacy of ranching dates back to 1793 when King Kamehameha was gifted with five longhorn cows that he allowed to roam and multiply across the island’s rolling hills, eventually led to a booming beef trade and a high demand for ranchers. Because of this, vaqueros, or Mexican cowboys, arrived on the Big Island and Maui to teach the locals how to corral and raise cattle, and thus began the culture of the Hawaiian cowboy, known to us now as the paniolo. Tapping into this culture and history, Kahuwai Cookhouse hosts an ongoing Paniolo Night. This special culinary event celebrates the vibrant heritage of Hawaiian ranching through engaging live music and a menu of items that utilize Kiawe (similar to mesquite) wood-fired cooking, the choice cooking style on a paniolo ranch.

Kilo Kai Ocean Activities: If you’re looking to connect more deeply to the vibrant marine life teeming in Kahuwai Bay, time spent immersing yourself in the property’s Ocean Pursuits program is vital. Its name is an homage to the art of kilo (observing) kai (the ocean), and its location in the heart of Kona Village fosters an understanding of the ocean’s natural rhythms, ensuring a respectful interaction with the water. Kilo Kai’s knowledgeable watermen and women lead guided activities from sunrise paddles to canoe surfing and boating excursions, with an eye on conservation. Immerse yourself in the ocean’s wonders and depart with a deeper respect and understanding for ocean life.

Cinema Under the Stars: If you’re looking for a cozy evening activity, follow the sound of the waves to find your place in the sand, where you’ll gather with family and friends for an open-air movie night. Surrounded by cool island winds and stocked with tempting fireside treats, get cozy for a family-favorite film projected onto a sail for extra Hawaiian flair.

Riviera Maya, Mexico: Rosewood Mayakoba

With a well-earned spot on our Top Booked Properties of 2023 list, Rosewood Mayakoba is undeniably a client favorite. Nestled along a mile-long stretch of powdery sand in Mexico’s Mayakoba development, this haven for couples and families alike never misses. Rosewood Mayakoba is your perfect getaway when you want access to world-class golf, cenote adventures, and unbeatable culinary options; we especially love it for multi-generational getaways thanks to its unique ability to cater to guests in all life stages.

Experiences Beyond the Beach

El Camaleón Golf Course: Guests looking to practice their swing can do so at Mayakoba’s El Camaleón, the first PGA Tour Golf Course in Latin America. This 18-hole Greg Norman-designed masterpiece blends through the diverse ecosystems of Mayakoba, including tropical jungle, dense mangroves, freshwater canals, and pristine Riviera Maya oceanfront. Aside from its spectacular views in every direction, the course can accommodate golfers of all abilities. If you are keen to improve your game, the Jim McLean Golf School offers personalized instruction by certified Jim McLean Master Instructors for every level from beginner to aspiring pro.

Canal and Trail Adventures: Discover Mayakoba by way of the serene canals or by cruising the trails on a tour to better understand the ecosystems that make this part of Mexico so remarkable. If you’re feeling adventurous, hop on an eco-friendly hydrobike to become immersed in the beauty of the pristine canals of Mayakoba. Pedal through scenes of lush greenery and far-reaching water views as you catch glimpses of a wide array of birds, animals, and plants.

Cenote El Burrodromo: The Yucatán Peninsula has thousands of cenotes—natural sinkholes that formed millions of years ago when limestone bedrock collapsed to and reveal a glimpse of the region’s fresh waterways below—that were spiritually significant to the ancient Mayans. Each cenote is unique, but we especially love seeing Cenote El Burrodromo. Guests can explore this natural wonder with a professional guide and view the cave’s incredible stalactite formations and crystal-clear waters.

Los Cabos, Mexico: Las Ventanas al Paraíso, a Rosewood Resort

Long beloved by West Coasters seeking a beach escape, Los Cabos has continued to captivate travelers with its impressionable mountains-meets-sea landscape, delectable Mexican cuisine, and warm hospitality. And while the region continues to change each year, one of our tried and true favorites in Cabo remains Las Ventanas al Paraíso, a Rosewood Resort. Ask anyone who has been, and they’ll tell you that there’s a magical, soulful spirit enveloping the air at this property that has you wanting to return before you’ve even left. Widely awarded as one of the world’s best beach resorts, you cannot go wrong with a stay here, but let us tell you all the ways you can go even more “right” by indulging in some of the property’s experiential elements seeped in nature and wellbeing.

Experiences Beyond the Beach

Whale Watching: When the sound of the conch shell breaks the quietude at Las Ventanas al Paraíso, guests are alerted that one of nature’s wonders—the annual migration of whales—is passing right by the resort. This unique, alluring sound of the conch shell was long used for important communication among indigenous peoples, and Las Ventanas has adopted this ancient medium. While your SmartFlyer travel advisor can organize a day out at sea for whale watching, your Minolta EZ 10×50 binoculars amenity allows you to enjoy the breathtaking spectacle of whales swimming directly in front of the resort. The yearly parade of whales gives guests at Las Ventanas two viewing opportunities: the first comes in fall and winter when the whales swim from the cold north to the warm waters along the Baja Peninsula where their babies will be born. Then, once again on the whales’ return trip in late winter into spring with babies in tow.

The Razor Experience: Craving a wild ride? Conquer Cabo’s awe-inspiring desert landscape behind the wheel of a rugged UTV. Departing directly from Las Ventanas, this adrenaline-pumping off-road adventure follows winding trails through dramatic terrains: majestic mountains, hidden canyons, cactus forests, and coastal dunes along the Sea of Cortez. The exhilarating guided tour culminates with an epic crossing of the world’s longest wooden vehicle-pedestrian suspension bridge so you can really feel like you’ve explored Baja California.

Private Villa BBQ Dinner: Add a magical evening of fire, flavors, and fun in your own Signature Villa, offering breathtaking views of the Sea of Cortez. Enjoy a unique dining experience under the stars with a private barbecue, available to signature Villa guests only. Come together over a bountiful barbecue on the beach or in the comfort of your villa, as our chef prepares a Surf and Turf feast tailored to you. The evening begins with a private cocktail class in your villa, and we will leave you with everything you need to make after-dinner carajillo cocktails.

St Barths: Rosewood Le Guanahani

It comes as no surprise that St Barths ranks near the top of our list of go-to Caribbean islands, particularly for North American travelers seeking a taste of Europe without having to change time zones. And while the compact island manages to offer properties by some of the world’s leading hotel brands, Rosewood Le Guanahani has a special edge for those looking to be a bit removed from the scene. The resort’s unique positioning on a lush and secluded private peninsula affords it not just two stunning beaches, but even space for a tennis court! Or, if you really want to get away from it all, your SmartFlyer travel advisor can help book a sailing or yach charter for a fun day exploring the island. On that note, let us run you through a few of the experiential elements we love at Rosewood Le Guanahani.

Experiences Beyond the Beach

Natural Pool Hike: St Barth’s rolling hills and rocky reefs not only make for epic views but also act as a hiker’s dream playground. Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth’s ideal location in Grand Cul-de-Sac allows for easy self-guided hiking along picturesque paths that wind through the peninsula and showcase the island’s indigenous flora and fauna. Be sure to coordinate with your SmartFlyer travel advisor to discover the island from a new vantage point under the lead of a local expert. Hiking excursions provide access to exceptional sites on the island such as Colombier Beach and the natural pools of Grand Fond. There are fifteen paths of varying length and difficulty that wind through gorgeous natural environments complete with rare plants and wildlife.

Tennis: Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth offers an exemplary tennis program personalized to meet the needs and skill levels of every guest. The championship court features a premium synthetic grass surface with lighting that allows for both daytime and evening play. For those looking to uplevel their skills, professional tennis coaches are available for private lessons.

Sports at Sea: A variety of surfing spots around the island encourage surfers of all abilities and ages to test the waves, with warm waters allowing for a full day of fun. St. Jean and Lorient, home to the island’s best lessons are ideal for beginner and intermediate surfers, while Pointe Milou and Toiny offer optimum waves for more experienced surfers. Alternatively, when the breeze is just right, windsurfing is particularly popular in St. Barth. Grand Cul-de-Sac is one of the island’s premier destinations for windsurfers with lessons available for all levels. For even more of an adrenaline spike, consider fliteboarding, seabobbing, or jetboarding.

British Virgin Islands: Rosewood Little Dix Bay

If you’re craving untamed nature at the edge of the Caribbean Sea, a stay at Rosewood Little Dix Bay in Virgin Gorda beckons. With its natural environment featured at the heart of the resort’s design, this intimate property captivates its new and repeat clientele alike with an authenticity that you can’t put a price on. A stay here is ideal for a group of friends, honeymooners, or anyone looking to sink into barefoot luxury at its finest.

The Baths of Virgin Gorda: A trip to the BVIs is synonymous with a visit to The Baths. On this epic excursion, swim or snorkel among volcanic boulders that have toppled over each other to form a spectacular labyrinth of saltwater grottoes and pools. Some of the boulders are as large as forty feet in diameter, creating white sand beaches and secret rock pools amongst their cavernous formations. Many explorers opt for The Baths trail leading to Devil’s Bay, widely considered one of the BVIs best beaches.

Beach Drop: Speaking of beaches, we know we said these experiential elements were beyond the beach, but what if the adventure is more about getting there? With a stay at Little Dix Bay, you can explore one of the seven secluded beaches on Virgin Gorda through a Beach Drop accessed via boat. Once there, enjoy an afternoon of sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling. Towels and umbrellas will be provided, but if you prefer to spend more of the day out at the beach, your SmartFlyer travel advisor can ensure a picnic with all your favorites is arranged.

Stay and Sail: Have you ever wanted to take Rosewood’s legendary service to the sea? For two nights or more, you can jump into an immersive experience cruising aboard a charter in luxurious comfort. Your charter party can dine al fresco in the catamaran’s cockpit or indoors in the air-conditioned saloon, with three delectable meals and all beverages included. Play and explore the surrounding sea—stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, or tubing. Four spacious, air-conditioned cabins, accommodating up to eight guests, feature en suite bathrooms with separate showers.

Ready to book your next beach getaway? Contact your SmartFlyer travel advisor to get started.

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