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Alila Ubud in Ubud, Bali
If you were to send a postcard home from this Balinese resort, we bet your note would lead with the pool: a jaw-dropping infinity number perched above the Ayung River Valley so that when you prop your elbows on the edge and look out, you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of nothing but jade-green jungle. With the pool done justice, you’d probably throw in a line about your room: There’s the plush, wanna-jump-on-it-like-you-were-10 bed, the private, chaise-strewn balcony overlooking the river, and the hoard-worthy Spa Alila
bath products, which smell of mandarin and rose geranium. What else might you mention? That your vacay feels, deliciously, like it’s neverending. All of which adds up to: Wish you were here, don’t you? (From $170/night, alilahotels.com.)
Bonus: The hotel offers a free shuttle to central Ubud, which is jam-packed with galleries, atmospheric eateries, and tucked-away temples.
When to Go: September or early October—after the heat breaks but before the rainy season.
How to Get There: Jet into Denpasar, then arrange a hotel transfer for $40 or grab a cab for $17–$20.
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Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland
What little girl, in between tea parties, playing dress up, and planning total world domination, hasn’t dreamt of spending a night in a castle? Well, this is your chance—after all, you just married your IRL Prince Charming. And the ivy-covered, lakefront Ashford, which dates to 1228, is a stuff-of-fairy-tales castle with enough turrets, towers, and parapets to rev up even your most latent princess-bride fantasies. But that’s not to say it’s too prissy for your dude to enjoy. Rooms and common areas are fresh from a face-lift, and there’s Guinness on tap in the gentleman’s club-style bar. (The castle was owned by the Guinness family for just shy of a century.) An adjacent golf course is an Instagram- worthy place to hit the links (from $265/night, ashford.ie).
Bonus: Sitting on 350 acres that are crisscrossed by trails, the property offers a small country’s worth of unexpected activities, from falconry to archery.
When to Go: April and October, when decent weather and rates intersect.
How to Get There: Fly into Shannon, then rent a car for a picturesque two-hour drive north.
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Hotel Escondido in Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Newly opened and draped along the Pacific Coast of Mexico is the chilled-out yet design-forward surfer hideaway you’ve been waiting for. Its 16 bungalows have palm-thatch roofs that belie stylishly minimal interiors, including painted parota-wood floors that feel oh-so-cool underfoot—which is good, because this is bare-feet-and-bikini territory, where sandy toes and tousled beach hair will be your only accessories (even when you’re tearing it up in the underground dance club). Once the sun rises, you’ll frolic in the waves, breaking only for meals of spice-rubbed fish and, of course, a cerveza or two (from $185/night, hotelescondido.com).
Bonus: Each room features the ultimate amenity: a private plunge pool.
When to Go: March and April, when surfers of all stripes delight in the waves.
How to Get There: Fly into Puerto Escondido, then rent a car or request a hotel ride.
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Scrub Island Resort on the British Virgin Islands
Even if you’d never call yourself a “beach person,” this 230-acre private island is bound to change your mind. First comes the initial approach by boat from the neighboring island of Tortola. Then, once inside your room, you’ll walk out onto a private patio with ocean views (every room has one), sipping a welcome rum punch, and be struck by the urge to dive in. Right. This. Second. And before you know it, four days will have passed, and you’ll have lazed on each of the island’s three shores (even Honeymoon Beach, which you’ll need to paddleboard to, but man, it’s worth it). You’ll also have taken the resort’s free snorkel gear out for a spin, danced to steel-pan music under moonbeams, and decided that non-beach people just don’t know how to have fun (from $295/night, scrubisland.com).
Bonus: Every hour, the resort offers free ferry rides back and forth to Tortola.
When to Go: April and May, when you’ll get amazing weather, minus sky-high rates.
How to Get There: Connect to Beef Island, Tortola (EIS), via San Juan, Puerto Rico.