I think islands are so fascinating. I’ve built a life where I can be as connected as possible, located near a large airport or big city at all times. This proves well for having friends and family across the globe and a career that takes me frequently to new destinations. But funnily enough I find myself going to islands more than anything else, feeling the tight-knit community and island vibe immediately soothes me.
If you just want to check out some amazing shorelines, here’s Europe’s best beaches, which have many of these amazing properties only steps away!
Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
Most likely you’ve seen shots of this iconic hotel on a travel booking website somewhere in your internet travels. I was fortunate enough to experience this place in person a few years ago – and it was everything I imagined it’d be. Made by a renowned architect, the about of Jade’s amazing property is mostly open-air, with catwalks connecting rooms to terraced common spaces and rooftop restaurants. Most of the rooms actually have an infinity pool overlooking the pair of Grand Pitons. My time at Jade was easily the most luxurious trip I’ve had to date and definitely one I hope to repeat!
IBEROSTAR Anthelia in Tenerife, Spain
Splash out in style when visiting Tenerife on the southside. This IBEROSTAR property has a little bit of everything – luxury restaurants, balconies with sea views, a sprawling pool space and much more. It was great for our small group and I bet would be even better for couples on a romantic getaway. I loved how the resort is near super fun things to do in Tenerife too, such as the Tilde volcano national park, natural ocean swim pools, a massive water park and plenty of fun nightlife watering holes. In fact you can walk right out on the promenade below the hotel to reach bars and more restaurants easily.
Floris Suite Hotel and Spa, Curacao
Curacao is some of the most multicultural places in the Caribbean. They also fully embrace the LGBT community, so many gay and lesbian travelers have delighted in finding inclusive experiences on the island. I stayed at the leading LGBT-friendly hotel while in Curacao, called the Floris Suite Hotel. It has a super laid back vibe in the lounge area for socializing and lovely rooms to relax in too. Breakfast is sunny and bright and the whoe property is well located near hotspots in town.
Hotel Husafell, Iceland
Is Iceland an island? Well I’m not completely sure, but this list would be remiss without it included. Hotel Husafell felt surreal as we arrived at dusk in the middle of January, like we had found a special secret. Husafell is an example of modern and simplistic Icelandic design, with bright faux furs, plush bedding and dark gray concrete flooring. Besides the cosy rooms, the highlight was the main dining room with roaring metal fireplace.
Tween Waters Inn, Captiva Island, Florida
Sanibel and Captiva are plucky little islands off the Gulf Coast of Florida. It’a a favorite vacation spot for myself and my new family through my husband. Usually we enjoy time mostly on the larger Sanibel Island, but fell in love with Captiva Island on our last visit. Specifically, Tween Waters Inn is between the gulf and the bay for double the fun. It’s an ideal location for fruity drinks, huge king-sized rooms and great live entertainment all on property.
Besides some of the stunning accommodations I’ve already been able to experience, there’s so much more to see that I hope to stay at in the near future. I feel like there’s almost endless islands to explore and each has its own beautiful spirit. Here’s a few more I’ve heard great things about I can plan for upcoming trips to visit:
Oh, Hawaii. It seems like a dream to me, all the beautiful territory covered in green and rolling ocean waves surrounding one of the country’s most scenic states. More specifically, Oahu is said to be the loveliest of the individual islands, with a perfect blend of wild routes to adventure on for rugged road trips and big city excitement in Honolulu. You can find wonderful Oahu beach rentals close to the beach and easily lose myself on the oasis of a Hawaiian escape.
Although I’ve made it to Oceania before and had an incredible time in New Zealand and Australia, something felt missing from the trip. While in Rotorua on the north island of New Zealand, I met a lovely man working at the hotel who was originally from Fiji. He regaled me with stories of his beautiful home island and made me want to go almost immediately. I’ve done some research and properties are almost always on the water and stay true to the rustic luxury idea of accommodation, perfect for island life.
I’ve completed the A and C parts of the ABC islands, but not yet Barbados! The whole time I was in Curacao, everyone said that Barbados had to be next on my list. Beaches are pristine and pretty-pink, while the capital city Bridgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Maybe someday I’ll even get the perfect spot to stay on the beach during carnival season!
I can’t believe I’ve been in Europe now for more than two years and haven’t been to Greece yet. All of the Greek islands are said to be unbelievable, but I especially want to see Mykonos up close. The whitewashed and blue topped buildings that cover the hills of this island are perfect for a writer’s retreat and some time off the grid. Properties are airy and spacious, often holding true to traditional Greek architecture and style.
Where’s your dream island destination? Do you prefer resorts or holiday home rentals?