From Morocco to the British Virgin Islands, discover the ten best holiday destinations where you can soak up the warm spring sun
Laze on a floating cabana at Khao Lak’s sharply contemporary Sarojin resort as the barometer rises from balmy to sizzling. It’s too hot to do much, but then how much energy does it take to dawdle past lotus ponds to a wonderful bleached-sand beach? Or to decide whether a traditional Issam foot massage or a yoga session on a mangrove-shaded deck is the best use of another idyllic afternoon?
Kick back at Kasbah Tamadot, Richard Branson’s sumptuous hideaway in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. The hotel lies just an hour from seething Marrakech, yet it has a remarkable sense of isolation and space. The USP is an infinity pool that perches on the edge of a tumbling valley. For an authentic experience, book your own Berber tent with private deck!
Havana, Cuba’s alluring capital, dances to a Latin beat. A visit to its colonial streets, where 1950s Cadillacs still bounce across the cobbles, bids an emphatic farewell to winter. But don’t make the city the whole trip. Factor in a memory-making tour that takes in beautiful beaches and towns full of faded glory and backstreet cigar shops, too.
The chic, authentic capital of the Costa del Sol is Europe’s warmest city. It’s ideal for a spontaneous spring jaunt (do check the forecast for spring showers before you book). A divine rooftop pool is the only reason you need to book the sophisticated Vincci Seleccion Posada del Patio hotel. And it’s also handy for Old Town shopping, the Picasso Museum and the glitzy port’s restaurants.
Wouldn’t you love to be lazing – right now – on dazzling Miami Beach, where an Art Deco lifeguard’s hut casts the only shadow? Or how about people-watching over the rim of a pomegranate mojito on Ocean Drive? Florida’s most colourful city is well into its busiest season so seek out peace as well as pizazz at the new Metropolitan by COMO, which has an oasis-like, sea-view spa on its eight-floor.
You’ll find almost continual sunshine until June on The Gambia’s golden coast. Treat a holiday here as a straightforward beach break or an introduction to fascinating West African life – the choice is yours! Most alluring hotel is the Coco Ocean, which scatters Moorish whitewashed villas along the seafront near lively Kololi resort. Service is splendid and the Moroccan-style spa is the country’s best.
The yacht crowd adore these breezy emerald isles in the Eastern Caribbean. They also make fab chill-outs for those of us who prefer to keep our feet on sugary sand. For maximum luxury, book Peter Island, where each room, suite and villa comes with its own butler who’ll bag your tennis court and organize picnics on pearly beaches.
March and April are the Mayan Peninsula’s brightest, driest months. That’s all the excuse you need to jet off to the heavenly Maroma Resort & Spa, a white-on-white boutique hotel set in a secluded spot between dramatic seafront and coconut plantation. You won’t find all-inclusive buffets here. Instead, foodies rave about gourmet a la carte dining – lobster enchilladas, duck tacos and citrusy ceviche served with chilled tequila at beachside Freddy’s.
In spring, the Indian Ocean is so calm it resembles a sheet of turquoise glass – perfect for swimming with turtles and manta rays. At elegantly exclusive Baros in the North Male Atoll, you simply wade out to a house reef. And its designer water villas and fine-dining restaurant are set on stilts above the sea, so you can spend your whole stay contemplating shimmering horizons.
Sahara-like dunes undulate at Maspalomas, one of the Canaries’ glossiest resorts. It’s just the place for a week of idle luxury: spend mornings on the golf course followed by shopping on Boulevard el Faro. Best rooms are at colonial-style Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia, which serves tempting tapas and cocktails by an impossibly pretty, geranium-decorated pool.