Kate Michael is a Writer, Emcee, On-Camera Host and Fashion/Commercial…
If you’ve been mixing up fruity frozen drinks in an effort to imagine yourself on an island oasis, that should tell you something, right?! Same if your escape comes in the form of straight shots of scotch. You need a vacation!
Depending on what you’ve been reaching for during your quarantine downtime, let us suggest some perfect future travel destinations for when you’re ready to get out and go somewhere again:
You’re drinking: Piña Coladas
Jet off to: San Juan, Puerto Rico, the very place where the iconic Caribe Hilton invented the Piña Colada in 1954. The resort’s bartender, Ramón “Monchito” Marrero, created the famed cocktail while attempting to come up with a fun, refreshing, welcome drink for guests. Now, travelers can sip on the popular libation while soaking up the sun at the hotel’s secluded beach, oceanfront swimming pools, and beachside hammocks. Or enjoy a twist on the classic including Caribe Hilton’s piña colada-inspired French toast and spa treatments.
You’re drinking: Chardonnay
Jet Off to: Hotel Healdsburg in Sonoma County, California were you can book the hotel’s two-night Hike the Harvest package, taking in the beauty of wine country on a private guided hike through vineyards with panoramic views of the scenic Dry Creek Valley. It’s all about fine wines and fresh air as you explore the wonderful outdoors and savor wine tastings and delicious food.
You’re drinking: Cucumber Aloe Cocktails
Jet off to: The ‘One Happy Island’ of Aruba, where the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino offers a variety of healthy aloe-infused cocktails, including its Aruba Mule. Aloe is one of Aruba’s biggest exports so while you’re there, be sure to check out all of its healing properties and visit the Aruba Aloe Factory in between dips in Aruba’s picture perfect sparkling turquoise waters at the Aruba Marriott Resort’s Palm Beach.
You’re drinking: Margaritas
Jet off to: Cancun, specifically JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, where 150 different margaritas await at the Lobby Bar. Yes – 150! – with a four category menu: Classic, Modern, Fusion, and Exotic. The 150 Margaritas Menu also incorporates nontraditional elements such as black tea, beetroot, black mole sauce, and Serrano chili peppers. Also awaiting at the expansive property are lush, palm-studded grounds and newly renovated ocean-facing guest rooms each with graphic aerial artwork, free-standing soaking tubs, rainfall showers and photo-worthy views of the Mexican Caribbean.
You’re drinking: Moscow Mules
Jet off to: Grace Bay Beach, where Wymara Resort & Villas’ rosé-themed beach bar, Pink Bar, puts a twist on the classic cocktail with spiced rum: the Caribbean Mule. For an extra exclusive escape, book one of Wymara’s seven swanky villas, ranging from four to five bedrooms and offering a system of cascading decks that lead to an overwater swim platform with direct access to the protected bright blue waters of Turtle Tail.
You’re drinking: Sweet Tea Vodka
Jet off to: Greenville, South Carolina, the perfect place to socially distance with endless ways to explore the outdoors on foot, by bike or by boat. Greenville offers a number of water experiences from stunning waterfalls and lakes to the centerpiece of downtown, the Reedy River – making it possible to spend a day on a pontoon boat and eat at a James Beard nominated restaurant for dinner. Enjoy the 22+ mile Prisma Swamp Rabbit Trail that’s perfect for a leisurely bike ride, and just 7 miles from downtown, Paris Mountain State Park offers more than 15 miles of hiking trails and lakes for fishing and swimming. Or just pack a picnic lunch (by grabbing lunch to-go from a number of downtown’s acclaimed restaurants) and sit by the Reedy River in Falls Park overlooking the beautiful falls and Liberty Bridge.
You’re drinking: Martinis
Jet off to: Hotel Ranga, a lux lodge set in the secluded countryside of the South Coast of Iceland. The land of fire and ice may be famous for its magical Northern Lights in the winter, but it’s also known for its Midnight Sun in the summer, a natural phenomenon which brightens up the atmosphere for about 24 hours. Whatever the season, follow a long day of chasing waterfalls, riding Icelandic horses, or traversing ice caves with a fruit-forward Midnight Sun Martini at the bar at Hotel Ranga. Or opt for an extra shot in your Ranga Espresso Martini so that you can stay up late with the sun or to catch an appearance of the Aurora Borealis (don’t worry, the hotel offers Northern Lights wake up calls). Hotel Ranga offers a stellar star gazing session with a resident astronomer at the property’s on site, hi-tech observatory complete with a roll-off roof.
You’re drinking: Vino rosso (red wine)
Jet off to: Tuscany, where luxury villa Il Salviatino offers an off-road tour through the vineyards of Chianti aboard a vintage Jeep. The adventure includes stops at the area’s top wineries for a total of 15 wine tastings, complete with an authentic Tuscan lunch. Back on property, you’ll enjoy all sorts of local reds from La Terrazza, the property’s outdoor terrace which offers beyond-belief views of its colorful Italian gardens and the Florentine skyline with its iconic Duomo.
You’re drinking: Blue Lagoons
Jet off to: Curaçao, otherwise known as the “C” of the ABC Islands. This infamous alcohol adds fun colors and vibrant tastes to tropical cocktails, and while many imitations exist, the genuine/original version is exclusively distilled and bottled at Landuis Chobolobo, a historic estate on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao. The refreshing bright blue liqueur is crafted from dried peels of the Laraha oranges and blended with eight secret spices. Guests interested in Curaçao’s other blues will love the electric blue waters at the island’s 35 cove-like beaches, the blue houses in downtown Willemstad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the live blues music often heard throughout the trendy area of Pietermaai.
You’re drinking: Aperol Spritz
Jet off to: Downtown Fort Lauderdale where the brand-new Hyatt Centric Las Olas just opened inside the city’s tallest skyscraper. The 238-room property features a sophisticated, yet laid-back ambiance with close proximity to the area’s beaches, local art museums, galleries and cultural institutions. Paying homage to Lauderdale’s local yachting culture, the property’s Harborwood Urban Kitchen & Bar features doors that open right onto bustling Las Olas Boulevard. Order a Set Sail Spritz made with St-Germain, Vermouth, Aperitif, mint, hints of lemon and prosecco. Once you’ve taken a sip of this refreshing drink you’ll feel like you’ve just embarked on an adventure at sea while taking advantage of some of the area’s best people-watching.
You’re drinking: Tequila Shots
Jet off to: Puerto Vallarta, located in the state of Jalisco where tequila was born. At Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa, guests can learn the art of sipping fine tequila with the property’s special Tequila Education Program that was designed specifically to help educate guests about tequila’s home state of Jalisco. Guests at Marriott Puerto Vallarta can book a complimentary tequila tasting, have a private experience led by the resort’s own “Tequilera”—or tequila Sommelier — and learn about the blue agave Marriott Puerto Vallarta grows on property for its own proprietary brand of tequila.
You’re drinking: Seasonal Fruit Cocktails
Jet off to: St. Lucia’s stunning Jade Mountain resort, which features mango trees on property and hosts an annual Mango Madness Festival each year, where guests can participate in mango dinners, mixology lessons, farm tours, and more. The property also created a signature Mango Madness cocktail in honor of this seasonal summer favorite.
You’re drinking: Bourbon
Jet off to: North Georgia, ya’ll! The Barnsley Resort, a 3,000 acre resort/playground has seemingly endless outdoor adventures. After a day spent horseback riding, fishing, hiking, or clay shooting at the Beretta Shooting Grounds by High Adventure Company, sit back with the Porch Thyme cocktail, a southern take on a spiked sweet tea with Bib and Tucker bourbon.
No matter what you’ve been sipping during these uncertain times, there’s a perfect place for you to direct your excitement when you’re finally ready to travel again. Cheers!