The past six months have left us fantasising about cutting loose from reality and setting up shop in a parallel universe of endless, carefree sunny days. Along with all that, we want swims in pristine azure water, salt in our hair, long snoozes on the sand, and cocktails that never, ever end. Okay, okay, we can’t muster up an alternate reality but we could manifest a holiday. And you should too. These beach resorts, scattered as far afield as Jamaica and Greece, seem like the perfect options. Irrespective of whether you’re in the market for a classic European jaunt and old-school hotel vibes or fancy something fun and retro, you’re bound to love at least one of our picks. Most importantly, they ALL offer staggering ocean action and sea views to die for.
1. HOTEL SANTA CATERINA, ITALY
A glam grande dame, the Hotel Santa Caterina in Italy is the best spot on the Amalfi Coast. Perched on the coastline overlooking the blue waters of the Mediterranean sea and framed by flowering purple bougainvillea and fruit trees, it offers travellers a tranquil seaside escape complete with a private beach club for the exclusive use of hotel guests. The late 19th-century villa is a 15-minute walk, or short shuttle ride, from the centre of Amalfi where you can embark on day trips to the likes of Pompeii, Naples, Positano and Sorrento after a few days of blissful rest have quenched your thirst for lazing around.
Can I currently travel there? You can only start planning your journey once travel restrictions on South Africans have been lifted. South African citizens who are returning from Italy will be allowed to enter the country provided they present a negative Covid-19 test less than 72 hours old but Italy still has stringent travel restrictions in place and South African travellers are not yet allowed to enter the country.
2. SYLARK NEGRIL BEACH RESORT, JAMAICA
Located on the Seven Mile beach of the resort town of Negril, the Skylark Negril Beach Resort boasts turquoise water and the island-party spirit you’d expect to find on the famed Caribbean island. The beautiful white-washed beaches where guests can swim, snorkel, and paddle board; dramatic orange sunsets and quirky rooms with colourful decor set between lush greenery are the perfect recipe to revive your soul and rejuvenate your lust for life. Tuck in to plates of classic Caribbean food presented with a modern twist at the on-site Miss Lily’s before sinking away into a cocktail and soft beach sands.
Can I currently travel there? Jamaica is currently on South Africa’s list of countries considered high-risk but South African citizens who are returning from Jamaica will be allowed to re-enter the country provided they present a negative Covid-19 test less than 72 hours old. Jamaica will allow travellers from South Africa but passengers need to obtain travel authorisation from the Jamaican authorities before departure.
3. HABITAS TULUM, MEXICO
A sustainable slice of paradise cradled between Mexico’s Yucatan jungle and the Caribbean sea, Habitas Tulum is a sanctuary designed to coexist with nature. Boasting rooms built with eco-friendly materials and curated wellness programmes that combine modern techniques with ancient traditions, head here to revive your body, mind, and soul. Guests can immerse themselves in daily Mayan clay and cacao ceremonies or explore further afield. Learn to freedive, sail into a glorious sunset, explore the pristine jungle and ocean wildlife, or dance the night away in the jungle courtyard at the weekend Baja el Sol sessions.
Can I currently travel there? Mexico is currently on South Africa’s list of countries considered high-risk but South African citizens who are returning from Mexico will be allowed to enter the country provided they present a negative Covid-19 test less than 72 hours old. Mexico will allow South African travellers to enter the country upon completion of a form that needs to be presented to immigration upon arrival.
4. MINOS BEACH ART HOTEL, GREECE.
Perched on an idyllic Greek waterfront and promising laidback, island-style living, Minos Beach art hotel is surrounded by the blue waters of the Mirabello Bay in Crete with its stunning beaches, lush mountains, and rich culture. Art lovers can while away their time at the on-site art museum, while environmentally conscious guests can embrace the natural landscape with a variety of environmental activities, including landscape-photography classes and bike rides. Stroll through the hotel’s verdant gardens, unwind at the on-site spa, or emerge yourself in a local festival in Crete — there’s a bit of magic for everyone.
Can I currently travel there? You can start planning your journey once travel restrictions on South Africans have been lifted. Greece is currently on South Africa’s list of countries considered high-risk but South African citizens who are returning from Greece will be allowed to enter the country provided they present a negative Covid-19 test less than 72 hours old. However, Greece still has stringent travel restrictions in place and South Africans travellers are not yet allowed to enter the country.
• Due to the rapidly changing nature of local and international travel under Covid-19 restrictions, we advise that travellers check up-to-date travel restrictions for the respective countries they are planning to visit before making any travel arrangements.
• From the October issue of Wanted 2020.