2. Hotel Esencia, Cancún, Mexico
Set on one of the most handsome beaches in the Riviera Maya, Hotel Esencia is a small boutique-style resort that takes pride on being exclusive. A former private villa of an Italian duchess, the 29 rooms (including 17 suites and two cottages) have been tastefully decorated in a cool mix of whitewashed walls, polished concrete floors, mid-century furniture and colourful throws. Days are spent with morning yoga, taking treatments in the organic aroma spa and lounging on towel-draped chaises while a waiter brings you an expertly mixed tequila cocktail. Do get up to visit the 13th-century Mayan pyramids, just over an hour’s drive away – they’re well worth it. This is Mexico, so the food is, naturally, a highlight. The two restaurants serve up generous portions of guacamole, zingy ceviche, tacos and local fish, all of which are washed down nicely with a crisp glass of sauvignon blanc.
Wow Factor For fantastic 360° views, choose a Deluxe Ocean View suite, where you can watch the sun set from your terrace. Want to see sunrise, but don’t want to move? Just flick a switch to remotely open the blinds and watch it from your bed.
Go Carrier (carrier.co.uk) offers seven nights in a Garden Suite from £2,350 per person, B&B. Includes flights with British Airways and transfers.
Then, fly to Antigua via Puerto Rico (4 hours, 30 minutes) to…
WHERE TO GO FOR YEAR-ROUND SUN
THE BEST PRIVATE ISLAND HOLIDAYS