A holiday surrounded by inebriated college kids isn’t really a holiday at all, is it? Choosing the wrong place with the wrong crowd can have the opposite effect of a vacation—and no time is this danger more real than during dreaded Spring Break. Luckily, there are plenty of destinations near and far that remain blessedly free of the freewheeling wild times for which this annual season of travel has become so miserably well known. To avoid the clichéd all-inclusives and opt for a destination where you’re guaranteed relaxation—rather than a racket—pick your paradise wisely: Skip Jamaica for Antigua. Avoid Ibiza for Mallorca. Bypass the Bahamas for St. Barts. Here, we outline 14 of the most beautiful (and civilized) Spring Break hideaways, where you won’t actually have to hide away from the crowds.
Jade Mountain occupies one of the most spectacular positions in St. Lucia, overlooking the Piton Mountains in Soufriere Bay—which you’ll be able to gaze at nonstop thanks to the resort’s no-fourth-wall concept. Each of its 24 suites have private walkways and large infinity pools, so unless you’re visiting the beach below, relaxing on a sun lounger in your room is a wonderful way to spend the day sans the crowds.
The cuisine here is renowned, with an emphasis on local ingredients and fresh produce sourced from the estate’s own organic farm. But if your ideal Spring Break entails more than indulgence and relaxation, there are various activities on offer, including 12 miles of hiking and biking trails, scuba diving, and a range of non-motorized watersports. Our pick of the bunch is the catamaran that goes out to the Pitons—charter it to make sure you experience the sunset in total privacy.
Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel
French Riviera glamour is embodied at Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, where old-world charm is given a modern gloss. The iconic hotel opened in 1908, and after decades of hosting royalty and red-carpet regulars, it underwent a renovation for its centennial led by Pierre Yves-Rochon (also responsible for updating the Ritz Paris). The location is perhaps its most spectacular asset: Set along the Cote d’Azur coastline, positioned on a peninsula between Nice and Monaco with sprawling views of the Mediterranean, it’s a tranquil enclave where you’re more likely to encounter seasonal residents than hard-partying Spring Breakers.
On a typical day, guests enjoy leisurely breakfasts beneath the Rotunda designed by Gustave Eiffel, before taking the cliffside elevator down to Club Dauphin, where sun loungers frame the Olympic-size infinity pool. When the sun sets, guests dine al fresco at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Cap. That’s generally the itinerary at this palatial address—all very appealing for those seeking an elegant and relaxing escape. There are also fabulous day trips, including private helicopters to Domaines Ott, one of France’s most exclusive vineyards, where guests can enjoy bespoke picnics and wine tasting.
If you have an image of Positano in mind, chances are it’s from the viewpoint of Le Sirenuse, which occupies the most prime position in town, overlooking the Church of Santa Maria Assunta and the pastel-hued village cascading down to the beach. Le Sirenuse is one of Italy’s most gorgeous family-owned hotels, and has been in operation since 1951 when it was transformed from a private home into a boutique resort.
There are stunning scenes at every turn, from the vine-covered restaurant to the elegantly embellished pool terrace and antique-filled spaces that are full of classic Italian charm. The hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, La Sponda, offers one of the best degustation menus in the region, and during dinner service, tuxedoed singers serenade guests in the moonlight. (How’s that for Spring Break for sophistication?) It’s also home to the legendary Franco’s Bar, which is the place to be for aperitivo hour.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
Unlike many Hawaiian resorts, there are no excessive tropical motifs, outdated aesthetics—or unruly Spring Breakers—at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. Located on the exclusive northwest Kona Coast, the resort claims a naturally stunning setting, highlighted with classic design and a number of recreational activities sprawled across the property. There’s a golf course, eight tennis courts, horseback riding, three open-air gyms, and seven pools, including a snorkeling pond that is home to 4,000 tropical fish. It’s certainly a resort that’s of the family-friendly variety, too, offering a number of children’s activities each day. The dining options here are equally impressive, with three restaurants, ranging from casual to formal, favoring locally-sourced ingredients.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo
Of course, people go to Lake Como for Spring Break. But we’re not talking rowdy college kids—we’re talking George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio. Join them in Italian paradise by staying at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, the lake’s most iconic hotel. The Art Nouveau palace is positioned on the Lake Como waterfront and is surrounded by the Villa Carlotta botanical gardens, one of the region’s most popular attractions. The interiors are equally stunning, with elegant antiques and vibrant Italian furnishings adorning the hallways. There’s a pool that floats on the lake, and a vintage speedboat that guests can take out to Bellagio with a bottle of champagne – a spring break party that we could get on board with. And if you really want to make like Clooney, book the Tremezzo’s Villa Sola Cabiati, a $10,000-per-night neoclassical estate not far from the hotel.
Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea
Villa Sant’Andrea boasts the most stunning scenery in Sicily, positioned on a private beach in Taormina. Book into one of the recently refurbished suites overlooking the dramatic rock formations on the Bay of Mazzaro and enjoy the flower-framed views from your palatial private terrace. The new suites have been updated with chic contemporary décor, including freestanding copper bathtubs, artful ceramics, marble finishes, and plush furnishings. During the day, guests can book private beach cabanas—which come complete with butlers at the ready for Aperol Spritz deliveries—or, for something more adventurous, boats can be chartered for a day at sea, where you can go snorkeling or simply cruise around the coast and enjoy the local wine onboard.
Jumby Bay Island
The Caribbean has its fair share of Spring Break blowout destinations, but Antigua is not one of them. And the most exclusive resort in all of the island-nation is Jumby Bay, which recently unveiled a multimillion dollar renovation. The stunning 300-acre private-island resort is accessible by boat from the mainland, and has just 40 rooms and suites, ensuring a supreme level of privacy. The property was recently acquired by the luxury German Hotel Group, Oetker Collection (also owners of Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes and Eden Rock’s luxurious villa rentals in St. Barth’s), and every detail has been reimagined to create an environment that feels effortless, elegant, and modern. If you’re going to do an all-inclusive beach resort, this is the place to do it, where you’re guaranteed five-star standards on every front.
La Réserve Hotel Ramatuelle
Saint-Tropez’s more modest neighbor, Ramatuelle, made its way onto the luxury map with the arrival of La Réserve a decade ago. But the stunning clifftop hideaway—and Ramatuelle as a whole—remains largely under the radar, making it the perfect Spring Break escape.
The elegant resort is a design lover’s dream, with modern architecture and chic minimal interiors created by Jean-Michelle Wilmotte. It is one of only six hotels in the French Riviera with palace distinction, and every element lives up to its palace moniker: There’s an excellent Michelin-starred restaurant, La Voile; beautifully manicured gardens; a spacious pool area; and a luxurious spa and wellness center that is truly state-of-the-art. The elegant suites each have sprawling terraces and spectacular views of the Mediterranean. And, for families or those seeking a larger space, the resort has 14 villas available, which are really more like private estates with their private gardens and swimming pools.
For an exclusive Spring Break that doesn’t require a passport, the Point is the perfect pick. Set on the tranquil shores of Saranac Lake, it’s like summer camp for all ages. The estate was originally owned by William Avery Rockefeller as an escape from New York (it’s a five-hour drive or an easy flight on Cape Air from Boston), and its aristocratic past lives on with twice-weekly black-tie dining in the Great Room. Everything here is included in the room rate, and with the sky-high standards and exceptional amenities, it’s a place that will make you rethink the all-inclusive concept.
Andronis Luxury Suites
The Greek Isles can be rife with Spring Breakers, if you don’t know where to go. Head to the whitewashed Andronis Luxury Suites in Santorini, however, and you’ll feel like you have all of Oia to yourself, thanks to a completely private location. There are 29 award-winning suites built into the dramatic cliffside in traditional cave style, each with its own infinity pool and panoramic views of the caldera. The restaurant is focused on modern Greek cuisine, and each night, there are wine-tasting sessions, offering unique varietals from around the island.
Bodrum may look like the French Riviera, but we guarantee you won’t find half as many tourists there during Spring Break. And the Turkish city set on the glittering Aegean Sea is home to Amanruya, an exclusive retreat that promises total relaxation. Surrounded by ancient olive groves and a pine forest overlooking the coastline, the isolated resort is classic Aman style: The design is modern, minimal and fresh, making the natural beauty of the area the main focus. And, of course, extreme luxury is at the forefront—there are no “rooms” as such, but rather 36 pavilions, each with its own private gardens and heated pools.
Hotel Christopher Saint-Barth
Like many St. Barts resorts, Hotel Christopher has been refreshed with extensive renovations following on from Hurricane Irma in 2017. And the result is stunning, which is to be expected from one of the island’s most coveted destinations. The updates include three new spacious villas; a formal organic restaurant, Christo; and elegant interior décor by French designer Olivia Putman. As before, everything at the Christopher has been designed to complement the tranquil Pointe Milou scenery, which is framed with tropical palms and turquoise blue waters. Spend the day alternating between the luxurious Sisley Spa and the sun loungers around the infinity pool for a Spring Break that is rejuvenating and peaceful.
We would highly recommend avoiding Ibiza on Spring Break—the hard-partying Balearic Island is especially out of control during the early days of spring. But not far away, on the more laidback isle of Mallorca, there’s a retreat that feels worlds away from the DJs and discos of its neighbor. Cap Rocat is truly one-of-a-kind, built in a former 19th-century military fortress overlooking the Bay of Palma. It’s a completely exclusive enclave, with no other nearby properties, affording it total tranquility. Each of its 28 rooms and suites comes with stunning views of the Mediterranean and cave-like terraces that you would expect to see in a James Bond film. There’s also a scenic infinity pool, a tennis court, a spa and wellness center with a 25-meter saltwater swimming pool, and three dining options, varying in formality. The real star here, though, is the Sea Club Restaurant, which offers an impressive wine list and contemporary Spanish cuisine from one of the most magnificent vantage points on the island. It’s only a 30-minute drive into Palma, though, checking in here would give you few reasons to want to leave.