Did you catch our recent Facebook poll? We asked you whether the best refreshment for your mind was stimulation or sloth, and the consensus was clear: don’t overthink it – just take off for someplace sunny. Rather than trying to kick-start your neurons with culture-packed city tours and gallery visits, you should give in to the mindless pleasures of beach-basking, cocktail-supping and poolside lounging. And you don’t even need to worry about where to achieve maximum relaxation: we’ve put some thought it this for you. Here are five of our favourite spots – from tropical haciendas to beachside bungalows – for letting your mind go…
Hacienda Uayamon, Yucatán
Style Luxe romantic ruins
Setting Concealed Campeche gardens
Switch off your mobile, abandon to-do lists and blissfully lose track of real time at the secluded Hacienda Uayamon Hotel, romantic ruins turned luxe hotel in Mexico. Let your thoughts drift off as you rock in one of the poolside hammocks, sip tequila in the manicured gardens and soak in your private hot tub to a jungle chorus of chattering monkeys. It doesn’t get more tranquilo than that.
The Saguaro Scottsdale, Arizona
Style Dash of desert pop
Setting A hop from Old Town
Named for the cactus that produces Arizona’s state wildflower, Saguaro Scottsdale hotel is a desert mirage of bright colours and hip art. The day’s mind-taxing tasks are as follows: decide at which of the two palm-fringed pools you’ll be sunning; whether to book a cactus-inspired massage or facial; and if you should order sangria or Mexican beer at Happy Hour.
Kamalame Cay, Bahamas
Style Bougainvillea-blanketed bungalows
Setting Soft sand, shady palms
With chic cottages scattered over an entire Bahamian spread off Andros Island, Kamalame Cay hotel is a private hideaway with manicured island plants and seemingly untouched shores. Stroll from your private Balinese-style bungalow straight to your lounger on the soft sand beach. Settle in, tune out, soak up the Caribbean views and maybe pop to the tiki bar for a rum punch.
La Samanna, St Martin
Style Neutral and natural
Setting Breezy Baie Longue beach
La Samanna hotel in St Martin is a tropical paradise of sandy beaches, breezy suites and walkways lined with banana plants, hibiscus and bougainvillea. This colonial cliff-hugger with spectacular views, sparkling seas, sublime seafood, a renowned wine cellar and the best private beach on St Martin is quite simply the Caribbean-island idyll you’ve been hankering after. What’s there to think about, really?
The Harmony Hotel, Costa Rica
Style Barefoot necessities
Setting My goodness, Guiones!
Howler monkeys signal sunrise at Harmony Hotel, a tranquil Eden where surfers catch some of the best waves on this side of the Pacific. You don’t have to love surfing to stay here, but given that it’s got the best breaks this side of the Pacific, it sure helps. Hit the waves, hang out in hammocks, or recharge with a massage – you probably deserve it.
SMITH TIP Fancy a free Kindle or pampering kit with your dose of sunshine? Book a stay of five or more nights at any of our hand-picked winter sun hotels before 8 March and our North and South America Smiths will get a special extra something to help soothe the mind or body…