By the Sea
In Mauritius, the castaway luxury resort Le Touessrok has undergone a six-month upgrade to relaunch as Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa. On scalloped Trou d’Eau Douce Bay, the 200-room bohemian-chic retreat has introduced five new restaurants and lounges, including a beach barbecue and a tiki bar, as well as rooms redesigned in natural tones and materials. The resort resides on a white-sand beach and offers access to a nearby private island with more than two miles of undeveloped shore plus a butler-staffed beach club. Guests can also boat to another island with an 18-hole golf course. Rooms from 265 euros ($426 U.S.); 011-230-402-7400; www.shangri-la.com/Mauritius.
A Grand Experience
Treat your valentine to the sexiest beach scene in South America at Punta del Este, Uruguay, where the new Grand Hotel is the first of its kind in 17 years. Opulent but relaxed, the 120-room glass-clad hotel on Brava Beach offers ocean views from nearly every room. Amenities include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a full-scale spa with four treatment rooms, sauna and steam bath, a cinema and beach service. Loaner bicycles offer access to nearby dunes, deserted strands and the landmark sculpture-in-the-sand “Los Dedos.” The hotel’s signature restaurant, Lighthouse, features Uruguayan steaks and Italian pastas paired to local tannat wines. Rooms from $296; 011-598-4249-1234, www.puntagrand.com.
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After eight months and multimillions spent, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai reopened Feb. 1. It, like most of the island a few miles west of Maui, was purchased in 2012 by Oracle founder Larry Ellison, who set about retooling the 217-room beach resort. The new iteration features an 11-treatment-room spa, two pools, including an adults-only option with waterfalls and lava rock grottos, the stylish Japanese restaurant Nobu, steakhouse One Forty and several lounges. Excursions range from horseback riding, golfing and whale watching, to meeting with a kupuna, or elder. New indoor/outdoor event space offers weddings for up to 500 lucky guests. Rooms from $1,000; 800-321-4666, www.fourseasons.com/lanai.
Combining privacy with an occasional party, the bohemian-chic private island retreat Kamalame Cay in the Bahamas has expanded with two new villas and a celebratory dinner series. The cosseting new two-bedroom Dorado and Indigo Palm villas, in breezy indigo-and-white decor, come complete with full kitchens and wrap-around decks. Guests travel by golf carts to a different villa for each course during the resort’s new progressive dinners before winding up on the beach for dessert by the bonfire. Special full-moon dinners take place on the beach or Kamalame Hill overlooking the ocean. Rooms from $250, villas from $1,715; 800-790-7971; www.kamalame.com.
Tuscany too trampled? Consider Puglia, the southern heel of the boot with undeveloped beaches, distinctive white stone architecture and ancient olive orchards. The new Masseria Le Carrube in Ostuni, opening in March, was partially designed by Pino Brescia, who did sister property Borgo Egnazia, where Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel wed in 2012. Lodged in a former farmhouse, or masseria, dating to the 12th century, its 19 rooms feature whitewashed brick, antique accents and luxurious linens. The property includes a vegetarian restaurant, two swimming pools, and gardens with orange trees and an arched pergola ideal for destination nuptials. Rooms from 140 euros ($152 U.S.); 011-39-0831-342595, www.masserialecarrubeostuni.it.
For maximum grandeur amid the most celebrated wine region of the world, check into the new InterContinental Bordeaux-Le Grand Hotel. The 1776-vintage landmark, formerly the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux & Spa, has gained a fitting foodie partner: Gordon Ramsay. The celebrated chef now operates Le Pressoir d’Argent, specializing in the terroir of Bordeaux, both on the plate and in the glass. A wine concierge will arrange access to top wine estates. Designer Jacques Garcia renewed the spa, which features a terrace overlooking the city’s rooftops. Rooms from 350 euros ($380 U.S.); 800-496-7621, www.intercontinental.com.