Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sunshine Fix

With the last couple of weeks being colder than I would like in Nashville, I cannot help but wish for a warm escape. With work and other obligations, the timing's not right just yet, but that doesn't keep me from thinking (and scheming) about it.

To keep my mood up when it's absolutely freezing, my therapy is to think about where I would like to be - and to browse through a few vacation photos. I've been lucky to escape to some sensational spots over the past year or so where the warm breezes and cold cocktails offered a much appreciated lift for my spirits. This is a round up of a few of my most recent picks/suggestions on where you can book your own sunny adventure:

The beach at Las Ventanas
Las Ventanas was an unforgettable trip and one I plan to make again as soon as possible. The gorgeous rooms, the amazing food and the view keep it at the top of my list, always! If you've never been, I promise it's totally worth the splurge. 

The view from our room at St. Regis Bal Harbour
A couple of months ago I took a quick jaunt for my wedding anniversary. It included stops at both the new St. Regis Bal Harbor as well as Jumby Bay resorts. Both were incredibly beautiful with endless ocean views, top tier service and romance on tap. For anyone looking for a little private time, check these two out. The Bal Harbour property is all glitz and modern luxury while Jumby Bay provides a relaxed Caribbean vibe combined with total pampering.

Jumby Bay's ultimate package includes a stay in an exclusive private home.

If you think that the near the ocean is the only place to get your sunshine fix, then you haven't been to Phoenix or Scottsdale in winter. The Arizona Biltmore is one of the nation's most distinctive properties, and the temperatures are comfortably warm for poolside lounging this time of year. The bonus is amazing shopping, award winning dining experiences and plenty of opportunities to keep your New Year resolutions via their health and fitness opportunities and spa.

The gorgeous grounds of Arizona Biltmore
Sometimes going to a friend's home is the most special trip. I'm lucky enough to have a girlfriend with a stellar home right on the ocean on the charming island of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. And, for those of you looking for a roomy, deluxe pad for a few days of paradise, she does rent it out! (

The view from the house pool on Isla Mujeres
If you want a bit of Nashville worked in with your visit elsewhere, look no further than Naples, Florida where hundreds of locals own second homes that they flock to this season. For those of us not lucky enough to have one-- there are plenty of options for blending in at the best local hotels. The Ritz Carlton Naples and The Naples Grande are both good choices and near all of the nightlife and shopping that keeps Nashville's elite going back each year. I especially love the charming downtown with quaint shops and outdoor patio dining (and drinking) options.

Outdoor dining at Sea Salt in downtown Naples.
What's your favorite warm weather escape? I would love to know. Please do share here on the Southern Sophisticate!