Where to Spend Spring Break (Without Spring Breakers)

Escape not just the cold weather, but the crowds at one of these chic destinations.

With winter stretching on just far too long (we’re so ready to swap our Burberry riding boots for some chic Michael Kors loafers), it’s no wonder so many people flock to tropical Caribbean and Mexican destinations in March for spring break. Just because we’re not in college or university anymore doesn’t mean we still don’t need a break — vegging out pool side, drinking frosty margaritas in a cabana and seriously doing nothing at all. We just don’t want to do it with swim-up bars, jam-packed large resorts and with loads of students easing away school stress. These places definitely have their place, but we’re looking for something a little more chic and a little more secluded. Here are our top four places to escape this spring break — from your everyday and from the crowds.

A suite at Hotel French Coco. Photography courtesy of Hotel French Coco.

Hotel French Coco, Martinique, Caribbean
We can almost guarantee that you won’t finding a slew of college students drinking in the bar at this chic Creole-inspired boutique hotel on the French island of Martinique. With 17 quaint suites (by quaint we mean spacious with terraces — not bad, no?) and only two floors, you’ll feel more like you’re visiting one of Richard Branson’s many island homes rather than checking in at a hotel. You won’t hear pumping music here either — situated on Martinique’s Atlantic coast, its spot along the sandy shore is also shared with a tiny fishing village named Tartane and a protected natural reserve. The intimate beach, La Brèche, is also perfect for sipping chilled drinks before dinner or reading a good book (see some of our best vacation reads here). And when the motto is “On holiday it is no longer your responsibility to look after your well being, but ours,” it’s the ideal spot to rid yourself of any winter blues and stress you may have.

Where to Find:
Hotel French Coco
33 La Distillerie
Tartane, 97 220, Trinite
hotelfrenchcoco.com

The pool by night at Casa Bonita. Photography courtesy of Casa Bonita.

Casa Bonita, Dominican Republic, Caribbean
Let’s face it — flights to the Dominican Republic are sometimes at such amazing rates, it’s hard to pass up on the chance to get to this ever-popular Caribbean island when you’re in serious need of vitamin D. This tropical hideaway is in the south-west, secluded corner of the island (that equals a peaceful, quite vacation) and has just 12 rooms (all with balconies that over look the jungle or the sea) a luxe spa and a restaurant (which uses produce from the on-site garden). The best part? Requesting a special spa treatment customized just for your body’s needs at the Tanama Eco Spa nestled in the surrounding trees.

Where to Find:
Casa Bonita
Km 17 Carretera De La Costa
Barahona, Dominican Republic
casabonitadr.com

The villas at Blue Diamond Riviera Maya. Photography courtesy of Blue Diamond Riviera Maya.

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Playa Del Carmen is a hotspot for spring breakers and for anyone looking for a chance to soak up that Mexican sun and it’s also a hub for partying and big resorts. While we’re always up for a beach party, this time we’re looking for something a little less frantic. The Blue Diamond Riviera Maya has just 128 rooms in this adults-only hotel (quite small for this spot in Mexico) separated into small villas. Tucked into the lush rainforest all you’ll hear are the birds and insects that make a tropical setting so comforting. Each room is ultra-modern (thanks to a mix of clean limestone and wood) with floor-to-ceiling windows to take in the Caribbean Sea views.

Where to Find:
Km. 298 816
Carretera Federal 307 Chetumal-Puerto Juárez
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
bluediamondrivieramaya.com

The beach at Goldeneye. Photography courtesy of Goldeneye.

Goldeneye, Jamaica, Caribbean
Jamaica is one of those other quintessential spring break destinations (or all year for that matter). The island’s laid back vibe, nightlife and spectacular beaches make it a must-visit. But to get away from the crowds, snap up one of the 21 rooms at Goldeneye — a boutique hotel in Ocho Rios that gets its name from being James Bond writer Ian Fleming’s old villa. Pass your days on the private beach, exploring the nearby lagoon in one of the two swimming pools or feasting on traditional Jamaican fare.

Where to Find:
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
876-6229-007
goldeneye.com