First Resorts: 2024's Best Warm Weather Destinations
Tick off every travel trend (without ever feeling tired).
There comes a time in a Canadian winter when even the most devoted outdoor enthusiasts find themselves scrolling weather apps and travel sites, desperately searching for cities with the most sunny days and best beaches, the highest temperatures and shortest flights.
But today’s discerning travellers want more than a standard luxury resort. Instead, in the spirit of Merriam-Webster’s 2023 word of the year – “authentic” – they’re after hidden gems, hyper-local cuisine, eco-friendly offerings and private everything. These sun destinations all deliver on the best of both worlds, pairing warm weather with one-of-a-kind experiences.
Town and Country
Whatever the yearly travel trends, Mexico remains Canadians’ most-visited international destination after the US. For those who want an experience beyond the beach, Hacienda de San Antonio can be found in the Mexican Highlands, in the foothills of Volcan de Colima, one of the most active volcanoes in the country. The hotel itself is lush but lowkey, a manor-like estate with just 25 unique suites done up in Oaxacan textiles and local pottery. It’s mealtime that reveals the hotel’s hyperlocal angle: Over 90 percent of the menu comes from their own Rancho Jabali, which includes a biodynamic farm, artisan coffee roaster, cheesemaker, and even essential oil distillery. Guests can tour the ranch and garden, or order up a private, pond-side picnic (reachable on horseback) that showcases it all. Also, they source all their mangos from sister property Cuixmala, a celebrity fave that boasts its own zebra herd.
Digital nomads have been skipping resorts and flocking to Mexico City for the past few years, carving out expat communities around world-class arts, culture, and nightlife scenes. For visitors who want to feel like they’ve got a friend in town, 35-room boutique hotel Las Alcobas offers a Curated Experiences collection, a menu of half- and full-day private tours designed around history, art, and cuisine. For a taste: Book a foodie tour and expect an insider’s look at the city’s tiny taquerias, tables at the most in-demand restaurants, plus a sip or two of private-label mezcal and tequila.
Florida has long given Canadians the best bang for their buck. Not to mention a much-needed shock to the system, for those who get on a plane in Toronto in –30-degree weather only to emerge onto a sunny beach three hours later. For a new generation of snowbirds, history, design, and exclusivity are also a must. Find all three at The Boca Raton, a property whose original “Cloister Inn” hotel and accompanying gardens date back to 1926. Since then, the sprawling resort’s expansion has included a members’ only club, golf course, Forbes five-star spa, over a dozen drinks, and dining offerings (including a macaron shop and a Japanese restaurant overlooking the bocce courts), plus a private gold sand beach. For guests who want more perks than private check-in or a room upgrade, opening in February 2024 is the property’s Tower Suite Collection, promising to “add a layer of exclusivity” with a private lounge, sweeping views of the South Florida coastline, and a dedicated concierge team.
When Pantone announced the 2024 colour of the year – Peach Fuzz – Vomo’s marketing team was happy to point out that the 225-acre Fiji island resort is a hotspot for the hue, found everywhere from the pastel-tinted beaches to the underwater anemones. But the private island property is also known for its green initiatives and “blue travel” i.e. caring for the environment, coastlines, and ocean. Behind the scenes, the property operates an on-site water bottling plant and food scrap biodigester, as well as coral reef and sea turtle conservation projects overseen by Fijian marine biologist and staff member Laisena Rokoua. Eco-conscious travel is increasingly a non-negotiable, so with time, Vomo will look less like an outlier and more like a model to follow.