Oh, how we envy our South American friends in the midst of their summer with memories of rain and winter so far away. But alas, a reprieve from the chill exists for all of us at these hedonist lairs that define the best island getaways this season. February is the sunniest month in the Maldives, where a one-stop Emirates sojourn in their new First Class 777 is followed up with a zippy 40-minute speed boat ride to Como Cocoa Island. The unpretentious, spa-minded Como hotel group has two properties in the Maldives, but this is our favorite with its 33-overwater villas and hippest collection of international visitors yet. Far more posh, however, is Cheval Blanc Randheli with its Jean-Michel Gathy pedigree and private seaplane arrival in further Noonu Atoll.
For a dose of adventure, Explora Rapa Rui puts a more luxurious spin on exploring the mysteries of Easter Island. February tends to be the hottest month of the year in the archipelago with a boutique, 30-room resort that curates a series of adventures on foot, bicycle or at the sea for a variety of travelers. The quick connection through Santiago also allows for exploring the Chilean capital and its glossy new Mandarin Oriental. Those looking for a far-flung fling from Melbourne or Sydney, skip Stinger Season on the Great Barrier Reef and stay closer to the Gold Coast and properties like Halcyon House that may not be on an island, but could be the most charming hotel in all of Australia.
Avoid the South Pacific - at least through March - even though we are dying to try United’s new SFO-Tahiti service. Opt instead for closer Caribbean destinations that are showing impressive progress following last year’s catastrophic hurricane season. On St. Barth, Hotel Christopher and newer Villa Marie are scheduled to reopen in the next month as well as favorites Maya's, Bonito and Nikki Beach by March. And you will probably never get a better deal on a villa than now through preferred agencies like Wimco Villas. And for those that simply need island perfection, no matter the distance, Amanpulo beckons from a private Palawan island resort in the Philippines surrounded by the turquoise-blue waters of the Sulu Sea. February is dry season as mythical tradewinds blow through the resort that becomes a hideaway for sail sport lovers and those that regularly tout it as the greatest island getaway in the world.