Four places to escape this winter

From basking in Mexico's Hollywood vibe to relaxing on a Caribbean farm, Chris Carter looks at the four best places to go in search of winter sun.


Finolhu Villas, Maldives

Finolhu Villas in the Maldives is a favourite of the rich and famous, says the Daily Mail, and it's easy to see why. Located on Gasfinolhu island, it offers everything you'd expect from an ultra-luxurious resort. "Personal butlers, private pools and terraces, complimentary Champagne, and picturesque vistas" are all part of the package, says Kristin Tablang in ForbesLife. The 52 lavish villas are "linked together like vertebrae" (above), each with ceilings that "curl up, mimicking waves", and shingle roofs that reflect the local building style.

Finolhu Villas also makes a virtue of its green credentials. The resort has giant solar panels, "positioned in plain sight yet artfully integrated" into the overall design so that you won't even notice them. The island itself has been landscaped to minimise erosion, while the hotel's own desalination plant supplies fresh water to its guests, allowing you to enjoy a guilt-free stay.

From £3,146.50 per adult for sevennights, including flights and transfers (

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Belle Mont Farm, St Kitts

This resort on St Kitts delivers what has become known as "agro-tourism" but with a Caribbean style. It means you're basically staying on a farm but don't be put off. It's actually more like "a posh hotel", where you can enjoy lounging by your plunge pool, "watching the sun set behind St Barts in the distance".

Most of the food you'll eat at the resort is grown on the farm, says Fiona Sims in The Times. Dishes include callaloo leaves, "used as a wrap with an accompanying peanut and passion fruit dipping sauce", and raw okra, "hollowed out and then filled with a pearly aubergine caviar".And while there's no beach to shout about, there is a sustainable 18-hole golf course, hand-weeded by staff. The resort is still under construction "though not within earshot" and will eventually feature 84 cottages, villas, four "farmhouses", and 100 hotel rooms with 12 eateries. There will also be six restaurants, one of which will be headed by "top New York chef", Dan Barber.

Doubles from £426 per night, including breakfast (


Esperanza, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Perched on the tip of Mexico's Bajapeninsula, Cabo San Lucas has risenfrom the ruins left by Hurricane Odile inSeptember last year. And true to formfor a resort town used to welcomingthe rich and famous, it's done it instyle. Take the Esperanza, for instance.

A favourite of A-list celebrities, theresort hotel has received a totaloverhaul, says Amelia Mularz inHarper's Bazaar. Rooms have been"reimagined in a beachy contemporarystyle", while new plants have been added to the landscaping, and palm trees flown into replace those knocked down by the storm. It's perfect if you're after a "Hollywood on-holiday vibe", says The Sunday Times.

From about £1,250 a night. See

20Sud, Mauritius

The 20Sud hotel is a "fabulous, under-the-radar boutique property on the north coast of Mauritius", says The Sunday Times. Some of the hotel's 34 rooms come with pools, while others have whirlpools. But either way, the hotel is right beside a "perfect beach" and there is a "convivial bar", a small spa and a regular boat shuttle to Grand Baie, a popular seaside village.

In the evening, why not listen to the Indian Ocean lap the shore as you "tuck into a six-course lobster menu, or sushi prepared from catch of the day", says Amanda Statham in The Daily Telegraph. Alternatively, enjoy a "candle-lit meal amid picturesque ruins on a nearby island", or dine on the resort's renovated boat.

See has an all-inclusive seven-night deal for £1,069 per person.

Chris Carter

Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.

Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.

You can follow Chris on Instagram.