Laurie Brookins
Feb 2021

Today’s travelers are increasingly favoring hotels and resorts designed to emphasize open-air environments. Instead of stepping from a room into a hotel corridor, guests move outside into a courtyard or other landscaped area, while on-site restaurants and public spaces have been conceptualized with outdoor life in mind.

“It’s a layout that puts people at ease,” says Cathy Balestriere, general manager of Crane’s Beach House, a 28-suite hotel in Delray Beach, Florida. “Guests who want to avoid crowds really love the smaller boutique hotel.” Here, a few refreshing properties to visit this spring.

Courtesy of Crane’s Beach House

Crane’s Beach House

Delray Beach, Florida

Midway between Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, Crane’s Beach House is located one block from the Atlantic Ocean and offers a hideaway vibe, with two pools surrounded by lush landscaping. Each apartment-style suite opens onto the hotel’s tropical courtyards and comes with a fully equipped kitchen—but if you’d prefer dining out, Delray’s downtown district is within easy walking distance. Balestriere’s team will make restaurant reservations and handle requests for guests seeking outdoor dining.

Courtesy of Secret Bay

Secret Bay

Tibay, Dominica

For remote relaxation, you can’t beat the 10 sumptuous villas at Secret Bay, a rain-forest resort located on Dominica’s north end. A dedicated concierge takes you directly to your sustainably built villa, which boasts a generous indoor/outdoor layout, gourmet kitchen and plunge pool. Dine at Zing Zing, the open-air restaurant, or choose to enjoy both meals and spa treatments on your outdoor deck with its panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea.

Courtesy of The Roxbury at Stratton Falls

The Roxbury at Stratton Falls

Roxbury, New York

Honeymooners and Game of Thrones fans alike love the whimsy of the Tower Cottages of The Roxbury at Stratton Falls, a Catskills resort 90 minutes from Albany. The owners of the nearby Roxbury Motel purchased the land when they discovered it included a 50-foot waterfall, then designed a group of magical two-story cottages themed around fairy tales, superheroes, dragons and vampires. Fold in the hiking trails to the waterfall and it’s a secluded selfie paradise.

Courtesty of Turneffe Island Resort

Turneffe Island Resort


Fly into Belize City and enjoy a 90-minute boat ride to Turneffe Island Resort, a 14-acre private island surrounded by a coral reef. Guests stay in red-roofed villas, each with mahogany interiors, private porches and Caribbean views. Relax on the beach during the day or enjoy the outdoor bar and barbecue. Sportfishing and diving are popular at Turneffe, which is located 90 minutes from a beloved diving site, the Great Blue Hole.

Courtesy of Wigwam


Litchfield Park, Arizona

Just 30 minutes from Phoenix, Wigwam is an oasis-like resort situated on 440 acres in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Guests stay in casitas that open directly onto landscaped courtyards with pools, while the resort’s lounge and dining options offer indoor and outdoor seating. Built in 1918 but thoroughly updated, Wigwam offers not only an abundance of desert charm but also three championship golf courses, tennis courts and a full-service spa.

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