Travel & Leisure

Upgrade Your Vacation: Tropical Luxury Villas With a View

From secluded rainforests to unspoiled coastlines, each hotel and villa offers a special location. Whether you choose Mexico or Malaysia, your next trip will be a memorable one

If you’re looking for an escape from everyday life, each hotel and villa featured here provides wonderful views, white sands, fine food, spa treatments, and the chance to try different experiences from surfing to cookery lessons. The only question is which destination is the one for you?

Casa Chablé, Mexico

Roof-top wood and white bar with seating and plunge pool
Boasting more than 656 feet (200 m) of private shoreline, Casa Chablé is accessible by car, boat, and helicopter, and offers a range of accommodation options, including beachfront villas. The bar pictured is perched on a rooftop.

This fall Mexico’s Chablé Hotels opens Casa Chablé. Located in the Sian Ka’an biosphere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the resort promises “ultimate seclusion and immersion in nature” on an untouched stretch of Caribbean coast.

A stay begins with a ride through lush mangrove forests before reaching Casa Chablé’s private dock.

There are five standalone beachfront villas and a main villa housing five guest suites, as well as a restaurant, a rooftop lounge and bar, and a wellness cabana and gym. There are spa treatments and massage, as well as meditation and yoga on the beach.

Guests are also encouraged to explore using CC’s kayaks, paddleboards, and snorkeling equipment, and can book adventures such as visiting the ancient ruins of Muyil.

A villa with sun loungers and pool set in the lush green rainforest
Welcoming guests for more than 25 years, The Datai Langkawi is a captivating destination. National Geographic rates Datai Bay as one of the world’s top 10 beaches and, together with the surrounding jungle, it is home to a wealth of wildlife.

The 32 Rainforest Pool Villas at Malaysia’s The Datai Langkawi each feature not just sumptuous accommodations but also a 33-foot (10 m) pool by an extended deck.

Tired of sitting by the pool? Visit the resort’s new cookery school, dedicated to the old spice routes of Asia. Your adventure begins with a guided walk through the permaculture garden to forage for fresh ingredients.

A session might see guests creating kerabu udang kelapa parut (prawn salad with grated coconut, green island herbs, and chili paste) or tom yum goong (spicy prawn soup) to enjoy with a specially paired glass of wine.

And after that, you might choose to relax in the spa, which is located alongside a stream. Signature treatments incorporate the healing plants and herbs found in the rainforest and adopt the age-old traditions and philosophies of Malay culture known as ramuan.

Le Toiny, St. Barthélemy, The Caribbean

A deck with seating and swimming pool overlooking the ocean
Le Toiny offers guests space, a feeling of calm, and privacy. Each accommodation option, ranging from suites to villas, includes a terrace, a heated pool, and ocean views. Villa Nureyev and Villa Ocean both offer a private butler service.

The Caribbean continues its post-pandemic bounce-back, with St. Barts’ Le Toiny leading the charge.

Set on 17 acres (6.9 ha) on the hillside above Anse de Toiny, the 22-suite hotel has recently added two new four-bedroom suites, with interiors by Bee Osborn. One of these, Villa Nureyev—the former holiday home of the Russian ballet dancer, Rudolf Nureyev—has a floating deck offering 180-degree ocean views.

The reinvention also includes the reopening of Le Toiny Restaurant and the unveiling of the on-the-beach Surf Shack, where guests can book private lessons with professional surfer David Blanchard.

Enjoy lunch with your toes in the sand at Hotel Le Toiny’s Beach Club, described as a “hidden paradise,” which offers fish, grilled meat, and salad. There are several restaurants to choose from.

The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne, Australia

An infinity pool with views across Melbourne, Australia
With panoramic views, The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne offers guests the chance to relax high above the city. Located on level 64, The Ritz-Carlton Spa has six treatment rooms, a sauna, a steam room, vitality pools, and a tranquil yoga space.

Set to open at the beginning of 2023, The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne in Australia will have 257 guest rooms and suites, including the impressive 2,702 square-foot (251 sq m) The Ritz-Carlton Suite.

Guests will be welcomed via express elevator to the Sky Lobby on level 80, which has panoramic views of the city. On level 64 is a spa with a heated indoor infinity pool and six treatment rooms, including a couple’s suite, sauna, steam room, and yoga space.

The hotel is part of West Side Place in the city’s CBD, which includes the Grand Ballroom that can seat up to 630 people for dinner. It’s close to The National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne theater district, and Southbank. The Yarra River is within walking distance, and St. Kilda Beach is only a 20-minute drive away.

Banner image: The Datai Langkawi, Malaysia