The World's Best Places to Nap
It's summertime and the countdown is on to easy livin' and vacation dreaming. True, some like to skydive, spelunk, Salsa dance or spearfish during their off hours - but after the pressures of the past couple years, most of us would just like to curl up and take a beautiful, long, carefree nap. Here are the best places to do just that, from Tahiti to the Great Barrier Reef.
By: Lena Katz
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
For the many who find aquariums soothing, the underwater suite at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island allows you to experience it in a way that's not quite immersive, but certainly 180 degrees. Guests view undersea life from within a spacious, climate-controlled, luxurious glass cocoon.
Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa
For jetsetter style and stunning scenery, there is nothing that can top the overwater bungalow experience, as presented here by the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa. This Tahitian island is breathtaking even from a birdseye perspective. In person, when you can roll out of bed, reach out and dip your fingers in the crystalline sea. Even the most seasoned travelers agree, it's paradise on earth.
Lupita Island |Tanzania
Open-air villas gaze out onto mystical Lake Tanganyika, estimated to be the world's longest and second-deepest freshwater lake. The lake spans four different countries, and though Lupita Island is officially within the Tanzania border, it seems to be almost in its own world - a pristine 130-acre patch of natural paradise. The sole hotel development on-island is tiny (just 11 villas and 2 cottages) and melds rustic charm (thatched roofs) with sheer luxury (outdoor baths in which to luxuriate right after your afternoon nap).
Lizard Island | Australia
Sunset on Australia's Great Barrier Reef is a visually dramatic experience, and while it's magical from a beach viewpoint, sandy toes and all, a million-dollar deck view elevates the experience and is a bit more conducive to drifting into dreamland. The Sunset Point Villas at legendary Lizard Island offer easy access from one's own private deck to a few of the resort's 24 private beaches.
Quinta de Romaneira, Douro Valley | Portugal
After a day enjoying the chief attraction of the Douro Valley - i.e. port wine - especially in the heat of the Portugal sun, you'll definitely need a siesta. And while it's not as much of a tradition in Portugal as in neighboring Spain, luxury hideaways like Quinta de Romaneira don't mind if their visitors enjoy a poolside snooze with valley views.
Surf & Sand Resort | Laguna, California
Consistently voted among North America's most romantic spots, Surf & Sand Resort has something which California hotels are, according to outsiders, practically required to have, but which almost none actually do: a true oceanfront setting, so close you can practically feel the salt spray on your toes from the comfort of your sun lounger. Glass-walled balconies protect guests from untoward waves and breeze-swept sands without obstructing the views.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu | Peru
Having your head in the clouds can be a blissful experience. At this boutique hotel, which occupies 12 acres of Andean cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu, the intoxicating scent of native orchids and the music of tropical birdsong lull the senses off to dreamland.
Red Rocks | Colorado
While normally this setting is associated with some of the biggest and loudest live music events in the West, we like one local's suggestion of napping here on a non-event day, claiming your own little spot with a blanket and pillow, and having the epic beauty of Red Rocks all to yourself, just for a moment in time.
Ambergris Caye | Belize
The best of two worlds - the Caribbean and Latin America - combine in Belize, where sunset brings rose-tinged splendor to the horizon, kissing the vivid blue Caribbean sea. On Ambergris Caye, the island where this photo was shot, world-class napping can take place on a beach, in a hammock, or at a luxe hotel like the one pictured above.
Lavaux | Switzerland
Nap on the shores of Lake Geneva, after a morning of wine-tasting and exploring the historic terraced vineyards of Lavaux, Switzerland. BYOB (that's "bring your own blanket"), but not necessarily for a picnic. The pintes - or historic restaurant-inns - of the region are an adventure in local seasonal dining, and they're easy to find in the winemaker villages clustered on the lakeshore.
Baoase | Curacao
The colorful, friendly and fun Caribbean island of Curacao is known for its European-influenced beach clubs and family resorts, but there are many serene beachfront boutiques like Baoase, pictured here. After a morning of diving amidst wrecks and reefs, a surfside chaise on the sand is a perfect place to recharge.
Let the one-of-a-kind Tree House at Tongabezi Lodge bring you back to childhood dreams of Robinson Crusoe adventure...but with all the luxury trappings you've come to appreciate in adulthood. The multilevel treetop roost features a king-sized bed with views of the Zambezi River, and on the deck below, a bathroom with sunken bath.
Just why is this bed worth $25,000 a night, you ask? The answer is: elevation and location. Slumber in privacy and comfort while cruising 39,000 feet in the air on Singapore Airlines' new A380, and awaken to an exotic destination halfway around the world from where you started.
Sky Couches | Air New Zealand
Truthfully, $25,000 per flight is a hefty price tag for even the most extravagant traveler, but at one-tenth that price, Air New Zealand’s much-buzzed-about "Sky Couches" are quite a reasonable way to bring comfort to your long-haul travels. Sure, the berths are tighter than a full-on suite, but when napping a deux - as ANZ wholeheartedly recommends - it's all the better for snuggling.
Hilton Bentley | Miami Beach, Florida
Relaxing isn't always easy in Miami Beach, where the action on the beach and at the popular hotel pools tends to be loud and peacocky. The Hilton Bentley strikes a perfect balance between buzzing and serene. If you want the buzz and the see-and-be-seen, hang out closer to the bar area and the pool. When you want to lose yourself to the sun and the mojito haze, stake a claim on one of the daybeds which are set back near the beach and elevated several steps above pool level.
Milliken Creek | Napa, California
A soft green lawn, a rushing stream, warm Northern California sunshine and a bottle of Napa's finest - what could be more conducive to dozing? At luxury inn Milliken Creek, this scenario is not only easily achieved, but you probably won't even have to share it. There's no swimming, so most guests just enjoy the view from a balcony - but the inn will happily set up a blanket and pillow in some private tree-shaded spot.
ARIA | Las Vegas
With its low lights, massage chairs and salt-infused air (coming from the salt walls) is thought to be beneficial to one's respiratory system. The Shio Salt Room in the Spa at ARIA may be the ultimate Vegas chill-out spot. This is beauty rest at its finest. After a treatment, come here to decompress and wake up refreshed, more beautiful, and ready for another wild night on the town.
St. Regis, Punta Mita
Of all the beachside hammocks in Mexico, this location may be the most idyllic. For one thing, it's St. Regis - a brand that always hits the marks for luxury and aesthetics. For another, it's located on a choice and little-trafficked patch of beach in the gated resort development of Punta Mita - the crown jewel of the Riviera Nayarit. No crowds, great service, and sparkling white décor to match the white sand beaches.