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The 3 Most Amazing Resorts We’ve Ever Been To

May 17, 2024

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This post is not sponsored in any way. We paid full price and sought out all of these trips. All opinions and experiences are my own.

I don’t usually do travel posts because I’m such a homebody, but every now and then, we have an occasion worth celebrating that calls for a big trip. Most of the time, we’ll find a really cool Airbnb or hotel, something that has an interior that inspires me is my go-to, but sometimes we’ll go all out on a destination resort. Luxury resorts can really deliver on the details, which can make all the difference on *making* those big vacations.

I like to do a lot of research ahead of time and find something that fits all of our travel wishes — incredible views, exquisite details, excellent food. Distance doesn’t really matter — they can be far away or just a state away (Blackberry Farm is on my list to try next! We had it booked last fall before we had to cancel due to illness).

There are three resort destinations that have exceeded the mark on all accounts! They are dream destinations, and I feel fortunate to have checked these off my bucket list. In case you’re looking for a resort experience that will stay with you for a lifetime, here are just three I can’t stop talking about. They are more than a resort or destination — they’re a whole experience:

1. The St. Regis & The Four Seasons in Bora Bora

Chris Loves Julia | Paddle boarding at the St. Regis in Bora Bora
Chris Loves Julia Huts at the St. Regis in Bora Bora

I think the first time I heard about Bora Bora, I was watching The Bachelorette (Ali’s season!) and I put it on my bucket list. Then I started seeing it in movies like Couples Retreat. So for our 10-year anniversary in 2018, we went to the St. Regis in Bora Bora, and let me tell you, it was the most heavenly place we’ve been to on this earth. So much so that we just went back with friends this year! We split our time between The Four Seasons and St. Regis this time. It was my first time ever packing up and moving to a different location on the same vacation, but it was actually SO FUN and I really recommend it, especially if you’re staying somewhere longer than just a few days. We spent 3 days at the St. Regis and 3 days at the Four Seasons.

In both places, the water stillness and color is unbelievable, the temperature is perfection. It feels like there’s no one there but you. We stayed in the overwater bungalows (if you’re going to Bora Bora — you must stay in an overwater bungalow!), where there are windows looking into the water on the floor. We saw stingrays swimming below our huts! There was a deck off the back of our hut so we could swim: You feel like it’s your own personal ocean. We did a jet ski tour where we went and saw all of these different rays and our guide sliced open a coconut with a knife and dipped pieces in saltwater and gave it to us — like what!? Amazing. It was just the most relaxing and magical experience.

I’m sure you’re wondering, so which resort was better?! We made a list to compare each resort and they almost came up even! We liked the breakfasts better at Four Seasons, the lunches were split, but St. Regis had far better restaurants for dinner, imo. Although, definitely get the chicken at the mediterranean restaurant at Four Seasons and don’t skip Lagoon at St. Regis — the most memorable meal of my life. The grounds at Four Seasons took the win, because every single view is centered around seeing the gorgeous mountains, but overall, the beds were better at St. Regis we all concluded. The staff at Four Seasons were all locals and (straight from the start!) felt like family. They knew our names and our dietary restrictions. They taught us their language, we hugged them and took photos with them by the end of our stay. I loved that there was an app to book excursions and reservations easily and same day. The St. Regis has a VERY attentive concierge. They’ll find you anywhere. But the staff is more international, so you don’t get as much of a local feel when you’re there. Either way, you truly cannot go wrong. We will go back, for sure.

2. Jade Mountain Resort in St. Lucia

Chris Loves Julia | Jade Mountain Resort in St. Lucia

This is a once-in-a-lifetime (in my opinion) trip. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to Jade Mountain — not because it wasn’t amazing, but because the memory of it is sacred! (Is that too dramatic?) The resort was built on the side of a mountain, and it’s facing a mountain, so the views are spectacular. While there’s a front door to get into your room that has to be 20-feet tall, the room itself constructed in such a way that it’s open air — there is no door or window out back, so it’s an open air room on one complete wall, and yet there’s complete privacy. At night, the turndown service includes burning incense in your room and covering your bed with this mosquito net. You are essentially sleeping under the stars — it’s the most amazing experience! Note that it’s a lot of walking up and down stairs to get to different aspects of the resort. (I think we counted 300 stairs from the beach to our room one day. There is a shuttle service that will get you to the entrance of the resort if you’d like, but plan on getting your steps in in the most amazing setting.)

At the top of one terrace, called the celestial terrace, you can have dinner and lay down after the sun goes down and I’ve never seen so many stars. Each room has an infinity pool in it. There were three different restaurants to choose from at Jade Mountain, but you’ll barely see anyone, and the food was very fresh and high-end, plus the service was incredible. You could put a flag in the sand at any moment and someone would bring you whatever food or drink you’d like. Also every day in our fridge the staff put these bento boxes filled with snacks that were so good — we were so excited to come back from our excursions to try them. For activities, we did the mud baths that the locals do and took a sunset sail — both were just magical. It’s the most larger-than-life experience. I loved it so much and beg people to go that are looking for a unique resort that’s extremely private and beautiful!

3. Banyan Tree Mayakoba in Mexico

Chris Loves Julia | Banyan Tree Mayakoba Resort
Chris Loves Julia | Canal at Banyan Tree Mayakoba Resort

This resort I would go back to again and again and again. It’s set in this beautiful area of Mexico between the Caribbean Sea and canal waterways. A lot of celebrities go there because it’s next to the premier El Camaleón Golf Course. Actually fellow North Carolinian Michael Jordan was there when we went! There are a lot of different types of rooms, but all the rooms were designed so you could look out into the water wherever you were. We were oceanfront and our friends stayed on the lagoon side, and honestly? Their side was cooler! Their deck overlooked a waterway where there were alligators — just so fun to watch. We took a little boat provided by the resort through the canals to wherever we wanted to go in the resort, including the many restaurants. The food was out of this world! We chose all-inclusive and for every meal we got an appetizer, dinner, dessert and drink. We were so stuffed and so happy. The service was really amazing. I would love to go back to Mayakoba.

What are your dream vacations you’ve either taken or hope to take someday? Share in the comments so we can all get inspired together!

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What do you think?

  1. Allison Patel says:

    These are amazing! I’d love a post of the best resorts where you’ve taken your kids with you (if you have). It’s hard (for me) to find amazing spots that are also family friendly!

  2. Raza says:

    Love this post! Can you also share your booking process? How well in advance did you book? Any tips on saving or discounts?

  3. Astarte Suites on the island of Santorini, Greece. It’s a boutique property situated on volcanic rock, facing the caldera. A must stay!
    Another favorite, Nayara Gardens in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. You are greeted each day with the Arenal Volcano standing in the distance. Coats Rica in general is a favorite destination for my husband and I. We love the scenery, the people and the abundant wildlife.

  4. Lindsay says:

    Love this post so much. The Four Seasons on Maui, The Omni Barton Creek Resort in Austin, and the Woodstock Inn in Vermont are my all time faves!

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