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Sick of Snow and Cold? A Nonstop Flight Will Get You to These Tropical Escapes.

Try this new boutique hotel in Key West, or these glam hideaways in Jamaica.
Key West’s Perry Hotel. Photograph courtesy of Perry Hotel.

Key Openings

Key West, at the southernmost tip of the US, is part party town, part tropical beauty, part artsy hideaway. The 4-by-1¼-mile speck of land jutting into the ocean—next stop, Cuba—has long been a hotbed of reinvention, a place to recharge, rethink, and reset. (Here’s looking at you, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams.) Several new boutique hotels have opened in recent years, bringing a welcome change from the island’s formerly fusty offerings. Among them is the Perry Hotel (7001 Shrimp Rd.; 305-296-1717), which has an industrial-chic design and a posh pool deck overlooking the marina. Cheap bikes, carts, and scooters throughout Key West mean you can explore the restaurants and famed bars without a car or a care. Because no visit is complete unless it includes time on the water, plan on a sunset cruise with craft cocktails aboard a historic Appledore schooner (205 Elizabeth St.; 305-704-8624).

Best of Jamaica

Jamaica Inn. Photograph courtesy of Jamaica Inn.

Jamaica really is the laid-back island that Bob Marley sang about, but its greatest pleasures are all too often hidden from visitors. Knowing where to stay is every-thing. For grown-up glam, book one of the new Caribbean-fronted luxury cottages at Jamaica Inn (Ocho Rios; 855-441-2044), a genteel retreat that has attracted movie stars since the 1950s. For family fun without the crowds, head to Half Moon (Rose Hall, Montego Bay; 800-626-0592), with horseback riding on the beach and spa treatments in bungalows overlooking the ocean. Another family favorite, Round Hill (Montego Bay; 800-972-2159), has rooms designed by Ralph Lauren, who owns a home on the lush property. All of these resorts can help you dig deeper into local culture by arranging tours of such attractions as coffee-rich mountain plantations, coral reefs, and famous film sites, including the locale for the James Bond movie Dr. No.

This article appears in the January 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

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