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Where to go for a lavish beach getaway

Fall is the perfect time to go abroad and bask in the sun by the ocean. Check out these unforgettable beaches in the Maldives, Cabo San Lucas or Bora Bora where you can expect top notch service and relax in sunny style. | By Elizabeth Wellington | August 6, 2021

As summer heat turns to cool and breezy fall, there’s one sure-fire way to hang on to those sizzling temps: an international beach getaway. Many people flock to warm destinations in the winter, but the fall season can be a traveler’s sweet spot.

We love the Maldives, Cabo San Lucas and Bora Bora during this time, with fewer crowds, a slower pace and the opportunity to warm up before the cold sets in. Here’s what you will experience on a fun getaway to these top three international spots:

  • Adventures at sea: Whether you’re learning to scuba dive or paddling a kayak, go beyond the beach to observe ocean wildlife up close.

  • Fresh catches: Savor sustainable seaside cuisine that’s true to the distinct culture of each destination.

  • Breathtaking landscapes: From coastal crags to iridescent blue waters, you’ll see awe-inspiring landscapes in every direction.

The Maldives

The Maldives are the escape for you if you want to sleep in an overwater villa, dip into crystal clear waters and explore underwater reefs — rather than take in the sights by land. Visitors to this archipelago of 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean arrive at their destination by boat or seaplane from the capital Malé.

Because travelers tend to use their hotel as their base, choose a resort that offers you a level of comfort, care and experiences equal to the outstanding natural beauty of these islands. The 24-hour personal concierge service at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi designs life-changing nature excursions that grant you access to one of the world’s most precious ecosystems.

Endless blue horizons

Take a private dolphin cruise at sunset or snorkel amid the South Malé Atoll. Keep your eyes peeled for clownfish, sea turtles and gentle whale sharks swimming among vibrant coral reefs. At the end of the day, settle into your own ocean villa, take a dip in your private infinity pool or relax in the overwater hammock and watch the sunset.

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If you’re so thrilled about exploring the reefs that you want to stay underwater, book THE MURAKA residence at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.

Sleep under the sea

Set in a private lagoon, the villa includes a primary bedroom that’s submerged 16 feet under sea level with a glass-domed ceiling. Sleep under the sea and wake to a school of fish swimming above you.

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Cabo San Lucas, México

Cabo San Lucas is the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula, where the Sea of Cortés meets the Pacific Ocean. The desert climate, waterfront views and sea-to-table Mexican cuisine draw in visitors from around the world.

Deep-sea fishing boats sit in Cabo San Lucas’ harbor and serve outdoor enthusiasts who want to catch their own dinner. Locals agree that October is the best time to fish off the coast with a private charter.

You can gain easy access to the harbor without the crowds or the noise by booking a stay at Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal.

Take the plunge

A 1,000-foot tunnel brings guests under steep waterfront cliffs from the harbor to the 24-acre waterfront, where every room has a plunge pool.

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After a relaxing day at the most secluded spot in Cabo San Lucas, you can savor the local catch at the hotel’s signature restaurant, El Farallon, while the waves crash on the rocks in front of you.

For a change of scenery, talk to the concierge about heading to Baja’s best-kept secret on their 4x4 jeeps: the Xanadu of Baja Sierra. In the wilderness outside of charming Santiago, you’ll encounter desert flora and fauna that will take your breath away.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora is one of many small volcanic islands within the Society Islands archipelago, French Polynesia’s most populous island group. Mount Otemanu, a dormant volcano, stands tall in the center of Bora Bora, which is encircled by a legendary lagoon and a magnificent coral reef deep in the South Pacific.

As tempting as it is to take it easy on a getaway to Bora Bora, there are adventures to be had. If you love mountains as well as the sea, consider a hike up the summit of Mount Pahia with a local guide. Make the trek on a dry day for a vista that will make you forget the challenging climb. If you prefer underwater adventures, consider adding pearl diving with the Bora Pearl Company to your list.

In between activities, you’ll want to sink into a scenic spot infused with the smell of jasmine and the sound of gentle waves lapping against the shore. Conrad Bora Bora stands apart from other properties on the island in more ways than one.

Room with a view

Conrad Bora Bora sits on an atoll separate from the main island — and far from other resorts — boasting stunning views of Mount Otemanu and access to the island’s most remarkable coral reefs.

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Enjoy a traditional Polynesian dinner, where meat, seafood and vegetables have been cooked in an Ahi Ma’a, Tahitian oven in the sand made from coconut leaves and rocks.

Don’t leave without getting a traditional Tahitian massage at the Hina Spa. Named after a Polynesian goddess, the spa is tucked into volcanic rock.

These three getaway destinations will leave you awe-inspired by the wonders of the ocean. You’ll return home feeling renewed and cherishing your memories of your beach vacation for years to come.

Elizabeth Wellington is a travel writer and brand copywriter whose work has appeared in Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure and BBC. When not writing in her Vermont farmhouse, she's usually en route to a new destination with a notebook in hand.

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