Avoid the typical and touristy spring break destinations by heading just outside the popular hubs. Instead of Punta Cana, try Barahona; skip Cabo and go for Todos Santos. These off-the-path retreats offer a refreshing spring break experience (sans college kids, crowds, and all-inclusive mega resorts) and are home to a few choice hotels—all three below are members of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and are offering packages that will save you 30 percent off spring travel.
Nestled in the unspoiled southwest corner of the Dominican Republic, Casa Bonita is a 12-cabana eco-lodge, with the forested Sierra Barahuco Mountains (and the island’s biosphere reserve) set on one side and the ocean on the other. Meals combine locally sourced produce and roughage from the lodge’s own organic garden. Casa Bonita’s family spring break package includes round-trip transfers from Santo Domingo to the lodge; three nights in a deluxe unit that accommodates two adults and two children; four zip line tours per stay; one 30-minute massage per adult; a Cachote biosphere tour; one hour of horseback riding per family; and a gourmet beach picnic.
The Deal: The three-night package goes for $1,325 for a family of four.
Book It: Call 800-961-5133 and mention the "Family Fun" deal or visit www.casabonitadr.com.
The two-year-old boutique resort in historic Todos Santos town (an hour from Los Cabos) offers 14 stylish rooms in a converted 19th-century home, just a hop, skip, and jump from the beach. For such a small hotel, Guaycura has some great amenities: a rooftop pool and lounge, a petite spa with steam room and jacuzzi, and a beachside palapa for private dining. The gourmet package includes a three-night stay, breakfast daily, a gourmet tasting dinner with wine pairing, a Mexican cooking class, a market outing, and a walking tour of Todos Santos.
The Deal: The three-night package costs $1,159 for two.
Book It: Call 800-468-6039 and mention "Gourmet Food and Wine" or visit www.guaycura.com.mx.
Spend two nights at the charming Hacienda San Lucas (or Hotel Marina Copan) in the ancient Mayan city of Copan and five nights at The Lodge at Pico Bonito, a pine-and-stone eco-resort set next to the namesake national park. Twenty-two luxurious cabins are spread among old cacao groves overlooking Pico Bonito mountain peak. Several viewing decks afford glimpses of 400-plus species of birds (toucans, macaws, harpy eagles). The lodge houses its own butterfly farm, while the surrounding rain forest beckons adventure with waterfalls and wildlife. On top of seven nights’ accommodation, this deal includes all transfers, a guided tour of the Copan ruins, a guided rain forest hike, a white-water rafting trip, and a day of snorkeling off the Bay Islands.
The Deal: The 7-night package is priced at $1,705/person with all meals included; from $1,450 with breakfast only. After April, prices drop to $1,575 and $1,320 respectively.
Book It: Call 888-428-0221 or visit www.picobonito.com.
Photo Credit: courtesy The Lodge at Pico Bonito
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