Tired of winter’s chill and wondering where to travel for a warm weather beach vacation? These tropical islands are waiting to welcome you.
Thailand’s rich culture, friendly locals, and warm turquoise seas make this Southeast Asian country an excellent warm weather beach vacation destination.
With islands galore, it can be difficult to decide where to vacation. I selected Koh Samui, recognized by Conde Nast Traveller as one of the best islands in Thailand. Koh Samui offers a range of accommodation, postcard perfect beaches, and a laid-back lifestyle. I can’t wait to return!
Where to Stay on Koh Samui
The Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui has villa-style family accommodation with a private infinity pool, a separate children’s bedroom, as well as an onsite kid’s club. The resort, constructed amidst a former coconut plantation, also caters to couples with a private sandy beach and plenty of space to chill. Be sure to explore nearby Ang Thong Marine National Park – it is stunning.
Koh Samui is accessible by a one-hour commercial flight from Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok. I recommend a few days in the city either before or after your island beach vacation. Once known as “Venice of the East”, Bangkok is a fascinating mix of old and new. Gleaming sky scrapers tower above the Chao Phraya River, while rickety stilt houses threaten to fall into nearby canals. Be sure to tour the city by long-tail boat to get a sense of the importance of the Chao Phraya River and Bangkok’s history.
Where to Stay in Bangkok
We stayed at the Peninsula Hotel Bangkok, located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. I recommend staying at one of Bangkok’s riverfront hotels because the flow of river traffic is fascinating (for adults and kids), and it is convenient to travel through parts of the city by boat. Traffic on Bangkok’s roads can be heavy.
Approximately 5-hours by airplane from the coast of California and 6 hours from Vancouver, Canada, the Hawaiian island chain is an accessible destination for many North Americans.
We have visited all of the six major Hawaiian islands except Molokai, and enjoy vacationing on Lana’i, Maui, and Hawaii (also known as the Big Island).
Once known as the Pineapple Island because it was the world’s leading grower and exporter of pineapples for most of the 20th century, Lana’i is one of the smallest inhabited islands in Hawaii. With only 30 miles of paved roads and not a single stop light, Lana’i offers an authentic Hawaiian experience.
Where to Stay on Lana’i
If you are looking for a relaxing Hawaiian island vacation with all of the comforts of home, and possibly a few more, the Four Seasons Lana’i is an ideal resort for a warm weather beach vacation.
The first Hawaiian island I visited and one that I return to often, Maui lives up to its slogan “Maui no kai oi” meaning “Maui is the best.” With a population large enough to support a Costco, Target and the Whole Foods chain, Maui offers urban comforts along with beachfront resorts as well as plenty of undeveloped areas for hiking, biking, and beach combing.
Where to Stay on Maui
There are numerous resort areas along Maui’s coastline. We often stay in either Wailea at the Four Seasons Resort or in Kapalua at Montage Kapalua Bay. While Wailea offers more resorts, luxury shops, and restaurants, Kapalua has a rural feel with easy access to hiking trails and the stunning West Maui coastline.
The island of Hawaii, larger than all of the Hawaiian islands combined, is often called the Big Island. This island is home to active volcanoes, snow-covered peaks, and stunning beaches.
Where to Stay on Hawaii (Big Island)
We stay at the Four Seasons Hualalai or further up the coast at the Fairmont Orchid Gold Floor, Mauna Lanai Bay Hotel Bungalows, or in a villa.
Four Seasons Hualalai is an exclusive oceanfront resort and even with everything to do and see on the Big Island, it’s hard to leave the property once you arrive.
Further up the Kohala Coast, there are a number of resort communities with luxury hotels like the Fairmont Orchid, residential developments, and small shopping centres. Be sure to visit the stunning Kalahuipua’a Fish Ponds regardless of where you stay on the Big Island.
Travel Tips – Warm Weather Beach Vacation
- If you plan to vacation with the kids, all of the island resorts in this article offer children’s program and special amenities. The Peninsula Bangkok doesn’t have a kid’s program, but they offer activities designed for children.
- For flights to Koh Samui, Thailand Bangkok Airways offers excellent service and value.
- If you are spending Christmas in Hawaii, you might be interested in this article about seasonal traditions on the islands.
- Check out this list of tested and approved beach products before you pack for your next vacation.