Summer is a time for relaxation -- getting together with family and friends to enjoy the warm weather and a cold beer. But with the numerous barbecues (from which you're inevitably "invited" to cook up your favorite dish to share), hours spent at the crowded pool, and in-laws who descend upon you for unannounced, week-long visits, summer activities can be downright exhausting. We here at Oyster understand how you feel and, we promise, it's normal. So to help you find some real R&R to fit into your busy summer schedule, we've tracked down a handful of secluded island resorts where you can discover the true meaning of relaxation. Whether you're looking for super-lux, high-tech digs hidden in the foothills of Jamaica or prefer the rustic charm of a cottage on one of Hawaii's best beaches, Oyster.com has found an isolated island resort to fit your needs.
Ideal for couples, the Geejam is made up of only five private, high-tech cottages on the foothills of Port Antonio. There's no pool or spa (though you can arrange for an in-room massage), but one of the Caribbean's most beautiful beaches is only 10 minutes away. It comes at a price, but the Geejam provides guests with peaceful isolation.
With 30 hippy-chic cottages in secluded Treasure Beach, Jake's is a member of Island Outpost, Jamaica's trendiest hotel group. The luxury you'll find here, however, is more of a shabby-chic nature: guests come to unplug -- there's no phone, Internet, or TV in the cottages. The black-sand beaches aren't Jamaica's most impressive, but the Driftwood Spa, on-site painting and yoga classes, and excellent food make this a particular favorite.
The Hotel Hana-Maui overlooking Hana Bay delivers rustic luxury in the middle of Maui's lush, secluded east coast. Incredible service, a top spa, and excellent food makes a stay on the resort's acres of uncrowded property a must. Not directly on the beach, the hotel provides a shuttle service to the nearby Hamoa Beach as well as hiking information to reach hidden waterfalls and beaches. The Hana-Maui may be hard to reach, but it's worth the trip.
Gran Bahia Cayo Levantado
The D.R.’s only luxury resort set on its own island, the Gran Bahia Cayo Levantado offers guests a relaxing atmosphere. The dining and service lag behind some less expensive resorts, but the scenic beaches, beautiful pools, and great rooms (each with private Jacuzzi tubs) more than make up for it.
Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort
Built from a historic sugar plantation, Caneel Bay is a serene 166-room resort that sits on 170 acres of a protected national park dotted with seven remote beaches. Even with a quaint pool and rustic rooms that lack TVs and phones, Caneel's attentive service and unparalleled setting make it one of the Caribbean's best secluded resorts. It's also a great place to take the kids, as Brangelina opted to do for their stay-- the resort's Turtle Town runs all-day programs that include magic shows, nature walks, and treasure hunts free of charge for kids three through 12.
Ke Iki Beach Bungalows
Location trumps luxury at Ke Iki Beach's 11 beachfront bungalows sitting just above the sand on the picturesque North Shore. Sure, the bungalows are modest, amenities are zero, and service is minimal. But a beautiful beach is just outside the door, as are hammocks and grills. And Oahu's most famous surfing spots and a charming surfer town, Haleiwa, are just down the street. It's just how a beach getaway should be.