Dreaming of paradise? Sparkling waters, swaying palms and white sands – our guide to some of the most beautiful far-flung destinations (Plus, where to stay!)
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Some holidays stay with you forever.
You’ll always remember boarding a plane to an exotic clime, the tropical heat when you step out of the airport, and the perfect days spent lying on sugared sands and swimming in the bluest of seas.
Jetting off to the far-flung beaches of the world is made as simple as can be with the help of British Airways Holidays, which offers the very best holiday destinations, premium all-inclusive packages and hotels around the globe.
Jetting off to the far-flung beaches of the world is made as simple as can be with the help of British Airways Holidays. Above is the stunning beach resort of La Pirogue in Mauritius
As a bonus, you can rest in the knowledge that every trip you book with British Airways Holidays is ATOL (5985) protected, the holiday helpline is open 24 hours a day in case you need it, 23kg baggage allowance per person is included, and if your holiday is impacted by a major travel restriction before departure you can cancel for a full and speedy refund if they cannot fulfil your holiday.
Here we give the lowdown on five breathtaking long-haul destinations for a supremely dreamy beach holiday with family, friends or that special someone – Barbados, Mauritius, Maldives, the Dominican Republic and Mexico.
Each has its own distinct charms, so all that’s left for you to do is to decide which slice of paradise tops your bucket list…
Barbados’ coastline is famous for its crystal-clear waters. Above is the beach by the island’s Colony Club by Elegant Hotels resort
There’s something for everyone in Barbados. Its coast is lavished with legendary beaches and crystal clear waters, while the island’s interior is teeming with tropical gardens and dense forest hiking trails. It’s no wonder British travellers are drawn back time and time again, enchanted by the infectious warmth of local Bajans.
HOW TO GET THERE: British Airways operates a daily flight year-round from London Heathrow, plus an added four flights per week from London Gatwick in the winter months.
WHERE TO STAY: Make your way to St James along Barbados’ sun-drenched west coast and you’ll discover the Colony Club by Elegant Hotels.
Framed by jade-green palm trees, exotic gardens and the blue of the Caribbean Sea, the colonial-style retreat was originally built as a private home in 1930. Today, the resort is defined by incredibly thoughtful service – you might find a signature bookmark resting on your stack of beach reads, or note that your sunglasses have been polished whilst you’ve been taking a dip in the pool.
Framed by palm trees and the blue of the Caribbean Sea, the Colony Club was originally built as a private home in 1930
Rum lovers will adore Colony Club’s brand-new Rum Vault, a sophisticated tasting space stocked with 150 varieties of rum
Stellar water sports are complimentary – zip through the sea on water skis, get your adrenalin pumping on a banana boat ride or hold on tight for a thrilling afternoon of tubing.
Fragrant herbs and vegetables are grown onsite in the hotel’s gardens. This organic produce is then transformed by chefs into delicious fare at the resort’s restaurants. Tipples have a fun twist at Colony Club, too – rum lovers will adore the brand-new Rum Vault, a sophisticated tasting space stocked with 150 varieties of rum.
Widening your options even more, guests of the resort can also avail of the facilities in Elegant Hotels’ sister resorts in Barbados, excluding The House.
One such resort lies further along the glorious St James coast – the all-inclusive Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels.
Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels is set along the glorious St James coast
Watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand from the gorgeous bars and restaurants of Crystal Cove
Here, mouthwatering menus are paired with beautiful sea views at the hotel’s all-inclusive restaurants and bars. Don’t miss the spectacular Cave Bar, a unique watering hole nestled within a rock wall that has been named one of the top swim-up bars in the world.
Feel like the best version of yourself with the hotel’s fitness programmes, whether it’s taking a yoga class or playing a game of tennis with a pro trainer. World-class water sports abound too, whether you fancy peering at gorgeous marine life as you snorkel, feeling the Barbadian breeze on your skin as you sail or checking out the views of the island from a stand-up paddleboard.
As night falls, watch stars fill the sky from the balcony of your stylish suite.
Book your 2023 holiday at ba.com/crystalcove or at ba.com/colonyclub.
Magic in the Maldives
The picturesque islands of the Maldives offer powder-soft beaches and turquoise waters. Above is Sun Siyam Olhuveli in the South Male Atoll
An Indian Ocean paradise, the powder-soft beaches and turquoise waters of the Maldives have to be seen to be believed. The island nation is sustainably minded too, with bans on single-use plastic and programmes designed to protect the coral that calls the archipelago home.
HOW TO GET THERE: British Airways flies daily from London Heathrow until April. A new summer direct flight has launched for this year – there will be three flights per week until October, when it returns to the daily winter schedule.
WHERE TO STAY: One swift speed boat ride from Male, the capital of the Maldives, will whisk you straight to the sunkissed shores of Sun Siyam Olhuveli.
The resort, spread across three postcard-perfect isles in the South Male Atoll, offers the ultimate in luxury at an affordable price, thanks to its excellent all-inclusive dining package.
Try sumptuous fresh seafood, fragrant Thai curries and perfectly cooked pizzas in the resort’s restaurants, or make your stay all the more special with romantic candlelit dinners on the beach and floating breakfasts in the pool.
One zippy speed boat ride from Male will whisk you straight to the sunkissed shores of Sun Siyam Olhuveli
Sun Siyam Olhuveli offers the ultimate in luxury at an affordable price, thanks to its excellent all-inclusive dining package
Marvel at the view from the adult’s only infinity pool before setting off for an afternoon of water sports. You can go parasailing over the brilliant blue of the Indian Ocean or plunge beneath the surface on a diving expedition to the sunken shipwreck in the nearby Vaavu Atoll.
Further north in this azure archipelago, you’ll find Siyam World, a one-of-a-kind resort nestled in the waters of the Noonu Atoll. There are four kilometres worth of sun-dappled beaches to explore on foot – or on horseback, thanks to the island’s unique horse ranch.
Every villa at the resort is equipped with its own pool, while villas of the overwater variety are kitted out with a whimsical water slide. The 24/7 WOW! Premium all-inclusive plan offers drinks, dining and activities across the resort – whether you feel like a serene boat ride through the Indian Ocean or honing your water sports skills.
Every villa at the resort is equipped with its own pool, while villas of the overwater variety are kitted out with a whimsical water slide
The 24/7 WOW! Premium all-inclusive plan offers drinks, dining and activities across Siyam World
Siyam World has four kilometres worth of sun-dappled beaches to explore on foot or on horseback
Watch the time fly by with an afternoon at Siyam Water World, the Indian Ocean’s biggest floating water park, where water trampolines, climbing walls and obstacles will keep the whole family on their toes.
The Kidz World kids club will keep tots entertained for hours, while parents can enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation in the Vevo spa, a temple to wellness that’s hidden away in the island’s verdant vegetation. Foodies will love dining out in The Cube, a showstopping chef’s table experience within a stylish glass-walled space.
It’s the ultimate castaway experience – with a welcome dash of luxury.
Book your 2023 holiday at ba.com/worldsiyam.
You’ll be fully immersed in the traditional charms of Mauritius with a stay at La Pirogue
It’s hard to imagine a landscape more epic than that of Mauritius. The island is blanketed in verdant rainforests and cascading waterfalls, which tumble over five mountain ranges to the waves of the Indian Ocean. Then there are the beaches, sprinkled with sugared sands and graced with year-round sunshine.
HOW TO GET THERE: British Airways flies to Mauritius from London Gatwick three times a week from March to November and five times a week from November to March.
WHERE TO STAY: You’ll be fully immersed in the traditional charms of Mauritius with a stay at La Pirogue, where guest rooms are housed in thatched cottages, inspired by the island’s gorgeous fishing villages.
The expansive resort is perched on the island’s west coast, fringed by a picturesque sandy beach and yards of palm and coconut groves.
Guest rooms at La Pirogue are housed in thatched cottages, inspired by the island’s gorgeous fishing villages
La Pirogue is fringed by a picturesque sandy beach and yards of palm and coconut groves
Divide your time between the resort’s restaurants and simply kicking back on the beach. The water beckons too – check out the dive centre or embark on a glass bottom boat excursion to get a closer look at the island’s exotic marine life.
Tots and teens will love the kids’ clubs on offer, where educational outings and watersport lessons shape the days, with a special focus on learning about the importance of bees with new mascot Izzy the Bee.
Guests can also use the facilities of the next door Sugar Beach hotel, another hidden treasure tucked along the Mauritian coast. In both resorts, there’s an assortment of amazing signature experiences to try, from ‘Crazy Croquet’ – where you can sip on an Aperol Spritz as you learn to swing the mallet – to L’Atelier des Sens, a unique perfume-making workshop for the whole family.
Guests of the stylish Sugar Beach resort (above) can use the facilities at nearby La Pirogue
Swathed in sugar white sands, Sugar Beach hotel’s enormous beach is built for leisurely afternoons under the sun
Sugar Beach is a beacon of sophistication, with guest rooms decorated in soothing natural materials
Swathed in sugar white sands, Sugar Beach hotel’s enormous beach is built for leisurely afternoons under the sun.
The resort itself is a beacon of sophistication, with guest rooms decorated in soothing natural materials that lead out to cosy private balconies – ideal for watching the sun go down. Unwind in the hammam at the hotel’s Cinq Mondes Spa, play a game of tennis on the courts, or hire a bike and explore the island’s luscious terrain on wheels.
Stop by Citronella’s Bar for an expertly concocted aperitif, or dance into the night at the poolside Buddha Bar where you can sample sushi and cocktails while watching the sunset.
Book your 2023 holiday at ba.com/lapirogue or at ba.com/sugarbeach.
Make memories in Mexico
On a visit to Mexico, you can dive into glistening cenotes, bronze under the sun, or hit the waves on a surfboard
There are few places on earth as vibrant as Mexico, from its technicolour cities to its caramel beaches and the rich spices in its world-famous cuisine.
Bronze under the sun in Cancun or hit the waves on a surfboard in Oaxaca and the southern coast. Eat your way around Mexico City, wandering between hidden-gem street vendors and trendy new restaurants.
HOW TO GET THERE: British Airways flies to Cancun from London Gatwick several times per week.
WHERE TO STAY: Much like the jewel it’s named after, the Dreams Sapphire Resort & Spa, from Inclusive Collection part of Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, is painted in shades of blue, from the cerulean of the Caribbean Sea to the sparkling pools peppered across its grounds.
Set down the coast from Cancun, the scenic location makes the ideal backdrop for your holiday snapshots. Pick up a snorkel and discover the marine life that lies within the waters of the nearby Mesoamerican Reef, also known as the Great Mayan Reef.
The Dreams Sapphire Resort & Spa (above) is set just outside the charming fishing town of Puerto Morelos
One of the stunning swimming pools dotted across the grounds of the Dreams Sapphire Resort & Spa
This family-friendly resort has recently undergone a glamorous renovation, with rooms and suites embellished in marble and rich mahogany. Splash out on a swim-out room and you can pad straight from bed to the water.
Take advantage of the ‘Unlimited-Luxury®’ package and enjoy limitless gourmet a la carte dining, unlimited drinks, 24-hour room and concierge service, and top-notch service as you lounge on the poolside Bali beds.
Take your pick from an array of gorgeous international restaurants – sample French cooking at Bordeaux, Italian pasta at Portofino, fresh and flavourful Mexican fare at El Patio or gorgeous grilled feasts at the poolside Barefoot Grill.
Cocktail hour reaches glamorous new heights too. Order a zesty sundowner at the Sugar Reef swim-up bar or cool down with a chilled beer at the Barracuda Beach Bar. With a drink in hand, sit back and admire more of those brilliant blues.
And for some extra pampering head to the The Dreams Spa by Pevonia for an indulgent massage or signature treatment.
Book your 2023 All Inclusive Caribbean holiday at ba.com/inclusive-collection
Dreamy days in the Dominican Republic
Lazy days under the sun never lose their novelty on the beaches of the Dominican Republic. Above is the beachfront Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana
Rightly hailed as a jewel of the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is a wonderland of palm-fringed beaches, secluded coves and vibrant jungle.
It’s a hotspot for ecotourism, with incredible trails to hike along, forested hills to mountain bike down and cascading waterfalls to trek under and return to its famous pristine beaches, where lazy days under the sun never lose their novelty.
HOW TO GET THERE: British Airways flies to the Dominican Republic three times a week from London Gatwick.
WHERE TO STAY: A stay at the luxurious, all-inclusive Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana is the definition of getting away from it all.
The adults-only resort from from Inclusive Collection part of Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, has a prime position along the Dominican Republic’s northeastern coast, set on the white sands and gentle waters of Bavaro Beach.
The luxurious, all-inclusive Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana is a heavenly destination for adults only
Enjoy unlimited fine dining and high-end drinks with Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana’s all-inclusive package
The perks to the resort’s Unlimited-Luxury® all-inclusive offering are many – unlimited fine dining and high-end drinks are included, and suites are elegant as can be, complete with private terraces, chic marble fittings, hydromassage bathtubs and complimentary minibars.
Spend a morning exploring the town of Punta Cana, picking up souvenirs along the way, or embark on an excursion to the exotic Saona Island, known for its multi-coloured coral reef and ultra-clear waters.
Sporty types will thrive here. Tennis courts, beach volleyball, windsurfing, water aerobics and more keep you fit, while the excellent Cocotal Golf & Country Club is just a stone’s throw away. It’s equally idyllic for those seeking peace and quiet. Unwind with a romantic couple’s massage at the resort’s heavenly spa, before drinking in views of the Caribbean Sea from the pool.
When the sky darkens, concerts take place under the stars as you toast the perfect holiday. Guests also have full access to the bars and restaurants of sister hotel Dreams Royal Beach Punta Cana next door, so there’s even more choice when it comes to mealtimes.
Book your 2023 All Inclusive Caribbean holiday at ba.com/inclusive-collection
BOOK YOUR DREAM LONG-HAUL BEACH HOLIDAY FOR 2023 WITH BRITISH AIRWAYS HOLIDAYS NOW
For a wide range of long-haul destinations that will suit every kind of traveller, look no further than British Airways Holidays.
Book now to enjoy low deposits from £60pp*, a baggage allowance of 23kg pp as standard, ATOL (5985) protection and the peace of mind that’s guaranteed by British Airways Holidays’ customer promise.
Visit ba.com/holidays to book.
*T&Cs apply. Deposit balance due 28 days in advance for short haul and 7 weeks in advance for long haul. See ba.com/deposits for more information
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