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Ronda Reffner′s Wishlist
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Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
In early April, I spent a week on a yoga retreat at Amansala in Tulum, Mexico. We had four hours of yoga and Pilates practice a day, and I spent the rest of my time on the beach, swimming in the ocean, reading books (I finished Gabrielle...
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Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Eco-chic yoga beach spa. Even if you do not practice yoga, the spa treatments are heavenly. You can rent a bike and take a short ride to the ruins down the road. You probably get a better deal if you book a yoga package thru one of the yoga groups...
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Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Tulum has great beach bungalows all along the coast. There's nothing better than waking up on the sand and diving into the ocean every morning. We stayed at a place called Azucar. Get the standalone unit if you can, it's the nicest and most...
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Carretera Federal 307, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Secluded and service-oriented are the adjectives that best describe Rosewood Mayakoba, a resort in Playa del Carmen that opened in 2008. At 1,600 acres, the resort is expansive, offering plenty of room for guests to feel that they have their own...
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100 Dorado Beach Drive, Dorado, 00646, Puerto Rico
The Ritz-Carlton does an excellent job of providing their guests a secluded, intimate experience with the tropical beauty of Puerto Rico—and that certainly extends to the spa. When I arrived, I was one of 4 other women and once my treatment was...
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Calabash Bay P A, Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth 00000, Jamaica
Green might be a buzzword for some, but it’s the rootstock of Jake’s, the 49-room Bohemian hideaway on Jamaica’s Treasure Beach. Sprung from the fertile imagination of owner-artist Sally Henzell and established as a restaurant in 1991, Jake’s has...
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Benito Juarez SN, Esq. Miguel Hidalgo, Centro, 23033 Todos Santos, B.C.S., Mexico
“Dude” is a word that's used a lot around Rancho Pescadero, a small hotel in the surfing town of Todos Santos, located in the Mexican state of Baja California. The rooms here, however, don't reflect the dude aesthetic, which is to say...
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Lone Pine, CA, USA
Until the moment we were behind the wheel, I was under the impression I'd be relaxing pool-side, piña colada in-hand, for 5 days in Vegas. Well apparently I misinterpreted the plan, because we were to spend half the trip camping in the desert—...
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411 W 1st Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501, USA
It’s tempting to explore Alaska by car – indeed, there are advantages to doing so and in some areas no other choice – but the Alaska Railroad is a comfortable way to pass through tucked-away towns and see wilderness where no roads appear to wind...
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Utah, USA
This national park is centered along the spine plateau above Bryce Canyon, which drops to the east from the main park road. Along the road are numerous pull-offs for enjoying views down into the canyon, with its miles and miles of awe-inspiring...
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1001 NM-1, San Antonio, NM 87832, USA
Snowy egrets, geese, herons, cranes, owls, pheasants and road runners abound in the Bosque del Apache. My aunt and uncle lived in their RV at the refuge for two winters, volunteering at the visitor's center and on the "farm" plowing under the...
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This was the end of the Hana Highway in Maui. Our guidebook told of a red sand beach, but it specifically left out information on how to get there, in an effort to keep people from spoiling it. Before our trip, I printed out some instructions from...
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La Gloria, Isla Mujeres, Q.R., Mexico
If you're not a fan of huge resorts and big hotels, Isla Mujeres is the perfect getaway from Cancun. Just catch the ferry to the island located 13km to the northeast of Cancun. The ferry ride in itself is enjoyable, as you float over shallow reefs...
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15 Entrance Rd, Los Alamos, NM 87544, USA
I’m not sure at what age humans develop the skill to stand still and appreciate scenery, but based on a scientific survey of kids who live in my house, it’s not age seven. (On a trip to the Canadian Rockies, as my wife and I snapped photos of the...
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Pali Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
This used to be the old highway to get from the leeward to the windward side of the island. It was literally built into the side of a mountain and was barely hanging on. It’s now been replaced with a proper 4 lane highway complete with a tunnel,...
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Itacoatiara, Niterói - State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Just a thirty minute cab ride from downtown Rio over the Rio-Niteroi bridge, one of the longest bridges in the world, this little beach town of Itacoatiara lies. It is a surfers' haven and a sleepy little beach town that swells on the weekends...
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Oljato-Monument Valley, UT 84536, USA
Nuzzled up against the Arizona border about 100 miles west of Four Corners are some 30 square miles of the most iconic scenery in the American West. Monument Valley is one of those places that you’ll recognize as soon as you see...
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Yucatán, 72470 Puebla, Pue., Mexico
Las Coloradas is a small fishermen town in the east corner of the Yucatecan coast inside Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, the Yucatan’s largest wetland area. This little known part of Yucatán has picturesque and unordinary landscapes, a giant salt...
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Bell Rock, Arizona 86351, USA
I'll admit, I came here not so much for the scenery but for the alleged 'energy vortex' that locals in Sedona, AZ claim is present in nearby Bell Rock. After standing in place for a few moments and trying to channel something that I was hoping was...
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Km. 122, Valladolid - Merida, Tablaje Catastral 510, 97753 Xcalacoop, Yuc., Mexico
Situated a few miles south of Chichen Itza lies one of the Yucatan’s most beautiful geologic wonders - a giant sinkhole or cenote called Ik Kil. Often overlooked by tourists in search of maya ruins, giant cenotes like Ik Kil dot the landscape...
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Isla Contoy, Quintana Roo, Mexico
An easy day trip from Cancun, Isla Contoy is a small island nature reserve with beautiful beaches and more than 100 species of birds. Bird watching tours can be arranged through travel agencies and hotels, as the island is uninhabited, and...
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El Limón 32000, Dominican Republic
The 86-villa Balcones del Atlántico opened two years ago in Las Terrenas in the mountainous Samana Peninsula in the Dominican Republic. This is one of the most postcard-perfect spots in the northern Antilles. The remote setting is mythical. The...
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Baranof Island, Sitka, AK 99835, USA
Baranof Island is a land of enchantment. Home of the Tlingit Native people, it is the smallest of the ABC Islands in Alaska, just over 1,600 square miles in size. According to locals, there is a grizzly bear on Baranof Island for every one of...
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Carara National Park contains more primary rainforest than the relatively close Manuel Antonio National Park. This environment makes Carara a haven for many bird species making the park a popular birdwatching destination. In addition to Scarlet...
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90 Armstrong Rd, Johnsburg, NY 12843, USA
This family-owned retreat within Adirondack State Park is geared toward campers who want comfort. Adirondack chairs (of course) sit on the decks of six canvas tents equipped with wood-burning stoves and cedar-lined showers. The platform...
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Kilauea, HI 96754, USA
We found Anahata Sanctuary by chance while looking for an affordable bed on Kauai's North Shore. With its screened in accommodations surrounded by tropical flowers and fruit, it was perfect for my partner and I who were looking for something close...
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Playa Maderas Maderas, Nicaragua
We had an unforgettable experience staying at Buena Vista Surf Club, while visiting San Juan del Sur. The eco-lodge is set into a hill overlooking the jungle and Playa Maderas with a giant sundeck where guests could enjoy the view. It was a great...
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Calle Tiepolo Baiamonte, 1364, Palazzo Papadopoli, 30125 Sestiere San Polo, Venezia VE, Italy
Aman hotels recently opened a 25-suite resort along Venice's Grand Canal in the 16th-century Palazzo Papadopoli, one of the city's most stunning waterfront palaces. What's great about this destination is that, unlike many of the resorts in Aman's...
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2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
The most enviable address in Waikiki, the beachfront Halekulani is all about restrained elegance and pitch-perfect service. The hotel dates back a century, though it was entirely rebuilt in the 1980s—and the room decor—fifty shades of...
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1471 W Millers Cove Rd, Walland, TN 37886, USA
Don’t fret if your cell phone doesn’t work here; just surrender to your surroundings at Blackberry Farm—4,200 secluded acres of hillocks and ponds, gardens and lawns at the foot of the Tennessee Smoky Mountains. This...
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Carr. Transpeninsular 5, Chulavista, San José del Cabo, B.C.S., Mexico
Las Ventanas al Paraíso represents the epitome of luxury, with gorgeous, gigantic rooms featuring traditional crafts, handmade mosaic headboards, and classy furniture and accents. Balcony railings are awash in pink blossoms of...
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Block Ha My Dong B, Điện Dương, Điện Bàn, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
This legendary resort became part of the Four Seasons family in 2017, but it’s still got all the glam perks and facilities that helped it earn such beloved status over the years. To start, there’s the unbeatable location on a half-mile...
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3/2 Khao Rd, Khwaeng Wachira Phayaban, Khet Dusit, กรุงเทพมหานคร 10300, Thailand
Each of the 39 art deco rooms at the Siam hotel tells a story about Thai history. The Military Room displays 1940s cigarette cards and machetes; Connie’s Cottage is the teak house where socialite Connie Mangskau hosted such icons as Jackie...
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BP 547, Motu Tehotu 98730, French Polynesia
Epic might be an understated description for this collection of thatched-roof bungalows built on stilts over the crystalline waters of the Bora Bora lagoon. This luxury resort is nestled in the dreamiest of settings—wooden walkways link...
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Whether you're up for the adventure of a mobile tented camp, or would prefer a private house staffed with personal chefs, Singita Grumeti is the place for the ultimate safari experience and unbeatable Great Migration views. The 350,000-acre...
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Hanson Bay Road, Kingscote SA 5223, Australia
The flagship property of Australian luxury hotel brand Baillie Lodges teeters on grass-covered limestone cliffs, tucked just far enough into the bluffs to feel protected from the roiling Southern Ocean below. Surrounded on three sides by national...
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D209, 97133, St Barthélemy
Le Guanahani plans to reopen in November 2018 after post-Hurricane Irma renovations.

Le Guanahani sits on an 18-acre peninsula on the northeastern tip of St. Barths between Marigot Bay and Grand Cul-de-Sac Bay. A recent $40 million property-wide...