When friends invited me on a day trip to a stretch of sand in the Bahamas’ Abacos archipelago, I felt indifferent. I’ve written about the Caribbean for more than a decade, so I’ve seen plenty of palm trees and turquoise waters. With a sense of “been there, done that,” I longed to lounge under a palapa’s thatched roof – my Kindle in one hand, a frosty Kalik (a Bahamas-brewed beer) in the other.
But my hosts insisted. Strapped into a speed-boat, a ribbon of froth unfurling in our wake, we passed palm-studded islets and spotted sea turtles peeking above the water before it finally appeared: a mirage-like sandbar, seemingly cut and pasted from a faraway dream.
I thought I’d grown numb to the siren call of sun, sea and sand. But that boat trip proved me wrong.
I thought I’d grown numb to the siren call of sun, sea and sand. But that boat trip proved me wrong. The truth is, the tropical trifecta always has something fresh to share, no matter how many times you experience it.
Sun- and fun-seekers have three new opportunities to find their own bliss: tailor-made escapes with Four Seasons and NetJets to Anguilla, The Bahamas and Orlando. If my friends could create such an unexpectedly great day for me, imagine a journey where Four Seasons and NetJets arrange all the details.
On the Caribbean Hideaway journey, you’ll be whisked away by NetJets private jet to Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla. After sipping cocktails with wide blue sea views aboard your private NetJets flight, you’ll arrive at the Resort overlooking Barnes Bay and Meads Bay – two of the most beloved beaches on an island known for having some of the Caribbean’s finest – and settle into a light, airy Residence or Villa with ocean panoramas and private plunge pools, steps from the shore. But don’t let the considerable comforts of this oasis dissuade you from exploring Anguilla’s charms.
On a visit to the 35-square-mile (90-square-kilometre) island, I found myself tucked away in Little Bay, a curvaceous cove accessible only by a rappel down the hillside or a boat charter. Later, I arrived at Shoal Bay, a lively (but never crowded) strand dotted with beach bars that encourage long contemplation over equally long drinks. You may find yourself at either beach or at an offshore cay such as Sandy Island, a shape-shifting haven a half-hour’s boat ride away. Opt to spend a half-day on its sunny shores while ice cools your rum punch and reggae-tinged sounds float on the breeze.
I recommend trying grilled Anguillan crayfish, lobster-sized crustaceans found nowhere but here.
Sustenance comes in the form of a sumptuous picnic prepared to your tastes by one of the Resort’s chefs. I recommend trying grilled Anguillan crayfish, lobster-sized crustaceans found nowhere but here. I’ve found that their melt-in-your-mouth flavour puts their Atlantic-dwelling cousins to shame. If you prefer staying closer to the Resort, consider meeting Anguilla’s favourite mixologists on a bar-hopping adventure with an expert guide.
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla
A thousand miles to the northwest, on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, seduces from the instant your luxury SUV pulls up to the palm-lined entrance. The high style and impeccable service enjoyed on your NetJets flight continue with Four Seasons on land: While your butler unpacks, explore the 5-mile (8-kilometre) sweep of Cabbage Beach, just beyond the manicured lawn. Or follow the aromas of French-Asian fusion cuisine by Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten as they lead you to oceanfront restaurant Dune.
While your butler unpacks, explore the 5-mile (8-kilometre) sweep of Cabbage Beach.
For exploration farther afield, choose a Catch, Cook and Cocktails excursion, a half-day deep-sea fishing adventure aboard a private yacht. After cruising the Bahamian blue waves to spots teeming with wahoo and mahi mahi, you can watch – or join in – as the on-board chef prepares the bounty, employing expert skill and island ingredients to create an unforgettable meal.
The fitting finale: a private mixology class, where you’ll craft a celebratory cocktail that pairs perfectly with your al fresco feast.
The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas
Finally, a Magical Journey to the lakeside retreat of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort can introduce you to exclusive cooking classes and game-changing golf lessons surrounded by southern live oak trees at the Tom Fazio–designed Tranquilo Golf Course.
Little ones will be thrilled by the proximity to all of Disney’s parks – and with the perks of a stay at the only AAA Five Diamond Award resort within the gates of Walt Disney World® Resort. After drifting on the Resort’s lazy river or rushing down its two waterslides, kids can view a favourite film on the Starstruck Dive-In screen from the pool. They’ll certainly enjoy the NetJets cockpit tour and Inflight Entertainment System on the way, too.
Raise a signature Capa Tonic as you marvel at fireworks painting the night sky.
Adults, likewise, can restore their own sense of wonder with a transformative wellness retreat at the Spa. Greet the morning with a private poolside yoga class. Then ensconce yourselves in a couples’ spa bungalow, where Champagne and strawberries accompany a treatment of your choice. Afterwards, join Master Sommelier George Miliotes for a wine tasting lesson at Wine Bar George in Disney Springs®. I recommend rounding out the evening on the rooftop terrace of Capa steakhouse. Raise a signature Capa Tonic as you marvel at fireworks painting the night sky.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort
Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon is a Caribbean travel expert and award-winning travel journalist. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure and The Telegraph.