You’ve shivered through November, battled the flu season of December, suffered the gloom of January and the downright dreariness of February. As March arrives, there’s a glimmer of hope – springtime is tantalisingly close. But to shake that deep-set chill out of your bones, it takes a proper blast of sunshine. Fortunately, with Easter falling early this year, your opportunity is just around the corner. Pack your sunscreen, invest in a new pair of shades and gather your whole crew for one of these family escapes entirely focused on catching some rays.
TROPICAL ADVENTURE IN COSTA RICA
If you need more than just a beach and a book with your dose of sizzling temperatures, Costa Rica should be on your shortlist. March and April are some of the hottest, driest months here. Spend days zip-lining through the ethereal cloud forests, as well as searching for colourful macaws and toucans in the jungle. Stay at El Mangroove, where you can lounge poolside in cabanas before heading to the ocean on a snorkelling expedition to look for dolphins, turtles and stingrays. There’s also a kids club, paddleboards to borrow and plenty of pool toys to keep youngsters busy for days.
SUN WITHOUT SWEAT IN SICILY
Sun-soaked doesn’t have to mean oppressive heat. For a hit of sunshine minus the swelter, there’s Sicily, where temps are pleasant but mild in April. At Easter time, the island emerges from its long winter nap and welcomes the first guests of the season. If you’re a new parent, get ready to do a happy dance (if you can rouse yourself from your zombie-like, sleep-deprived trance): Rocco Forte’s super-swish Verdura Resort has it’s very own nursery for newborns. Yes, walk your weary body right over to the hammam, then spend at least an hour meditating over a champagne cocktail at the bar. For older offspring, the hotel blows run-of-the-mill kids clubs clear out of the water, offering a science lab, cooking classes, yoga and sports.
RAINFOREST EXPLORATION IN THAILAND
Koh Kood is one of Thailand’s least-explored islands, though it’s one of the largest. If you’re dead serious about escapism, consider a stay at jungle hideaway Soneva Kiri. Getting to the hotel involves a flight from Bangkok to a private airstrip, followed by a speedboat ride along clandestine waters. Once there, spend your days on waterfall hikes, snorkelling in the pristine waters of Koh Rang Yai National Marine Park, or beefing up your culinary skills in a family cooking class. And when the sun sets, enjoy balmy evenings in the outdoor jungle cinema, followed by some magical stargazing in the hotel’s observatory.
QUALITY TIME IN ANGUILLA
Weather-watchers take note: March and April are still within dry season in the Caribbean, which means you can head to Anguilla this time of year without fear of monsoons spoiling your holiday. If you’re looking for a solid stretch of sand, Zemi Beach hotel sits on six oceanfront acres – plenty of room for some waterfront paddle ball. The resort also offers kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, beach volleyball and snorkelling. Plus, there are three pools on the property, so you and your crew can bounce from one body of water to another. For adults, the beach bar hosts a happy hour each evening, so you can sip cocktails and nibble on snacks as you toast to the setting sun.
SUN-DAPPLED SPA DAYS IN CYPRUS
April marks the kickoff of the season in Cyprus, where you can catch the start of rising temps. At the luxe Anassa hotel, come for the coastal location, stay for the sprawling spa. Treatments here focus on marine therapy, so unwind with a seaweed polish and an algae wrap, then hit the saltwater pool for a jet-powered massage. Once you feel fully rejuvenated, orchestrate a family tennis tournament, followed by an early-evening bike ride.
ALL-OUT INDULGENCE IN MEXICO
If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a yacht, live out your fantasy at One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, where you can go for a spin around the Sea of Cortez on the hotel’s private boat. Book a Pool Casita Suite and you’ll also get your own view of Turtle Beach, a private infinity pool and a butler to assist with each of your warm-weather whims (ice-cold beers, strawberry margaritas, fruit plates, etc). Kids can enjoy the warm weather while playing at the kids club treehouse as well as taking a dip in the resort’s splash pool. Grab dinner as a family at open-air restaurant Agua by Larbi and you can soak up every last bit of sunshine while you feast on grilled octopus, shrimp enchiladas and seafood paella.