A private villa on the island of Santa Cruz
Most people see these islands from a cruise ship. Nice, but there’s a better way. Luxury tour operator Cox & Kings USA ensconces you in your own villa on the island of Santa Cruz. From this exclusive base camp, you’ll make forays to nearby islands on a private yacht, accompanied by a naturalist. Expect to view a wonderful panoply of fauna, including giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies. The four-bedroom villa comes with everything, including a laptop with wireless Internet. From $5,290 per person for four days; www.coxandkingsusa.com
What to do with tweens and teens who have aged out of most hotel children’s programs? Well, in New York they can track the economy and attend the opening bell at NASDAQ. In Nashville they meet musicians for song-writing sessions. And in San Diego they learn to surf on their very own custom-designed surfboard. Loews Hotels’ “Edu-cations” packages start at $600 and include one or two nights’ lodging. www.loewshotels.com
Families and groups of friends would happily strand themselves on this desert island, if only they knew about it. Little Whale Cay, in the Berry Islands of the Bahamas, is a short flight but a world away from bustling Nassau. The 93-acre idyll ringed by a white-sand beach offers three luxuriously appointed villas housing up to 12 guests, a pool (above), tennis court and full staff. A mini flotilla of boats takes you to local watering holes on neighboring islands. From $9,500 per day; www.littlewhalecay.com
Little Whale Cay in the Berry Island
Through Loews Hotels' "Edu-cations", teens can learn to
surf on their very own custom-designed surfboard.