With summer fast approaching, vacation-planning time is in full swing. If you're looking for a new destination this season for you or the entire family, take a cue from Travel + Leisure deputy editor Laura Begley, who has suggestions for every kind of getaway.
Where: Hotel Basico, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Price: Rates start at $168 a night
Why T+L Loves It: Located just steps away from the ocean, the interior of this hotel has been made out of recycled materials, such as plumbing pipes, rubber tires and even latex. Under each bed guests will find an array of fun things -- like autographed footballs, magazine drawers, floating tires for swimming and even complimentary beach club passes. Each room comes with a Polaroid camera to capture special moments on your trip. Rooms also have a plasma screen TV to see real-time streaming video of the beaches so you know how crowded they are or what the weather conditions are.
Where: River Birches Lodge, North Island, New Zealand
Price: Rates start at around $234 a night
Why T+L Loves It: This lodge is at the center of New Zealand's largest wild trout fishery. If you need help, the hotel can connect you with personal fishing guides who will help you navigate the many streams and rivers. The area is also regarded by many as the place to take one of the world's best scenic walks. White water rafting, golf, horseback riding and relaxing in thermal parks are all popular activities. The rooms are fully equipped with king size beds, Wifi Internet service and in-room entertainment systems.
Where: Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman Island
Price: Winter rates (through April 30) start at $649 a night and spring rates (from May 1 to June 28) start at $399 a night
Why T+L Loves It: The Ritz offers a program called the "Ambassadors to the Environment," which takes the entire family to the Cayman's famous coral reefs and mangroves forests, woodlands and wetlands. Activities are customized for children as young as four and teenagers up to 18. Parents may join children in the Ambassadors Lab and on eco-excursions. The hotel itself has five dining areas, a tennis center, a spa and a nine-hole golf course. You can also rent a fully-furnished oceanfront vacation home with two to three bedrooms, a chef's kitchens and spacious balconies.
Where: The Aerie, Vancouver Island, Canada
Price: Spring rates start at $195/night
Why T+L Loves It: The Aerie sits 1,500 feet above the ocean with incredible views of greater Victoria, the Saanich Inlet, San Juan Islands and Washington State. It's considered to be the southern gateway to Vancouver Island's Cowichan Valley, which has often been compared to France's Provence region, due to all the farmers, vintners, shepherds, cheesemakers and chefs that call the region home. The aerie has a number of local culinary tourism programs, including award-winning wine tours, as well as quiet diversions like chess, tennis and hiking.
Where: Mandarin Oriental, Miami
Price: Rates start at $625 a night through April 30 and drop to $520 a night in May and to $415 a night from June 1 to Sept. 1.
Why T+L Loves It: This holistic spa offers innovative treatments from cultures around the world providing the latest in restorative, rejuvenating and pampering rituals. It has 16 spa lifestyle rooms that are specifically designed for each individual guest. You can choose your own air purification systems and in-room fitness program as well as arrange for private yoga and meditation classes in your room or in the spa's chi studio. Each visit also comes with sessions with a personal lifestyle consultant who helps create your health plan while at the spa. When you're done being pampered, leave the hotel and head to the beach or grab something to eat at one of the two restaurants in the hotel.