The Roundup

You're Turning 50! Make It a Destination Birthday

by Jeralyn Gerba
Photo courtesy of Oetker Collection.

Fifty years on Earth. You've made it this far, let's not be shy about it. These resorts are certainly not shy about their locations (stellar), views (breathtaking), or amenities (meticulous). They all have big celebratory promise, whether you're catering to a large crowd or a very important party of one.

Photo courtesy of Hotel du Cap-Eden-Rock.

Throwback Riviera Glamour: Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc

Antibes, France

From one Grand Dame to another. A mansion perched on the tip of Cap d’Antibes for over 150 years, this is the birthplace of French Riviera enchantment. Join the titans of film, literature, and art and treat yourself to a few glorious days of glitz. Suites have been freshly redesigned in sumptuous colors and textiles; you'll find terraced lawns with chaise lounges, a Michelin-star restaurant, new rooftop lounge, and incredible views all over. Invite a coterie of fashionable friends and recreate your own Slim Aarons photograph.

Photo courtesy of Maslina.

Adriatic Island Vibes: Maslina

Hvar, Croatia

The island of Hvar has become a summer hot spot for Europeans and Americans seeking sparkling beaches, remote fishing villages, and hillsides blanketed in olive trees. The O.G. island resort is modern, luxurious, family-friendly, and respectful of the environment, with low-impact design taking cues from the green forest, white rocks, and Adriatic Sea breeze. Your guests will make an entrance when they arrive to Hvar from Split by speedboat (45 minutes) and throw open the doors of the perched seaside Villa Uvala (five bedrooms, five bathrooms), or the Villa Litica or Villa Borovina (both with four bedrooms), the latter of which is tucked away in a fragrant pine forest. Enjoy the heated private pool, walk-in shower, and dedicated concierge team to arrange activities like sound baths or tours of nearby lavender fields. There's also a beach bar, restaurant, wellness spa, garden, and playroom for the kids.

Photo courtesy of 7132.

Big-Name Architect Energy: 7132

Vals, Switzerland

The Alpine hamlet of Vals (pop: 1,000) has become a destination over the years — thanks, in large part, to the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor's sprawling thermal baths, a temple to nature and wellbeing. Over the last decade, several design icons have been invited to also leave their mark in The House of Architects — including Kengo Kuma, Tadao Ando, and Thom Mayne. Each room offers a different tactile experience and feeling, incorporating various techniques from Japanese carpentry to Italian Renaissance stucco. Perfect for design junkies and anyone that wants to plan a group trip without planning a group trip, since guests can choose their own rooms and architectural preferences and then come together for tasting menus, alpine hikes, and a few glorious soaks in the baths.

Photo courtesy of The Madrona.

Canoodling Among the Vines: The Madrona

Healdsburg, California

It's a date with romance at this very special eight-acre estate, which includes a reimagined 19th-century residence, carriage house, and set of bungalows in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country. There are loads of well-appointed nooks among books and artwork, and plenty of seating arrangements near the fire. The artful restaurant and bar is supported by a half-acre garden and the orange grove near the silk tent and in-ground pool is an ideal spot for sunset cocktails. Would make a great escape for a party of two or a few couples who love sharing wine flights and cheese boards.

Photo courtesy of Auberge Resorts Collection.

Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Tell your forties to ride off into the sunset as you check into the deluxe  resort on the border of the Santa Fe National Forest. The nearly 10,000-square-foot Bunkhouse — which sleeps 24 adults and up to a dozen kids across twelve bedrooms is just a few steps from the main building. The space is quintessential Western, with vaulted 36-foot ceilings and a two-story stone fireplace, cowboy artifacts, and a large terrace with rocking chairs. The Bishop's Lodge team can decorate and stock the fridge as well as organize specialty experiences for the whole group to enjoy: sunrise horseback rides, crystal bowl sound baths, tailgating at the Santa Fe Opera, alfresco art classes, and archery.

Photo courtesy of LJs Ratxó.

Sustainably Chic Mountain Retreat: LJs Ratxó

Mallorca, Spain

Make your way to the most sustainable hotel on the Mediterranean. Located in the Puig de Galatzó Mountains, with crazy spectacular views from the terrace, infinity pool, and hot tub, this is the spot to consider when you are looking for a peaceful and serene journey into your next trip around the sun. Rooms lean toward the monastic — four poster beds, beautiful white linen, stone floors — and suites have living and dining rooms, stunning garden views, a private plunge pool, and Jacuzzi. Reflect in silence and bask in the eco friendliness of it all: Conserving, recycling, and honoring resources makes for a greener and gentler way to enjoy a lavish birthday.

Photo courtesy of Jumby Bay Resort.

Private Island Fete: Jumby Bay Island

Antigua, West Indies

Located just ten minutes off the coast of Antigua and reachable only by boat, the thoughtfully curated private island nature resort is the rare example of an all-inclusive done right. For one, no detail has been ignored. For another, the spirit is joyful and the island (devoid of cars) is secluded and serene. A dozen new Ocean View Suites (breezy spaces, fresh contemporary furnishings, private pools) offer the room you need for a truly ideal multi-generational family celebration in the Caribbean. On the itinerary: guided snorkeling, waterskiing, bike safaris, beach BBQs, tennis, kid club activities, and hanging out with the traditional West Indian herbalist at the spa.

Photo courtesy of Casa Cipriani.

Elegant City Club Life: Casa Cipriani

New York City, New York

It's hard to imagine the turn-of-the-20th-century Battery Maritime Building, built right on the water's edge as a Brooklyn ferry terminal, as an extremely glamorous private club for the fashion set. But that's exactly what's on hand here thanks to chic Italians with a vision. The membership club offers 47 rooms and suites decked out in nautical Deco style: shiny mahogany, brass hardware, custom furniture (that fits like a glove). Raise your glass (or oyster on the half shell) to Lady Liberty from the rooftop restaurant and pop into the jazz club and one, two, or all three bars. There's also a 15,000-square-foot spa floor where you can do some damage to your wallet while catering to your body. As far as birthday celebrations go, this place is a cocoon of sophistication and ease — with the added plus of the Big Apple right at your fingertips.

Make It a Party

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