The kids are back at school tomorrow so it's high time we focused on grown-up getaways. Choose one of these destinations for a child-free escape, writes Eli Orzessek.
Richard Branson's new luxury cruise line has a strict adults-only policy — so you won't need to worry about any unfortunate accidents in any
of the swimming pools or spas. Virgin's maiden ship Scarlet Lady is set to sail the Caribbean in 2020 and boasts plenty of features to keep the over-18s happy. They include a 360-degree secluded sun deck for yoga and sunbathing, an upscale Mexican restaurant and a signature nightclub called The Manor — inspired by Sir Richard's experience in the music industry and his Virgin music studio of the same name. Guests can also relax in an exclusive thermal spa, inspired by an underwater cave. Its website describes the voyage as "a 24/7 festival at sea where tranquility meets curiosity with no kids,
no buffets, and no limits". That sounds pretty good to us.
The Pacific Islands
While the islands are known for being a great place for families, they're even better for a romantic couples' getaway. Just imagine lounging by the pool or on a private beach in complete tranquility — it's heaven. There are plenty of options around the Pacific when it comes to adults-only resorts. In Fiji, Lomani Island resort is a great option, featuring villas with private plunge pools. In Rarotonga, the Little Polynesian is a slice of paradise that's just for grown-ups — a luxurious resort that's perfect for honeymooners and couples seeking a romantic picturesque escape. Samoa's Seabreeze Resort also caters exclusively for adults, with boutique luxury villas in a secluded cove on the southern coast of the island of Upolu.
Hurawalhi Island Resort, Maldives
The Maldives are a favourite of the honeymoon set for a good reason — and you can experience the destination's romantic vibes at the adults-only Hurawalhi Island Resort. Enjoy five-star luxury at one of the resort's gorgeous villas overlooking the Indian Ocean and appreciate its sophisticated dining options, which include a champagne pavilion and the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, the world's largest all-glass undersea restaurant. You'll also find a world-class spa and a number of unique excursions and activities to pass the time in this beautiful location.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
With a uniquely rugged landscape and clifftop fishing villages, Italy's Amalfi Coast isn't the best place to take the kids — especially when you're attempting to navigate narrow lanes and areas with abrupt drops. However, it's the perfect spot for more mature travellers, who are much more likely to appreciate its rustic charms. Set on a 50km stretch of the Sorrentine Peninsula, there's so much history to get immersed in — as well as plenty of vineyards and romantic restaurants. If you're looking for a unique place to stay, the Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa (pictured left) is set in a former monastery that dates back to the 17th century, and has an age limit of 16. It features an incredible infinity pool overlooking the sea, as well as a spa complete with a tepidarium, turkish bath and whirlpool bath.
Barossa Valley, South Australia
If there's one thing the Barossa Valley is known for, it's great wine — which means its a destination that's best left to the grown-ups. Located 50 minutes drive northeast of Adelaide, the region is home to more than 80 cellar doors, where you can taste some of the most awarded wines in the world and meet the winemakers behind them. You'll also find plenty of incredible places to eat, with sumptuous meals made with local produce. The area is rich in history, with a strong German influence from settlers who fled their home country in the 1840s to escape persecution for various reasons. Tour the region in style with Barossa Daimler Tours, who'll take you on a private catered tour of the vineyards in one of their classic 1962 Daimlers that were brought into Australia for royal visits.
Viking Ocean and River Cruises
After quietly changing their policy last year, all Viking cruises — both ocean and river — have an adults-only policy. Initially, only the ocean cruises were for those 18 and older, while the river lines had only welcomed children over 12 — but these days, you'll need to leave the kids at home with a babysitter. The company has said the rule change made sense, as the line is generally aimed at those over 50, with an interest in history, art and culture — so if you're in that demographic, you'll find yourself well catered for. Viking Ocean Cruises' itineraries include voyages through Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, Asia, Australia and the Americas, while Viking River Cruises operate in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Asia and Egypt — so there are plenty of options for your next childfree getaway.
New Orleans, USA
It's best to leave the kids at home on a trip to this Southern city, as they're not likely to appreciate it in the same way you will. There's plenty of history and culture, but the main draw to New Orleans is its live music scene and there's no way the kids will get into a late-night jazz club, no matter how mature they are. The French Quarter is better left for adult travellers — it can get get pretty crazy, especially when the evening comes and the eccentric characters that frequent the area come out to play. The food here is also best suited for an adult palate — no one wants to hear any whinging while they're chowing down on spicy Cajun meals and oysters. And if you're looking to avoid children altogether, check in to the adults-only Prytania Oaks Hotel. This boutique hotel is set in a mid-1800s Victorian double-gallery house and is close to the bars and music venues of the Arts/Warehouse District, as well as being a short ride from the French Quarter.