Money Talks, So Should You

10 great beach vacation deals for a warmer winter

Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell
by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell, MainStreet contributor

When the holidays are over and we ring in 2013, there isn’t much to do except sit around and wait for the spring thaw. If your idea of waiting for that thaw is sitting on a beach with a lime beer or a drink with an umbrella, you’re in luck.

Some hotels and resorts have posted some great deals that will warm you up to a winter beach vacation (airfare or travel not included):

Belize: We debunked the Mayan calendar by waking up Dec. 22, but if you want a beach vacation that also takes in the culture that garnered so much attention this year, a trip to the heart of the Mayan world is a great beach escape. Belize vacations, including luxury hotels and temple tours, range from $3,600 to $5,600 per couple for a 12-night stay. Adventure Life offers an eight-night stay for $850.

Laguna Beach, Calif.: If you’ve dreamed about driving the Pacific Coast Highway and staying along California’s coast, The Inn at Laguna Beach is offering a 30% discount on rooms this winter, starting at $139 per night. The hotel offers paddle boarding, surfing lessons and in-room spa treatments. The hotel is within walking distance of shopping and hotels, so park your car and stay awhile. It’s even a dog-friendly hotel.

READ: Where to get the best winter travel deals

St. Lucia: Many resorts and hotels are offering great deals this winter, but the St. James Club, Morgan Bay has discounts of up to 55% off its regular rates. The resort offers a wide variety of things to do in addition to sitting on the beach, including water skiing, windsurfing, sailing, aqua cycling, kayaking and snorkeling. The $147-per-night rate includes all meals, drinks and nonmotorized water sports and is good through Dec. 30, 2013.

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo region, Mexico: If a place that has an average of 300 days of sunshine a year is appealing to you right about now, you might want to check out Capella Ixtapa, which is offering a romantic getaway package starting at just $380 per night for a three-night stay. Enjoy strawberries and champagne upon arrival, along with rose petals in the bed. The package also includes an in-room romantic dinner with wine, a couple’s massage and a spa dinner and spa cocktail.

Miami Beach: The warm sun, bright art deco colors and hot nightlife are calling you to Miami Beach, and the Miami Beach Resort offers some hot deals for when you get there, starting at just $99 per night. The hotel is right on the beach and within 2.5 miles of South Beach shopping and three miles of downtown Miami. A three-night stay nets you $75 in hotel credits, which can be used for other hotel amenities; a four-night stay gets you $100 in hotel credits.

Santa Maria, the Azores: If you would like a European-style vacation without going all the way to Europe, you might look into Santa Maria Island in the Azores, about a third of the way from New England to Europe. As the southernmost island in the group. Santa Maria’s temperature rarely dips to below 60 degrees, which might make it just a little chilly for lounging on the beach, but the charming villages reminiscent of those in Italy and Greece might make up for it. The deal is too good to pass up: $1,294, which includes airfare from Boston and a six-night stay at the Hotel Colombo.

READ: Ten top vacation-home markets

Turks & Caicos Islands: Sitting on Grace Bay Beach drinking rum or just lounging in the sun and reading a book sounds like paradise for the winter-bound looking for a getaway. There are plenty to things to do if you won’t want to sit by the beach or the pool, including many water and historical tours. For $280 per night (a 20% discount) from Jan. 7-Feb. 9 at the Villa del Mar, you will also get poolside breakfast and beachside service.

Cambria, Calif: There are things to do on a beach vacation other than sitting in the sand and sun, such as finding great spots for spotting wildlife. The Pelican Inn and Suites offers a “Seal Deal” for late winter and early spring, giving visitors a chance to see elephant seals and gray whales. The inn is also near wineries and shopping. Rates start at $100 per night (20% off).

Los Cobos, Mexico: If you’ve always dreamed of visiting Los Cobos, the sun is warm and the deals are hot this winter. The Westin Resort and Spa, which overlooks the Sea of Cortez, offers a gym, pools, tennis courts and a nine-hole seaside putting green. All-inclusive packages this winter start at $329 per night, or you can book the Sunsational Savings package for as low as $136 a night with a three0night stay, which includes a $200 hotel credit for savings on meals at the hotel.

St. Croix: If you’re planning a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands, hotels on St. Croix are offering a variety of packages. Hotel Caravelle, which sits on the water’s edge in historic Christiansted, advertises all of the advantages of a Caribbean resort without the crowds. The Fantastic Flight promotion offers guests a $300 flight credit with the sixth night at the hotel free and a $20 match play certificate for the casino.