Sick of winter? Who isn’t. But for those with deep enough pockets and time on their hands, an average day in February could look like a day in paradise. As Europe descends into deep winter – and enjoys the freezing temperatures it brings with it – the cloudy, cold climes might be great for skiing but won’t fit the bill for those on the hunt for some sunshine. Go beyond our continental neighbours to discover the balmy Arabian nights of Dubai, Asian summers in Thailand and a hint of African sunshine in Spain (yes, you heard us correctly). Here are the best warm-weather destinations to travel to in February – and the top luxury hotels to book while you’re at it.
Tenerife, Canary Islands
Average temperature in February: 21°C
The Canary Islands have long been a destination for Brits looking to escape the UK’s freezing winter temperatures, and Tenerife – the largest of the archipelago – is a great choice for those looking for a taste of summery, balmy nights without travelling halfway across the world. The island, situated off the coast of West Africa, is famous for its dormant volcano Mount Teide (also Spain’s tallest peak), as well as its sandy yellow and black beaches fringing calm waters. Plus, Tenerife is known for its incredible stargazing opportunities, offering some of the clearest views of the Milky Way and beyond.
Where to stay: Bahía del Duque Resort
Bahía del Duque – part of the globally renowned Leading Hotels Of The World collection – is perfect for those looking for a winter break with little ones in tow. Offering the height of family-friendly luxury and Canarian flair, the five-star resort is nestled in one of the most prestigious areas of the island, Costa Adeje, and offers an array of family-orientated activities and amenities from its tailored petite wellness service and Duque mini-club, to exclusive teen-club and varied outdoor excursions.
Elsewhere, discover Bahía del Duque’s 13 lounges and eight restaurants, one of which has a Michelin star. If you’re up for a spot of stargazing, head to the hotel’s very own observatory or book time with a certified astronomical guide who accompanies guests up Mount Teide, where it’s possible to observe 83 of the 88 officially recognised constellations.
From £300 per night, visit thetaishotels.com
Koh Yao Yai, Thailand
Average temperature in February: 33°C
One of southern Thailand’s last untouched islands, Koh Yao Yai – meaning ‘long and large island’ – is one of the largest in the country and is situated in the turquoise waters of Phang Nga Bay, halfway between Phuket and Krabi. With only one luxury resort on the island (see below), it offers travellers an isolated and rare glimpse into the traditional Thai island culture that thrives among its sandy shores, leafy mangroves, rubber plantations and fishing villages. The surrounding waters are rich in wildlife which provide perfect diving spots while its sister island, Koh Yao Noi (meaning ‘long small island’), is easily accessible by long tail boat.
Where to stay: Anantara Koh Yao Yai
Anantara Koh Yao Yai Resort only opened in August 2023 – and we can confirm it’s even more impressive than the pictures. The luxury resort has been built on a 27-acre coconut plantation and is just a 45-minute boat ride from Phuket or 20 minutes from Krabi. Pick from one of the 148 suites, villas and penthouses that are classically designed with a touch of Thai heritage. We recommend the 300 square metre two-bedroom Beachfront Pool Villa, the resort’s largest, for a longer stay, featuring a living space, a kitchen, a dining room, two ensuite bedrooms and a pool terrace with an outdoor rain shower.
Choose from two restaurants at the resort, one being the Italian-inspired Beach Restaurant serving the freshest seafood, dry-aged steaks and specialty pasta and pizzas in an open-air dining space. Over at Pakarang, the menu features contemporary Thai dishes – we highly recommend the pineapple fried rice – with international breakfast favourites prepared at live cooking stations and light bites served throughout the day.
From £285 per night, visit anantara.com
Average temperature in February: 24°C
Board a nine-hour flight from London heading west, and you’ll land in America’s holiday haven: Florida. The most south-easterly state in the US, with the Gulf of Mexico lapping the shores on one side and the Atlantic on the other, Florida boasts similar balmy temperatures to that of Cuba and Mexico, as well as an array of five-star resorts. Choose from the bright lights of Miami or the family-friendly city of Orlando, home to Walt Disney World.
Where to stay: Conrad Orlando
Having only opened on 10 January 2024, this hotel is the place to stay for those whose kids want to go to Walt Disney World, but who don’t want to compromise on luxury. The Conrad Orlando is an attraction itself, boasting an eight-acre lagoon and the Conrad Spa, where adults are invited to relax and unwind before boarding the dedicated shuttle to take the family to Disney. Play golf at the Links Course, choose between five restaurants ranging from southern Italian to contemporary Mexican, and stay in one of 433 rooms, each offering contemporary decor and extensive amenities.
From £757 per night, visit hilton.com
Average temperature in February: 25°C
Dubai is actually somewhere you’d prefer to visit in winter rather than summer, largely due to temperatures reaching a blistering 42°C come June and July. Undoubtedly the blingiest city in the United Arab Emirates, the 190-year-old desert-turned-cityscape boasts luxury shopping, forward-thinking architecture and lively nightlife – making the perfect escape for those after their fair share of rooftop parties, bottomless brunches and sunbathing. Main attractions include the 830-metre-tall Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Fountain and man-made archipelagos Atlantis and The Palm and, of course, the unrivalled shopping at its mega malls (fitted with much-needed air-con).
Where to stay: The Lana
Having opened its doors just last week, The Lana is The Dorchester Collection’s first address in the Middle East and one of the most highly-anticipated Dubai openings in 2024. Located in the heart of downtown Dubai, choose from one of the 225 guestrooms and suites designed by architect Foster and Partners and interior designer Gilles and Boissier. Foodies will enjoy sampling delectable cuisine as a result of a unique culinary collaboration between three famed chefs – Martín Berasategui, Jean Imbert and pastry chef Angelo Musa – that has resulted in four new dining concepts, alongside a further four restaurants operated by the hotel team. Oh, and don’t miss a treatment or two in the exclusive Dior spa.
From £735 per night, visit dorchestercollection.com
Average temperature in February: 25°C
The third-largest island in the Caribbean, Jamaica boasts a bit of everything: soulful food, thriving culture and rich topography, ranging from jungle peaks to white sandy beaches. If you’re looking for the best sunbathing spot, head to Negril and its Seven Mile Beach, while Kingston is great for experiencing an authentic taste of the island. While you’re there, take a trip to the Bob Marley Museum, housed in the singer’s former home, and learn all about the life of the reggae-defining musician.
Where to stay: Jamaica Inn
Boasting its very own 700-metre private beach, the five-star family-owned Jamaica Inn is situated in the heart of Ocho Rios, just north of Kingston, and is famous for its laidback charm and warm, friendly service. It also counts Ian Fleming, Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller and Noel Coward among its former clientele, so you can trust you’re in good hands. Pick from one of the 55 bright and breezy rooms, with some including huge verandas designed for guests to enjoy vistas of the ocean beyond. Feast on Jamaican favourites under an almond tree canopy moments from the shore at Teddy’s Beach Grill, and book a massage at the Ocean Spa.
From £368 per night, visit jamaicainn.com