This part of the year is a slog. Holidays are over and the summer is far too distant to contemplate, so we wait patiently for rain, remind ourselves to stack all tax-related mail over there, and drum our fingers on the table. But there’s another option, and a better use of your time: Throw sarong and sandals into your smallest suitcase and find a white beach with bent palms and a sapphire sea. SoCal weather and the IRS—not to mention the primaries—will chug along just fine without you.
We’ve had the Seychelles in our back pocket for a while now, but chose to save the honeymoon spot of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the season of greatest need: the start-of-the-year doldrums. This ultra-exclusive Indian Ocean archipelago of 115 islands lies midway between Madagascar and the Horn of Africa (a very romantic address). Forty-five islands are composed of the oldest and hardest granite on the planet (massive, rounded boulders have tumbled onto the white sands, turning great swaths of beach into a multitude of private coves); the rest are coral islands, skirted by acres of pristine reef.
We recommend the new Four Seasons Seychelles: this is not a massive resort hotel, but 67 jewel-like villas featuring plunge pools, daybeds that overlook the ocean, doors of glass that slide out of sight and create open-air living spaces…and languid seclusion. You’ll find two restaurants, two lounges, and a spa, of course. But meals, refreshments, and massages also can be enjoyed “in-villa.” Book by Feb. 29 and save 20 percent, bringing the rate for a garden-view villa down to $935 per night. Visit for more information.