Chasing the winter sun? 10 sun-soaked getaways rich in vitamin D

By July, the novelty of unpacking your winter coat or buying a new scarf has worn off. Before you know it, you're dreaming of an exotic escape to a faraway isle for some winter sun.

There’s nothing better for sun-seekers than lounging poolside or swinging in a hammock beneath a royal palm, so we’ve roamed the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia for the top resorts for a winter sun getaway rich in vitamin D.

Picture sun-soaked mornings on your terrace over the rainforest, ocean swims just steps from your room and stargazing sessions from a wooden bath built for two. Dream of a traditional Fijian bure, a Balinese luxury villa or a swanky resort nestled between Vietnamese temples. All you need is a suitcase with your swimmers and some sunscreen.

Winter sun and activities galore at a deluxe resort in Fiji

Spread across 30 acres and with an unblemished beachfront lined with palm trees, The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa is an idyllic Fijian escape for sunseeker holidays. Set your body clock to island time with a treatment in the award-winning Heavenly Spa by Westin, housed in open-air therapy rooms modelled on Fijian bures with views over a lily pond.

Spend the day lounging beside the pool dotted with Jacuzzis, or head down to sister Sheraton Resort for a swim in calm ocean waters. Avid golfers can visit the Denarau Golf & Racquet Club, the South Pacific’s premier course, to breath in postcard-perfect ocean views as you tee off.

Back in your Ocean Front guest room, take a comfortable seat on your terrace for a private sundowner. Grab a waterfront table at Kitchen Grill to sample post-tipple refined dishes like slow-cooked pork with roasted loka vegetables, or prawn and octopus Kokoda with green apple and fresh coconut. If you’re after a more theatrical evening, Coco Palms will treat you to Fijian music, dance and lovo – a traditional meal cooked in a fire pit over white-hot rocks.

The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Fiji

8.4 Very good (2331 reviews)

A sunny escape to Fiji’s premier dive spot

Volivoli Beach Resort on Fiji’s Viti Levu Island is in a storybook setting of sugarcane fields, cascading waterfalls and colourful coral reefs. If you’re a diving enthusiast or keen to get your PADI, this is the spot to explore the azure Bligh Waters teeming with tropical marine life. Closer to the coastline, you can snorkel on the house reef and treat yourself to an encounter with ghost pipefish and seahorses.

For those seeking something more low-key, the oceanfront swimming pool is a great place to catch up on some reading. Or you can swing from a hammock on the beach and wait for sunset, also known as cocktail o’clock.

Wander along garden paths lined with hibiscus and frangipani trees to your Premium Ocean View Villa, where you can take in uninterrupted ocean views from your terrace day bed. A modern interpretation of a traditional Fijian home, you’ll rest well in your space with whitewashed vaulted ceilings and those quintessential Polynesian wood shutters.

Come diner, you can dine at farm-to-table restaurant Nuku Bar and Grill. The eatery focuses on showcasing hyper-local ingredients in dishes like Kokoda Fish–try out the walu steamed in breadfruit leaves.

Volivoli Beach Resort

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (310 reviews)

A romantic destination for winter sun-loving couples


If a swinging day bed by the ocean is something you dream about when stuck in the office, look no further than Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach. This design-led boutique hotel is nestled in lush tropical gardens just outside downtown Seminyak on buzzing Mesari Beach. Check into your luxe room overlooking waving palm fronds or the glittering sea–choice suites even come with open-air soaker baths and personal plunge pools.

The main swimming pool is surrounded by inviting sun loungers and shaded cabanas, where you can enjoy an indulgent ice cream topped with dragonfruit, strawberry and mint. For a more intimate experience, seek out the secret garden pool hidden in lush greenery for a private dip.

Book a couples massage at Sava Spa for a decadent afternoon of natural oils fragrant with cinnamon, clove and spicy black pepper. Afterwards, head to Tree Bar for a Purple Bird made with gin, lavender, lime and orange bitters before sharing classic street food dishes, such as Nasi Goreng made with chicken, acar and sambal matah at Makase restaurant.

Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach, An Ihg Hotel

Top rated
9.6 Excellent (1089 reviews)

A jungle oasis in Bali warmed by the winter sunshine


A few kilometres from Ubud amid the lush jungle of the Petanu Valley is where you’ll find Tejaprana Resort & Spa. The resort has been designed to foster tranquil spaces that will allow you to immerse yourself in Taksu – a uniquely Balinese concept meaning ‘the indescribable essence of Spirit’. All 28 villas face east to welcome in the sunlight, and you can enjoy the rays from your infinity plunge pool or outdoor natural stone bath. For that little bit extra, choose the Terrace View Villa and sit out under your thatched gazebo to take in wildlife-heavy rainforest views.

Aruna Restaurant is an open-walled treetop venue constructed from bamboo, where you can sample local delicacies like Gado Gado, Mie Goreng and Nasi Campur. After lunch, head over to the resort’s on-site Spa, Chatraka, for a traditional Balinese or Hot and Cold Stone Massage.

You can explore the local area with a guided cycling tour of Kedisan village and the nearby temples, stopping for photos of the famous Ceking terraced rice fields. Or you can learn some new culinary techniques with a cooking class, including a visit to local markets to select the freshest ingredients.

Tejaprana Resort & Spa

Top rated
9.8 Excellent (721 reviews)

A taste of Malaysian tradition with a side of winter sun

For a taste of traditional Malay culture, Bon Ton Resort has antique stilted wooden villas re-built on a century-old coconut plantation. Each guest space has been individually decorated with colourful fabrics and antique furniture pieces to get you into the vibe of an exotic sunshine holiday. Try out the Laguna villa for its outdoor bathroom complete with wooden tub for two–just right for a romantic shared soak beneath the stars.

The on-site restaurant, Nam, is famous across Langkawi Island for serving some of the tastiest local fare. Dig into barbecued rock lobster tails with satay sauce served on a guava salad, or prawn and pineapple curry with basil and mint. Make sure to save room for the decadent desserts, like steamed apple, macadamia and butterscotch pudding with Gula Melaka ice cream.

Unwind on a lounger beside the pool, or get your heart pumping at nearby Pantai Cenang beach with water sports like jet skiing, banana boating or kayaking. If you go inland for a nature walk in the Machinchang Forest Reserve, you can try to spot hornbills and elusive but adorable colugo gliders.

Bon Ton Antique Wooden Villas

Pantai Cenang
8.8 Excellent (345 reviews)

A riverside resort near winter sun-soaked Hoi An


Just a kilometre from the quaint Vietnamese port city known for its lantern-lit streets and flower-strewn markets, Anantara Hoi An is a luxury riverfront resort on luscious, landscaped grounds. The 94 rooms and suites all have split-level living areas and outdoor daybeds, so you can look over garden or water views while you soak up the sun in private. Wake to warm mornings perfumed by tropical flowers just beyond your balcony, a great spot also for watching slow boats drift down the river at dusk.

You can enjoy a sunset cruise in a traditional boat, or sip a coconutty cocktail at Riverside Restaurant. Stay on for fresh and fragrant dishes like tamarind-glazed tiger prawns or beef brisket in lemongrass and chilli broth.

Should you wake up early for a sunrise yoga class overlooking the Thu Bon River, you can reward yourself at Anantara Spa with a Vietnamese Four Hand Massage by two skilled therapists. For a bit of low-impact exercise, discover magical Hoi An by bike, cycling past verdant rice paddies and on to An Bang Beach. That’s if lazing on a sun lounger beside the pool doesn’t occupy all your hours, of course.

Anantara Hoi An

Top rated
Hoi An
9.3 Excellent (938 reviews)

A high-end family destination for fun in the winter sun


Named after the indigenous people of Bohol, you’ll find Eskaya Beach Resort and Spa on petite Panglao Island in the Philippines. The 24 thatched-roof villas are dotted around the 39-acre property, which descends slowly down to a stretch of pristine beach. Kick off your shoes in your villa bedecked in indigenous materials like bamboo, cogon and wood, and dip your feet straight into your private pool.

You can bring the kids and book the Balai Balai Family Villa, where you can take in breathtaking ocean views as a family. Your younger ones will love the choice of swimming in the ocean or private-indoor pool while you put your feet up with a daily cocktail and canapés brought to you by your very own butler. For heartier fare, Lantawan restaurant plates up traditional Boholano and Filipino dishes like grilled squid stuffed with tomatoes, garlic and onion or red snapper in a tamarind broth.

Deeply indulge in a bath of coconut milk or local Ciquate chocolate at Handuraw Spa, or get out and explore the famous Chocolate Hills. You might prefer paddling a boat through thriving mangroves and verdant palms to Cambuhat Oyster Farm, or you can gather the troops for a trip to Pamilacan Island to spot pods of dolphins and snorkel with sea turtles.

Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (181 reviews)

All-inclusive luxury beneath the winter sun in Vietnam


Sitting high on sand dunes overlooking the bay of Long Beach, Fusion Resort Nha Trang sits on the sunny south-central coast of Vietnam. Check into your designer villa decked out with a covered terrace and possibly the coolest canopy hammock you’ve ever seen. Continue floating in style with a soak in your bath that appears to be suspended in the air over your private garden.

Order an ‘anywhere, anytime’ à la carte breakfast to your choice of venue, be it your own bed or a spot on the beachfront. After filling up on fresh fruit and fragrant teas, Maia Spa & Wellness will help you sink further into bliss with treatments using homemade, locally sourced ingredients. Try the Vietnamese Coffee Scrub or Refreshing Pineapple Smoothie Wrap–though you might need the Aloe Sun Soother if you’ve been overdosing on sunshine by the pool. Stay on for a yoga or daily meditation class before floating back to your room on Cloud Nine.

Dinner at Fresh restaurant showcases the best of Vietnamese cuisine matched with freshly caught fish and succulent seafood like spicy king prawns. If you’re craving a Western meal, try a homemade pizza fresh from the wood-fired brick oven at Zen Bar.

Fusion Resort Nha Trang - All Spa Inclusive

Top rated
Nha Trang
8.8 Excellent (698 reviews)

An escape from Phuket's crowds for seclusion in the winter sunshine


Amari Phuket is a chic beachfront resort offering panoramic views across shimmering Patong Bay. With 380 guest rooms and suites scattered across the extensive grounds, you can take your pick of accommodation styles for your next sun holiday. If you choose the newer Ocean Wing, you’ll take in the bay through floor-to-ceiling windows or a spacious balcony ideal for romantic sunsets. You’ll also have access to The Clubhouse’s sparkling infinity pool and fully equipped fitness centre.

Down on beach level, you can plunge into another large swimming pool and order up an icy drink from Rim Talay Pool Bar, not to mention tasty snacks like Thai shrimp and fish cakes or papaya salad with chicken. At the open-air Italian restaurant La Gritta, tuck into hearty favourites like ossobuco with root vegetables or splash out on the cacciucco–a seafood stew with lobster, tiger prawns and other shellfish simmered in a thick, rich tomato sauce.

You’ll find four teakwood massage salas hidden within lush gardens at Breeze Spa, the go-to spot to be spoiled with treatments good enough to drink. Your Phuket Mojito Package will cleanse your cares through botanical oils of coconut, mint and shea butter, plus essences of peppermint and lime.

Amari Phuket

Top rated
Patong Beach
9.0 Excellent (2887 reviews)

An opulent winter sun retreat in Ubud’s rainforest


Just outside Bali’s bohemian hub, The Ayung Resort and Hotel Ubud is an eight-hectare rainforest estate surrounded by natural beauty. Stay in one of 10 antique Javanese Rumah Kudus (hand-carved wooden villas), where you’ll get your own private plunge pool and jaw-dropping canopy views. Or you can choose a deluxe or superior room with sleek marble bathroom and soaking tub, ideal for winding down after a day’s hike up a nearby active volcano.

Your terrace table at Wijaya Kusuma restaurant will offer panoramic views over the valley and gorge below. If you’re staying on a Tuesday, treat yourself to a traditional Babi Guling dinner–whole, spit-roasted suckling pig. Or there’s Seafood Galore night on Sundays, where you can sample clams, prawns and baby snapper fresh from the grill with an assortment of sides and sambals.

When you spend the morning at Dewi Sri Spa, you can bliss out under a hot stone massage using heated volcanic stones and warm aromatic oils. Alternatively, balance your chakras with a contemplative meditation session on a wooden pagoda platform over the rainforest.

Ayung Resort Ubud

Top rated
9.6 Excellent (1244 reviews)