Let's face it, South by Southwest in Austin and Ultra Music Festival in Miami are the (working) Spring Breaks of the music industry. But when top execs and artists want to truly step off the mid-winter awards-season and music festival treadmill, here's where they go to bliss out.
SUN With its luxe hotels playing host to the likes of Katy Perry and Akon, the Maldives aren't exactly a secret. But BB Gun Press co-founder Brian Bumbery, who represents Green Day and Jimmy Cliff, still loves the island paradise's yet-unspoiled serenity. "It's the only place in the world where I've completely lost track of time. It's so breathtakingly beautiful that I weep every time I arrive and leave." He's enamored with Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru (fourseasons.com/maldiveslg) and the secluded villas at Constance Halaveli (halaveli.constancehotels.com).
Another beach-hopping devotee is Cash Money Records honcho Ronald "Slim" Williams, who raves, "I love the Kahala in Hawaii. I go to get a massage and just listen to the water." The Oahu resort (kahalaresort.com) sits on a quiet stretch of beach, yet is just 10 minutes from the action in Downtown Waikiki. A little higher up on the glamour scale is Turks and Caicos Islands' Providenciales, where Linda Carbone, co-owner of Press Here (who represents everyone from the Killers to Depeche Mode), recently checked in to the sumptuous Grace Bay Club (gracebayresorts.com), also a fave of Artist Group International CEO Dennis Arfa. "The water is beautiful and the beach is better than any I've seen," Arfa says.
SCENE Yet for the jet set, there's one island that will seemingly never fall out of fashion: "St. Barts...17 years and counting," Epic Records chairman/CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid says of his annual winter retreat. The stylish Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France (isle-de-france.com) is where the likes of Jay-Z and Beyonce lay their heads.
But it's the new outpost of New York's Bagatelle (bistrotbagatelle.com) that is the island's buzziest schmoozing hot spot, drawing such A-listers as Russell Simmons and Simon Cowell. Suited to slightly more Bohemian tastes is Island Outpost's Strawberry Hill (islandoutpost.com). The Jamaican hideaway unveiled a major-league makeover last year--but it has a history dating back to Bob Marley, which is why, proprietor Chris Blackwell reckons, "People connected to music wish to visit." Nestled in the Blue Mountains, 3,100 feet above Kingston, it has 360-degree views, making it "just a local call away from Heaven," Blackwell says.
Escaping to Cabo San Lucas, though, is really just another excuse to move the party back home into the sunshine. And at Spanish hotelier Melia's celeb magnet ME Cabo (es.melia.com), industry types carry on the festivities 'til morning. Adam Alpert of 4AM DJs, who oversee the property's music program, says the vibe is conducive to good grooving. The party crowd has included "producers from L.A., as well as Slash, P!nk and DJ Tiesto.
SNOW For those who prefer to bundle up, Aspen is hotter than ever. Some, like Calvin Harris, go for the scene at the winter X Games. But others from songwriter Bonnie McKee to producer Jed Leiber are there for the glamorous resorts' everyday pleasures.
Apre-ski, most can be found at two current hot spots: Little Nell's restaurant Element 47 (thelittlenell.com) and the storied Hotel Jerome, which just underwent a spectacular makeover (hoteljerome.aubergeresorts.com). Expect late-night deals to be going down in its legendary J-Bar.