With summer well and truly behind us and the smell of mulled wine coming from every corner, it’s time to shift our focus to the coming winter and where we’ll be spending our well-earned holidays. Of course there are the obligatory snow-trips to Courchevel, Aspen or even Lofoten, but if that wonderful natural white frosting isn’t really on your wish list, where would be a better place to go? Well, let’s make a quick list of my 5 favorite destinations for the upcoming season and see if any of them appeal to you.
1. Torres del Paine, Chile
Named as the 8th wonder of the world, it is a hiker’s paradise but even those who don’t want to take this long trek will be happy to spend time in this amazing landscape where snow capped massifs are omnipresent. Glaciers, lakes, rivers, forests,….everything is there. The fact that it is still untouched by mass tourism only adds to the overall experience and sense of being alone among these mountain cathedrals.
And of course the best way to enjoy this natural wonder is to stay at one of the luxury lodges and hotels. One of my favorites is Tierra Patagonia which has such a unique setting that the property is already worth the effort to visit.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m including this slice of heaven as it will be a given for those who have already been, for everyone else it should be on your “to do” list as soon as possible. There really is no excuse not to visit these tropical islands and our winter season is the perfect time to do so.
The Maldives is literally a resort and there are countless options for every budget. That being said, I love some of the old faithfuls like the One & Only Reethi Rah which is located just a 30 minute speedboat trip from Male International Airport and has everything you could want for an unforgettable stay. Being located on one of the most beautiful private islands certainly helps.
3. South Africa
A well-known destination with a lot to offer for any type of traveler. From wildlife to amazing gastronomy, there’s literally no reason not to love the rainbow nation, and while the whole world loves Cape Town (for good reason) and believes the best time to go on safari is from June to August, it’s actually an amazing experience that can be enjoyed all year round. .
This is why our winter season is the perfect time to enjoy wildlife in all its abundance and seeing the Big 5 is definitely the highlight of a successful safari. One of my favorite areas to see all these stunning animals is the Sabi Sand Game Reserve which is known as one of the best in the world. And &Beyond Tengile River Lodge is the perfect place to enhance the overall experience with jaw-dropping luxury suites, stunning views over the Bali River and world-class service. A no-brainer in my book.
The Sultanate of Oman has long been overshadowed by its hugely popular neighbor, and while their location on the Arabian Peninsula might lead you to believe they’re similar, you couldn’t be more wrong. Oman is much more neglected yet offers the same luxury and thanks to a larger footprint on the peninsula it is able to accommodate more and has a greater variety of natural and historical importance.
One of the most unique places to stay is the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort which is located right on top of a huge canyon that provides a dramatic backdrop for many of the rooms and allows you to dine right on the edge of this natural wonder. It is truly unique and even the late Princess Diana came here to enjoy all that Oman had to offer.
5. Bora-Bora, French Polynesia
If there’s one tropical island paradise that makes people dream from the moment they hear its name, it’s Bora Bora. It is often compared to the Maldives but with the distinct difference of having the massive Mount Otemanu which spans the entire atoll and offers multiple experiences that can be enjoyed by guests of the resorts located around it.
You can’t go wrong with a stay in this slice of paradise but if I had to make a choice, I wouldn’t hesitate to go for the beautiful villas (both on land and over water) at St-Regis, with great F&B outlets. And amazing experience for both adults and children.
As you can see, there are many options outside of the usual winter destinations so it’s just a matter of aligning your travel desires with the right destination.
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