If you’ve been thinking about how to avoid the family dramas and kitchen disasters that seem to crop up every Christmas, why not treat yourself to a luxury Christmas escape instead. TravelManagers’ Melanie Carter shares her favourite indulgent destinations in which to hang your stocking this year.
1. White Christmas – Whistler in Canada and Germany’s famous Christmas markets
“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…” For most Australians, this is more than just a song lyric – it is a literal dream whilst we are sweltering through our summer celebrations.
To experience the magic for yourself, head to Whistler in Canada for sleigh rides and roasted chestnuts in this pretty mountainside village, which is decked out with Christmas lights and carollers. Have your own private retreat for your stay or for a luxury Christmas gift to yourself, go heliskiing! A helicopter will whisk you to the backcountry to ski on fresh powder, before returning you to your luxury lodge for a fine-dining Christmas dinner.
Some other White Christmas options include exploring Germany’s famous Christmas markets, experiencing Japan’s incredible “illuminations”, or staying in the snow-topped fairy-tale castle-style hotel, the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, Canada.
2. A luxury health retreat – Chiva Som in Hua Hin, Thailand
After a busy year, give yourself some time out to regenerate and restore at Chiva Som in Hua Hin, Thailand.
One of the very first destination spa resorts, Chiva Som is consistently rated one of the world’s best holistic escapes, and combines Eastern philosophies with Western pampering tools to pamper, rejuvenate and transform you. Make this your Christmas gift to yourself and you’ll start the new year feeling fresh and focused.
3. New York – The famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree
A foodie’s dream, you can ditch the roast and Aunty’s sunken pav and eat your way around the Big Apple Instead! Head to new hot spot, Crown Shy in the Financial District, or treat yourself to a Korean feast at Momofuku’s Kawi in Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side.
Then work up an appetite to do it all again with some ice skating under the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree or by shopping up a storm with a private shopping tour in the fashion capital of America.
4. Luxury Lodges of Australia
A little closer to home, you can celebrate Christmas amid the stunning natural beauty of Kangaroo Island’s Southern Ocean Lodge. Designed to complement and respect the surrounding environment, Southern Ocean Lodge allows guests to experience the unique coastline, bushland and abundant wildlife of the island. A lovely touch is that all guests enjoy a personalised itinerary and guide, to ensure that they experience the best of Kangaroo Island.
Or get festive at the incredibly stunning, Saffire Freycinet at Coles Bay in Tasmania. Immerse yourself in the Tasmanian wilderness, or the enjoy the signature ‘Connection to Country’ walk to appreciate the indigenous population’s ties to their environment.
5. Cruise to Antarctica on a luxury ship
November to January is the cruising season for experiencing the beauty of Antarctica. Luxury ships like Scenic Eclipse, Ponant and Silversea all offer this spectacular journey, so you can experience a white Christmas of a different kind in one of the world’s most pristine, remote and stunning locations!