Ahead of the holidays: Festive trips for every traveler
For the adventurer: Galápagos Islands
Hidden in a secluded giant tortoise reserve on the edge of an extinct volcanic crater, Pikaia Lodge is a gateway to explore many of Earth’s treasures sustainably. This lodge is designed for the environmentally conscious adventurist who seeks close contact with the incredible wildlife, vast landscapes and stunning beauty of the Galápagos. You’ll learn through exploration programs that include both land and yacht excursions to various protected islands around this unique archipelago. You’ll also see the Marine Reserve, one of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the World. When the day is done, retreat to one of Pikaia Lodge’s 14 spacious rooms, relax at the infinity pool, indulge in a festive meal at the fine-dining restaurant and unwind at the on-site spa.
For the whole family: Colorado
Taylor River Lodge
The perfect setting for families and the friends who have become family, Taylor River Lodge is where blue skies, emerald pines and granite cliffs frame your adventures. Located on the outskirts of Crested Butte in Taylor Canyon, this riverside destination is the ultimate holiday cabin retreat. Fishing is at the heart of the experience, including an on-site stocked trout pond, a mile of semi-private river mere steps from your cabin and the famed Gunnison River only minutes away. You’ll love taking in the surrounding mountains on the single track and scenic hiking trails. There is also on-site climbing, archery and hatchet throwing. After a day of exploring the Colorado views, relax at the dreamy bathhouse with a steam and soak. In the evening, the whole family will get whisked away to the good ol’ days with s’mores by the fire.
For the romantic: Turks and Caicos
COMO Parrot Cay
At COMO Parrot Cay, you’ll relish in luxury at a beachfront house or villa with whitewash interiors and chic teak finishing. Each accommodation option has its own a private pool and butler service — an ideal setting for holiday relaxation. If you’re seeking even more room to relax and play, private homes are available to rent, tucked away in secluded spots with full access to the resort’s facilities. The island’s two restaurants, Lotus and Terrace, serve a range of extravagant and casual dishes, and COMO Beach Club is open daily for drinks by the sea. Wellness is nurtured at COMO Shambhala Retreat, offering yoga, Pilates and a range of holistic therapies. When you’re ready to get active, go after Parrot Cay’s watersports, bikes, tennis courts and island excursions.
For the outdoor enthusiast: Iceland
This Iceland lodge is in the Fljót Valley on the mountainous Troll Peninsula — a gateway to skiing, sea kayaking and stargazing. Here, you can view the spectacular Aurora Borealis due to the region’s notable lack of artificial light. Deplar Farm imitates its naturals landscape with black timber cladding and a living roof. You’ll enjoy floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the lodge, allowing festive travelers to admire the surrounding peaks and colorful skies. The winter season, from November through mid-March, is short on sunlight, but days are packed with plenty of adventures, like whale watching and fat-tire biking. If relaxation is calling your name, spend a day or two at the spa, which offers a geothermally heated indoor-outdoor pool, Isopod flotation tanks and an outdoor Viking sauna.
For the honeymooners: Indonesia
Explorers say a visit to Nihi Sumba is not an escape from life, but the return to a life well-lived. Every detail of the rooms — crisp white bed linens on canopy beds, handmade chocolate in the mini bar, sweeping panoramic views of the Indian Ocean — will make you and your loved ones feel at home, yet completely transported for the holidays. Whether you choose to enjoy surf lessons at Coconut Cove alongside world-class instructors or hikes into the local villages, there are bespoke experiences to cater to your interests. Nihi Sumba specializes in personalized excursions around Sumba, whether its birdwatching in the jungle or swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Waikuri Lagoon.
For the explorers: Sri Lanka
Ceylon Tea Trails
After an exciting visit to Indonesia, jet-hop over to Sri Lanka to unwind in a bungalow at Ceylon Tea Trails. This seaside resort is home to 12 acres of land to explore, some of which is now being used to garden and harvest fresh produce. Here, you’ll connect with nature as you learn about preparing soil, planting, mulching, watering and weeding. A vast range of biodiversity exists in the Central Highlands, as the tea plantations are intermixed with forest, home to a variety of endemic birds. The great outdoors surrounding your bungalow will set a perfect backdrop for painting; show off your artistic abilities in your choice of a watercolor or acrylic paint session. Complete your holiday Tea Trails experience in the company of an expert naturalist, who will point out visible animals and identify recent tracks.
For the beach-goer: The Caribbean
Belmond Cap Juluca
The Caribbean is calling. White-sand beaches, turquoise waters and rum punch at the ready. ‘Tis the season to immerse yourself in warmth, along the pristine shores of Anguilla’s Maundays Bay. What we love about the holidays with Belmond: The intimate festive celebrations, Caribbean rum tastings, holiday craft markets, live concerts, Santa’s arrival on the beach for the littles and of course the ultimate New Year’s Eve soiree to ring in 2024. There’s no better place to spend the holidays in the sun. Plus, Cap Juluca is also welcoming a brand new Guerlin Spa in the New Year, not to be missed. See you on the beach.
For the soul seeker: Hawaii
Mauna Lani, Auberge Resort Collection
Holiday in Hawaii. This festive, we’re headed to the Kohala Coast, home to the island oasis that is Mauna Lani (meaning “mountain reaching heaven” in Hawaiian). Rolling hills, rocky cliffs and palm lined roads lead to crashing waves of ocean below, cultivating an intimate relationship with the land and sea. The Big Island abode evokes a breezy beauty with a collection of island inspired restaurants, three serene swimming pools and acoustic strums of ukuleles. We especially love the Goop shop on property to bring a little bit of Hawaii back home with us. We could all use a little taste of island life. Mahalo.
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