With the summer well and truly behind us and the smell of mulled wine popping up from every corner it’s time to shift our focus on the upcoming winter and where we’ll spend our well earned holidays. Of course there’s the mandatory snow-trip to Courchevel, Aspen or even the Lofoten, but if that wonderful natural white frosting isn’t really high up your wish-list, where would be a good place to go? Well, let’s quickly list up my 5 favourite destinations for the upcoming season and see if any of them appeal to you.
1. Torres del Paine, Chile
Having been named the 8th Wonder of the World, it’s a hiker’s paradise but even those that don’t want to go on these long treks will be happy to spend time in this amazing landscape where the snow capped massif is omnipresent. Glaciers, lakes, rivers, forests,….it’s all there. The fact that it’s still not overrun by mass-tourism just adds to the overall experience and the sense of being alone among these mountain cathedrals.
And of course the best way to enjoy this natural wonder is to stay in one of the luxurious lodges and hotels. One of my favourites is the Tierra Patagonia which has such a unique layout that the property on its own is already worth the effort of visiting.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I include this slice of paradise as for those who’ve already been it’ll be a given, for all others it should really be on your “to-do” list as soon as possible. There’s really no excuse not to visit this tropical archipelago and our winter time is the perfect time to do so.
The Maldives is literally a resort galore and there are countless options for every budget. That being said, I like some of the old faithful like the One & Only Reethi Rah which is located a mere 30 minutes speedboat trip from the international airport of Malé and has everything you could wish for to have an unforgettable stay. Being located on one of the most beautiful private islands does help along of course.
3. South Africa
A well-known destination which has so much to offer for any type of traveller. From the wildlife to the amazing gastronomy, there is literally no reason not to like the rainbow nation and while the whole world loves Cape Town (for good reason by the way) and believes the best time to go on a safari is from June to August, it’s actually an amazing experience which can be enjoyed year round.
Because of that our winter season is the perfect time to enjoy the wildlife in all its abundance and seeing the big 5 is for most of course the pinnacle of a successful safari. One of my favourite areas to spot all these stunning animals is at the Sabi Sand Game reserve which is known worldwide as one of the best. And the &Beyond Tengile River Lodge is the perfect place to enhance the overall experience even more with luxurious suites that make your jaw drop, superb views over the Sand River and world-class service. A no-brainer in my books.
The Sultanate of Oman has long been in the shadow of it’s immensely popular neighbour and while their location on the Arabian Peninsula might make you believe they are very similar, you couldn’t be more wrong. Oman is much more understated yet offers the same luxuries and thanks to the larger footprint on the peninsula it’s also able to offer more space and has a vast variety of natural and historical importance.
One of the most unique places to stay is the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar resort which is situated right above a massive canyon that provides a dramatical background to many room and gives you the opportunity to even dine right on the edge of this natural marvel. It’s really unique and even the late Princess Diana came here to enjoy the views and everything Oman had to offer.
5. Bora-Bora, French Polynesia
If there’s one tropical island paradise that makes people dream away from the moment they hear its name, it’s Bora Bora. Often it’s compared to the Maldives but with the clear differentiation of having the massive Mount Otemanu that is towering over the whole atoll and is providing for multiple experiences which can be enjoyed by the guests of the resorts located around it.
You can’t go wrong when it comes to accommodation in this slice of paradise but if I had to make a choice I wouldn’t doubt going for the St-Regis with its beautiful villas (both on land and overwater), superb f&b outlets and amazing experiences for both the adults and the children.
As you can see, there’s a plethora of 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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