Whether you have a perfect family gathering in mind or an escape from seasonal obligations, the Christmas holiday season offers a wealth of opportunity from bucket list adventures to a relaxing dose of winter sunshine. How about New Year on a Caribbean beach or waking up in Tanzania's Selous and Ruaha Game Reserves or a beautiful log cabin in Finnish Lapland? Our destination specialists have myriad suggestions of ways to celebrate Christmas and New Year, and not a turkey in sight.
For the ultimate grown-up Christmas retreat, 10-room adult-only Javri Lodge is located in Saariselka, high in the Arctic Circle. Once a winter sanctuary for the President of Finland, this luxury boutique hotel, set in a serene winter wonderland, is a haven for alpine activities. Spend your days ice-fishing, snow-mobiling, cross-country skiing or husky-sledding and the evenings dining on delicious Nordic cuisine or relaxing in front of the log fire.
What Jumby Bay lacks in snow it more than makes up for with an abundance of stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters and wall-to-wall sunshine. Choose a private villa with your own pool and a stretch of beach nearby, or a room or suite in the resort; both include access to resort activities such as tennis, spa, fitness centre, restaurants and water sports. The private three-hundred-acre island is the perfect escape for a Christmas vacation that will leave you revitalised and ready for whatever the year ahead has in store.
A Christmas vacation at Finolhu is not your typical Maldivian holiday. This funky, retro-chic hotel is a great choice for families looking for fun. The futuristic funnel-shaped terrace, all day music and a kids’ club to entertain the youngsters, all combine to make this an island destination with a difference. Finolhu promises fantastic restaurants, non-stop entertainment and a party vibe that will make this Christmas one to remember.
Christmas in Swedish Lapland is a quintessential winter experience pulled straight from ancient fables. A few days at the luxury wilderness lodge, Logger’s Lodge, will transport you to a world of snowy landscapes, star-filled skies and breath-taking scenery. Days are filled with Nordic skiing, snowmobile safaris or lunch with Sami reindeer herders before evenings curled up on sheepskin decked armchairs in front of a roaring fire. There is just one room at Logger’s Lodge, making it the perfect for a Christmas à deux.
With endless brunch options, the lure of winter sunshine and the option of skiing at Ski Dubai, this destination can pretty much deliver a Christmas break that caters to everyone’s taste.
For a festive feast to remember, enjoy Michelin-starred cuisine at One&Only The Palm. Set on the tranquil western crescent of the Palm Jumeriah, it offers spectacular views over Dubai’s skyline. Opt for a private beachfront villa to celebrate the festive season in style.
Spend Christmas winding down on Tanzania’s tranquil shores with views over the Indian Ocean, perhaps snorkelling, kayaking or boogie-boarding, before an exciting safari in the Selous and Ruaha Game Reserves. Enjoy 4X4 drives, bush walks and boat trips in the vast savannah, returning to your luxury camp for sundowners around a fire pit and dinner in the mess tent. For a truly memorable New Year, why not spend the night under a constellation of stars in a fly camp?