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 Sri Lankan beach or waking up in Tanzania's Selous and Ruaha Game Reserves or a beautiful log cabin in Finnish Lapland? Our destination specialists have a 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.
Sri Lanka’s position near the equator guarantees warm weather during the winter months, which only enhances the beautiful beaches which line its southern shores. The private resort of ANI Villas is located on the sandy southern coastline of Dickwella, renowned for its coral-protected bays. Each villa has its own private pool and is just steps away from the palm tree-lined beach. Facilities include a tennis court, gym, private spa and expert chefs who create delicious Sri Lankan and international cuisine.
For those who want to rejuvenate before January really kicks into gear, brand new Chablé Maroma promises a jungle-beach combination with a hint of the Mayan. Each of the 70 private casitas is surrounded by emerald jungle creating a back-to-nature ambiance. A highlight is the 17,000-foot spa, with treatments based on Mayan traditions. Wellbeing continues with meditation classes and yoga, whilst for the more energetic, there’s paddle boarding, jungle walks and scuba diving.
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 2019 has in store.
A Christmas break at Finolhu is not your typical Maldavian 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.
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?
For more suggestions on where to spend an unforgettable Christmas or New Year, contact our luxury travel specialists or call them on +44 (0)1242 787800.