Christmas is a magical time at home for many, but lots of us would willingly board a plane and exchange winter attire for beachwear. Our destination specialists have shortlisted five destinations across the globe, for those in hot pursuit of a villa or tailor-made holiday in the sun this coming Christmas.
A Spiritual Escape
For those wishing to escape the commercial side of Christmas, the perfect remedy is surely a spiritual retreat to rejuvenate and restore balance. Kamalaya, in Koh Sumui, is a beautiful resort centred on a cave where Buddhist monks once congregated to meditate. Head into the New Year afresh with a choice of wellness programmes including Embracing Change, Relaxation and Detox. However, the festivities won’t go totally unmarked as guests will be entertained with Christmas carols, a classical Thai dance show and a beautiful lantern release on the beach.
Weather: On the east coast of the Thai peninsula, the dry season begins in December and sunshine is accompanied by refreshing breezes (max day temperature 29°C).
A Family Celebration in the Caribbean
St Anne’s Point, Antigua
Five-bedroom private villa St Anne’s Point can comfortably accommodate multi-generational families and is enviably located within walking distance of stunning beaches and the historic English Harbour – perfect for combining time together at Christmas around the fifty foot pool as well as embracing the local party atmosphere. On Christmas Day people pack up a picnic and flock to the Yacht Club at Nelson’s Dockyard to enjoy a Champagne Party with live music. Celebrations continue when the island plays host to ‘Minival’ on New Year’s Day, complete with moko jumbies (stilt walkers) and a steel band.
Weather: November sees the end of the hurricane season, so typically December is drier and temperatures are less humid (max day temperature 29°C).
Wildlife Down Under
Southern Ocean Lodge, South Australia
Kangaroo Island, home to Southern Ocean Lodge, is known as Australia’s Galapagos or the ‘zoo without fences’. The island spoils wildlife enthusiasts seeking a sunny sanctuary in December, with plentiful sightings of koalas, sea lions, kangaroos, fur seals and more, in dramatic coastal landscapes. Many of Kangaroo Island’s species welcome their offspring into the world at this time of year making the experience even more memorable. Guests can fill their days with wildlife safaris, exhilarating hikes and marine tours, as well as a host of cultural and active pursuits. Dining is divine with excellent locally produced wines, beers and organic fare.
Weather: December marks the start of Australia’s summer with Kangaroo Island enjoying mild temperatures (max day temperature 22°C).
Christmas in the Desert
With guaranteed good weather, Europeans flock to Oman during the winter season and, although not a Christian country (Omanis follow the moderate Ibadi Islamic faith), the spirit of Christmas is observed, especially in the resort hotels along the coast near Muscat. The Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, for example, has a huge Christmas tree and Santa arrives by camel to the delight of younger guests. Sea temperatures are around 24 degrees Celsius and there are opportunities for snorkelling and spotting dolphins in the Damaniyat Islands. It’s not all about the beach, however; there are magnificent walking trails and amazing, fairy-tale Arabian forts in the Al Hajar mountains with opportunities to swim in refreshing wadis. For something really special, book your own private camp in the desert and watch the sun rise over the dunes on Christmas Day morning before a celebratory dinner.
Weather: Oman is a year round destination, however it can be a little chilly in the evening in the mountains (max day temperature 27°- Muscat).
For more suggestions on where to spend this Christmas in the sun, contact the luxury travel specialists at Red Savannah on +44 (0)1242 787800.