After a summer filled with barbeques in the backyard and long days on the beach, the seasons are changing. The leaves are turning, the cider is hot and some retailers are already releasing Christmas commercials. Before the holiday hustle and bustle sets in full swing, it’s time to start planning a winter getaway. Whether you want to escape the impending chill or embrace it with frolics in the snow, we’ve chosen three luxurious getaways for the new season that should align with your idea of a proper winter retreat.
The Alps are calling your name this winter–escape into luxury at Courchevel in the French Alps. Situated in Les Trois Vallées (the Three Valleys), Courchevel is part of the largest linked ski resort in the world and consistently ranks as one of the world’s top ski resorts. Since 1973, visitors to this winter playground have been able to ski all the interlinked trails of Les Trois Vallées on a single mountain pass.
There are more than 370 miles of ski slopes and 183 lifts to take you from one valley to another. Magnificent mountain views, white glove service and five-star lodging make this a magnet for glamorous ski holiday seekers. Home to four restaurants with 2 Michelin stars and a further three with 1 Michelin star, it’s known as a bon vivant paradise.
The area attracts the rich and famous from all over the world, including such figures as Prince William and Kate Middleton, George Clooney, the King of Morocco and the Beckhams. This is a great destination if you want pristine slopes by day and trendy clubs by night.
Yellowstone Club, Montana
If you’re looking for exclusivity, it doesn’t get much more exclusive than the Yellowstone Club ski resort in Montana. Just 20 miles away from Yellowstone National Park, this members-only resort has over 2,200 acres of trails and averages over 300 inches of snowfall annually. Here you’ll find consistently fresh, light and private powder, with no lift lines to the high-speed lifts and no big crowds clogging the trails.
The picturesque ski-in and ski-out sugar shacks that populate the mountainside let you take a break from the spacious trails, offering homemade sweets and hot drinks for the whole family. Security is run by a former member of the Secret Service, providing protection and privacy for the big name clients that call this destination their second home.
Most family ski trips turn into a stressful conglomeration of crowded slopes, screaming kids and long lunch lines. That’s not the case here–with extensive activities to occupy kids and teens alike, there is plenty of time for parents to dine in style by the fireside at one of the posh timber lodges. Five-star to its very foundations, the Yellowstone Club is definitely a postcard come to life.
If you’re anything like us, the long dreary winter can have you craving a sun-drenched vacation. Luckily, when the Northern Hemisphere is huddling and snuggling through the winter, the Southern Hemisphere is in the height of summer. South Africa offers everything from family safaris to luxury holidays. Imagine Africa is a UK-based company that designs custom made holidays to this southern country. Our favorite is the Kruger, Blue Train & Cape Town itinerary. Over the course of a week and a half, this vacation dazzles you with African heat, exotic wild life and top notch accommodation. The first few days are spent in Kruger, where you are led on a guided safari tour in a region home to elephants, rhinos and lions. Accommodation is the ultimate glam-ping experience, with draped beds, massages and shaded hammocks.
After a relaxing or exciting few days, depending on which activities you choose, you’ll hop aboard one of the most luxurious trains in the world. Train travel no longer tends to offer the glamorous appeal that it did 100 years ago, but you’ll find that the Blue Train is absolutely magnificent and delivers beyond your expectations. Connecting Pretoria and Cape Town, the Blue Train is a moving five-star resort. Rooms are separated by carriages and are all en-suite, featuring gold-tinted windows and butler service. After the classiest train ride of your life, you’ll find yourself in Cape Town at the Cape Grace, ranked one of the Best Hotels in the World by Condé Nast.
No summery destination would be complete without a day on the beach–you’ll how have the opportunity to relax seaside with four nights on South Africa’s breathtaking coast. This is definitely the destination for the winter-weary.
What’s your favourite luxury winter holiday destination?
This is our select collection of three glamorous winter destinations for the ski bunnies, snowboard fanatics and sun worshipers. Cozy as they are, winter holidays don’t always get the attention they deserve. We’d love for you to share your own stories of winter holidays you found to be an absolutely luxurious escape from icy winds and holiday madness. Feel free to comment below!
Be sure to check back in for our upcoming post on excellent advice for giving the gift of travel this holiday season!