1. SKI, SUSHI AND SAKE
The new ski season kicks off with a bang in Andermatt this month, with the launch of a new gondola and several state-of-the-art chair lifts that will open up miles of new slopes for visiting skiers. For those that like to combine their slope time with more decadent pleasures, a stay at The Chedi Andermatt is just the thing. From the striking design, in which architect Jean-Michel Gathy has carefully woven elements of Asian and European influence, to the wonderful Michelin-star cuisine of The Japanese Restaurant, The Chedi’s Asian roots are hard to miss. Celebrating the brand’s heritage, the ‘Winter Wonderland Meets Asia’ package offers a taste of Asia in the heart of the Swiss Alps. During a three-night stay, guests will be given an insight into the culture of sake and sushi during a one-on-one tasting session with the hotel’s sushi master, and be treated to an Asian dinner at The Restaurant. After making full use of the three-day ski pass, an hour-long Ancient Balinese massage at The Spa will soothe aches and pains, before taking a spin on the hotel’s own ice-rink.
PRICE: From US$1,343 per person
AVAILABLE: From December 15 to April 2, 2018
2. FESTIVE ROMANCE IN LAUSANNE
Between the Christmas parties, last minute shopping and family get-togethers, there’s barely a moment spare to spend quality time with your significant other during the festive season. But fear not: Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa Lausanne is here to help. Throughout December, this elegant resort is inviting couples to escape the hubbub and treat themselves to a romantic festive break in Switzerland. Set on the banks of Lake Geneva, this Art Nouveau palace dates back to 1909, but there is nothing last century about its contemporary interiors. As well as accommodation in a sumptuous Junior Suite, couples will enjoy a four-course dinner menu at The Brasserie du Royal courtesy of triple Michelin-starred chef Marc Haeberlin, complete with Champagne. The next morning, have breakfast delivered to the suite, and make the most of unlimited access to the 1,500 sqm Spa du Royal, which has indoor and outdoor pools, saunas and Jacuzzis, and traditional mosaic-tiled Hammams.
PRICE: Junior Suites start from US$738 per night including breakfast, four-course dinner, half bottle of Champagne and special romantic set-up
AVAILABLE: Until December 31
3. HONEYMOON HEAVEN
When you dream up the ideal honeymoon destination, what do you see? For the vast majority of us, it would look something very close to Furaveri Island Resort & Spa. The tropical 23-hectare coral island sits like a pearl among a necklace of islands in the Raa Atoll, just a short seaplane hop from Malé International Airport, or a domestic flight followed by speedboat. Loved-up honeymooners might only have eyes for each other, but their adoring gaze may break for a while to take in the surrounds – knock-out white-sand beaches, pod chairs swinging from coconut palms, the gently lapping turquoise sea – all in all, a scene seemingly plucked from a postcard. Among the inclusions in the “Experience Honeymoon” package are complimentary transfers and a VIP personalised villa check-in by a resort host; an utterly romantic, three-course, candle-lit dinner set up on your villa terrace or on the beach; a honeymoon bath ceremony with bubbles, petals and a bottle of sparkling wine; a 60-minute couples’ massage and spa discounts; a sunset cruise for two and a 30-minute photo session with a photographer, immortalising memories long after you return home.
PRICE: The “Experience Honeymoon” package in a Beach Pool Villa is priced at approximately US$4,271 for a four-night stay
AVAILABLE: Subject to availability
4. A RAY OF LIGHT IN DOHA
Punching through the Doha skyline like a giant beacon, The Torch Doha truly lives up to its name. Behind the hotel’s glowing shell – in interwoven web of 2,624 LED lights soaring 300-metres above the city – 163 luxurious rooms and suites are spread across 51 floors, with three Diplomatic Suites offering some of the finest accommodation in Doha. Guests can customize rooms to fit their state of mind thanks to a mood lighting system with 12 different colour options to choose from, and the high-tech iPad navigation system controls temperature, curtains, lighting and more with the touch of a button. Located next to the Italian-inspired Villaggio Shopping Mall in Dohab Sports City – Aspire Zone, The Torch is an ideal place to stay for shopping breaks in the Qatari capital; that’s if you can take your eyes off the spectacular views from the 47th-floor Three Sixty restaurant. For post-retail relaxation, the 19th floor swimming pool is cantilevered out over the city 80-metres above the ground, and The Torch’s Health Club has TechnoGym gear in its state-of-the-art fitness centre, sauna and jet showers, plus four treatment rooms.
PRICE: From US$ 261 per night on a bed and breakfast basis. Book for three nights and only pay for two during the festive season
AVAILABLE: From December 15-31
5. SOMETHING BLUE
“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” – the last portion, at least, is easy to come by with an island wedding at Hurawahli Maldives. A pearl in the Indian Ocean surrounded by infinite shades of a perfectly blue sea, this is a picture-perfect paradise for an unforgettable destination wedding or renewal of vows ceremony. From the bridal preparation and ceremony setup to the moment you say “I do”, the entire day is taken care of, with traditional boduberu dancing, an intimate candle-lit dinner with a private chef and waiter, and “Dream Excursion” to a secluded sandbank. At the end of the day, a romantic turndown service waits in your tropical sanctuary, be that amid lush vegetation on the beach or propped above the lagoon’s tranquil waters, lending an extraordinary backdrop to a once-in-a-lifetime occasion.
PRICE: Wedding and renewal of vow ceremonies start from US$1,500
AVAILABLE: Year round, subject to availability
6. LIVE THE HIGH LIFE IN VEGAS
Fresh from a US$100 million renovation, Las Vegas’s iconic Caesars Palace has launched a flurry of swanky new rooms and suites in its Palace Tower. But for the ultimate Vegas blowout, check out its 10 new luxury villas. Found on the tower’s 29th floor, the “villas” each boast more than a million dollars’ worth of furnishings and high-design décor, and feature a curated art programme that brings together the work of some of the world’s best contemporary artists. In-villa amenities include 75 or 85-inch surround sound screens worth a cool $20,000 each, and master bathrooms feature whirlpool hot tubs and 24-carat gold-plated fixtures. High rollers booking a villa enjoy limousine transfers from McCarran International Airport, VIP check-in and a private elevator reserved exclusively for villa guests. Designed by LA-based KNA Design, the exclusive retreats range from 2,750 to 4,085 square feet and boast an eclectic range of styles spanning English Regency, French Empire and the familiar Ancient Grecian vibe for which Caesars Palace is known.
PRICE: From US$3,109 per night.
AVAILABLE: Year round, subject to availability