1. A Sanctuary In Samui
A truly tropical sanctuary awaits at Banyan Tree Samui, a blissful spa escape nestled amid the lush jungle of a private bay in Lamai. A secluded haven with each villa enveloped by their verdant surrounds, open-air living spaces flow naturally into an outdoor terrace and perfectly-chilled infinity pool. Sounds kind of perfect, right? To make it even more so, the hotel’s ‘Stay More, Pay Less’ offer means you get more bank for your Thai baht when you stay for three or more nights. Stay for three, and receive 10 per cent savings, or stay for four and enjoy 15 per cent off your booking. On arrival, watch any stress magically disappear (it’s hard to worry when you have a Villa Host on hand 24/7), then check into the spa for a 150-minute Sense Of Place - Sukhothai Heritage treatment, before settling in for a BBQ under the stars at Sands.
2. French Fancy
A true meeting of refined minds, the Chaumet & Nolinski experience at Nolinski Paris is the very embodiment of French refinement and art de vivre, combined with Chaumet’s culture and heritage. The special offer includes a night in a Deluxe Room, breakfast, a private tour of Chaumet’s historic maison at 12 Vendôme, with a presentation of it newest jewellery creations, with the ending with two La Colline treatments at Nolinski Spa. Indulge a little longer with dinner at Michelin-starred Paris-Royal Le Restaurant, with its emotive cuisine and views over the tranquil gardens of the Palais Royal, then stroll (by day or by night) around the Opéra Garnier, the Louvre and Tuileries Garden, or along Rue Saint Honoré, an Aladdin’s cave of shopping and sights. The hotel’s magical location means nothing is far, but everything is fabulous, as only the French can do.
3. JA Resorts’ Trio Of Tropical Retreats
With hotels dotted around the Indian Ocean, JA Resorts makes for rich pickings for those in hot pursuit of a sun-kissed winter holiday, with two particular properties deserving a mention. The beautiful Haa Alifu Atoll is home to JA Manafaru Maldives a resort that offers ultimate peace and privacy. Villas range from 135sqm up to 1,600sqm, each with private pool and outdoor dining, with the two-storey, three-bedroom Island Residence stealing our hearts. Gastronomy reigns supreme here, with seafood and traditional Indian Ocean cuisine taking top billing. A dolphin cruise or hour spent in the award-winning Calm Spa Sanctuary are a must.
The second stellar property is JA Enchanted Island Resort in the Seychelles, a luxury hideaway of just 10 exclusive villas on a private island. Nestled within a national marine park, there is greenery and pristine white sand all around - eight acres, to be precise. Each villa has a pool, garden and dining area, and days can be spent snorkelling, kayaking, catamaran cruising or on a cultural discovery tour on the mainland. The last resort that deserves a mention is JA Enchanted Waterfront Villas Seychelles, a brand-new tropical getaway on the east coast of Mahé. Just 4km from Victoria and a stone’s throw from the restaurants, bars and boutiques on Eden Island, the resort combines traditional Seychellois architecture with contemporary design, and is a more urban way to experience the archipelago.
4. Exotic Getaway In Paradise
Find paradise on earth and immerse yourself in pure, unadulterated luxury at Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives, an island resort where time stand stills and your experience will be forever etched in your memory. Designed by award-winning hospitality firm, Hirsch Bedner Associates, the one-island-one-resort is centred around the notion of complete tropical tranquillity. A true oasis of calm, the resort appeals to couples seeking seclusion, but it also rewards holiday-makers after adventure, nature and culinary finesse, too.
For something special, the hotel’s Exotic Getaway in Paradise offer serves up a serene island experience, with daily breakfast and dinner for two, complimentary speedboat airport transfers, dinner under the stars/in the jungle, a Kodhipparu Fusion or Balinese Massage, 20 per cent discount on select spa treatments, and complimentary room upgrade to next room category. It’s time to pack your passport to paradise.
5. Indian Ocean Festivities
Synonymous with unparalleled luxury, this two-island resort is the Conrad brand’s Indian Ocean calling card. Pared-back and exuding quiet splendour, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is a contemporary design dream, with the hotel’s architectural sleek lines, muted tones, marble bathrooms and homage to its tropical backdrop. For those seeking the sublime, The Muraka is a first-of-its-kind luxury residence, featuring three bedrooms, integrated living/dining/entertaining spaces, a private chef, 24-hour butler service and Ω the best bit - a master bedroom that is submerged over 16 feet below sea level, letting you doze off in your own private underwater world. If something like this tickles your festive fancy, the hotel has a special offer running throughout Christmas and New Year, that allows guests to celebrate the holiday season on the sunny side of life. Book a stay for a minimum for five nights, between December 24 - January 9, 2021, and you can enjoy daily breakfast for two, and a complimentary New Year’s Eve Gala dinner or dinner at Ithaa Underwater Restaurant if you don’t stay over New Year. Putting the ho-ho-ho into holidays, this one promises to be unforgettable.
6. Luxury Living In London
With the travel corridor now open from the UAE to the UK, it makes future festive jaunts to the capital a thing of reality. One of our favourite London hotels that we make a beeline for is The Kensington, a Doyle Collection property, set amidst the leafy enclaves of the Royal Borough of Kensington. Comprising four townhouses, the hotel exudes a cosy home-from-home feeling, more a private townhouse than traditional hotel. Think roaring log fires in the elegant Drawing room, discreet after-dark cocktails at The K Bar, and the hotel’s much-loved (and picture-worthy) London Landmarks Afternoon tea - a cultural journey through culinary experimentation. The hotel’s signature suites marry tradition with modernism, be it the regal splendour of The Brompton’s four-poster bed, free-standing Victorian roll-top bath and Waterford crystal chandelier, or the Kensington Suite that exquisitely blends period charm with modern comfort. With its central location, the hotel’s ‘Make A Night Of It’ offer allows the hotel’s concierge to create a bespoke itinerary with pre-booked tickets to the nearby V&A, Natural History Museum and Design Museum, alongside a night in a sumptuous room or suite, dinner, à la carte breakfast and early check-in/late check-out. London really is calling...