With the festive holidays behind us, we all need something to look forward to as we roll into 2022. Book a ski escape in North America, a cultural escapade in Istanbul or a mindful retreat in the Maldives... All you have to do is enjoy it.
1. WINTER WONDERLAND
This month head off to Four Seasons Resort & Residences Whistler for a snow-filled holiday at a beautifully intimate retreat in the heart of North America’s largest ski resort. Flanked by Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, your days will be filled with exhilarating adventures - think skiing, dog-sledging, snowmobile tours or travelling across the longest and highest suspended gondola in the world. Then, when it’s time to relax, you can curl up by the fireplace or rejuvenate with an Après Mountain massage at the spa. Bed down in the Townhouse, with its private balcony and hot tub, or the cosy Alpine Suite with its stunning mountain views. Book the Whistler Winter Staycation offer, and get a complimentary upgrade, dining credit, parking and more.
2. A TRANQUIL GETAWAY
A captivating island haven, Melia Phuket Mai Khao sits on an unspoiled 11km stretch of Mai Kaho Beach (the longest in North Phuket) and is just a 15-minute drive from Phuket airport. Facing the west coast of the Andaman Sea, sunsets here are sublime. The hotel cuts a contemporary silhouette on the coastline, all modern vibes and clean lines, with a pared-back essence throughout. Book before January 20 (for travel until December 2022) and you can receive 35 per cent off, free cancellation and the first child stays for free. Oh, and money off your next reservation! Book a suite or a wellness-inspired pool villa and retreat into tranquillity. With nature on your doorstep, this tropical paradise feels a mile away from any urban intrusions, perfect for those wanting to switch off and recharge.
3. SWISS CHARM
A roaring fire place, truly suite dreams, views over River Rhone and the world’s most compact metropolis, and sparkling service... Mandarin Oriental Geneva has classic Swiss charm in delivered in a thoroughly modern way. Book it’s Suite Arrivals offer and enjoy complimentary airport transfer or parking, courtesy mini bar, a special welcome gift and more. Book one of the suites for a timeless escape: as the Royal Suite, Oriental Suite and Presidential Suite are the city’s creme de la creme of comfort and luxury. From Geneva to South America, take your tastebuds on an adventure at Yakumanka, serving traditional cevicheria, Pisco Sours and Peruvian-inspired punch cocktails. Immerse yourself in Swiss culture with a visit to a horologist’s workshop, visit The Grand Théâtre de Genève for a performance to remember, from opera to ballet, or enjoy a sweet day out on a chocolate factory tour with Maison Cailler.
4. EVERYTHING YOU WANT AND MORE
With the continuing rise in popularity of all-inclusive resorts, JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa has launched an indulgent all-inclusive dine-around offer to access the market and mindset of those wanting everything on tap. A true foodie’s haven, the meal plan includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, with unlimited drinks from the resort’s all-inclusive list, which are served across all five restaurants and three full-service bars. Start your day with healthy breakfast at Aailaa; enjoy a three-course lunch at Aailaa, Fiamma Italian, or the beautiful treetop Thai restaurant, Kaashi; then dress up for a dinner back at Aailaa. During your stay, you can also book a special three-course private dinner on the beach, and enjoy 60 per cent off food if eating at the island’s two signature restaurants, Hashi and Shio. Stay in an Overwater Pool Villa with sunset views to soak up the sheer size of the horizon, perhaps with a glass of bubbly in the pool? And spend your days snorkelling, at the Spa by JW or just enjoying the sound of nothing but the waves as you while away the hours on your private deck.
5. LUXURY DESERT OASIS
Ancient trees, the clearest skies and terracotta rocks, a true oasis under the stars in the driest desert in the world, Nayara Alto Atacama in Chile is every curious traveller’s dream destination. Surrounded by the dramatic dunes and rocky landscape of Atacama desert, the hotel is a place of raw beauty. Making the most of intimate spaces, it allows guests to connect with nature, immerse themselves in the location’s cultural richness and explore a different style of luxury. Book the Suite Tilo – which translates as ‘laguna’ in Kunza language - which overlooks the Salt Mountain Range and the Andean Hills, and features handwoven throws and macrame hangings. There’s also a private terrace and outdoor rain shower for starlit cleansing.
By day, explore the Tara Salt Flat looking for flamingos, vicunhas and Culpeo foxes, hike volcanoes, explore geysers, lagoons dunes and caves or unearth ancient petroglyphs made by the ancient culture of the Licanantay, the earliest inhabitants of the desert. Then relax in one of the outdoor pavilions at Puri Spa and refuel with the best of North Chilean food centred around local produce and tradition and, of course, an Asado.
6. BLUE LAGOON
Pure escapism doesn’t come in much more pure form than with a visit to the Maldives – with its picture-perfect white beaches, crystalline aqua seas and infinite horizon. Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi remains one of the favourite destinations for those wanting to soak up the best in privacy and exclusivity. The island resort is just a 40-minute yacht journey from Velana International Airport, with 119 beach, reef and overwater villas waiting for you on arrival. Time will stand still as soon as your feet touch the sand, as you idle away your days between snorkelling, swimming, and wellness immersions in the spa. For ultimate ‘Do Not Disturb’ seclusion, book a Stella Maris Private Ocean Villa, with its two-storey interiors, BBQ station, infinity pool, hot tub and hammocks, as well as direct ocean access and accessible only by boat. Or stay on the 32,000 sqm Ithaafushi Private Island and disappear into your own world with your family, with its nine bedrooms, five pools, a private entertainment clubhouse, Padel Tennis Court, kids club, yacht mooring and the use of dedicated chefs and personal concierge. If you’re not eating in your private villa, venture out to eat in the treetops at Terra, in one of seven bamboo nests, or enjoy an exclusive wine-pairing dinner for 12 guests at The Rock.
7. EXPLORERS OF THE WORLD
City escapes can be deeply rewarding, especially for those with a nose for curiosity, and Istanbul is one such city. Here, every turn, every corner, and every cobbled street unveils something magical from this East-meets-West enclave, from its Byzantine and Ottoman eras to its more modern metropolis undertones. Six Senses Kocatas Mansions, Istanbul, is an urban resort that channels the best of the Asia-meets-Europe vibes, located in the prestigious district of Sariyer, in the city’s European side. The hotel’s grounds are large and beautifully landscaped, elevated just enough to offer stunning views that stretch far out over the Bosphorus, as it begins its last curve toward the Black Sea. Venture out in the city to shop, eat and sightsee: visit Hagia Sofia or Old Istanbul; book an Anatolia Wine Tasting workshop; jump into the hotel’s boat and cruise the Bosphorus and even brave a dip if you dare; try a cookery course with ingredients bought from the local markets; or simply relax at the hotel flitting from one five star restaurant to the next (The Chef’s Table experience is a three-hour immersion into the hotel’s food scene, tailor-made just for you. Book a minibreak and enjoy the Weekday Escape package, which offers accommodation, daily breakfast, dinner at Toro Latin Gastro Bar and a massage at the eternally restorative Six Senses Spa.
8. IN THE LAND OF PLENTY
Bestowing the title of ‘Storymakers’ on its guests, Milaidhoo resort in the Maldives looks at things a little differently. With a MO that says ‘Come, kick off your shoes and let us tell you a story...’ the immersion into life at Milaidhoo begins. The resort opened relatively recently in 2016, and is a nature-filled boutique property in the Baa Atoll UNESCO biosphere reserve. It’s the perfect spot for nature lovers, as it has its own coral reef that encircles the island, and as it’s a protected area, the snorkelling and diving potential is outstanding. At just 300m by 180m, Milaidhoo really is a tiny island paradise, but small is definitely mighty and it packs an impressive punch for natural, barefoot escapism. To really make the most of this bountiful enclave, book the Milaidhoo Bucket List offer, and stay for a minimum of four days with half-board, and enjoy a Sunset Dolphin Cruise, a Finding Nemo snorkelling tour, dinner for two at the beach, a glass of champagne on arrival, early check-in and late check-out, a bottle of bubbly in the villa, a personalised gift, yoga each morning, non-motorised water sports and more. Just a few things to help tick off your bucket list!