ESCAPE THE COLD. EMBRACE THE COLD. WHICHEVER; HERE’S HOW TO DO IT BEST…
Whether you want to turbo-boost your festive season with skidooing under the aurora-lit skies of Lapland, or top up your Vitamin D with sunshine and see-through seas in the Maldives, here are our top 10 destinations for a winter escape…
1. SRI LANKA
A treasure trove of cultural, architectural and natural gems, ideal for both romantic getaways and family holidays, Sri Lanka tops our list of winter escapes. From its palm-fringed golden beaches, to the Cultural Triangle’s ancient sites to Hill Country’s lush plantations and Yala National Park’s wildlife-rich safaris, this island boasts extraordinary diversity. Luxuriate in chic villas and arguably the best boutique hotels in the world, and feast on egg hoppers, kottu roti and the ubiquitous ‘rice and curry’. For those with more time, Sri Lanka combines beautifully with the Maldives…
2. THE MALDIVES
The Maldives is the ultimate paradise archipelago and the perfect destination for those wanting to switch off and escape the cold. Whether you choose an overwater bungalow or beachfront suite, the Maldives offers luxury and tranquillity in equal measure. With unparalleled privacy and direct access to the warm, see-through sea, you can swim, snorkel and scuba dive in this kaleidoscopic underwater world teeming with marine life, or simply bask in the sun on powdery white beaches. Other “activities” here include eating gourmet cuisine and indulging in world-class spa treatments. The Maldives is ideal for romantic getaways, but it also offers a fantastic family escape; with 150 plus resorts to choose from, we can guide you to the best resort for your needs.
Africa never fails to thrill and amaze and Botswana is the jewel in Africa’s crown, offering a truly pristine safari experience. These luscious, hippo-filled deltas are home to some world-class luxury lodges, blending seamlessly into the natural environment. Explore the unspoiled Okavango Delta, alive with bird-filled floodplains, roaming elephants and the echoes of lions at dusk. Glide through the waterways in a traditional mokoro canoe, witness the Great Migration in the Chobe National Park, and sleep under the stars in the Kalahari Desert. Botswana is a haven for those seeking a true connection with nature and an authentic African adventure.
4. NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand beckons thrill-seekers and connoisseurs of luxury with its awe-inspiring terrain. Indulge in opulent lodges and chic hotels while embracing adrenaline-pumping activities like helicopter tours, jet boating, bungee jumping, skiing, surfing and more. Journey through Middle Earth, from the volcanic landscapes of the North Island to the majestic fjords of the South Island. Immerse yourself in Maori culture, hike the awe-inspiring Milford Track and indulge in the vibrant food and wine scene. The genuine warmth of New Zealanders ensures an unforgettable escape.
5. COSTA RICA
Embark on an eco-conscious journey through Costa Rica’s vibrant rainforests and stunning coasts. A paradise for nature enthusiasts and families seeking adventure, this country offers private eco-lodges and bespoke wildlife experiences. Wake to the symphony of wildlife, explore tropical biodiversity, and unwind in secluded, candle-lit lodges. Venture into the wild with jungle treks and volcano tours, or embrace serenity on the beach with sustainable retreats, rejuvenating yoga, and sunset barbecues after a surf.
6. SOUTH AFRICA
Not only are they World Cup winners, South Africa has a dazzling array of winning qualities, from the vibrant art scene and bustling city life in Cape Town to the serene Winelands and sensational cuisine of Stellenbosch. The iconic Table Mountain provides a stunning backdrop for urban explorers, while the Garden Route offers breathtaking coastal drives. Embark on a Big Five safari in the Kruger National Park, unwind on the sun-kissed beaches of the Eastern Cape and choose from an exceptional standard of hotels. With its achingly cool boutique hotels, first-class gastronomy, diverse cultures and spectacular wildlife, let South Africa work its magic on you this winter.
7. SKIING IN THE DOLOMITES
With tourist-free cities and sublime skiing, winter is a great time to visit Italy. For a ski holiday that combines stunning landscapes with world-class slopes, Italy’s Dolomites are unmatched. Offering some of the best skiing in Europe, the Dolomites are known for their sunny days and excellent snow conditions. After a day on the slopes, indulge in the region’s renowned cuisine and unwind in luxurious alpine resorts. Whether you’re carving down the slopes or simply enjoying the mountain air and scenic tranquillity, a ski holiday in the Dolomites is a must-try.
Dreaming of deep desert adventures? Oman offers authentic Arabian charm and combines an off-the-beaten-track feel with uncompromising luxury. Explore Muscat’s bustling souks, discover ancient forts and tombs in Wadi Ghul – Oman’s answer to the Grand Canyon – and venture into the mesmerising Wahabi Sands Desert, speckled with Bedouin camps. The journey isn’t complete without a relaxing stay on Oman’s sun-drenched coast. Here, you can witness baby green turtles and embark on serene dhow cruises at sunset.
Embrace Peru’s rich mosaic in 2024 – a blend of intriguing cultures, communities, living traditions and beliefs, amazing food and pisco, astounding nature, history and archaeology – from the coast to the Andes to the Amazon. Trek the ancient Inca trails to Machu Picchu, delve into Peruvian arts, history and gastronomy, and enjoy relaxing wellness retreats. Whether it’s a multi-generational trip, an activity-packed adventure with friends, or a solo exploration, Peru promises an enriching and spiritual journey.
10. SWEDISH LAPLAND
There are few things more festive and romantic than a luminous display of the Northern Lights on a crisp, clear Scandinavian night. For those eager to fully embrace winter, head to Sweden’s far north between September and late March for a pure winter wonderland experience. Known for its Sami culture, reindeer herding and cosy log cabins, Swedish Lapland promises a refreshingly healthy, heart-warming vacation. Enjoy skiing, skidooing and dog sledding through twinkling white snow, followed by crackling fires and hot tubbing under aurora-lit skies.
Get in touch to start planning your tailor-made winter holiday:
ROMANCE ISN’T DEAD. BOOKING YOUR OWN HONEYMOON IS.
A honeymoon – the trip poised and ready to beat all others. It’s the first jaunt as husband and wife and therefore we agree it should be pretty special…
Let’s fast forward to at least a modicum of normality where travel has returned and quarantining and ‘air bridges’ are a 2020 past time. Your 2021 honeymoon. Now is a better time than ever to start planning as many sought after experiences are booked way in advance, and due to most holidays taking a sabbatical this year availability is looking slimmer than usual.
However the good news is we are here to help and we absolutely love honeymooning planning. So, whether you have an idea of where you’d like to go, or you can’t agree on which destinations suits whom better, we’ll tailor make it to you both.
Take a browse at some suggestions below, a fraction of the endless possibilities of where to go.
We will work with you so that your honeymoon is designed to what you are looking for, we then make sure that you are VIPd along the way…
Type of honeymoon:
~ UNIQUE ~
AWASI, PATAGONIA, CHILE
Solitude and adventure
Awasi Patagonia is a truly unique and personalised experience from the very beginning. Shielded from the harsh Patagonian winds, this collection of twelve individual villas are the height of secluded luxury. Formed from 12 luxury cabins, each having a personal 4×4 and guide, you can customise your adventure down to the last detail; whether it is a hike to the Laguna Azul (Blue Lagoon), glacier walking or admiring the abundance of wildlife on horseback – it really is up to you.
CAVAS WINE LODGE, MENDOZA
Wine infused camping experience
If, like us, you have a penchant for fine wines, then look no further than Argentina’s charming boutique Cavas Wine Lodge.
With only 14 rooms spread through the beautiful, bucolic Mendoza vineyards and fringed by the awe-inspiring Andean mountain range, Cavas Wine Lodge is a true retreat. This classic, authentic lodge is an Argentinian gem, that showcases the quintessential colonial-inspired architecture with white-washed walls that are designed to enhance the views of the vineyards and mountains. Offering a wealth of wine-based activities, this precious hideaway is an ideal place to learn all about the world of Argentine wine, whilst also promising that much-needed holiday relaxation.
MAHU WHENUA, NEW ZEALAND
Home sweet homestead
Nestled within over 55,000 privately owned hectares of New Zealand countryside, Mahu Whenua is an ultra-luxury retreat located on the South Island near Wanaka, just 60 minutes from Queenstown. This unique luxury lodge exudes intimacy, privacy and seclusion, and with only four individual Ridgeline suites and a maximum of 12 guests at a time. Escapism at its finest.
This state-of-the-art home has uninterrupted views of the breath-taking New Zealand scenery that surrounds it from every corner. While the in-suite fire crackles in the corner, you can soak in the bathtub and take in the surrounding greenery and snow-capped mountain views.
TREE HOTEL & AURORA SAFARI CAMP, SWEDEN
In the depths of Swedish Lapland is a hotel with a truly one of a kind concept, the Treehotel. Comprised of seven unique treehouses, this accommodation makes full use of its surroundings and seamlessly blends with its design and eco-friendly practices. Surrounded by pine trees and incredible views of the Lule river, it’s a world away from home.
A stay at the Tree Hotel goes hand in hand with a few nights at the Aurora Safari camp. We know what you are thinking camping and snow are not natural bedfellows but trust us this experience is cosy and nothing short of pure romance.
~ BEACH ~
SIX SENSES ZIL PAYSON, SEYCHELLES
Castaway all cares
The Six Senses group pride themselves on selecting remote yet accessible destinations in areas of outstanding natural beauty, and their bespoke creation Zil Payson certainly lives up to this philosophy.
Coral-fringed beaches and massive granite rocks create an air of drama and beauty in this haven of perpetual summer. Step in tune with nature, swim with turtles and enjoy an intimate destination that is a tropical ode to well-being and absolute comfort.Secluded and spacious, one- and two-bedroom villas are surrounded by tropical vegetation and offer unsurpassed ocean vistas, private infinity pools and GEM (Guest Experience Maker) butler service.
KASIIYA PAPAGAYO, COSTA RICA
Luxury Wilderness Oasis
This exclusive eco retreat is made up of just five luxurious air-conditioned tented suites positioned within 123 acres of protected forest home to monkeys, macaws and thousands of other exotic species.
Situated by two pristine Pacific beaches, you can enjoy watching whales and dolphins pass by the sheltered coves during the season (October-February) and soak up the sun, with a cocktail in hand, at the hotel’s private beach cabin
AMANKILA & NIHI, INDONESIA
Like a fine wine and truffled brie, the Amankila and Nihi are an idyllic couple to marry together.
Starting in East Bali on Amankila’s secluded beach sipping a coconut and totally switching off is not a bad way to start your married life! The vibe at this hillside resort is pure hedonism without pretentious stuffiness.
Hopping from the sublime to the surreal on sumba island, where you will be greeted by a Nihi jeep and embark on a scenic journey of stripped back Indonesia before descending in to a beautiful island paradise. Surf the world’s most coveted wave, swim with horses at sunset, meet ancient tribal cultures, go on a ‘spa safari’, drink a G&T in your own private tree house or enjoy a whole beach to yourselves.
Nihi is special there is no doubt about it, might be why it’s won number hotel in the world several years in a row, but somewhere so wow needs to be on a honeymoon itinerary surely?
~ CITY ~
MARIA CRISTINA, SAN SEBASTIAN
Home to one of Spain’s most luxurious properties is the historic city of San Sebastian. Grand and elegant in style, this charming palace provides the perfect base to explore the cultural city and its rich heritage.
Grand décor and exquisite guest rooms aside, the hotel’s charm is enveloped in the incredible gastronomic paradise. With 16 Michelin starred restaurants across this enchanting city, prepare your palette for a mix of the world’s most divine dishes and enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail at the Dry Bar, home to the best Martinis in the Basque region.
HOTEL EDEN, ROME
A Dorchester collection hotel
Hotel Eden is a classically elegant yet refreshingly unstuffy grande dame in a 19th-century villa near the Spanish Steps Borghese Gardens.
You’ll never go hungry here, or in Rome in general, but the Michelin star restaurant would be pretty nice to spoil yourselves with on your city-moon!
After dinner go to the rooftop bar to marvel at the capital of the ancient world…
Waldorf Astoria, Amsterdam
17th Century Palatial charm
No detail is too small for this hotel. Whether you want your partners favourite flowers to be waiting on arrival or your first song to be playing as you enter your room, they really go above and beyond for their clients.
Each comes with a view of either the canal or the beautiful courtyard garden, and are rather spacious (a rarity for city hotels).
After walking or cycling around the the buzzy Dutch city, the hotel will welcome you back with a high tea, massage in the spa, dip in their pool or even a private cookery lesson!
There is just something so romantic about the timeless elegance at Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam on the UNESCO ‘Gentlemen’s Canal’.
~ SAFARI ~
&BEYOND SANDIBE CAMP, OKAVANGO DELTA
Stylish and sophisticated safari life
Situated on the south-eastern Okavango Delta, in pride of place within a private nature reserve of almost 20,000 acres. The location of the Sandibe Camp was carefully chosen for its outstanding natural beauty and close proximity to some of the most wildlife-rich wilderness in this part of Africa, now a Unesco World Heritage Site. After a light aircraft transfer from Maun or Kasane, you can get straight into safari mode with a pleasant 45-minute game drive to camp.
There are twelve suites at Sandibe, all raised on stilts above the ground to make the most of the stunning views, sweeping across the river and the plains. The rooms are intimate and spacious at the same time; nestled amongst the trees, decorated in light natural tones with vast open-plan living areas. Each comes with a private multi-level viewing deck complete with a personal pool and outdoor shower.
JONGOMERO CAMP, RUAHA NATIONAL PARK
Traditional wildlife experience
Under the magnificent shade trees, on the banks of a seasonal river in the remote southern sector of the Ruaha National Park, Jongomero is gloriously isolated. Far from the madding crowds, this secluded idyll offers a chance to discover true unadulterated wilderness.
Ruaha, Tanzania, also holds one of the greatest populations of elephant in any African park. Buffalo gather in large herds, as well as giraffe, zebra, impala, eland, hippo, crocodile, lion and leopard. The rarer, lesser-seen creatures can also be found, including sable and roan antelope, dikdik, greater and lesser kudus, Grants gazelle and honey badgers. It is second only to Selous Game Reserve for the largest population of wild dog. Let their experienced guides show you the wealth of biodiversity Ruaha has to offer, with game drives, game walks and walking safaris.
AZURA QUILALEA PRIVATE ISLAND, MOZAMBIQUE
Marine safari life
The perfect Crusoe fantasy. Just nine thoroughly romantic seafront villas on a baobab-studded island in a remote archipelago, with pathways through shady forests to crescent beaches on which turtles heave up to lay their eggs, and a reef so close you can snorkel back to your room after breakfast.
~ MINI MOON ~
Can’t get away from work? Raising a family? Want to spread a single, major honeymoon across a series of bite-sized escapes? For a variety of reasons, neatly packed romantic getaways have become increasingly popular. This flexibility is the appeal of the mini-moon. But don’t confuse ‘mini’ with ‘minor’ – they’re still packed to the rafters with luxurious lodges, heavenly hotels, and exhilarating experiences. Check out just some of our mini-moon trips below.
BORGO SANTO PIETRO, TUSCANY
Nestled deep in the remote Tuscan countryside, Borgo Pignano is a hidden gem that exudes authentic rural charm with a dose of magic. Set on 750 hectares of pristine rolling hills, this unique retreat was originally a hamlet dating back from the Etruscan times.
With only 14 rooms in the main 18th-century villa and a handful of casas dotted around the hamlet, at this intimate retreat you can’t help but feel instantly revived. A place that doesn’t just look good, but feels good, Borgo Pignano specialises in organic bio-dynamic homegrown produce which makes for the perfect refuel after days exploring the surrounding countryside – or perhaps just hitting the spa.
THE RETREAT AT BLUE LAGOON, ICELAND
Iceland is a remarkable destination famed for one of a kind landscapes of stunning natural beauty. From exploding geysers to thundering waterfalls and steaming hot pools, treat yourself to a luxury holiday in Iceland. Quite possibly the most enviable address in the country, The Retreat at Blue Lagoon is a place where ‘at’ really means ‘at’. With wall to wall glass, you’re at the centre of the geothermal waters, we would happily move in.
KASBAH TAMADOT, ATLAS MOUNTAINS
Traditional Moroccan retreat
Perched high in the Atlas mountains, Kasbah Tamadot is a majestic retreat sumptuously decorated for decadent mountain luxury. The name is berber for ‘soft breeze’, signifying the fresh air and calm environment.
Rich red carpets, intricately carved wooden furniture, pillows and throws that create a warm, traditional Moroccan feel. All suites include a terrace or balcony, and the master suite has its own private pool. The berber tents are one step up, being out on their own decks with huge soft sofas, heavy Moroccan doors, bronze lamps, and canvas walls which can be tied up to reveal panoramic views of the mountains. These are tents fit for a king and we highly recommend them.
The hideaway lodge
Set in neatly manicured grounds on the outskirts of the New Forest, Lime Wood is easily accessible from London. For honeymoon perfect privacy, pick the Pavilion Forest Lodge- a separate lodge away from the house. Complete with a four-poster bed, a private terrace overlooking the countryside and a roll top bath in the bay window.
FOXHILL MANOR, COTSWOLDS
Lord and Lady of the manor
‘Whatever you fancy, wherever you fancy it’ is the moto at Foxhill Manor. It really is like staying with very tasteful, very accommodating friends – who have no rules! Your personal host will be on hand 24 hours a day to make sure you have everything you need, every minute of your stay. With just eight bedrooms, the revitalised Arts and Crafts mansion is a contemporary Cotswolds country home with 400 acres to play in.
What we love about this place is the freedom to roam the Manor as you please. It allows flexibility to shape your experience, so pop into the kitchen, speak to the head chef and create your own bespoke menu. And the of course, you can eat it anywhere you want. Burger in the bath anyone?
Aside from thinkers and planners we are also a Prezola ambassador and our clients are entitled to the platinum wedding gift list service.