Jet away: luxury winter sun holidays for hot weather and fewer crowds
Now is the ideal time to choose your winter sun holidays. Chantal Borciani uncovers the far-flung destinations with a little more to offer
When it comes to exclusive winter sun holidays, you don’t get much better than combining the silky sands of Mexico’s Los Cabos peninsula with the latest beach chic retreat from Nobu. Opened in 2019, Nobu Hotel Los Cabos has transformed a slice of oceanfront paradise on the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula and offers 200 luxury rooms and suites, each with a balcony teak onsen-style soaking tub or a standalone bathtub.
Far from the resorts of the eastern coast, Mexico’s Los Cabos is more secluded and luxurious. With four pools, cabanas, a spa, hydrotherapy areas, alongside the famed Nobu restaurant, guests can recharge in achingly cool surroundings, revel in Nobu’s chic beach vibes and sample some of the finest dining in the region. The Diamante golf course, designed by Tiger Woods, is also just a stone’s throw away.
For long-haul winter sun holidays focused on rest and relaxation, Thailand’s stunning islands and resorts offer unrivalled escapism. Boutique luxury wellness resorts, Aleenta Hua Hin and Aleenta Phuket have launched a range of new personalised, holistic wellbeing retreats where guests can take time out on stress relief and life enhancement programmes while immersing in nature and soaking up the rays on these island idylls.
Ideal for a reinvigorating New Year break, the three and seven-day retreats are led by yogic, ayurvedic, Thai holistic medicine practitioners and international health experts, with sessions including divine Thai massages, deep yogic relaxation, daily customised yoga, and sunset mandala meditation.
For travellers who don’t want a long haul flight to eat into their downtime, look a little closer to home. The palace at Es Saadi in Marrakech is set in 20 acres of swaying palms, banana trees, roses, and bougainvillea in the heart of Marrakech’s Golden Triangle where November temperatures hover around 23°C. The Bauchet-Bouhlal family opened the Es Saadi in the 1960s and its glamour, eclectic legacy and vibrant design is still as intoxicatingly fabulous as ever. With views out to the Atlas Mountains and the bustling souks and Jemaa El Fnaa square nearby, guests can experience six-star spa service and the cultural splendor of Marrakech all in one visit.
The Caribbean continues to be one of the UK’s most popular long-haul winter escapes with good reason; it boasts a long, hot, sunny winter climate, fabulous watersports, jewel-tone waters, paradise beaches and an abundance of beautiful resorts. The lush island of St Lucia offers reams of activities alongside gin-clear waters and crescent beaches so is great for families and couples alike.
Overlooking the famed peaks of the Piton Mountains on the south west coast of St Lucia, luxury beachfront resort Anse Chastanet has launched a scuba and underwater photography course with Scuba St Lucia, where guests can explore its incredible house reef, lying ten yards beyond the water’s edge and home to more than 150 different species of fish. Suitable for beginners and advanced divers, these dive sites are world famous. Other activities include farm-to-table cooking classes and tours of the estate’s Emerald Farm and Chocolate Laboratory, catamaran sailing and hikes to the captivating Pitons.
Over on the north of the island, meanwhile, is the stunning Cap Maison, laid-back luxury at its best, with one of the finest beach bars in the world. The Cap Maison resort is a great place for foodies with accomplished cooking and an incredible wine cellar.
For the ultimate far-flung escape, winter sun holidays in the Maldives offer a mind-blowing mix of sapphire waters, crowd-free beaches and five-star service. Launching early autumn 2019, the JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa on Shaviyani Atoll, Maldives will feature 61 villas, a kids club plus five restaurants, three bars and a wine room, private pools with every villa, an adults-only pool and club, on-site marine biologist, an over-water gym, and an open-air yoga pavilion. A great option for multi-generational stays, the new resort will boasts a JW Kid’s Club with indoor and outdoor spaces, including a pirate’s ship, kid’s sleeping areas, games, and educational animated activities overseen by the resorts’ ‘kids keepers’. Meanwhile, the adults-only infinity swimming pool on the tip of the island, and Lounge 18, a club house comprising of a cigar room, shisha room, karaoke room, a billiards table, digital animation, and a selection of board games, provides a fun retreat for adults.