Utah & Colorado
Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley, Utah (photo) was awarded the Best Ski Hotel in the World and is Utah’s only Forbes Five-Star hotel. The St. Regis Aspen Resort, a five-star luxury destination, is nestled at the base of Aspen Mountain. Guests can enjoy world-class skiing or stroll over to historic Aspen, where luxury boutiques and charming restaurants beckon.
A European holiday river cruise is pure magic and the best way visit all of the countries on your “must see” list. From Nuremburg to Vienna, Germany and Austria light up with Christmas markets offering hand-carved toys and ornaments, spicy glühwein and aromatic gingerbread.
For those who prefer to stay on land, we recommend touring the best of old world Europe. There’s nothing like Christmas in Italy, especially now that crowds are at a record low. Although most tours, museums and historic sights have been re-opened, tourism is still less then half of what it was pre-pandemic. Now is the time to beat the crowds to see all that Europe has to offer.
With perfect weather and no need for malaria shots, Cape Town is an ideal location to spend the Holidays. Experience a safari, beach with penguins and view sharks from underwater cages. See the city from the top of Table Mountain. Whether you experience the mountain via an exhilarating hike or the Cableway, it’s not to be missed. To feel like a true Capetonian: Hit the Sea Point promenade. It’s the best spot to go for a run or a quiet stroll, and afterward you can reward yourself with a gelato. Best beach: Llandudno is a real gem. It’s usually a lot quieter than the rest of the beaches in Cape Town and is absolutely beautiful.
Fiji’s 333 islands are home to some of the happiest people on earth (Gallup International’s polls corroborate it), and those locals are eager to share their infectious Bula spirit with travelers from around the globe. Recently re-opened, Fiji Airways provides 10-hour overnight flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco – the South Pacific archipelago is an easy getaway this holiday season and a favorite family spot.
A scuba-diving destination with picturesque beaches and vibrant coral reefs. In addition to world-class snorkeling and surfing, Fiji’s adventures range from hiking to waterfalls and kayaking through inland mangrove forests to experiencing the islands’ living culture.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
There’s no place like Rio for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Soak up some sun, explore tropical rainforests and see iconic sights. You’ll enjoy temps in the 80s in December, the perfect weather for lounging on its world-renowned stretches of sand. Should you crave a traditional taste of Christmas, attend the Festival de Presépios – where you’ll find the world’s largest life-size nativity scene – or venture to Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon to check out the world’s largest floating Christmas tree. Copacabana regains its glam with Emiliano Rio (photo). Ring up the on-call butler for caipirinhas on your glass-railed balcony, or show off your pedicure by the rooftop infinity-edge pool. A living wall brings the rain forest inside Emiliano restaurant, which uses locally sourced seafood and produce for its contemporary Brazilian cuisine.