Courtesy of Montage Big Sky
There might be no place like home for the holidays, but a festive Christmas getaway for 2022 is pretty dreamy too. How does a quaint Irish village estate with castles and pubs nearby sound? Or perhaps a snowy ski village or sunny island escape? No matter your vision of a holiday fantasy, we’ve got just the right destination for you for swimming, skiing, shopping markets, or simply getting cozy by a fire. Whether you prefer a cozy cabin or chic resort, the USA or Europe, all inclusive or a la carte, a beautiful city or a quiet remote area, it’s time to escape the everyday with your family or as a couple as December nears. So pack your favorite travel essentials and a few good reads, and get ready for a Christmas getaway you’ll never forget.
Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is a special place to visit any time of year, but it’s even more magical at Christmastime. The Holy City takes the holiday season seriously, with its annual Holiday Festival of Lights, the Sound of Charleston concert, Parade of Boats, and our personal favorite: holiday walking tours of swoon-worthy historic homes. Plus, it’s one of America’s great food destinations, so you can feel good about outsourcing holiday meals this year.
This year, Charleston’s iconic Dewberry Hotel partnered with floral and event designer Lewis Miller to deck out its lobby bar and Christmas tree. The gemstone-colored arrangements were inspired by Majolica ceramics, and you can spot hidden treasures like butterflies and coral among the branches.
Cambridge Beaches, Bermuda
The 86 cottages at Cambridge Beaches in Bermuda were recently redesigned by Kellyann Hee (formerly of Soho House). They are all positioned along the coastline, offering privacy and unparalleled ocean views. This holiday season, Cambridge Beaches will be offering two festive packages: “Family Winter Wonderland” and “Romantic Winter Wonderland.” Both experiences include suite accommodations, Christmas Day brunch, a photo session, and dinner at the Sunken Harbor Club. The Family Winter Wonderland package also includes a cottage filled with holiday decorations and special gifts under the Christmas tree, while the Romantic Winter Wonderland package includes a couples massage at the spa.
Paris is always a dream during the holiday season, and this year is no exception. Le Chalet du Plaza Athénée recently unveiled a new ice skating rink and Alpine-inspired fondue experience in partnership with Veuve Clicquot.
December is the perfect time to escape from the frigid winter weather and migrate to the Eastern Caribbean. Temperatures in St. Lucia average between the high 70’s and low 80’s in December, so swimming, snorkeling, and boating are all still on the docket. Take in the breathtaking scenery and diverse landscape of St. Lucia—including volcano-fed sulphur springs, lush rainforests, and verdant pitons emerging from crystal-clear Caribbean waters.
Stay at Sugar Beach to strike the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. This Viceroy resort is situated in an ideal spot on the island that’s convenient to local attractions (such as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed pitons) and boasts incredible amenities such as a private white-sand beach, delectable on-site restaurants, and a luxe spa. Pro tip: There’s also a fantastic snorkeling spot full of tropical fish a few yards off the hotel’s private beach. Whether you crave an action-packed trip or simply want to sit by the pool with a cold rum cocktail in hand, there’s something for everyone at this beautiful property.
Ireland is a magical destination any time of year, but the holiday season adds an extra layer of charm that simply can’t be replicated. Make your way to Adare, a charming village in County Limerick situated about 2.5 hours outside of Dublin. This quaint village was founded in the 13th century and is filled with history and heritage. There, you’ll find charming thatched cottages with red doors that also function as boutiques, coffee shops, pubs, and restaurants. Take a tour of Adare’s Desmond Castle, a 13th-century splendor, or the nearby Bunratty Castle, which is considered the most complete and authentic medieval castle in Ireland.
For the ultimate holiday getaway, stay at Adare Manor. This beautiful estate is surrounded by 840 acres of pristine parkland where you can take leisurely winter walks in the countryside or opt for an experience like falconry or archery. Afterwards, wind down at the hotel’s on-property spa with their signature treatment, Coladh Samh (pronounced “culla sauv”), which is named after the Gaelic phrase to wish someone a good night’s sleep. It includes a relaxation massage and cooling Irish Ogham stone treatment to help you snooze like a baby (perfect for sleep-deprived travelers). At night, snuggle up with a cocktail by the crackling fireplace or visit the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, The Oak Room, for a culinary experience you won’t soon forget.
If you’re looking for a truly special European getaway, head to Budapest this holiday season. At Christmastime, the Hungarian capital is filled with twinkling lights, festive trees, and beautiful holiday decor. Budapest also boasts two Christmas markets where you can experience food vendors and craftspeople selling traditional Hungarian goods, take a twirl on the ice rink, and attend local holiday shows.
To properly take in all of the holiday festivities, stay at the Matild Palace which is conveniently located near city center. The hotel was built in 1902 during the Belle Epoque era and is an architectural dream. Stay in beautifully appointed rooms, indulge in luxurious on-site spa treatments, or check out a contemporary cabaret show. While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to dine at the hotels’ restaurants, which were conceptualized by Michelin-starred chef Wolfgang Puck. The hotel’s Matild Cafe and Cabaret also recently underwent a meticulous five-year renovation to help restore it to its original grandeur from 1901.
Woodstock is a charming ski village that served as a passion project for Laurance Rockefeller, the businessman, philanthropist, and conservationist who helped restore the town after falling in love with it and one of Woodstock’s citizens. Rockefeller and his wife, Mary French, helped bring small businesses to the crumbling downtown area and restored the rows of buildings to their former glory. Today, Woodstock is a top destination in New England and an idyllic place to spend a cozy holiday either exploring the white-blanketed beauty for yourself or from inside with a cup of coffee by the fireplace.
Just outside of Woodstock lies Barnard, a 260-year-old mountain town that houses the state’s most luxurious destination: Twin Farms. The adults-only, all-inclusive resort offers something for everyone: skiing and other outdoor winter activities, a fabulous spa, one-of-a-kind dining experiences, and a variety of seasonal programming that is sure to delight enthusiasts of all kinds. The 300-acre property is also beautifully adorned for Christmas, putting guests into the holiday spirit as soon as they arrive.
Dreaming of warmer weather, sky-high palm trees, and living on island time? Nassau is easy to get to from most major airports these days and certainly worth any effort to spend a long weekend or more savoring its endless miles of pristine beaches. Set sail or just soak up the sun this holiday season for a welcomed change of pace.
Rosewood Baha Mar is a perfect place to unwind, get inspired, and find adventure this season. The resort’s two villas (Oceanside Six-Bedroom Villa, shown here) are a great option if you still want to feel at home while also having a stunning change of scenery. Guests never have to leave the property with all the dining options (including a new Daniel Boulud restaurant), activities, wellness programming, and seasonal events going on all December long.
Enjoy a quintessential New England Christmas in the charming Litchfield Hills located in central Connecticut. The whole town lights up for the holiday season and is full of activities, from snowy carriage rides at Wood Acres Farm to West Cornwall’s Twelve Days of Christmas, which is a village-wide holiday art display put on by local creatives. Plus, you can’t miss all the amazing antiques shopping here.
Cozy up at the editor-adored Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection, which is home to a spectacular redesign led by Celerie Kemble, fireside suppers, and a stunning library for getting lost in a new (or old) favorite book. Every detail is accounted for at this enchanting hotel, and that’s especially true during the holidays, from the decor to the constant stream of hot cocoa and peppermint bark to fuel a night of board games as the snow falls. Don’t miss this year’s holiday collaboration between designer Cece Barfield and Emily Mathison of McQueens Flowers. Together they’ve transformed the inn into a whimsical winter wonderland with a decorated 18-foot Christmas tree, fresh garlands, fragrant dried fruit and glittering glass ornaments.
Aspen is a haven for ski bunnies, art aficionados, and wellness enthusiasts to pursue their passions amid a stunning landscape. It’s also a fabulous place to enjoy even a small part of the holiday season. The 12 Days of Aspen festival leading up to Christmas offers ice skating, concerts, and family events galore, while Ullr Nights offers nighttime alpine roller coasters and s’mores by the bonfire. And you won’t want to miss the town’s impressive food and beverage scene.
If you’re looking for a place to gather the whole family for the holidays, consider Cloud Manor, a luxury vacation rental from onefinestay. This spectacular chalet is a private, gated home at the base of Aspen Mountain that boasts spectacular views, close proximity to the best ski runs, a stunning balcony and hot tub, wine cellar, and plenty of common areas to unite the family over meals, games, or just sweet conversation.
The quaint town of Hot Springs lies in the idyllic Shenandoah Valley and makes an excellent refuge from Christmas crowds. The town has recently opened a new winery and brewery, and the idyllic Main Street is the gathering spot for the annual Hot Springs Christmas Parade.
At the center of it all is the historic Homestead resort, which is a lovely place for the whole family to spend Christmas. The 18th-century property is beautifully decorated for the holidays and filled with Christmas spirit, from the jaw-dropping feasts to artisan craft classes and the beloved Homestead Holiday S’mores Express.
Home to the world’s most resplendent Christmas markets, Salzburg is an excellent destination for getting in the holiday spirit and reveling in the old-world glamour this historic city has to offer. UNESCO World Heritage Mirabell Palace hosts fabulous Christmas concerts while local chocolatiers offer out-of-this-world holiday goodies and artisans sell their crafts based on medieval traditions.
There’s no better place to stay in Salzburg than Hotel Goldener Hirsch, a Luxury Collection Hotel, housed in a charming building that dates back to the 15th century. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this luxurious property manages to feel like a second home, even if it’s your first time visiting. An exceptional representation of Continental European hospitality, cuisine, and Christmas spirit, are all sure to cement a place in your heart for this beautiful place.
One of our favorite seaside escapes is a delightful place to enjoy Christmas this year. Giant Christmas-tree-shaped sand sculptures, boat parades, and holiday shopping in a historic lighthouse are just a few of the unique experiences offered in Palm Beach during the holidays. Plus, you can’t beat the fabulous shopping and perfect weather during December in South Florida.
The Breakers Palm Beach is the perfect place to wake up Christmas morning, as it is consistently voted one of the best hotels to enjoy holiday decor. The breathtaking views, coastal-inspired suites, and wide variety of family-friendly activities will have the whole clan jonesing to spend every holiday here, Plus, The Breakers offers a famously fabulous Christmas morning brunch in The Circle ballroom to start the day off right.
This famous ski destination near Yellowstone National Park makes for an idyllic escape at the end of the year. From snowmobiling to sleigh rides, there’s always something to do outdoors in this winter wonderland. Plus, Big Sky is home to a charming downtown area that’s full of local shops, restaurants, and breweries to enjoy on your rest days. It gets all decked out for Christmas and serves as a main destination for many of the town’s holiday events from art walks to film festivals.
Enjoy your snow-capped stay at the new Montage Big Sky. This addition to the Montage portfolio is sure to dazzle with sumptuously appointed interiors that reflect the surroundings, ski-in/ski-out access, a 10,000 square foot spa, and six dining experiences. Nearly 6,000 acres of prime, ski-able land is all yours for the taking for a lovely White Christmas.
St. Vincent & The Grenadines
If the see-and-be-seen vibe of St. Barths that permeates during this time of year isn’t speaking to you, venture farther south this holiday season to enjoy the laidback yet lavish getaway St. Vincent & The Grenadines offers. Immortalized by Princess Margaret, this gorgeous Caribbean island offers an idyllic escape and a rum punch-laded Christmas celebration.
Spend your holiday at one of Mandarin Oriental Canouan‘s spectacular villa properties that offer indoor-outdoor living at its finest. These two- to four- bedroom homes are perfect for spending a week with family by a private infinity pool overlooking the pink sand beach with the assistance of a dedicated butler service. Now that’s our kind of way to spend the holidays.
Just 20 miles from London lies the lush, rolling hills and laid-back lifestyle of Surrey, which offers all the bucolic beauty of the Cotswolds with close proximity to one of our favorite cities. All of the villages in the county adorn their historic buildings for the holidays and host all kinds of events from festive markets to ceremonial tree lightings.
Make the historic town of Leatherhead at the base of Surrey Hills your home base with a fabulous stay at Beaverbrook Estate. The 1866 mansion has a rich history and that can be felt throughout the 470-acre property. Guests can stay in the main house or in one of the two sumptuously appointed homes off the original estate for more seclusion. An ice rink with spectacular views, dining experiences inspired by age-old Christmas traditions, and plenty of thoughtful touches will make this sprawling estate feel like home this holiday season.
While Christmastime is Hawaii’s busy season, a trip to Maui will allow you to feel worlds away for once this year, with plenty of opportunities to keep your distance as well. Holiday markets, Christmas-themed luaus, and sunshine galore are just a few of the reasons to make Maui the destination of choice this holiday season.
Fairmont Kea Lani offers two- and three-bedroom oceanfront villas for those looking to enjoy an extended stay this year, along with plenty of festive programming. Hawaiian cultural activities and whale-watching excursions are just a few of the winter offerings that will make this Christmas unforgettable and unlike any other.
Advertisement – Continue Reading Below