By Pamela Jacobs.
Sometimes you know you need to get away, without knowing exactly where you want to go—you’ve simply got to get out of the city this winter. You’re in luck: We’ve done the research for you, finding the ideal destinations and travel packages for now through February. After all, the winter in New York is a lot more bearable when you know you’ll be getting away from it each month.
November, for many, is the start of the gotta-get-out-of-here season. Temperatures drop, tourists arrive, and Thanksgiving provides several days off from work and school. So instead of heading to the in-laws for Thanksgiving, and rather than going somewhere tropical—where all autumn charm is lost—head just a few hours upstate to one of New York’s best treasures: The Sagamore Resort.
Surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Adirondack Mountains, directly on Lake George, The Sagamore has been a favorite destination of in-the-know New Yorkers for well over a century. In fact, the resort has served as the playground for countless notable guests throughout its history since it opened its doors in 1883.
As a four-season destination, both the resort and Bolton Landing, where it lies, offer something special throughout the year. For Thanksgiving, there are too many good reasons to go there to mention. Some of them include breathtaking mountain/lake scenery, warm hospitality and service, comfortable, family-friendly accommodations, and excellent cuisine. It’s got charm and coziness galore, and makes for an easy long-weekend trip. It’s basically a no-brainer.
Their Thanksgiving Package—designed to bring back fond memories of Thanksgivings past while creating new ones—includes a two- or three-night stay, a $100 resort credit per stay, daily breakfast for each guest, various children’s activities, and the abundant (and sensational) Thanksgiving Grand Buffet in the Sagamore Ballroom.
Now this is a trip to be thankful for.
Looking to have yourself a merry little Dickensian Christmas? There’s perhaps no place more perfectly Christmasy than London in December. Think mulled wine, mince pies, roaring fires, and holiday cheer.
The Wellesley—a boutique-grand hotel lying in the center of the glamourous Knightsbridge neighborhood, overlooking Hyde Park—is embracing the season with sophistication and style, delivering guests a Christmas experience that could turn Scrooge into a sweetheart.
Beginning December 14, The Wellesley will be surprising guests every day, with a different experience revealed each night at turndown. Just some of the treasures and prize opportunities include tickets to the Nutcracker performed by the English National Ballet; a private viewing of carol singers; ice skating at the V&A; private car service in the hotel’s Rolls Royce car; and personal VIP shopping at the luxurious Burlington Arcade, including Chanel, Harry’s of London, and La Perla. Throughout the hotel’s 12 Days of Christmas experience, guests will enjoy traditional afternoon tea with mince pies and mulled wine, seasonal cocktails, and Christmas carols. And if you’re wondering if Santa visits hotel rooms—he does. On Christmas morning, all guests will awaken to a stocking filled with traditional gifts. And if that’s not enough, the Wellesley will be awarding one winner a stay for four people in their phenomenal Penthouse Suite.
Beyond the merriment and cheer, there are plenty of other reasons to escape to The Wellesley this December. They include a heated outdoor Cigar Terrace, a Penthouse Suite with Hermès amenities and a working fireplace, a glamourous Jazz Lounge, a stunning Italian restaurant, and a location that can’t be beat.
There’s only one problem: Once Santa does pay a visit to the Wellesley, he might never want to go back to the North Pole.
Following the excess of the holidays, January is all about personal betterment; it’s when we all embrace the New-Year-New-You mentality. This is when we seek adventure, new experiences, and feel-good explorations.
Hence our January choice: Relief Riders International’s Royal Enfield Desert Relief Ride, January 16-28. Relief Riders International is an award-winning humanitarian-based adventure travel company. They expertly organize journeys through remotes areas of India on horseback, bringing humanitarian aid to those in need.
With this latest venture, the Royal Enfield Relief Ride will be swapping horses for motorcycles, journeying across India from Rajasthan to Jodhpur and Kumbalgar, ending back in Jaipur after operating a free eye and dental camp near Pushkar. Throughout the program, riders will also help dig a well, build bathrooms, and deliver much-needed aid to people in rural India. They’ll also be staying in ancient forts and unique, incredible dwellings, embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure while seeing India from a truly exceptional perspective and doing something good for its people.
Considering the fact that Relief Riders International received the United Nations NGO Positive Peace Prize in 2010—and the fact that there is simply no other program like this—we can’t think of a better choice for travel in the New Year.
When it comes to travel in February, we want two things: Culture and fun. We want to trade the harshness of the city for an oh-so-pretty winter wonderland, where we can ski, be spoiled, and eat copious amounts of fondue. We want to go to Switzerland, of course.
There’s no better place to experience all this (and more) than at the all-suite Carlton Hotel in super-chic St. Moritz, where winter travel literally was invented. Sitting directly on the frozen lake and surrounded by white mountains on all sides, with indescribably beautiful views that are seen from every single suite, the Carlton is what fairytales are made of.
Guests enjoy haute Italian cuisine by Michelin-starred chefs—as well as traditional Swiss cuisine, of course—unique and lavish suites, and a sun-filled spa complete with Finnish sauna, a solarium, a fireplace, quiet room, hydro-massage showers, and an all-weather sun terrace.
The activities that can be enjoyed outside of the Carlton are as special as those inside its walls, and they include skiing, snowboarding, curling, ice skating, and horse-drawn sleigh rides. Of course, following a day enjoying the outdoor offerings of St. Moritz, a cocktail by the fire overlooking the alpine majesty is truly the stuff that winter dreams are made of. Now there’s actually a reason to look forward to February.