Relax on a sandy beach in the Caribbean, admire the holiday decorations in New York City, or take a longer trip to Australia and New Zealand in the Southern Hemisphere to find summer in the middle of winter. Avoid the holiday travel rush by scheduling your vacation during the first ten days of December, or book months ahead of time if you plan to visit the popular vacation destinations during the peak times. Remember to call ahead and reserve spa treatments, golf tee times and other activities as well.
We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.
© Hotel Christopher
Spend your getaway on the ocean's edge in St Barth at the romantic Hotel Christopher. Start your days with a quick workout followed by a breakfast overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The hotel is a perfect choice for couples who like elegant modern decor, great service and a calm setting. The free-form ocean-front pool provides a beautiful setting for relaxing days in the sun.
At Spa Sisley, you can get treatments with stunning views of the ocean. Couples can receive a side-by-side massage right next to the water while listening to the soothing waves. The wellness center specializes in Phyto Aromatic treatments inspired massage rituals from all over the world. Custom made essential oils and plant extracts are used to soothe and rejuvenate the body. If you are not staying at the hotel, try the Ultimate Day Pass which gives you access to the pool sunlounge, gourmet lunch, a 90-minute treatment and other perks.
Ask for a room, Junior Suite or suite facing the water to enjoy the most romantic views. Splurge on a terrace or a balcony so that you can relax outdoors on your island hideaway. The Ocean Suite, located on a high floor, have panoramic views and 947 square feet of living space. Bathrooms overlook private gardens and feature a rain shower and a granite bathtub.
2.Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda
© Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda
All of the charm that Playa del Carmen has to offer can easily be experienced while staying at the Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda, from the vibrant nightlife to the delicious local cuisine and pristine beaches. On the resort itself is the SPLASH water park, which can be enjoyed by the entire family, or guests can swim in the ocean and sunbathe near the crystal blue waters. There are fourteen restaurants to choose from and sixteen different bars to socialize in, and by using the Family Concierge program, families can ensure they have everything they need to enjoy their stay.
Quinta Avenida Lote 1 Manzana 569, Luis Donaldo Colosio, 77719 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico, Phone: +52-98-48-77-39-00
3.Yacutinga Eco-Lodge in Argentina
© Yacutinga Eco-Lodge in Argentina
Bird watching enthusiasts will love Yacutinga Lodge in Argentina where numerous species of birds can be observed throughout the year. The eco-friendly property features a wildlife refuge, many tours and eco adventures. The lodge was built using logs from fallen trees and stones, using green principles. Guests are accommodated in rustic-style rooms with private bathrooms. 20 rooms have views of the surrounding jungle through uniquely shaped windows. You will be surrounded by the songs of birds all day long on your adventure. For additional privacy, consider booking Suite Yatei which is surrounded by jungle and slightly removed from the main building. While you are there, you will be able to visit the Yacutinga Biological Station dedicated to preserving the local and global environment. The property is located 2 hours from the famous Iguazu Falls.
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4.December Vacations: Glen Isla House, Australia
© Glen Isla House
Surrounded by the beautiful heritage gardens of the Glen Isla Homestead dating back to 1870, Glen Isla House is steeped in history and charm. Located next to a pristine sandy beach on Phillip Island near Melbourne, this elegant boutique hotel is an ideal escape from the city. Well-appointed guest rooms and suites are decorated to echo the surrounding ambiance. Deluxe rooms boast modern en-suite bathrooms with baths or showers, individual climate control, tea/coffee making facilities, state-of-the-art technology, and electric blankets for added comfort. Shady verandahs offer lovely garden views. The main guest lounge is a comfortable retreat with a crackling log fire, a well-stocked library, and a large television. A sumptuous breakfast is served in the sunny dining room every morning and the nearby village of Cowes has an excellent selection of restaurants for dinner. Glen Isla House is close to the renowned Phillip Island Nature Park where you can see a variety of wildlife, and a number of well-known wine estates. Glen Isla House welcomes children over 12. Rooms start at 319 AUD per night.
5.Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Set 6,627 feet above sea level, the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is a rustic boutique hotel which is home to the largest collection of native orchids observable in their natural habitat. Visit the historic Machu Picchu ruins in the Andes Mountains, Peru. UNU spa features mystical Andean touches in its body massages and foot aromatherapy. There is also a unique Andean Sauna to help you relax and unwind. There are 83 guest houses nestled in romantic one or two-story cottages reached by stone pathways.
Mikhuna Wasi or "The House of Food" in Quechua is the main dining room. The restaurant offers guests a view of the Urubamba River and the surrounding green mountains. Located just a few meters from the train station, Cafe Inkaterra Restaurant serves up Andean cuisine which is a must-try.
It is possible to explore the ruins for many days but if you want to take a break from the ruins, try bird-watching. There are over 162 different species of bird, 16 species of wild hummingbird, and 111 species of butterflies.
The property is located in the Cloudforest of Cusco between the Andes and the Amazon basin, 70 miles from Cusco City. Upon arrival to Cusco (11,100 feet), visitors travel one and a half hours by road to Ollantaytambo train station (9,200 feet) and take a 100-minute train ride up to the mountains, where visitors can comfortably acclimatize to the high altitude. Rates start at $528 per person per night, including three meals daily and a private escorted visit to the ruins.
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6.Mahekal Beach Resort
© Mahekal Beach Resort
Situated only steps away from the coastal destination town of Playa del Carmen, the Mahekal Beach Resort offers easy access to all of the best features the town has to offer. From live music on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen to delicious restaurants and wonderful beaches, guests who stay at the Mahekal Beach Resort can enjoy it all. The resort is near to 920 feet of idyllic beaches that lie between the Riviera Maya jungle and the Caribbean ocean, and much of the resort is designed to reflect Mayan culture and history.
Calle 38, Entre Avenida 5A Y Zona Federal Maritima, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo 77710, Phone: 877-235-4452
7.Te Wanaka Lodge, New Zealand
© Te Wanaka Lodge
Resting in the heart of Wanaka Village, the gateway to New Zealand’s spectacular Mount Aspiring National Park, Te Wanaka Lodge is a European-style ski lodge. Surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens with magnificent panoramic views, the comfortable lodge is a haven for skiing in the winter and a beautiful mountain retreat in the summer. Thirteen charming rooms are spacious and light with fresh décor, en-suite bathrooms and private balconies with tables and chairs for relaxing and soaking up the views. Imported linens and electric blankets keep you warm in the winter, while modern amenities and wireless Internet offer creature comforts. A quaint and cozy guest cottage is also available for extra privacy. A sumptuous breakfast is served every morning in the dining room and a range of in-room spa services can be enjoyed throughout the day. Have traditional Après-ski in front of the crackling fire during the winter or soak in the cedar garden’s hot tub in the summer months and take in the breathtaking views. Rooms start at 220 NZD per night.
, From LA
8.Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand
© Cape Kidnappers
If you want to play some of the best scenic golf in New Zealand, book a tee time on the spectacular Cape Kidnappers course in Hawke's Bay, situated high above the bay with dramatic views of the water. Stay at the Farm which offers luxury suites and a four-bedroom Owner's Cottage. All of the suites offers spectacular ocean views from the bed and the private terrace. The Lodge Suites are the largest and offer quick access to the Lodge facilities. Ridge and Hilltop Suites are a short walk from the main lodge while Ridge Suites have romantic fireplaces and are great for couples who want privacy. Families and groups can rent the Owner's Cottage which has four bedrooms with fireplaces, large bathrooms and private balconies. The living room and open-plan kitchen are ideal for socializing.
Fly to Napier (Hawke's Bay) airport from Auckland (55 minutes) or Wellington (50 minutes). If you are driving, the property is located six hours from Auckland and four hours from Wellington.
Suites at the Farms start at 740 NZD per night. Green fees start at 300 New Zealand Dollars in low season; from 400 in high season.
9.December Vacations: Fisherman's Cove in India
© Fisherman's Cove in India
Vivanta by Taj - Fisherman's Cove, Chennai is one of the best beach resorts for couples in Southern India. The resort offers 88 luxury cottages just steps from the water. Guest accommodations feature ocean views, private open garden showers and private sit-outs, great for a honeymoon getaway. You can also plan to get married right on the water, whether you want an intimate wedding or a large event (the property can host a party of up to 3,000 guests). You can pick from several themes, including the Pirate Theme, Fisherman Village and Carnival Theme. The Romantic wedding theme is popular with couples, featuring vivid colors, flowers, fabric, lighting effects and a band playing soft romantic music.
The Jiva Spa at Fisherman's Cove offers treatments and therapies inspired by the ancient Indian wisdom, including massages, body scrubs and wraps.
If you are looking for romantic spas for couples, this is a great choice. You'll get a chance to try ancient Indian healing techniques combines with contemporary therapies, such as Indian aromatherapy massages, healing body scrubs and wraps. Work out at the 24-hour fitness center, relax at the pool bar and have a gourmet dinner on your getaway. The hotel concierge can arrange sightseeing tours of nearby towns and help you design custom itineraries. Activities include volleyball, buggy rides, catamaran rides, fishing, treasure hunts and more. Room rates start from INR 9,700 per night.
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10.Viceroy Abu Dhabi
© Viceroy Abu Dhabi
When you check into Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, you get access to great dining, a sandy beach and a luxury spa. The hotel is also home to the Yas Marina Formula 1 Circuit where you can watch high-speed races and practices. The LED canopy that surrounds the property and the race track lights up at night creating lively ambiance throughout. The property hosts the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November. It hosted the country's first Grand Prix a few years ago, which was also the first Formula 1 race ever in twilight. If you plan your visit around this popular event, be sure to book your stay early because they sell out quickly.
Viceroy Abu Dhabi offers a variety of rooms and suites that measure at least 580 square feet in size. Guest rooms are modern, like the exterior. Decorated in soothing beiges and browns, guest accommodations feature all-glass bathrooms with a rain shower and deep soaking tub. High-tech amenities include a 42-inch LCD television, centralized bathroom speakers and game consoles. The best rooms to book are the Marina Deluxe which overlook the Formula-1 track (be sure to ask for the view when booking because some of the Marina rooms have a view of the canopy only). The Marina Deluxe accommodations have floor-to-ceiling windows with custom furniture and designer fabrics.
The spacious suites measure at least 1,000 square feet in size and have floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The living area and bedroom are separated by sliding doors.
There are 12 restaurants and lounges, ranging from Mediterranean cuisine to Southeast Asian specialties and Japanese Teppan. Enjoy light snack at the rooftop infinity pool while you relax in the sun. The lounges are popular with locals and visitors alike, offering great music, views and tasty drinks.
Room rates start at AED 468 per night.
11.Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villas
© Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villas
The idea behind the new Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villas is to allow vacationers to experience the rugged beauty of the Arabian savannah while staying in a luxury villa with a private pool. Visitors will be able to enjoy stunning sunsets and wildlife watching in the 10,000-acre Arabian Wildlife Park. The 30 luxury villas are designed with traditional thatched roofs to blend with the natural surroundings. All of the villas have private plunge pools and one or two bedrooms.
Anantara Spa, famous for its rich menu of services, is the perfect place to relax with a massage, body wrap, facial and other rejuvenating treatments. Activities include kayaking, snorkeling, diving, archery, mountain biking, nature and wildlife drives. There is also an archeological site tour and horse stables. Guests can dine at the on-site gourmet restaurant Savannah Grill and have drinks at the cigar lounge. There are six other restaurants on the island in addition to the Dining by Design option. as Island is a 150 mile drive from Abu Dhabi, followed by a boat transfer. Charter flights are available at the Abu Dhabi International Airport. If you are traveling with kids, visit the Yas Waterworld.
12.Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla
© Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla
The Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla is an all-inclusive resort that is restricted to only adults, meaning that couples travelling without children won’t be bothered on their romantic getaway. The resort has access to beaches, plenty of high class restaurants and bars, and spa treatments. For guests who can’t be away from work for too long, there is a state of the art, modern meeting space that has the latest technologies so guests can work in peace. The resort is only a short forty-five minute drive from Cancun International Airport, and it is also close to other local attractions like archaeological adventures and various beaches.
Calle Quinta Avenida s/n, Luis Donaldo Colosio, 77719 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico, Phone: +52-98-48-77-39-00
13.December Vacations: Maison Souvannaphoum
© Maison Souvannaphoum
Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel is located in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Laos. The hotel is a fun adventure getaway for couples and a great starting point for visiting the area's attractions such as the Royal Palace, Mekong River, Mount Phu Si and ancient temples. Angsana Spa offers holistic massages, beauty wraps and tropical scrubs in three outdoor pavilions. Before and after your treatment, relax next to the outdoor swimming pool.
There are 24 air-conditioned rooms, most with private balconies. Guest suites in the La Residence wing enjoy additional privileges, such as personalized service, daily complimentary laundry, champagne breakfast and afternoon tea.
Elephant Blanc Restaurant serves Western, Laotian and local dishes. The hotel is a two-hour flight from Bangkok, Thailand, and a 40-minute flight from Vientiane, the capital of Laos. The property is located ten minutes from the airport. Room rates start at $170 per night; suites from $270 per night.
14.Solmar Resort in Cabo San Lucas
© Solmar Resort in Cabo San Lucas
Hidden away from the world by towering cliffs, Solmar Resort in Cabo San Lucas is luxurious all-inclusive seaside retreat. Surrounded by the beauty of the rugged desert and cerulean ocean, this luxurious all-inclusive resort provides an unforgettable Mexican experience. Combining contemporary classic design with a traditional Mexican touch, 100 luxurious guest rooms are well appointed with modern décor and deluxe amenities, and private balconies and patios offer spectacular ocean views. Guests can dine at two Mexican-inspired gourmet restaurants, Tejaban and El Trébol, while The Sushi Factory serves fresh sushi and seafood delicacies throughout the day. Sip cocktails at the elegant pool bar as you watch the sun sink below the horizon. The exclusive Spa Cabanas at Solmar offers a variety of pampering body and facial treatments in a tranquil setting. Lounge by the sparkling swimming pool with a drink as you soak up the magnificent sea views. Try a range of exciting water sports around the resort from snorkeling and scuba diving to fishing and sailing, as well as other activities, such as golf, adventure tours and world-class shopping in Cabo. All-inclusive rates start at $212 per night.
15.Thompson Playa del Carmen
© Thompson Playa del Carmen
The Thompson Playa del Carmen has two distinct options depending on the desires of the guests. First is the Main House, which is on Quinta Avenida, and is a relaxation rooftop resort that literally sits above the rest of Playa del Carmen. From the Main House guests can easily enjoy all that Playa del Carmen has to offer, or spend their time swimming and resting with magnificent ocean views. The other option is the Beach House, which is located nearer to the ocean, and allows for unbridled access to some of the region’s best beaches.
Calle 12 entre 5ta Ave. y 10 S/N, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico, Phone: 844-823-8100
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16.Valentin Imperial Maya
© Valentin Imperial Maya
Guests who book with the Valentin Imperial Maya have their pick from a diverse assortment of rooms and suites of different tiers to fit their budget and luxury needs. At this all inclusive adult-only resort, guests can choose to be pampered at the spa, dine on gourmet food in world class restaurants, and swim in pristine waters at resort pools. Whether the vacation is for a romantic getaway or just for fun, concierge service can help by providing 24 hour service to assist with any guest needs. It is recommended to book through the Valentin Imperial Maya website directly, as they frequently offer special discounts and promotions.
Carretera Federal 307 Chetumal Puerto Juarez KM 311 500, Playa del Secreto, Playa del Carmen, Solidaridad 77710, Phone: 800-232-8316
17.Bahia Resort Hotel
© Bahia Resort Hotel
Set on a peninsula in Mission Bay, the Bahia Resort Hotel offers rooms and suites with flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Some also offer kitchenettes and views of the water. Hotel amenities include a private beach, an outdoor swimming pool, a games room, two on-site restaurants, and a hot tub that can accommodate up to 30 people. Guests can also enjoy nightly cruises around Mission Bay on the resort's sternwheeler; family-friendly entertainment is offered between 6:30 pm and 9:30 p.m., but only guests over the age of 21 are permitted on-board after 11 p.m.
998 W Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109, Phone: 858-488-0551
18.Diamond Head Inn
© Diamond Head Inn
Perfect for visitors who want to spend as much time as possible near the water, the Diamond Head Inn sits on the boardwalk overlooking beautiful Pacific Beach. Full kitchens with granite countertops and plenty of cooking utensils can be found in every room; other in-room amenities include work desks and flat-screen TVs with cable. Some rooms also feature separate living areas with pull-out sofas, and Wi-Fi is available all throughout the property. A complimentary continental breakfast is provided every morning, and guests are also given free access to the pool at a nearby hotel.
605 Diamond St, San Diego, CA 92109, Phone: 858-273-1900
19.Holiday Inn Express San Diego SeaWorld-Beach Area
© Holiday Inn Express San Diego SeaWorld-Beach Area
Featuring an outdoor pool and hot tub, the Holiday Inn Express San Diego SeaWorld-Beach Area is only a 10-minute drive away from SeaWorld. The rooms are furnished with work desks, high-pressure showers, and flat-screen TVs with cable; they also offer small kitchenettes equipped with microwaves, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers. Children under the age of 19 stay for free if accompanied by an adult. A complimentary hot breakfast is served every morning, and on-site parking is available free of charge. Other amenities include a gym, a business center, and a laundry room with coin-operated machines.
4540 Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109, Phone: 858-274-7888
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20.Kona Kai Resort & Spa
© Kona Kai Resort & Spa
Sitting on Shelter Island, the Kona Kai Resort & Spa is an elegant resort with an excellent selection of tastefully furnished rooms and suites. All rooms feature patios, large flat-screen TVs, and mini-fridges; many also come with views of the water. Guests are welcome to enjoy the many resort amenities, which include an outdoor pool and hot tub, a beach volleyball court, and a waterfront restaurant. Kayaks and bicycles can be rented from the front desk. The resort also regularly offers exciting promotions, including bed and breakfast packages and complimentary third night stays for guests who book two nights.
1551 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106, Phone: 619-221-8000
© Katikies Hotel
The Katikies Hotel is known for its unmatched services, sense of romance, and warm atmosphere uniquely combined within a natural environment and exceptional setting that welcomes guests to experience luxurious moments at a luxury hotel in Oia, Santorini. Guest accommodations at the Katikies Hotel on the island of Santorini include amenities such as complimentary wireless internet, iPod docking station, air-conditioning, laptop-sized safe, a minibar, maid service twice daily, slippers and bathrobes, 24-hour room service, a Nespresso coffee maker, satellite television, and butler server on request. Guests will find inspiring views of the azure blue sea and the caldera.
Nik. Nomikou (Main Street), Oía 847 02, Greece
© Lindos Blu
The Lindos Blue is an adults-only resort on the island of Rhodes. Constructed similar to a hillside amphitheater that overlooks the Vlicha Bay, the five-star luxury resort is a tranquil retreat for relaxation and pampering. The small luxury hideaway features a terrace series that lead down to an indulgent spa, outdoor and indoor pools, a penthouse sun-terrace, two restaurant, maisonettes and villas with private pools, and a sandy beach. All accommodations boasts stunning panoramic views of the sea. Guest room amenities include complimentary high-speed wireless internet, Nespresso coffee machines, with some featuring whirlpool soaking tubs and shared pools.
EO Rodou Lindou 615, Lindos 851 07, Greece, Phone: +30 2244 032110
23.Europe Hotel & Spa Zermatt
© Europe Hotel & Spa Zermatt
Europe Hotel and Spa Zermatt is a charming modern Alpine lodge conveniently within walking distance of the Zermatt-Furi Ski Lift and the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Station. The hotel creates a rustic-chic atmosphere through stone and wood decor elements and features individually-furnished rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows offering spectacular mountain views. Standard rooms come with flat screen televisions, minibars, and free wireless internet, while annex apartments offer private kitchens and balconies. Buffet-style breakfast is included with each night’s stay, and a European-style restaurant serves traditional five-course gourmet dinners. After dinner or a long day on the slopes, guests can relax in a reading room with an outdoor fireplace or receive free massages at the hotel’s spa and sauna facility.
Riedstrasse 18, 3920 Zermatt, Switzerland, Phone: +41-2-79-66-27-00
24.Van der Valk Kontiki Beach Resort
© Van der Valk Kontiki Beach Resort
The Van der Valk Kontiki Beach Resort provides an ideal feeling of the tropical Caribbean in a beautiful green, natural environment. Surrounded by tropical plants and palm trees, guests can take a swim in the resort’s swimming pool that was created throughout the picturesque tropical garden. The Van der Valk Kontiki Beach Resort offers two beach clubs where guests can go for drinks and food: the Cabana Beach and the Mood Beach. Cabana Beach offers all-day dining with a variety of beverages and dishes, as well as live entertainment. Mood Beach provides a quiet atmosphere and a beach bar.
1000 Willemstad Curacao, Phone: 59-9-94-63-16-00
25.Scuba Lodge and Ocean Suites
© Scuba Lodge and Ocean Suites
Scuba Lodge and Ocean Suites is a unique Curaçao resort experience located near top Willemstad Pietermaai area attractions such as the Queen Emma Bridge, Plasa Bieu, De Handelskade, and pristine Mambo Beach. The Caribbean Sea coastal resort is housed within beautiful converted 19th-century buildings, showcasing 28 beautifully-appointed guest rooms and 11 full rental apartments. All rooms offer amenities such as flat screen televisions, mini fridges, and private terraces, with kitchenettes and living rooms available in upgraded rooms and apartments. Guests can make use of the resort's PADI Dive Center Pietermaai, which provides safe diving experiences for divers of all ages and ability levels, led by experienced diving instructors. The hotel's Restaurant Pietermaai is open seven days a week, serving up high-quality fare at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night service.
104 Pietermaai, Willemstad Pietermaai, Curaçao, Phone: +599 9 465 2575
25 Unique December Vacations
- Hotel Christopher, Photo: Hotel Christopher
- Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda, Photo: Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda
- Yacutinga Eco-Lodge in Argentina, Photo: Yacutinga Eco-Lodge in Argentina
- December Vacations: Glen Isla House, Australia, Photo: Glen Isla House
- Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Photo: Inkaterra
- Mahekal Beach Resort, Photo: Mahekal Beach Resort
- Te Wanaka Lodge, New Zealand, Photo: Te Wanaka Lodge
- Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand, Photo: Cape Kidnappers
- December Vacations: Fisherman's Cove in India, Photo: Fisherman's Cove in India
- Viceroy Abu Dhabi, Photo: Viceroy Abu Dhabi
- Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villas, Photo: Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villas
- Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla, Photo: Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla
- December Vacations: Maison Souvannaphoum, Photo: Maison Souvannaphoum
- Solmar Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Photo: Solmar Resort in Cabo San Lucas
- Thompson Playa del Carmen, Photo: Thompson Playa del Carmen
- Valentin Imperial Maya, Photo: Valentin Imperial Maya
- Bahia Resort Hotel, Photo: Bahia Resort Hotel
- Diamond Head Inn, Photo: Diamond Head Inn
- Holiday Inn Express San Diego SeaWorld-Beach Area, Photo: Holiday Inn Express San Diego SeaWorld-Beach Area
- Kona Kai Resort & Spa, Photo: Kona Kai Resort & Spa
- Katikies Hotel, Photo: Katikies Hotel
- Lindos Blu, Photo: Lindos Blu
- Europe Hotel & Spa Zermatt, Photo: Europe Hotel & Spa Zermatt
- Van der Valk Kontiki Beach Resort, Photo: Van der Valk Kontiki Beach Resort
- Scuba Lodge and Ocean Suites, Photo: Scuba Lodge and Ocean Suites
- Cover Photo: Hotel Christopher
More Great December Vacation Ideas
Plan a romantic ski trip to Europe and stay at Badrutt's Palace in St. Moritz with scenic views of Swiss Alps. Or travel to The Fairmont Chateau Whistler in Canada for a trip filled with outdoor activities.
If you are craving warmth and sunny weather, visit Jamaica. Caves Resort is a romantic hotel popular with couples, offering just 12 guest accommodations, private cave dining and a relaxing wellness center. Round Hill Jamaica offers elegant villa suites, a private beach and gourmet dining.
From October through April, the warmer months in New Zealand, Grasmere Lodge offers challenging fly fishing in its eight lakes, four large freestone rivers, and eight streams and creeks. The lodge operates on a catch and release basis. The lakes, rivers, streams and creeks are fished with dry flies and nymphs cast to sighted fish. The Grasmere area is home to both browns and rainbows, averaging around three pounds. Various lakes are also home to Loch Leven, Mackinaw and Splake trout. During certain times of the year, there is salmon fishing. Guide fees start at $NZ 580 (about $380 USD) per day for up to two people, including transport and lunch. The fly fishing season runs from 1 October to 30 April for the rivers, and from the first Saturday in November to 30 April for the lakes. A fishing license is available at the lodge.
Plan a spa trip to the Tasmanian wilderness and spend a few days getting pampered at Waldheim Alpine Spa at the Cradle Mountain Lodge, Australia. Unspoilt nature and scenic views create a soothing ambiance where guests can rest their mind and body. Choose from a number of therapies that utilize Australia's Sodashi skin and body care line. The wellness center also offers specialized treatments that utilize organic herbs, essential oils, honey and seaweed from Tasmania. Couples can enjoy side-by-side treatments in the double treatment room at Waldheim Alpine Spa. There is a relaxing area with a steam room, sauna, large hot-tub and cool plunge pool, and a relaxation lounge where you can rest before or after your treatment.
Try a few of the African-influenced treatments at Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. Exclusive to hotel guests, that wellness center is situated on the top floor of the hotel, overlooking Table Mountain, the city and yacht marina. It utilizes Academie skincare line and offers a range of conventional therapies as well as traditional African treatments. The specialized African Cape Massage uses the circular massage technique and Shea body butter to help you relax. A half hour prior to treatments, a specially prepared package is delivered to the guest's room. The package includes a robe, slippers and a card confirming the treatment booked. There are four therapy rooms, a bath, sauna, steam room, rain and body showers.
Las Vegas is another great place for Christmas shopping, where you can find famous designer items. Caesars Palace is centrally situated in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip and offers The Forum Shops.
Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa in Australia is set in the middle of a tropical rainforest, close to awesome scuba diving and snorkeling.
There are many warm-weather winter spots in Florida, the Caribbean and Hawaii. If you are traveling with kids, Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando gives you quick access to Universal Theme Parks.
The Landings in St. Lucia has a sandy Caribbean beach, spa and a program for kids. Petit St. Vincent is set on its own private island, complete with sandy beaches and many water-based activities, such as snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and fishing.
Maui is a popular winter destination because of its warm weather, whale watching, golf, spas and other activities.
Get away to an oceanside spa resort in California. Hotel del Coronado features a beautiful Victorian spa which lets you enjoy an array of relaxing spa treatments on vacation. The hotel's seaside location has attracted vacationers since the 19th century. Travelers looking to rejuvenate their body, mind and spirit can choose from a variety of pampering and rejuvenating treatments.
In addition to classical treatments such as massages, wraps and facials, the Spa at Hotel del Coronado will be offering unique water therapy treatments in hydrotherapy pools. Travelers can choose from spa packages especially designed for individuals, teens, couples, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, girlfriends and wedding parties. The Spa offers 21 treatment rooms, sanctuary areas, hydrotherapy pools and steam rooms. A private veranda and a pool will provide another great place to relax on vacation.
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More Ideas in Jamaica: Jake’s Hotel Villas & Spa
Jake's Hotel can be found on beautiful Treasure Beach, Jamaica—about two hours from Montego Bay airport and an hour and a half from Negril. It is a resort setting with rooms, cottages and villages available for guests lodging. The front desk staff are happy to arrange transportation to the hotel from wherever guests may be, including the airport, and promise it will be a memorable drive. The food served at the hotel is locally sourced and as fresh as possible, giving guests a taste of Jamaican cuisine. The beach is private, for guests only, adding to the seclusion and peace of the atmosphere. It is a welcoming, relaxing hotel with guest’s happiness at the forefront.
With various room choices available, there is an accommodation to suit every budget and preference. Guests can choose from rooms, cottages or villas. There are several different room types available, most with private in-room showers and all with comfortable beds. Not all feature a private bathroom but room descriptions will help guests decide which is right for them. Guests should be aware that there are no televisions, telephones nor internet access in-room. If guests wish to receive messages, they can give their family and friends the number to the front desk where messages will gladly be passed along.
The cottages are available in seven different styles, some with two bedrooms and some with three. They feature amazing views of the ocean and the island greenery in a laid back, breezy style. These cottages are ideal for families or groups traveling together and wishing to stay together, yet still having their own space.
The villas each offer spectacular ocean views and private beach access. The Seaweed Villa is two properties in one and is perfect for large parties traveling together or it can also be rented separately with privacy given to each section. The eclectic charm of each villa only adds to the relaxed atmosphere, where there are no televisions or Internet access.
Restaurants and Room Service
The main restaurant at Jake’s serves all locally sourced foods and cooks everything fresh. Guests can sit under the shade of the trees and overlook the ocean as they enjoy the local fare. Round tables are set up around the pool and beach area providing fresh air dining. The menu is ever changing depending on what is harvested or caught that day.
Guests who are lucky enough to be staying at Jake’s on the last Saturday before the full moon, can experience the Farm-to-Table feast put on a Dool’s Farm. The table is set and is extremely long and guests can dine under the stars on the farms fresh harvest of foods. There is an additional per person fee for this event.
Jack Sprat’s is located next to the Jake’s property and is a great way to experience the laid back island atmosphere. Seafood is served up fresh and they boast the island’s best pizza. Guests will love pizza toppings such as lobster, jerk chicken and locally grown fresh vegetables. There is music to enjoy and the beach is closeby offering cool, ocean breezes. Thursday nights they have bonfires on the beach and movie night.
Bars and Lounges
Dougie’s Bar is located at the heart of Jake’s property, making it a hub for gathering and mingling. The cocktails are cold and fresh and the vibe is relaxed and chill. Dougie’s signature rum punch has been an on-going favorite for 20 years. It overlooks the beach as well as the pool. Guests can enjoy a drink at Dougie’s all day long.
The Pelican Bar is more than just a bar, it is an experience. It was built on a sandbar in the middle of the ocean by a fisherman named Floyd. It is accessible via a 20 minute boat ride from Jake’s. Guests can sip a tasty drink, take a swim, play some dominoes or even dine on some freshly caught and prepared fish. It is a “must visit” attraction while in the area.
The Driftwood Spa is located right at the edge of the waters on the corner of Jake’s property. There are four treatment rooms which are open-air to allow guests fresh ocean air and sea breezes as they enjoy being pampered. Treatments at the spa are accompanied by aromatherapy using local ingredients like mango, coffee, coconut and seaweed. The Driftwood Spa offers a vast array of spa treatments from facials, massages, body wraps and scrubs and even modified treatments just for the kids. Wedding and honeymoon packages are available for couples who wish to enjoy treatments done side by side.
On the rooftop of The Driftwood Spa is the yoga studio where guests can take a yoga class at their leisure with 180 degree views of the sea. The sea air is fresh and adds to the relaxation and meditative state experienced with the on-site yoga instructor at Jake’s.
While there are no golf facilities on Jake’s property or really close by, there is the Sports Park to enjoy watching a game of cricket, football or cheering on athletes on the track. This is an academy which teaches children about sport and fair play as well as keeping score. It is also home to the General Colin Powell Challenge Course which is an exciting rope climbing adventure where guests can go to extreme heights.
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Family Services and Kids Club
Even though Jake’s does not have a Kids Club, however, they are very welcoming to families with children. The villas and cottages are wonderful choices for families since they afford guests plenty of space and sleeping quarters as well as some with kitchen facilities. Having added space, including private patios allows kids and parents to stretch out without bumping into each other.
Jake’s Hotel Villa & Spa offers a family package which is geared towards two adults and two children. The package is called The Family Way and includes seven nights accommodation in one of the spacious two bedroom cottages, two hours of guided fishing with a local fisherman, a guided bicycle tour for all, a pizza making class for the family to enjoy together and an outing to the Pedro Plains Farm for an entire day with Farmer Dole. This package is exciting for adults and kids alike.
Another exciting adventure for families is the day trip to YS Falls. The bus will stop on the way for dining at Middle Quarters and Bamboo Avenue where guests can indulge in a tasty hot pepper shrimp sampling or ice cold coconut jelly. Once at the falls, guests will find the amazing eight tiered, 120 foot high water fall, some cool pools for swimming plus various activities like zip lining, river tubing and a rope climb.
Kids will love the Mosaic making class, led by a Montessori teacher, for children to create with mosaic pieces. Another fun class for kids is the Shell Design Playshop, where kids can create and paint with shells.
Weddings & Conferences
Weddings at Jake’s can be customized to whatever each couple wishes for their big day. Some couples may choose to say I do on the beach at sunset with a few close friends, while other may wish to host a big event, with many guests and hold it at one of the luxury villas.
The wedding planning staff will work with each bride and groom to determine their budget and then work to cover all the important details while staying within their desired budget. This means from cake to photography to décor, couples will be looked after from beginning to end.
After the big day is done and it is time for the honeymoon to begin, the Octopussy Suite is highly recommended with it’s glass top roof for romantic star gazing and the lower level in such close proximity to the sea waves. This suite also includes room service if requested.
There are no meeting facilities, however, for intimate meetings or smaller corporate events, a luxury villa would work in place of a boardroom or conference center.
Eco-Friendly and Special Features
Jake’s Hotel Villas and Spa has a positive outlook on sustainability. They serve up foods that are locally grown or caught and revolve their menu around what is available instead of bringing in out of season stock. They also don’t provide televisions, computers or Internet service in-room which means guests will have to “unplug” and go back to a simpler time without electromagnetic interference.
Guests staying at Jake’s can take part in various activities and classes, including Paint Jakes, a series of watercolor painting classes for anyone and everyone regardless of painting experience. Cooking classes are also offered for guests to learn all about Jamaican cuisine and the fine art of jerk seasoning.
A very popular day trip amongst guests is the famous Appleton Distillery Tour. Guests can see up close where this well-known Jamaican rum is made and maybe even sample a taste. This day trip can be arranged through the front desk.
Back to: Perfect Labor Day Weekend Getaways
Calabash Bay P A, Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth 00000, Jamaica, Phone: 877-526-2428
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