Now the nights are drawing in, it’s time to start dreaming about adventures for the winter months and beyond
These ten leading companies have lots of travel ideas to inspire you. If you fancy a short break close to home, there’s plenty of choice within the UK, from country hideaways and coastal retreats to city-centre hotels. Winter sports enthusiasts could discover one of Europe’s finest ski resorts, while options further afield include soaking up some winter sun in the tropics, hiking mountain trails in the Far East and even setting sail on a polar expedition. Or you could enlist the services of a concierge company to take care of not just your travel arrangements but every other aspect of your lifestyle as well.
Here’s to happy holidays ahead…
Bainland Lodge Retreats, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire
Experience luxury in the English countryside
Beautiful scenery and memorable moments: that’s the appealing promise at Bainland Lodge Retreats. Set within peaceful 45-acre grounds on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, this collection of luxury lodge retreats has a great range of accommodation options, all with smart modern décor and outdoor hot tubs.
Couples can cosy up in lakeside cabins, romantic shepherd’s huts or a treehouse, while groups of family or friends will find lodges, villas and glamping tents sleeping anything from four to 24. Well-equipped kitchens and an onsite farm shop make self-catering simple but there’s also a food-delivery service if you fancy ordering in, a restaurant, bar and terrace, The Nest, offering a bistro-inspired menu, and a new in-lodge private chef option for those extra special occasions. There’s plenty to do, too: onsite instructor-led activities include climbing, archery and Segway tours, dog-friendly woodland walks, a new adventure playground and rental bikes for exploring further afield.
Le Méridien Ile Meurice, Mauritius
Soak up some winter sun in Mauritius
Jetset glamour meets superb hospitality at Le Méridien Ile Meurice, on the northwest coast of Mauritius. Set on an idyllic, kilometre-long sandy beach, this five-star hideaway recently completed a multi-million-pound transformation that has firmly established it as one of the island’s leading resorts.
The new-look interiors are timeless and elegant, featuring a restful colour palette and natural materials, while the generously sized rooms and suites all have a private terrace or balcony with views of the Indian Ocean. Families will appreciate the kids’ club and child-friendly facilities, while couples can hide away in Nirvana, an adults-only wing with its own peaceful infinity pool. Whether you’re after adventure or relaxation, you’re well catered for: activities range from kayaking and pedal boating to scuba diving and mountain biking, and facilities in the revamped spa include a sauna, yoga studio and the country’s first snow room. There’s plenty of variety on the food front, too, with four restaurants offering a choice of Italian, Indian, Mauritian or international flavours.
To find out more, visit marriott.co.uk
Gara Rock, Devon
Cosy up this winter at Gara Rock
Gara Rock, one of Devon’s most luxurious hideaways, is perfect for a cosy winter escape. Hidden away down a narrow country lane, the resort sits high on a clifftop, with sea views from most rooms, suites and apartments. The restaurant, too, makes the most of its location, with huge windows so you can gaze across the waves as you tuck into seasonal dishes featuring local produce.
The energetic can stride out along the South West Coast Path, which runs right past the hotel, or nip down to the beach for a cold-water swim. If hunkering down indoors sounds more appealing, you can take a dip in the heated pool, warm up in the sauna, relax with a spa treatment or book a private screening in the hotel cinema. Or just snuggle up in your room – all have beautiful boutique hotel-style decor, underfloor heating and a private balcony or terrace, while the Out of the Ordinary suites come with added luxuries like a bubbling hot tub (Signal House) or your own slice of clifftop (Secret Suite).
Find out more at gararock.com
Poles apart: head out on a cruise like no other
Exploring the most remote and inaccessible regions of the planet is both an adventure and a privilege, and it comes with a great responsibility: to minimise our impact on the world’s fragile ecosystems, leaving no trace behind.
This is a duty that Ponant, a French luxury cruise company committed to sustainable and responsible tourism, takes extremely seriously, as travellers embarking on a Ponant expedition to the magnificent icy landscapes of Antarctica or the Arctic will quickly discover.
Sailing aboard the trailblazing Le Commandant Charcot, guests feel supremely cosseted, with the ship’s refined decor, on-board spa and Alain Ducasse restaurant. Behind the scenes, though, everything has been designed in accordance with strict environmental standards. Materials were chosen for their low environmental impact, the propulsion system uses the cleanest energy available, and the ship is equipped with all the latest cutting-edge green technologies.
Taiwan Tourism Bureau
Hit the heights in Taiwan
Love spending time in the mountains? Then think of Taiwan for your next holiday destination. This beautiful island has an extraordinary density of peaks, with 268 of them rising to more than 3,000m. They’re spread across five densely forested ranges: to the north, the Xueshan Range, to the east the Coastal Mountain Range, to the west the Alishan and Yushan Ranges, and, running almost the entire length of the island, the Central Mountain Range.
No wonder Taiwan is considered a paradise for hikers, who can follow well-marked trails, encountering spectacular views, magnificent flora and fauna, and active indigenous cultures. With a huge variety of terrain, everyone finds their own hiking highlight but one perennial favourite is the trail to beautiful Jiaming Lake, aka Angel’s Tear or Sapphire Lost by God. Famed for its deep blue colour and scenic setting, it’s also a good place to spot Formosan sambar, the native deer that live in the area.
JA The Resort, Dubai
Enjoy a beachfront experience in Dubai
No chance of boredom at JA The Resort. This five-star beachfront destination bills itself as “Dubai’s largest experience resort” and its expansive grounds house all manner of activities and entertainment, from padel tennis and golf to billiards and swimming with horses. As well as watersports amenities and an equestrian centre, there is a shooting range, a spa, a private marina and a peaceful, 800m-long private beach. Plus, of course, multiple pools, family-friendly facilities and more than enough restaurants and bars (25) to cater for every taste, including the award-winning Michelin-starred chef-led Kinara by Vikas Khanna.
The resort has three five-star hotels: JA Beach Hotel, JA Lake View Hotel and JA Palm Tree Court. The latter has just unveiled its newly revamped beachfront villa suites, with chic, contemporary interiors and VIP extras such as in-room check-in for the Residence suites, butler service and Elemis toiletries, as well as an exclusive pool and bar for all guests staying at this property. There are exclusive new beach cabanas to come, too, along with an alfresco restaurant with Arabian Gulf views. The new Just Splash park will be fully open by mid-November, while the splashpad fun hub for the little ones is in full swing – as well as the new cocktail bar situated across from it for parents to kick back and relax.
Book your next getaway at jaresortshotels.com
From the everyday to the extravagant
Sophie Shelton and Hope Dowlen met when both were working in Harrods, engaging with high-net-worth clients from around the world and handling their diverse range of requests. In 2015, the pair pooled their talents and experience to create 48 London, a leading lifestyle management and concierge company that’s dedicated to providing a private and professional service for its members, with a strong focus on wellness.
Drawing on impressive specialist knowledge and connections, the team can take care of every aspect of members’ lives, style and wellbeing, from arranging unique travel experiences, organising events and access to the finest restaurants, to procuring coveted luxury items or appointments with the best trainers, chefs and interior designers. The approach is highly personalised, tailored to each individual, family or corporation, and the ethos is that all things are possible and “no” is never the answer. With three tiers of membership and options for non-members, there’s something for everyone.
Great Little Breaks
Explore the best of the UK
From glorious seascapes and gentle rural countryside to dramatic upland peaks and vibrant, culture-filled cities, the UK offers fantastic scope for mini getaways. And that’s exactly what Great Little Breaks delivers.
This award-winning travel company specialises in added-value short breaks at hotels across the UK. Whether you fancy exploring Scotland, rambling round the Lake District, retreating to the Cotswolds, discovering the Pembrokeshire coast or catching some shows on a London theatre break, you’ll find something to suit.
All hotels offer the best value, quality and service, and every Great Little Breaks holiday includes a guaranteed saving or added extra from a bottle of prosecco on arrival to a late checkout or attraction tickets. The company is so confident its short breaks represent the best value around that it offers a price promise guarantee: once you’ve made a booking, if you find the same deal anywhere else, Great Little Breaks will refund the difference.
To find out more about short breaks and last-minute deals, visit greatlittlebreaks.com
Baqueira Beret, Spain
Take to the pistes in the Pyrenees
Don’t know Baqueira Beret? Then you’re missing out on southern Europe’s best skiing. This high mountain resort, in the heart of the Spanish Pyrenees, not only has one of the best snow records on the Continent but also delivers a fantastic choice of terrain for all levels of skiers and snowboarders.
A favourite of the Spanish royal family, the resort was founded in 1964 and has continued to grow and improve ever since. This season brings another new chairlift, additional snow groomers to keep the slopes in great shape, and three new pistes opening up, increasing the total skiable area to 170 km.
Baqueira Beret hosts a variety of international competitive events, too, including the prestigious Freeride World Tour, which returns in January 2023 following the success of its inaugural visit last season.
Factor in an absence of crowds, an abundance of delicious local cuisine and the beautiful scenery of the surrounding Val d’Aran, and it all adds up to a ski holiday dream.
Find out more at baqueira.com
The Langham, London
Visit the capital in legendary style
In 1865, Victorian high society flocked to the opening of The Langham, London, one of Europe’s earliest grand hotels, which sought to revolutionise the luxury hotel experience. It’s been blazing a trail for high-end hospitality ever since. Elegant rooms balance original 19th-century features with sleek contemporary styling and offer the perfect pied à terre at the heart of the UK capital. Book an executive room or suite and you’ll also get access to the exclusive amenities of the Langham Club, including champagne, concierge services, and an all-day food selection designed by two-Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr.
It’s Roux, too, who oversees the hotel’s other dining options, so you’re in for a gastronomic treat whether you’re taking afternoon tea at Palm Court, enjoying reimagined pub fare in the Wigmore or learning trade secrets in the in-house cookery school. Enjoy a treatment in the lavish Chuan spa and don’t miss out on creative cocktails in super-chic Artesian, a four-time winner in the World’s 50 Best Bars Awards.
For more information, visit langhamhotels.com/london
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