Whether you’re looking up to the electrically lit heavens or diving down into Caribbean waters,
this winter, there are several reasons to travel.
1 If a winter weekend at the cottage seems like a dream but the work involved in prep and maintenance throughout the year seems like a nightmare, consider the family-owned Lodge at Glendorn. The Relais & Château property sits on a 1,500-acre wooded estate in northern Pennsylvania, and guests can choose from one of 12 luxe cabins. Though labelled the Girlfriends Getaway package, the following two-night stay can be enjoyed by anyone in need of unwinding: a full day at the on-property spa, which uses seasonally foraged ingredients in its treatments, a cooking class and wine and cheese tastings, plus a private bonfire accompanied by house-made s’mores. Packages start at US$3,358.30, double occupancy, not including spa services (though guests receive a 5 per cent discount). Don’t forget your board games for the true cottage experience.
2 The recent arrival of the St. Regis hotel in Mumbai, the Starwood hotel chain’s 34th, makes it possible to experience India with new levels of decadence. Located in the commercial district of Lower Parel, it has the country’s tallest hotel tower — and the city’s highest bar and nightclub — overlooking both the metropolis and the Arabian sea, and contains four world-class restaurants and three bars. Save time for a meal at Seven Kitchens, known for its brunch.
3 Christmas lights are nice, but they’re nothing compared to what’s up north. Nature Tours of Yukon has exclusive packages for groups of up to six people to see the Northern Lights. Travelling to the Yukon and Arctic Circle to capture the aurora borealis and landscape of the snow-covered northern mountains might not sound like luxury, but the once-in-a-lifetime views are the stuff bucket lists are made of. (No wonder photographers are encouraged.) Seven-day trips run from November to March, from $2,395.
4 Shake off winter with Ride and Seek via kid-friendly cycling tours in coastal Vietnam so that the whole family can take in the southeast Asian country’s rich heritage sites and national parks — and stay in four-star hotels along the way. March 20-26, 2016. Prices start at US$2,995.
5 A new dive centre on the Southern Grenadines’ private island of Petit St. Vincent offers PADI certifications, marine-biologist-guided underwater diving tours and education on the area’s marine ecosystems. It should be noted that the centre wasn’t opened by just anyone: Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of Jacques, is the one behind the operation. Beyond the standard PADI courses, Cousteau Diving runs children’s courses as well as specialty classes for night diving and other niche underwater exploration. And as of early 2016, the country will be served by direct flights from the U.S., Canada and Europe, thanks to the new Argyle International Airport.