Going places: Need Inspiration for Your Winter Escape? Here are Ideas from Santa Barbara to Saint-Tropez

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Going places: Need Inspiration for Your Winter Escape? Here are Ideas from Santa Barbara to Saint-Tropez

Edited by Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

Need some ideas for your next winter escape? Perhaps a wellness vacation? A ski holiday? Escape to a beach destination? Or be really whimsical and choose based on your astrological sign. BCPM, a travel marketing company, offers these ideas:

Wellness Trips for 2023

Immerse in the Winter Wonderlands of Switzerland: Switzerland is an unparalleled wellness destination full of fresh air, healing activities, and stunning nature. Guests can warm their bodies and souls within their snowy surroundings at Tschuggen Grand Hotel, the perennial favorite among discerning travelers. The onsite Tschuggen Bergoase Spa features incredible design by architect Mario Botta, where natural materials and intentional design come together to promote stillness and grounding. Over 5,000 square metres of space spread over four floors, guests can find indoor and outdoor pools, a mountain sauna with snow terrace, a biosauna, steam room, rooms for treatments with expert therapists. Guests at Tschuggen Grand Hotel can also book experiences like ice bathing, where they’ll dipping in icy waters to deliver stress-relieving endorphins, stimulate the circulatory system, and boost the immune system, and firm the skin.  (https://tschuggencollection.ch/en/hotel/tschuggen-grand-hotel)

Experience a Complete Reset in a German Wellness Retreat: Designed by renowned architect Christoph Ingenhoven, Lanserhof Sylt fully opened in August 2022 as a distinctive health resort on the German island of Sylt. Sylt’s program is overseen by a team of health experts who deliver a wellness experience grounded in medicine and science. Lanserhof Sylt is the ultimate destination for results-driven guests as they embark on journeys to transform their lifestyle habits in a secluded environment. Guests can choose programs lasting up to multiple weeks to address their health goals and concerns of all types. Lanserhof Sylt provides an optimal backdrop for holistic transformation as guests immerse within the luxurious resort grounds and protected harbor surroundings. (lanserhof.com/en/lanserhof-sylt/)

Snowbird Destinations

Trancoso, Brazil: A small beach town on the Bahia coast in Brazil, Trancoso’s appeal lies in its tranquility away from nightlife and busy resorts. As the epitome of tropical relaxation, Trancoso boasts a variety of sprawling beaches, as well as artisanal shops and dining on the Quadrano in the center of this old fishing town. Stay at Hotel Fasano Trancoso, where guests find paradise in the expansive and private bungalows, five-star spa, and plunge pools overlooking the Bahia sea. (www.fasano.com.br/hoteis/fasano-trancoso)

Miami, Florida: Beyond beautiful beaches and a buzzing social scene, Miami is a great destination for art lovers. From exploring the outdoor murals and galleries of Wynwood to the new exhibits and restaurants in the Design District (Cote Miami is a must-try for Korean barbeque), travelers will be inspired by the creative energy at every corner. The theme continues at EAST Miami, the stunning hotel with Feng Shui-inspired room design, infinity light elevators and dining concepts that excite the eyes as much as the palate. (www.easthotels.com/en/miami/)

Saint-Tropez, France: With its sunny and mild climate and natural beauty, the French Riviera is an unexpected destination to find reprieve from the cold. Travelers can troll through the colorful streets and glamorous beaches without the stuffy crowds and enjoy al fresco dining and wines on the cobblestone streets. Guests at Hotel Lou Pinet, the boutique hotel from French hospitality group Maisons Pariente, can make the most of their vacation as they relax by the picturesque pool and immaculate gardens. (www.loupinet.com/)

José Ignacio, Uruguay: Snowbirds will find their sunny escape in Jose Ignacio, with the premiere experience at Posada Ayana, an idyllic 17-room luxury hotel in the vibrant Uruguayan town, steps from the famous Mansa beach. The hotel – opened in November 2021 – is home to James Turrell’s first freestanding Skyspace in South America, aptly named Ta Khut (the light). Guests enjoy private gardens or ocean views and drenched in natural light with floor-to-ceiling windows from every room. The public spaces are equally as stunning with a spacious terrace that houses the on-property restaurant overlooking the gardens and the ocean in close distance. The interiors have been crafted to respect the style of the property and its environs: every piece of furniture is sourced locally from Uruguay or Argentina and the majority is comprised of restored and/or unique vintage pieces from the 50s and 60s. (www.posada-ayana.com)

Winter Wonderlands

Arosa, Switzerland: Winter sports aficionados know to visit Arosa – the largest interconnected skiing area in the region of Graubünden – for nearly150 miles of flawless trails. Even those who are sports-averse can find winter magic with ice skating, horse-drawn carriage rides, and après-ski dining. The Tschuggen Collection has two properties in Arosa, perfect for getting the most out of the region at Valsana Hotel and Tschuggen Grand Hotel. Both hotels are completely carbon neutral and feature unique experiences such as a gondola straight to the ski mountain, private ski shops, holistic wellness spas, outdoor butlers to curate regional experiences, and Michelin-starred restaurants. (tschuggencollection.ch/en/hotel/valsana-hotel)

Méribel, France: With its charming chalet-style buildings and pristine forest surroundings, Méribel is a charming ski destination for travelers of all ages. For the ideal ski-in ski-out experience, five-star boutique hotel Hotel Le Coucou offers a warm and inviting respite. The hotel’s chalet exterior reflects the Alpine landscape, and all rooms feature a balcony offering immaculate views of the snowy mountains. For families looking to experience Méribel the hotel has four-bedroom ski in- ski-out chalets. Parents will also appreciate the Kid’s Club, which engages young travelers with daily activities, like storytelling sessions, arts and crafts workshops, and hands-on cooking demonstrations. (www.lecoucoumeribel.com)

Edinburgh, Scotland: Rich with heritage, Edinburgh’s coldest months make a lovely winter retreat for those who curious about arts and culture. Bundle up and hike up UNESCO World Heritage Site Calton Hill or the extinct volcano Arthur’s Seat, both of which offer unforgettable city vistas. Then, enjoy afternoon tea and stroll through Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh Castle and other historic sites throughout the city. Virgin Hotels Edinburgh, located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, acts as the perfect launchpad for exploring the city, like a walk down the Royal Mile for an endless selection of shops, galleries and restaurants. (virginhotels.com/edinburgh/)

Where to Go Based On Your Horoscope

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19) – Paris, France: Paris is a no brainer for Capricorns, who love to learn, experience culture and take immense pride in their worldly personas. Le Grand Mazarin, which opens in April 2023, will have any Capricorn feeling like they have lived in Paris their whole life. A stone’s throw from the Seine, the hotel has been reimagined by famed architect Martin Brudnizki with whimsical décor inspired by 17th-century France that feels true to the area’s cultural heritage yet still luxurious for today’s traveler. (www.legrandmazarin.com/)

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18) – Glasgow, Scotland: Often referred to as the “non-conformist” of the signs, an Aquarian is constantly seeking liberation over flashy indulgences. A perfect destination for this air sign is the city of Glasgow, offering culture without the crowds of nearby Edinburgh. Opening in Spring 2023, Virgin Hotels Glasgow is an ideal base for exploring the city. Just steps away from world-class institutions like Citizen’s Theatre and Gallery of Modern Art, the hotel is a doorway to all the local culture the Aquarian wants to explore. (virginhotels.com/glasgow/)

Pisces (February 19 – March 20) – Provence, France: Dreamy and compassionate, Pisces are known as the healers of the Zodiac. This laidback and nature-loving group might find themselves in the region of Provence, filled with picturesque landscapes, lavender fields, and quaint villages. Pisces should stay at Hôtel Crillon Le Brave, an intimate hotel comprised of interconnected structures that will spark their appetite for discovery. A visit to the spa, set in an 18th-century stone house, reinforces the feeling of rest and recovery within this private escape. (www.crillonlebrave.com)

Aries (March 21 – April 19) – Arosa, Switzerland: For the naturally curious Aries, the alpine towns of Switzerland would be a dream playground. At The Tschuggen Grand Hotel in Arosa, Aries can cruise on the Tschuggen Express Railway, an ultimate amenity taking them directly to the nearby slopes and hiking trails. In line with this nature loving sign, The Tschuggen Grand Hotel is also 100% climate-neutral and champions sustainability as part of their mission. (tschuggencollection.ch/en/hotel/tschuggen-grand-hotel)

Taurus (April 20 – May 20) – Punta del Este, Uruguay: Taurus is all about comfort, luxury, and a delicious meal. There’s no better place to treat themselves than Hotel Fasano Punta Del Este, the first international hotel from the Brazil-based hospitality brand. Perched on a hill among rock formations, the striking and luxurious hotel merges seamlessly into the natural fabric of its surroundings. During their stay, Taurus can gallivant though the countryside on horseback, sunbathe at the exclusive River Club and indulge in contemporary cuisine at the three onsite restaurants. (www.fasano.com.br/hoteis/fasano-punta-del-este)

Gemini (May 21 – June 21) – New Orleans, Louisiana: Geminis are social, curious and energized by the urban bustle. They’d thrive in New Orleans, ripe with museums, live music, and historical sites to get lost in. Of course, Bourbon Street can’t be missed, where they’ll hop in and out of the bars and dance into the late hours of the night. Virgin Hotels New Orleans, with its sleek design and vibrant onsite bars, make the best place for a Gemini to take in the Big Easy. (virginhotels.com/new-orleans/)

Cancer (June 22 – July 22) – Santa Barbara, California: For this cardinal water sign, family is everything to Cancers, and contentment often means sticking close to home. This makes Santa Barbara – lovingly called the American Riviera – a smart choice for these travelers. The destination is close to home, but the sunshine, warm weather and Pacific Ocean views will make Cancers feel like they’ve been whisked away to paradise. To complete the vacation, stay at El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel, an idyllic hotel with distinctly local architecture, lush gardens, and a beautiful pool that stretches into the horizon. (www.belmond.com/hotels/north-america/usa/ca/santa-barbara/belmond-el-encanto)

Leo (July 23 – August 22) – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Leos love to see and be seen. With a penchant for all things glamorous and flamboyant, a visit to the sun-soaked Rio de Janeiro is surely on the books – ideally during Carnival. During the biggest festival in the world, Leos can dance, sing and eat their way through the streets. The hotel is just as important and Fasano Rio de Janeiro is set right by the waterfront, making it the most ideal home base. Leos can luxuriate in infinity pools with the most amazing seaside views and enjoy the frenetic energy at the buzzy onsite bar. (www.fasano.com.br/hoteis/fasano-rio-de-janeiro)

Virgo (August 23 – September 22) – Sylt, Germany: Virgos thrive on order and discipline, and few places embody this orderly ideal more Lanserhof Sylt. Hidden away in the Wadden Sea far from the urban bustle, Lanserhof Sylt is a wellness retreat for those serious about a health transformation. With the guidance of the property’s health experts, Virgos will be guided through multi-day programs that combine cutting-edge diagnostics, gut-resetting diets and natural healing methods to reach their latest wellness goals. (lanserhof.com/en/lanserhof-sylt/)

Libra (September 23 – October 23) – Saint-Tropez, France: Ruled by Venus – the planet that governs love and beauty – Libras cherish a refined and romantic vibe. What could be better than a getaway in the French Riviera? Vineyards by the gulf, gourmet picnics, and artisanal boutiques will make Libras feel like the main character of their romance movie. At the end of the night, return home to Hotel Lou Pinet, an inviting family-owned hotel with a vintage Bohemian aesthetic that makes guests feel like they’re visiting an old friend. (www.maisonspariente.com/en/hotel-loupinet)

Scorpio (October 24 – November 21) – St. Moritz, Switzerland: The zodiac’s most intense and passionate sign, Scorpios can find soul-invigorating activities at The Carlton Hotel in St. Moritz. There, Scorpios can venture out on a torchlight hike, where they’ll explore the pristine mountains in near-complete darkness, illuminated only by the faint light of a torch. Or they can ice-skate over frozen lakes as the sun sets over the mountains – a majestic experience that connects them to the world like no other. (tschuggencollection.ch/en/hotel/carlton-hotel)

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21) – Angra dos Reis, Brazil: The thrill-seeking Sagittarius gravitates towards places where they can roam and be free. Angra dos Reis, where beaches meet forests on over 300 islands, is a perfect destination for exploration. Hotel Fasano Angra dos Reis, a refined hotel with 60 suites and incredible activities, offers upscale boat tours to neighboring islands, guided hikes through the Atlantic Forest, and even access to a private island, making it the perfect home away from home for the adventurous Sag. (www.fasano.com.br/hoteis/fasano-angra-dos-reis)

Photo: Geminis are social, curious and energized by the urban bustle. They’d thrive in New Orleans, ripe with museums, live music, and historical sites to get lost in. Here, an impromptu band on Frenchman Street © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com
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