You're either the type of person who can't wait for all the holiday cheer to begin, or you prefer not to deck the halls at all (or, okay, maybe you want a bit of both). But we're not judging your personal preference! Instead, we're celebrating your style with suggestions for places to go this holiday season to either embrace or escape the festivities. Whichever you prefer, make it easy when you plan a perfect-for-you vacation with an expert agent at Hideaways Travel Services (800-843-4433).
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Do you want to "escape" or "embrace" the holidays this year?
Embracing the Holiday Spirit
Craft Your Most Unforgettable Christmas "Wish" List
At The Sarojin—a contemporary Thai oasis of restoration and harmony set on a seven-mile-long stretch of white-sand beach on the Andaman Sea—you might spend Christmas Eve with an eggnog in hand, but that's where the similarity to grandma's holiday ends. Here, after you've finished your Christmas pudding, you'll head outside to participate in the enchanting Thai tradition of kom loy (spirit lantern), where you'll release lanterns into the sky that capture and carry your seasonal wishes and prayers. Here's one wish that's already granted: Stay 5 nights, and get the 6th night free! Book now with Hideaways (800-843-4433).
Have Yourself a Merry Luxe Christmas
Spend the "Festive Season" at The Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh—an elegant and private 48-acre sanctuary set on its own private beach on Egypt's Red Sea—and succumb to the decadence of the season, with magical moments choreographed in the spa and dive center, and punctuated with over-the-top gourmet dinners on December 24th and December 31st . . . these are the kind of culinary experiences that linger forever in your memory, from the French oyster appetizers to the traditional Christmas pudding for dessert served with gingerbread ice cream and cognac sabayon. Members are invited to read more about The Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh in Mike's trip notes from Egypt.
Go Home—Just Not Your Home—for the Holidays
Gather the clan in one of The Athenaeum's luxury London apartments, and celebrate a modern Dickens Christmas. The "Family Cracker" package includes ice-skating tickets to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, personalized Christmas stockings and gifts for the kids, access to the Christmas movie and storybook library, full English breakfast, and complimentary mulled wine, mince pies, and hot chocolate. Package rates starting from £539.
Enjoy a Gift from Mother Nature Herself
Whether you're an avid skier or an aficionado of the après-ski scene, head to Whistler, British Columbia, and enjoy a quintessential holiday with seasonal treats like Christmas caroling, yuletide culinary treats, and a landscape blanketed by pure white snow and accented each evening with fairy lights twinkling from the trees and buildings. Most Whistler hotels and condos require a minimum stay of 5 nights; book now to avoid the holiday blues.
Escaping the Holiday Spirit
Hey, It's Not Even Winter Here
Set on a rise between the glacial lakes of Nahuel Huapi and Moreno and surrounded by three majestic Andean mountains, Llao Llao Hotel & Resort delivers a 360-degree panorama of Argentina's most breathtaking vistas. And here's one view you might particularly like: In this part of the world, December is a summer month, so instead of bundling up in your warmest coat, you can throw on the sunscreen and hit the golf links or go boating (even Santa will be jealous).
Leave the World—and the Holiday Excess—Far Behind
Little Palm Island, off the coast of Florida, is an exquisite private-island retreat that combines every wonderful little luxury you need, like dinner under the stars with your feet in the sand, without any distractions like telephones to interrupt that leaving-the-world-behind mood. It doesn't have television either, which means you won't have to suffer through another It's a Wonderful Life marathon.
Take a Home-Away-from-Home Holiday
Rent a vacation home in the Caribbean, and enjoy all the comforts of home—space, privacy, your own kitchen, and even your own swimming pool—while leaving all the holiday excess (and the Christmas tree) behind. Most villa rentals have a 7- to 14-night minimum stay over the holidays, and finding affordable airfare can be a challenge, so don't delay—you don't want to be left out in the cold!
Having the Best of Both Worlds
Sail Into a Low-Key Holiday
Enjoy a "Christmas Time" cruise with AmaWaterways, and you'll partake in some holiday revelry--shopping at traditional Christmas markets, sampling holiday fare, and more--but it will be the tasteful kind that leaves you feeling full of good cheer and authentic tidings of comfort and joy. Which means you can have your Christmas cake and eat it, too. These 7-night cruises depart Dec-09-11, Dec-12-11, Dec-19-11, Dec-23-11, and Dec-25-11, from Nuremberg to Budapest (or reverse). Rates start at $2,099 per person. Optional pre- or post-cruise 2-night stay in Prague for $460 per person. Book now with Hideaways (800-843-4433) and receive priceless personal guidance along with a complimentary one-year Hideaways Aficionado Club membership/extension ($195 value) and an in-cabin gift.
Whether you want to embrace or escape the festivities (or do a little of both), make it easy on yourself when you plan a perfect-for-you vacation with an expert planner at Hideaways Travel Services (800-843-4433).