1. Primland, Meadows of Dan Virginia
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, this is the perfect secluded retreat you've been looking for. While winter is definitely the resort's off-season, there's still plenty to do in and around the massive 12,000 acre property. For many people though, Primland (one of the top ranked resorts in the country) is the ideal winter getaway to do nothing at all. Ample fireplaces, complimentary S'Mores making kits and delicious food all come together to make this the winter lodge of your dreams. If you are interested in doing more than sitting by the fire, then be sure to join in on the resort's nightly Tour of the Universe. The only luxury resort in the world that has its own professional grade telescope along with Observation Dome, the staff astronomer leads guests on a tour of the heavens showing planets and galaxies most of us have never before seen. It's a fun activity for all ages and a great way to take advantage of the resort's secluded mountain location, far from any possible light pollution.
When it's winter here in the US that means that summer is in full swing in Australia and spending time at one of the most unique, and luxurious, resorts in the Land Down Under is the perfect way to relax. Silky Oaks Lodge offers an experience nearly impossible to find anywhere else in the world. Located adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage protected Daintree Rainforest and Wet Tropics region, Silky Oaks has incorporated all the best elements of the jungle into its refined and private luxury experience. Silky Oaks is made up of a series of small cottages that they call tree houses. Perched high on hills overlooking the jungle or nearby river, the tree houses offer a secluded and luxurious experience for every guest. Silky Oaks has also done a great job of embracing its natural surroundings by offering walks through the forest, a private swimming hole, kayaking on the hotels river and a spa that is one of the best I've ever been to. Silky Oaks is close to Port Douglas, a great spot from which to explore the Great Barrier Reef.
If it's an island getaway you're after, then consider one of my favorite Caribbean islands Curacao. Part of the Dutch Indies, Curacao is unlike many other Caribbean islands in that it has somehow managed to preserve its quirky personality, while at the same time welcoming tourists from around the world. One of the best places from which to explore this colorful island is the equally colorful Curacao Marriott. With an enviable position on the island, you can while away the hours by the pool or beach and be sure to order a sundowner for sunset - the hotel has one of the best vantage points on the island to enjoy it. But also be sure to wander around the island's capital city Willemstad as well, to see the famously colorful buildings lining the streets and to learn more about a true Dutch outpost in the middle of the Caribbean.
Personally, I love experiencing real winter, you know with lots of snow, dogsledding and hot drinks by the fire and one destination that excels in all things wintery is the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. One of the old, classic Fairmont properties found around Canada, the Jasper Park Lodge is somewhat unique in that it's in the middle of the massive, and beautiful, Jasper National Park. Without a doubt, winter is not their high season but I think that's because most people haven't discovered how much fun Jasper can be when it's cold outside. Whether it's world class skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, ice hiking or again, sitting by the fireplace, you can be as active (or not) as you want to be in this luxury mountain escape.
Winter is a famously popular time of year for those of us in colder climes who are looking for a little bit of warmth to head south to Florida. My suggestion though is to avoid the cluttered coasts and instead head to one of my favorite quiet getaways: Amelia Island. A short and easy drive from Jacksonville, this small island has all the beach charm you're looking for and if you stay at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island, then you'll be pampered by their amazing service as well. There you can enjoy doing nothing along the shore, or be more adventurous and explore the island on horseback. No matter your style of travel, Amelia Island, and especially the Ritz Carlton, is a great place for a quick escape.
Where are your favorite places to escape to in the winter months?
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