Ditch the cold this year and opt for quality time with your family in your own private villa. Enjoy a semi-Olympic infinity pool on a cliff of a Panamanian rainforest or overlook volcanoes in Guatemala. It’s seriously time to take holiday traditions up a notch!
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Located on the shore of Lake Atitlan in the heart of the Guatemalan Highlands, Casa Palopó — the country’s first Relais & Chateaux hotel — offers a quiet retreat for the discerning traveler this holiday season. Once a private home, common living areas are adorned with brightly colored walls and original Latin American paintings and artifacts, honoring the local culture throughout. The hotel stands out for its panoramic views of Lake Atitlan — coined by Aldous Huxley as “too much of a good thing.” Beyond the lake, three magnificent volcanoes: the San Pedro, Atitlan and Toliman. If you’ve been extra nice this year, opt for an exclusive villa retreat and book your stay at Villa Palopo — a three-bedroom villa that’s located 150 steps above the main building. Its three master suites offer the best views of the lake and volcanoes, including the spacious bathrooms and showers. The villa is also equipped with a full sized living room, dining room, full kitchen with butler and chef service, and an infinity pool with jacuzzi and outdoor palapa with a fireplace. To arrive in style, guests can book a helicopter transfer from Guatemala City and land on the villa’s own helipad (sorry, no sleighs here!).
Pricing: Starting rates for the villa: $1,141 USD per night
Key Largo, Florida
Travelers seeking an over-the-top luxurious getaway during the holidays can take advantage of the first full-service new resort built in the Upper Keys, Playa Largo Resort & Spa just an hour’s drive from Miami. Travelers can relax and unwind at this coastal chic hotel-within-a-hotel called The Hammocks, featuring a three bedroom Beach House with a wrap-around balcony overlooking stunning ocean views and a private pool. The Beach House sets the stage for the ultimate tropical escape with airy master bedrooms complimented by soft blue hues, spacious en-suite bathrooms, oversized soaking tubs, and a fully-equipped kitchen. No worries, travelers won’t have to lift a finger thanks to their private butler who keeps the kitchen fully stocked. From the moment guests book at The Hammocks, the personal Bungalow Ambassador will work to personalize every aspect of the couples' stay - from their sea plane or yacht arrival, to purchasing their favorite beachside snacks at the local grocery store, to customizing the pillows on the beds. With a simple text message, the Bungalow Ambassador will be at your beck and call so you can enjoy all the resort has to offer. While the Beach House feels completely secluded, guests are just a short stroll away from the main resort and its amenities, including the Ocean Spa offering customized, self-guided treatments, water sport rentals, three on-site restaurants and more.
Pricing: $2,200 per night
Panama City, Panama
This holiday season, claim your own little piece of paradise at an exclusive hideaway perched on a cliff at the edge of a Panamanian rainforest. VIP guests of the Westin Playa Bonita can unwind in ultimate luxury at Casa Naga, a seven suite 25,000 sq. ft. mega villa that’s less than five minutes from the main resort, yet feels worlds away. The villa, inspired by Southeast Asia and influenced by beautiful beach houses of Bali, has all the perks of the five-star hotel. Upon arrival, travelers will walk through the massive front door leading to indoor water landscapes. The other end of the expansive main living area, descends to a semi-Olympic infinity pool that appears as if it extends right into the Pacific, allowing breezes to waft through the open space of the villa. When the sun starts to set, head to the private plunge pool on your guest room balcony and unwind while taking in views of Panama’s famous purple sunsets. It’s luxury and tropical charm all wrapped in one. Too book please
Pricing: $12,000 plus tax with a four-night minimum stay. There is an additional charge of $1,500 a night for use of the master suite. Daily breakfast with private chef and house staff is included in the daily charges.
Switch up the traditional holiday festivities this year and escape to Curaçao, a Dutch-Caribbean treat ready to help travelers celebrate the season. The city is filled with cheer and holiday vibes with the Queen Emma Bridge festively lit up and Christmas decorations all around (think bright lights and a huge Santa Claus!) making Willemstad a winter wonderland in the Caribbean. After perusing through downtown, retreat to Baoase Luxury Resort, Curaçao's only five-star Caribbean hotel. The resort, which is just minutes from the lively downtown area, includes 23 luxe rooms, suites and villas (12 of which feature private plunge pools), a beachfront restaurant, an infinity pool, a coral reef on the outskirts of the private lagoon, and beach butlers who cater to guests' every need during a relaxing day under the sun. The resort’s Asian-inspired spacious villas, which range from one to five bedrooms, often feature outdoor stone showers, fully equipped kitchens and gorgeous palm tree-lined views.
Pricing: Rates at Baoase Luxury Resort range from $575 - $1,500.
Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
Tucked on the shores of Rodney Bay, along one of St. Lucia’s most celebrated beaches, The Landings Resort & Spa exudes a sense of luxury and timeless elegance - perfect for an over-the-top holiday getaway. Complete with beautifully decorated one, two and three-bedroom villa suites soaring above the resort’s private yacht marina or the lush mountains the island is known for, guests are invited to escape the cold and bask in opulent island living. The spacious accommodations offer plenty of room for the whole family to hang - think private balconies featuring plunge pools and enough room for 12 party guests - or just the perfect amount of privacy for a romantic getaway - en-suite dinner for two?
Pricing: Starting from $670/per night