Have Yourself a Balmy, Palmy Christmas…The Best Tropical Destinations to Book this Festive Season

Have Yourself a Balmy, Palmy Christmas…The Best Tropical Destinations to Book this Festive Season

With long-haul travel back on the agenda this Christmas, why not switch up your holiday plans and tick off a dream destination from your bucket list, complete with sugar-white sands, turquoise lagoons and swaying palms, whilst basking in tropical climates.

From the Maldives to Tanzania, we’ve rounded up the best places for the ultimate tropical break this festive season, whether traveling with family, friends, or your other half.

A Festive Wonderland at The World's Most Secluded Private Island
At Thanda Island, Tanzania

Nestled within Tanzania's Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, Thanda Island , the world’s only exclusive-use private island surrounded by a protected marine reserve, is probably the most reclusive island escape out there. Offering guests utter seclusion and perfect peace, in a location off-limits to everyone but the resort staff, at Thanda guests could be forgiven for believing they’re the only people on the planet. Providing unbeatable experiences this festive season, guests can enjoy scuba diving with the East African Coast’s rich marine life, enjoy a bird’s eye view with a tour in Thanda’s own helicopter, relax in the traditional copper bath on the most a secluded part of the island, embark on a deep sea-fishing cruise or dive with whale sharks - to name a few. Epicures will savor the island’s unforgettable dining experiences, such as a Swahili feast, a decadent affair that includes curries with hand-squeezed coconut milk, fresh lobster, and oysters.

For more information and to book, visit thandaisland.com

Conscious Christmas Celebrations
At Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi

Those dreaming of a white Christmas this year can swap the snow and chilly temperatures with the white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters of the Maldives. Set on the picturesque Shaviyani atoll, Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi’s festive calendar showcases the destination in all its natural beauty, celebrating the biodiversity it harbours and the rich marine life that thrives under the resort’s sustainability initiatives. Guests can embrace the Christmas spirit with an array of interactive and immersive activities including an indulgent tasting menu by Michelin Star Chef Mickael Viljanen, meditation and energy healing therapies with visiting Reiki masters, and festive themed workshops at the new Sustainability Lab where travellers can turn waste into wonder and create bespoke gifts. Celebrations will commence with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony on the 20th of December, followed by a specially curated Christmas dinner and brunch, a visit from Santa for the tiniest of travellers, a New Year’s Eve Ocean Disco complete with the ultimate tribute performances, and a decadent New Year’s Day Brunch.

For more information and to book, visit www.fairmont.com/maldives

A Maldivian Festive Escape
At The Residence Maldives

This Christmas, leave the coats and scarves at home and head for the inviting blues of tranquil Maldivian lagoons. The Residence by Cenizaro invites couples and families alike to celebrate in paradise this festive season and mark the start of the new year in the ultimate luxury. Consisting of two separate resorts connected with the longest resort-to-resort bridge in the Maldives, The Residence Falhumaafushi, a couple’s paradise and The Residence Dhigurah, an oasis for families, offer a selection of carefully curated experiences for all ages. From diving with Santa Claus and embarking on a sunset dolphin cruise, to dancing the night away at the Christmas Eve Gala and the 2023 New Year countdown party, this year’s celebrations promise to provide an unforgettable holiday for all. After the festivities, guests are invited to soothe sore heads and feet at the resorts’ Spa by Clarins, the brand’s only in the Maldives.

Book 45 days in advance and receive 25% off best available rates. For more information and to book, visit www.cenizaro.com/theresidence/maldives

Festive Soul-Searching in Bali
At COMO Shambhala Estate

Wellness-seekers should head to COMO Shambhala Estate, buried deep in Ubud’s spiritual junglescape. Bordered by verdant flora and with views over the tumbling ravine, the private villas are unsurpassed – muslin-swathed four posters, private infinity pools and teak verandas offer a completely private experience. Soak up the sun on a guided hike, passing ancient shrines and watery rice paddies, or cycle through local villages and markets, before embarking on a tailored wellbeing journey back at the estate. Wellness programmes are accompanied by a festive culinary line-up of traditional Balinese dishes, served to the backdrop of live local music and dance performances.

For further information and to book, visit: https://www.comohotels.com/en/comoshambhalaestate

Festive Getaway Under the Sun at COMO Maldives
At COMO Cocoa Island

COMO Cocoa Island is offering an array of exciting experience-focused programmes to welcome the New Year in, in style. Dive into an underwater light show on a night-time snorkelling adventure, learn the art of massage at the island’s whitewashed COMO Shambhala Retreat or master the art of meditation for moments of complete serenity. Guests can also expect culinary events to delight every food-lover from Chef in Residence and Michelin Green Star awardee, Chef Stephane Carrade - from poolside fine dining to half-day experiences that include fishing, preparation and seafood set lunches.

For further information and to book, visit: https://www.comohotels.com/en/cocoaisland

Christmas on The Most Luxurious Tropical Island
At Velaa Private Island

Treat yourself this Christmas to the most luxurious gift of a stay at Velaa Private Island. Nestled within the constellation of islands that form the Noonu Atoll in the Maldives, the resort takes exclusivity to the next level. Home to three exquisite restaurants for you to experience during your stay, including their signature restaurant Aragu, named one of Asia’s best restaurants, in addition to its own private beach, state-of-the-art spa, paddle court, jet ski, semi submarine, private snow room and private yacht, Velaa offers something for every taste. Specially curated for the Christmas season, guests can enjoy a variety of festivities from a Christmas Eve Sunset Cocktail Party and Gala Dinner to an opening ceremony of Velaa’s grand gingerbread house. Santa will also be making an appearance, arriving on Velaa’s shores with gifts for the younger guests and celebratory drinks for the adults.

For more information and to book, visit: www.velaaprivateisland.com

Rock House – Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Just opened in May in Providenciales, the most popular island of the Turks and Caicos archipelago, Rock House is the only spot on the island that offers views of all the nightly fireworks shows during the holidays, making it an ideal resort to celebrate at this winter. Built directly into Providenciales’ limestone cliffside along the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, Rock House offers a more relaxing, intimate option away from the bustling resorts along Grace Bay Beach and perfect for travelers looking for some true R&R this season. The new resort brings Amalfi Coast style to the Caribbean with 46 chic studios and freestanding homes made of white excavated limestone that boast private outdoor pools and terraces, lush outdoor shower gardens, and floor-to-ceiling windows that maximize the drop-dead views of the island’s renowned turquoise water. The resort also features an al fresco Italian restaurant, the sexy Cave Bar tucked into the cliffside, in-room spa treatments, a secluded white-sand beach and a jetty stretching into the ocean that illuminates at night for a romantic spot to take holiday photos or welcome the new year.

Buahan, A Banyan Tree Escape – Bali, Indonesia

Located nearby the small Buahan village and nested behind layers of impenetrable flora in the heart of the Balinese jungle, Banyan Tree Group’s Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape offers 16 completely open-air villas, providing the ultimate space for year-end personal discovery through a rewilding of self via a “no walls, no doors naked experience in communion with nature.” The property is constructed with sustainable, locally sourced materials, and culinary offerings are prepared with regional ingredients in a fully open back of house setting - creating the essence of communal living and the perfect place for travelers to reset in the sun ahead of the new year.

Alaia Belize Autograph Collection – Ambergris Caye, Belize

Situated in the idyllic and historic town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, Alaia Belize operates as the first true four diamond resort on Ambergris Caye. The beachfront hotel sits just 600 meters from the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve offering stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and featuring a piano bar, wine club, three restaurants, four bars, an onsite dive shop, three pools including Belize’s first-ever suspended rooftop pool and lounge with 360-degree views. The design-forward hotel features 155 guest rooms and suites, ranging from studios to three bedrooms, with a natural color scheme to complement the stunning oceanfront views.