Quick winter vacation ideas

Winter is the most beautiful time of year.

If you’re looking for a quick getaway, try one of these five ideas for a winter vacation that won’t break the bank:

Gstaad, Switzerland

gstaad palace

GSTAAD PALACE

From Verbier to Courchevel, Europe certainly has no shortage of glamorous ski towns that attract an ultra-high-net-worth crowd. Old world and impossibly gorgeous, Gstaad has long been a favorite of Monegasque royals—in fact, Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo got married here back in 2014. For those without a standing invite to Valentino’s chalet, the only place to stay is at its grandest dame hotel: Gstaad Palace, which has been owned and meticulously operated by the same family since it opened in 1913.

Gstaad Palace

Los Cabos, Mexico

vacation ideas for winter 2021

ZADUN, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE

There are so many stunning luxury hotels to choose from at this celebrity-adored Baja California destination. One of the newer kids on the block is Zadún, nestled within desert dunes along the dramatic coastline. As part of the exclusive Ritz-Carlton Reserve portfolio, whose resorts are known for their impeccable service, ultra-luxe digs, and celebration of (and seamless blend with) their natural, exotic surroundings, it’s just the kind of place for a winter getaway that is sun-soaked and focused on wellness.

Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

The Berkshires

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THE WHEATLEIGH

Originally built in 1893, the Wheatleigh, a stately Italianate mansion-turned-boutique hotel feels akin to a European chalet come winter. Picture crackling fireplaces, warm wood accents, and an intimate vibe—there are just 19 rooms on property—plus scenic views of the Berkshires. A number of nearby trails are great for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowboarding.

The Wheatleigh

Raton, New Mexico

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KIRK EDWARD GITTINGS

As the second largest private landowner in America, with 2 million acres of it, Ted Turner is basically a real-life John Dutton. Except unlike the Yellowstone patriarch, the media mogul doesn’t mind sharing. Located on 550,000 acres of pristine wildlife in Northern New Mexico/Southern Colorado is Vermejo, a Ted Turner Reserve, the largest property within his hospitality brand. There is a deep focus on conservation, especially in protecting the American bison and Rio Grande cutthroat trout, plus ample creature comforts: five-star accommodations, world-class spa, and incredible food.

Vermejo, a Ted Turner Reserve

Lake Placid, New York

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COURTESY THE WHITEFACE LODGE

If the nightly s’mores around a campfire aren’t enough to draw you to the picturesque Whiteface Lodge in the Adirondacks, the cozy ensuite fireplaces, warm homemade cookies at turndown, and 80+ trails at nearby Whiteface Mountain will do the trick. After a day in the snow, you can cuddle under a wool blanket and gaze at the stars, while enjoying whiskey flights and hors d’oeuvres by the fire.

Bahia Beach, Puerto Rico

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ST. REGIS BAHIA BEACH

Puerto Rico is an easy hop, skip, and a jump away, especially for East Coasters. Located on more than 400 acres of a former coconut plantation, the St. Regis Bahia Beach is just 20 minutes from the verdant paradise that is El Yunque National Forest and has 2 miles of secluded beach, an ocean-front golf course, and private bird sanctuaries. It’s got art cred, too: the resort recently welcomed the arrival of four giant sculptures by the iconic Fernando Botero to add to its already impressive permanent collection.

The St. Regis Bahia Beach

The Dolomites, Italy

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So breathtakingly beautiful are the Dolomite mountains that in 2009, they were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In San Cassiano, one of the charming Alpine villages nestled underneath the region’s imposing peaks, is the Rosa Alpina, which became an Aman partner hotel just last year. That means you can expect all the sleek and ultra-zen-like trappings of the cult hotel brand, coupled with the home-away-from-home warmth that comes from being a family-run property since 1939.

Stowe, Vermont

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COURTESY STOWE MOUNTAIN LODGE

Four words: ski-in/ski-out. That alone would be enough for The Lodge at Spruce Peak to win the hearts of many convenience-seeking skiers and snowboarders, but it also helps that the gondola to the slopes of Mount Mansfield is just steps from the full-service resort and spa. Also on the wintry agenda: dogsledding, ice climbing, and sleigh rides. Not a fan of the great outdoors? Take a dip in the heated outdoor pool, read by the stone fireplaces, or get pampered to the nines at the 21,000 square foot spa.

The Lodge at Spruce Peak

Riviera Maya, Mexico

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ROSEWOOD MAYAKOBA

Don’t be fooled by its proximity to Cancun—the Riviera Maya feels worlds away from the notorious spring break destination, and especially so at Mayakoba, the sprawling eco-resort development that is home to four luxury hotels, including the impeccably serene Rosewood Mayakoba. All accommodations are suites—choose from the lagoon rooms situated within lush mangroves, or two- to three-story oceanview options, or those that are directly on the beach—and each is outfitted with a private plunge pool.

The Bahamas

winter trips

BAHA MAR

Baha Mar, the $4 billion, 1000-acre resort development in Nassau, opened with much fanfare a few years ago. Along with three hotels to choose from—Grand Hyatt, SLS, and Rosewood—the place is a dream especially for families thanks to a brand new 15-acre luxury waterpark that opened this summer. It’s just as much a playground for adults, too: Baha Mar also boasts the largest casino in the Caribbean.

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