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Winter Sun: The Best Destinations For 2022/23

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When the English weather turns, it’s time to escape…

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If the recent scorching weather has got you feeling anxious about the oncoming cold, you’re not alone. Time to chase the sun across the seasons and plan a winter escape – you’ll need the Vitamin D, anyway! Get some vitamin sea while you’re at it, and check out our pick of the best winter sun destinations for 2022 and beyond…

Best Winter Sun Holidays

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Botswana: Wilderness Safari DumaTau 

Animal lovers can get well and truly stuck in with a stay at Wilderness Safaris’ DumaTau Camp, where guests can immerse themselves deep in the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve. Sharing a home with one of the world’s largest herds of elephants, as well as many other animal species, DumaTau has eight tented suites with private plunge pools and an onsite spa. But the main attraction is the opportunity to experience close-up wildlife encounters. Take the breakfast barge out to see sleeping hippos, spend afternoons watching elephants splash across the Linyanti River and celebrate the night with sundowners on the floating fire pit. 

BOOK: From $1,419 per person sharing per

The Best Safari Holidays

Soneva Kiri Resort, Thailand  - Treepod Dining

Thailand: Soneva Kiri Resort

Based on the belief that luxury and sustainability can work harmoniously, Soneva offers guests the chance to holiday in a secluded island hideaway in the warmest parts of the world. The Soneva Kiri Resort is nestled on an unspoiled island in Thailand, and offers everything from beach tours and snorkelling to Treepod Dining in the highest branches of the rainforest. What truly sets the resort apart, however, is its commitment to being a sustainable business. Soneva has been carbon neutral since 2012, and funds a variety of projects that have a positive environmental, social and economic impact (while offsetting direct and indirect carbon emissions) through the Soneva Foundation.  


The Best Resorts in Thailand

Beach Houses by The Crane, Barbados 

Barbados: Beach Houses by The Crane

Chase the winter sun (and escape the winter chill) with Beach Houses by The Crane, a secluded tropical retreat on the east coast of Barbados. Each home has a breath-taking view of the Atlantic and offers a ‘no tan lines’ level of privacy, so you can feel truly content in your own space. Chill out under the sun in the infinity pool and jacuzzi, or spend an afternoon relaxing on the pool deck as the barbeque gets to work on your dinner. Amp up the luxury of your stay with a private chef or in-villa spa treatments, so you can truly feel the effects of your relaxing getaway.  

BOOK: From $285 (£205) per night for a One Bedroom Villa, including breakfast. 

Bawah Reserve

Indonesia: Bawah Reserve

For that postcard-perfect holiday, look no further than Bawah Reserve. A remote tropical paradise settled northeast of Singapore in Anambas Archipelago, Indonesia, Bawah was previously an uninhabited marine conservation area adorned with turquoise lagoons and unspoilt coral reefs. Today, Bawah Reserve is an officially protected marine area that also invites guests from all over the world to appreciate its natural beauty. The reserve is packed with activities to keep you entertained throughout your stay, from scuba diving and marine conservation to permaculture tours and beach games. Spend the evening dining in the treetops of the rainforest, watch a film at the infinity pool or stargaze the night away with loved ones. 

BOOK: Rates from $1,980 USD (approx. £1,450) per night for two people on a full board basis including daily spa treatment, laundry, in-room minibar and a host of land and water-based activities.  

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Tanzania: Nomad

For ultimate seclusion but high-octane winter sun adventure: look no further than taking a safari with Nomad Tanzania. Featuring a range of safaris across the country, our pick is Nomad Tanzania’s Entamanu. Walk along the rim of the country’s iconic Ngorongoro crater or take a day hike along the rolling highlands. Opting for an off the beaten track getaway doesn’t mean to sacrifce luxury. The camp, which is gorgeously decorated by the works of local creators, boasts views of the crater and the Serengeti national park.  Head between October to May for the landscape to be in its lush, Eden-like prime.  

BOOK: Nomad Tanzinia’s Entamanu starts at $650 per adult per night in low season, and $995 in high season. 

Travel to Tanzania: Five Night Eco Safari

South Africa: The Saxon & Shambala Private Game Reserve

Known as one of Johannesburg’s beloved luxury hotels, The Saxon Hotel is filled with history. Famous for when Nelson Mandela was released from prison, he found refuge in The Saxon, which is where he worked on his biography, Long Walk to Freedom. Sprawling gardens, exquisite art lines the hallways, and the rooms are decorated by local artists and craftspeople. If your seeking respite from city life, why not visit Saxon’s sister property, the Shambala Private Game Reserve. Enjoy a safari experience through the Limpopo bus where you can spot the Big Five through a private game drive.  

BOOK: Starting at £472 per night at The Saxon, and all inclusive stays at Zulu Camp at Shambala Private Game reserve start from £549. 

Maldives: Huvafen Fushi

A watering hole for the fashion set, Kate Moss, Liz Hurley and Naomi Campbell have reportedly stayed at Maldives’ Huvafen Fushi. Descend eight meters below the island for an underwater private dining experience that flickers with fish. A place in its prime for romantic getaways or winter sun retreats, the resort’s 44 villas are each bedecked with a private infinity pool and private deck. Soothe yourself in their couple’s spa treatment rooms featuring panoramic reef views, or if you’re the active type: snorkel one of the Maldives’ best house reefs; fish by sunset or feed stingrays, the choice is yours.  

BOOK: Starting at £568 per night.  

The Best Resorts in the Maldives

Bequia Beach

Caribbean: Bequia Beach Hotel

Out of all the Caribbean islands, Bequia is the laid-back cooler counterpart to its famous sister, Mustique. Bequia Beach Hotel is the understood go-to place on the isle. Throngs of tropical palms, papaya and almond trees line Friendship Bay Beach, where the hotel’s suites and cottages are nestled in. If you manage to prise yourself off the sun loungers: make use of the hotel’s own luxury superyacht available for private charters. Why not also take a complimentary visit to Princess Margaret Beach and spend the day grazing at the infamous bohemian ‘Jack’s Bar’.  

BOOK: Starting from $226 per night. 

Maia Anantara

Seychelles: Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas

Swap chapped elbows for shoulders kissed by the winter sun at newly opened Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas. The architecture blends seamlessly into the landscape so that from the moment your feet touch the sand you’re deeply immersed in tropical paradise (with a little help from meandering gardens designed by Bill Bensley). All of the 30 private villas come with rainforest showers, oversized day beds, your own host and access to scuba diving, watersports and the open-air Anantara spa. The divine Anse Louis beach, with its calming cobalt waves, and tropical garden walkways are always in view.

BOOK: Villas from €2,550, all-inclusive.

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Islas Secas

Panama: Islas Secas

Located just off the Pacific coast of Panama, Islas Secas is one of Central America’s best-kept secrets. Comprising four individual casita sites spread across a privately owned archipelago of 14 islands (sleeping 24 in total), each guest will drift off at night to the sounds of local wildlife in a luxury tent with day beds, plunge pools and sea views. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Coiba National Park is just minutes away, along with coral reefs and protected marine parks where you can dive, snorkel or explore by safari.

BOOK: From $2,500 per night on all-inclusive basis.

The Brando Tetiaroa

French Polynesia: The Brando, Tahiti

Swap the heaving resorts of the French Alps this winter for utopian serenity in French Polynesia. Famously owned for three decades by Marlon Brando, the island of Tetiaroa in Tahiti is home to eco-luxury hotel The Brando – a perfect jumping-off point from which to experience the staggering natural beauty of this area. Unwind in the Varua te Ora Polynesian Spa, nestled in a lagoon once bathed in by Tahitian royalty, explore protected reefs and trails with open-ocean scuba diving and forest walks, or simply revel in the deeply restorative surroundings, powered by solar renewable energy (and soak up some of that winter sun yourself, too).

BOOK: Doubles from €3,300 all-inclusive (two night min.).

Cobblers Cove

Caribbean: Cobblers Cove, Barbados

There is something of old-world glamour that still lingers around destinations like Barbados. Cobblers Cove, one of the Caribbean’s finest family-owned establishments, is one of those rare hotels still steeped in lost-in-time elegance. Behind coral stone walls you’ll find cool bedrooms by Soane Britain decked in rattan and billowing, colourfully printed cottons, while outdoors pink parasols cluster around a retro pool overlooking the ocean. Overflowing with pastel-striped charm and understated grandeur, it’ll draw you back year after year.

BOOK: Doubles from $420 B&B.

The Best Hotels in Barbados


Mauritius: One&Only Le Saint Géran

The very first five-star hotel in Mauritius, but still unmatched by newcomers to the island, One&Only Le Saint Géran is the perfect spot for soaking up some much-needed winter sun. Positioned on its own private peninsula, the resort encompasses the stunning waters of a sheltered lagoon and the sparkling ocean itself. Lined by kilometres of pristine sands with coral reefs on one side and tropical flora on the other, this breathtaking resort doesn’t disappoint. And from Lagoon Rooms with mountain views to villas with private terraces and infinity pools, there’s accommodation for everyone.

BOOK: Doubles from €820 B&B.


British Virgin Islands: The Aerial BVI

‘Purposeful luxury’ is the ethos behind new private island destination The Aerial BVI. And this purpose in particular is wellness, with guests encouraged to grow and heal from the inside out. The resort is set over 43 acres on Buck Island, sleeping 30 guests in five residences. Visitors can try a range of bespoke activities designed to enhance mind, body and soul, including environmental healing, red light therapies, acupuncture, hikes, yoga and ocean water therapy. World-class nutritionist chefs, wellness consultants and spa therapists are also on hand to guide you throughout your stay.

BOOK: From $40,000 per night all-inclusive, four nights min.


Caribbean: Cabot St Lucia

Located on an idyllic emerald stretch on the northern coast of St Lucia sits an exciting new destination for your winter sun bucket list. Cabot St Lucia is primarily a private community, centred around an 18-hole golf course and a luxury resort. In 2022 it will launch 40 new one, two and three-bedroom luxury suites for visitors, enabling them to take advantage of the stunning location, vibrant Beach Club, restaurants, spa and, of course, the golf course. With the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the verdant hills of St Lucia on the other, you couldn’t pick a more breathtaking spot.

BOOK: Suites from $1,200.

The C&TH Guide to St Lucia

The Datai Langkawi WINTER SUN

Malaysia: The Datai Langkawi

Does everything feel just a little too much? Then hide away from it all, deep within a ten-million-year-old Malaysian rainforest. The Datai Langkawi inhabits a paradisaical spot on the island of Langkawi, surrounded by lush vegetation, a tinkling stream, and the Andaman Sea on the horizon. Choose from either a Canopy Collection room with views of the forest and ocean, a Rainforest Villa for enhanced privacy, or a beach villa. Tuck into authentic Malaysian cuisine before heading to the spa for a traditional treatment using ingredients gathered in the rainforest.


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The Nautilus Maldives winter sun

Maldives: The Nautilus

Located on the Maldives’ stunning Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a winter sun trip to The Nautilus is simply unforgettable. It has 26 pristine houses to choose between, from beach cabins to over-water bungalows, all with private pools and dedicated butlers. If you can tear yourself away from your sun lounger, you’ll discover plenty of experiences to keep you busy, from chartering a luxury yacht to diving with manta rays. Or have some downtime in the Solasta Spa, with its glass-bottomed, over-water treatment pavilions and ocean-view yoga studio. And relax.

BOOK: From $2,825 from 15 Dec to 10 Jan 2022.

Safari Series, Kenya

Kenya: The Safari Series

If remote is what you’re after, The Safari Series comprises of six tents spread out across a 50,000-acre private conservatory in north Kenya, the Lolldaiga Hills. You’re unlikely to see another car during your stay – though you will be neighbours with elephants, zebras and buffalos, who frequent the small dam that sits beside the bedroom tents. On safaris – which take place in restored classic Land Rovers, either self-driven or with a guide – you may chance upon roaming lions, leopards, giraffes and cheetahs. As well as marvelling at the animals, it’s a chance to soak up the area’s beautiful vistas, from cedar forests and lakes to views of Mount Kenya.

BOOK: From 380 USD per person per night.

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VIK Chile

Chile: Vik Chile

The location of vineyard hotel Vik Chile was picked to ensure the best quality of grapes for wine – but it also makes a striking winter sun setting. Perched at the top of a hill in the middle of a valley, it’s in prime position for views of both the Andes and the vineyards below. There’s plenty to admire within the hotel’s confines too: Vik Chile is filled with impressive sculptures and paintings – and the building is a work of art in itself, with its golden hue and titanium roof. Go horseback riding, swim in the infinity pool and dine in the glass-walled Milla Milla before settling down in one of the 22 rooms, which are all unique.

BOOK: From USD 800 per night.

Singular Patagonia

Chile: Singular Patagonia

Carved out of a post-Victorian cold storage plant on the cusp of Puerto Natales, Singular Patagonia is one of South America’s most interesting and impressive architectural landmarks. With its isolated location on a remote fjord and windswept views over the Señoret Channel, a trip here feels like an adventure – but one with all the high-end home comforts you’d expect from a top hotel. There’s a large spa, two restaurants and 57 bedrooms – all of which feature floor-to-ceiling windows offering vistas of the Last Hope Sound. Explorers, meanwhile, can get involved with trips to the nearby Torres del Paine National Park, horseback riding and kayaking at Sofia Lake, cave walking tours and fly fishing.

BOOK: From $445 per night.

Castara Retreats in Tobago

Tobago: Castara Retreats

The sparsely populated younger sibling to Trinidad, Tobago is often described as the unspoilt part of the Caribbean, characterised by quiet palm-lined beaches and lush rainforest – perfect for a winter sun getaway. Nestled on a hillside on the edge of a friendly fishing village, Castara Retreats’ 17 eco-conscious treehouses melt seamlessly into this landscape. Slip into the laid-back rhythms of village life with morning yoga classes, waterfall swims, beach strolls and sunset beers in hammocks – plus daily-caught fresh fish at open-air restaurant Caribbean Kitchen. You’ll be joined on the island by an abundance of wildlife: pelicans, dolphins, hummingbirds and – come twilight – glowing fireflies.

BOOK: From £165 per night.

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Sugar Beach, St Lucia

St Lucia: Sugar Beach

Sugar Beach, is set within more than 100 acres of rainforest in the World Heritage-listed Val des Pitons, with stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and the Pitons. The resort features luxury rooms, cottages, bungalows and villas, each of which has its own private plunge pool. The hotel will also be adding to its art collection and will be introducing an art tour to its offering for the season.

BOOK: Double rooms from £350 in the low season, and £895 in the high season.

The Beverly Hills Hotel, LA, USA

Los Angeles: The Beverly Hills Hotel

Enjoy a picture-perfect winter sun escape in LA at Hollywood favourite The Beverly Hills Hotel, which has recently unveiled a chic redesign of its iconic cabanas, overseen by the renowned Champalimaud Design. For the first time since its original installation in the 1940s, the iconic pink Martinique banana leaf wallpaper made by CW Stockwell has been featured. The hotel has also introduced a new bike programme, available to guests at the hotel with new and bespoke Linus banana leaf bicycles available for up to two hours every day.


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Sandy Lane, Barbados

Caribbean: Sandy Lane, Barbados

Known as the first luxury hotel in Barbados, this Caribbean stalwart celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Sandy Lane legends include Aristotle Onassis being rowed in from his yacht while Maria Callas swam ashore with a pet marmoset on her back and Elton John adhering to the New Year’s Eve black-tie dress with a black tie around his thigh, and later giving an impromptu concert at the piano. Care to add to the legends yourself?

BOOK: Double rooms from £1,000 in low season, and £1,469 in high season.

The Setai, Miami, USA

Miami: The Setai

If glitzy US breaks are all about star-spotting, keep your eyes peeled for Kardashians, Hadids and Beckhams at The Setai in Miami. The all-suite property offers spacious accommodation in either the 1930s Art Deco building or the modern Setai skyscraper, one of Miami’s tallest and also home to The Setai Penthouse, spanning the entire 40th floor with a Steinway piano, infinity pool and wraparound city to ocean views.

BOOK: Rates from £450.

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Soneva Jani

Maldives: Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani is Soneva Fushi’s younger, rather snazzier sibling. All rooms are in water villas with a kitchenette, rooftop dining area, private pool, sitting room, bed with retractable roof so you can sleep under the stars. Opt for a villa with a waterslide into the sea for a Maldives novelty you’ll actually enjoy.

BOOK: Doubles from $2,989 (£2,292) B&B.

Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech

Marrakech: Mandarin Oriental

Best until mid-November, autumn is one of the best times to visit Marrakech as the heat of summer has cooled and the crowds are smaller. Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech is situated in 20 hectares of olive groves and gardens featuring 100,000 roses. Enjoy mountain trekking or a traditional hammam or check out the new Discover Essaouira day trip and visit the UNESCO World Heritage site with one of Morocco’s best beach destinations in Essaouira. Highlights include horse riding at sunset, following various film locations of ‘Game of Thrones’ and a tour of the vineyards of the Argan Wine Valley.


Review: Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

Hotel Bel-Air, LA, USA

Los Angeles: Hotel Bel-Air

The Hotel Bel-Air is celebrating its 75th anniversary, celebrating a history rich in glitz and glamour. A-listers and world dignitaries past and present have been frequent guests, with icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly & Cary Grant all taking up residence at the hotel throughout its history. The Prince of Wales once said “I slept better in the Presidential Suite of the Bel-Air than in any other hotel in the world”.


Ant’s Nest, South Africa

South Africa: Ant’s Nest

Situated in The Waterberg, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Ant’s Nest offers the opportunity to catch a some winter sun rays, as well as a glimpse of more than 40 species of game, including giraffe, white rhino and both sable and roan antelope. The main lodge consists of six rooms, each benefiting from its own private veranda and en-suite bathroom. Embark on 4×4 game drives, as well as bespoke experiences such as sundowners and homemade safari breakfasts.


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JOALI Being, Maldives

Maldives: JOALI Being

For something new this season, check out JOALI Maldives, which is launching a new nature immersive wellbeing retreat, JOALI Being, on its very own island nearby (Bodufushi Island). It will be the Maldives’ first pure health retreat and will offer a mix of integrated wellness programmes (and a healthy dose of sunshine, of course). The retreat has been built using Vastu Shastra principles, a scientific ancient Indian system of architecture and design which integrates nature, aiming to “achieve harmony by eliminating negative energies and enhancing the island’s positive energies”.


The Resort Villa

Thailand: The Resort Villa

The Resort Villa in Rayong, Thailand, is the ultimate choice for a sustainable luxury stay. Located on Thailand’s idyllic east coast, with expansive views over the Bay of Thailand, The Resort Villa features eight villas sleeping up to 16 guests, multiple infinity pools, 70 plus full-time staff, a home cinema, spa, and 15-metre aquarium. This private haven is also home to a state-of-the-art solar farm at the property, which provides all the power it requires for air conditioning, lights and swimming pools during the day.


Stay Green: The Resort Villa, Thailand

Jamaica Inn

Caribbean: Jamaica Inn

Inspired by Bond? Guests seeking winter sun will be able to celebrate Ian Fleming’s close association with Jamaica Inn with a James Bond package including outdoor screenings of classic Bond films, themed martini making classes and a tour of iconic Bond locations in Jamaica such as Reynolds Pier and Green Grotto. Former guests at the hotel include Marilyn Monroe and Winston Churchill.


The Saxon & Shambala, South Africa

South Africa: The Saxon & Shambala

Guests can combine a city break in the heart of Johannesburg with a safari experience through the Limpopo bush this winter, with a private game drive spotting the Big Five and a relaxing break at Shambala’s hidden treetop spa. The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa in the city’s Sandhurst offers African-inspired fine-dining at Qunu, treatments at the Saxon Spa, and a concierge service providing a range of guided tours across Johannesburg and Soweto. A three-hour road trip will take guests to the Shambala Private Game Reserve set against the Waterberg Mountains, with guided drives and bush walks spotting ‘The Big Five’ and sundowner cruises on the Douw Steyn Dam.


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Little Kulala, Namibia

Namibia: Little Kulala

Reopened in 2020 with 100% solar energy system, this is the perfect place from which to enjoy the splendour of the Namib Desert, the oldest desert in the world. The Big Daddy sand dune is the largest sand dune in the Sossusvlei region and perfect for trekking. Each of the 11suites comes with a Star Bed experience on the deck, and romantic rooftop dinners and star gazing. Activities include drives to the iconic Sossusvlei dunes, guided nature trails, both mountain trails and riverbed trails as well as self-guided walking trails, guided quad bike rides in the desert, guided fat-bike rides, stargazing and sunrise breakfast or brunches and gin stops and sundowners. Why not round off your trip hot air ballooning over the dunes?


The Residence By Atzaro - Cape Town, South Africa

South Africa: The Residence by Atzaro

This new Villa property launched by Ibiza’s Atzaró Group in Cape Town, South Africa features seven suites, a gym, swimming pool plus a staff suite. The villa has an unparalleled location at the foot of Table Mountain, with stunning panoramic 360 views of the national park, the mountain, Lion’s Head, Devil’s Peak and beyond.


One&Only Le Saint Geran

Mauritius: One&Only Le Saint Géran

The very first five-star hotel on Mauritius, but still unmatched by newcomers to the island, One&Only Le Saint Géran is the perfect spot for winter sun. Positioned on its own private peninsula in the Indian Ocean, the resort encompasses stunning waters of a sheltered lagoon and the sparkling ocean itself. Lined by kilometres of pristine sands with coral reefs on one side and tropical flora on the other, this breath-taking resort doesn’t disappoint.


Nihi Sumba’s Villa Rahasia

Indonesia: Nihi Sumba’s Villa Rahasia

Fancy a villa break this winter rather than a hotel stay? This paradise offers the ultimate in privacy atop the resort’s Spa Safari. The Nihi Sumba resort is a fifty-minute flight from Bali, and is home to this exclusive villa, the only to be situated within the Spa Safari’s boundaries of rolling rice fields and cliff top views. Enjoy views of the Indian Ocean, the sound of crashing waves, your plunge pool, private bales for dining or spa treatments, bush-cooked meals over an open fire, sunset views and plenty of hiking.


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