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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 – whether that’s Christmas travel or a spot of sun to break up the season. 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 hotels and destinations for 2022 and beyond…

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Winter Sun: The Best Destinations For 2022/23

These are the best destinations to visit in the winter (around December to April):

  • Maldives average temperature 28°C
  • Morocco – average temperature 21°C
  • Caribbean average temperature 28°C
    • Barbados  average temperature 30°C
  • Thailand – average temperature 29°C
  • Indonesia – average temperature 27°C
  • Canary Islands – average temperature 21°C
  • Seychelles – average temperature 29°C
  • California & Florida, USA – average temperatures around 20°C
  • Panama – average temperature around 30°C
  • Mauritius – average temperature around 24°C
  • Chile – average temperature around 28°C
  • Safari holidays: Botswana, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya

Best Winter Sun Holidays To Book Now

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Maldives

The lovely Maldivian weather means this archipelago is a wonderful place to visit year-round. But the sunny climes of the Maldives are appreciated most by British tourists when the UK is at its coldest and wettest – that is, in the depths of winter. There are over 150 resorts to choose from, and luckily here at C&TH we have collated a number of guides to help you choose the best for your needs:

Sustainable Hotels

Best For Wildlife Spotting

Family-Friendly Resorts

How To Get To the Maldives From the UK

London Heathrow airport is the only UK airport with direct flights to the Maldives. You could alternatively from Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh or Belfast with a stopover.

Where To Stay in the Maldives

Huvafen FushiA watering hole for the fashion set, this resort’s 44 villas are each bedecked with a private infinity pool and private deck. huvafenfushi.com

The Nautilus: Located in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this small resort (with 26 houses) provides an unforgettable winter sun experience, whether that’s because of the spa, the butlers, chartering a luxury yacht, or swimming with manta rays. thenautilusmaldives.com

Soneva Jani: A snazzy sibling to Soneva Fushi, all rooms at Soneva Jani have a kitchenette, rooftop dining area, private pool, sitting room, bed with retractable roof so you can sleep under the stars. soneva.com

JOALI Being: This immersive nature retreat (the first of its kind in the Maldives) offers a mix of integrated wellness programmes, 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’. joali.com

Seven Travel: This positive-impact, luxury travel company specialises in tailor-made milestones trips, and can create bespoke Maldives itineraries. Possible activities include: private dining, stargazing, snorkelling, and a trip to Maalhos, the Maldives’ first zero-waste island. seventravel.co.uk

Image: Huvafen Fushi.

Morocco

Morocco is a year-round favourite – perfect for a milder spot of winter sun amid gorgeous scenery, with average winter temperatures around 21°C.

How To Get To Morrocco

Fly direct to Marrakech, Morocco from Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Stansted, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham or Edinburgh airport.

Where To Stay In Morocco From the UK

Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech: A desert oasis 20 minutes from the Medina, the Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech boasts 134 rooms, suites and villas each with a contemporary design and a terrace peering over manicured gardens. fairmont.com

Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech: Situated in 20 hectares of olive groves and gardens featuring 100,000 roses, head here for mountain trekking, 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. mandarinoriental.com

Royal Mansour Marrakech: Celebrating the stunning saffron harvest, the Royal Mansour – with its four acres of lush gardens – is ideal for an early-winter escape. royalmansour.com

Le Farnatchi: Led by British hotelier James Wix, six merchant houses make up the Le Fanatchi riad, filled with authentic interiors and furnishings sourced from nearby. You can’t miss the glimmering emerald courtyard pool, but make sure you don’t miss the marble-clad Farnatchi Spa and the esteemed Le Trou Au Mur restaurant. lefarnatchi.com

Image: Fairmont Royal Pal Marrakech.

Bequia Beach

Caribbean

The Caribbean is a dreamy winter sun destination, with hot and dry weather drawing thousands of visitors to the isles. But with more than 700 islands and 13 nations comprising the Caribbean, it’s easier said than done to choose your location.

How To Get To The Caribbean From the UK

The UK & Europe chapter of the Caribbean tourist organisation notes that: ‘Around 18 operators fly to the Caribbean with direct flights from UK international airports with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic to Jamaica, Anguilla, The Bahamas, Barbados, Saint Lucia and Antigua.

‘For Grenada, Nevis, St. Kitts, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks & Caicos, you would normally make a stop in Antigua, Nassau or Saint Lucia,’ it says.

Where To Stay In The Caribbean

Bequia Beach Hotel: Bequia is laid-back and cool, and this hotel is the understood go-to place on the isle, with throngs of tropical palms, papaya and almond trees lining Friendship Bay Beach, where the hotel’s suites and cottages are nestled. bequiabeachhotel.com

The Aerial BVI, British Virgin Islands: This resort is set over 43 acres on Buck Island, sleeping 30 guests in five residences, and 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. aerialbvi.com

Cabot St Lucia: On an idyllic emerald stretch of coast, Cabot St Lucia is primarily a private community centred around an 18-hole golf course and a luxury resort. But 2022 has seen the launch of 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. cabotsaintlucia.com

Castara Retreats, Tobago: 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. castararetreats.com

Sugar Beach, St Lucia: 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, this resort features luxury rooms, cottages, bungalows and villas, each of which has its own private plunge pool. viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

Image: Bequia Beach Hotel.

Beach Houses by The Crane, Barbados 

Barbados

If you’re looking for adventure, exploration and shopping – and you’re looking to narrow down your Caribbean hotel hunt efficiently – look no further than Barbados.

How To Get To Barbados From the UK

You can fly directly to Barbados from Gatwick, Heathrow, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Glasgow, Manchester or Newcastle airport.

Where To Stay In Barbados

Beach Houses by The Crane: This secluded tropical retreat on the east coast of Barbados is home has a breath-taking view of the Atlantic, and each villa offers a ‘no tan lines’ level of privacy. beachhouses.bb

Cobblers Cove: One of the Caribbean’s finest family owned establishments, this 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. cobblerscove.com

Sandy Lane: Known as the first luxury hotel in Barbados, 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? sandylane.com

Image: Beach Houses by The Crane.

Soneva Kiri Resort, Thailand  - Treepod Dining

Thailand

For white sand beaches, dramatic landscapes, rustic shacks, and a glimpse of sun amid the wintery cold, head to Thailand.

How To Get To Thailand From the UK

You can fly directly from London Heathrow to a variety of cities in Thailand; to Phuket from Gatwick or Manchester airport; or indirectly from a range of airports across the UK.

Where To Stay In Thailand

Soneva Kiri ResortBased on the belief that luxury and sustainability can work harmoniously, the Soneva Kiri Resort is nestled on an unspoiled island and offers everything from beach tours and snorkelling to Treepod Dining in the highest branches of the rainforest. soneva.com

The Resort Villa: This sustainable luxury stay in Rayong has idyllic surroundings and expansive views over the Bay of Thailand, with eight villas sleeping up to 16 guests, multiple infinity pools, 70 plus full-time staff, a home cinema, spa, and 15-metre aquarium. theresortvilla.com

The Standard, Hua Hin: Just steps from the Gulf of Thailand, this beloved beach getaway combines soft sand and lush greenery with bright interiors and delicious dining. standardhotels.com

Image: Soneva Kiri.

Bawah Reserve

Indonesia

In the equatorial Indonesia, temperatures rarely drop below 20°C throughout the year, with the months of December to April typically sitting at a balmy average temperature of 27°C. From Bali to Jakarta, it’s a gorgeous winter sun destination.

How To Get To Indonesia From the UK

There are no direct flights from the UK to Indonesia, but connecting flights are easy to find, with common stopover destinations being Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok – you could even make it a multi-destination trip.

Where To Stay In Indonesia

Cap Karoso: Launching in December 2022 on the tip of the magical Sumba island, this 47-room and 20-villa resort is set to be an eco-conscious haven, complete with its own organic farm. capkaroso.com

Bawah Reserve: This remote tropical paradise in the Anambas Archipelago was previously an uninhabited marine conservation, and today maintains protected marine status, but with guests invited from across the world to appreciate its natural beauty. bawahreserve.com

Nihi Sumba’s Villa Rahasia: A 50-minute flight from Bali, this villa paradise offers the ultimate in privacy, surrounded by rolling rice fields, cliff top views, and the sound of crashing Indian Ocean waves. nihi.com

Bali: Potato Head, Bulgari Resort, and more.

Image: Bawah Reserve.

a path through buildings and palm trees

Canary Islands, Spain

For a milder spot of winter sun relatively close to the UK (around four hours via aeroplane), head to the Canary Islands. Situated off the west coast of Morocco, temperatures are relatively stable year-round, with a moderate 21°C average in the winter months. With eight main islands to choose from, head to southern Tenerife or southern Gran Canaria for the hottest temperatures.

How To Get To the Canary Islands From the UK

The Canary Islands are well-served by airports in the UK, making it incredibly easy to get there, especially if you opt for Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuertaventura or Gran Canaria.

Where To Stay In The Canary Islands

Bahia del Duque & Las Villas, Tenerife: Surrounded by lush, subtropical gardens, this family-friendly hotel offers endless fun, a wellness retreat, stunning views across the Atlantic, and nine restaurants (including one with a Michelin star). Read our full review here. thetaishotels.com

Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity, Gran Canaria: With 313 chic rooms, this is one of Gran Canaria’s most luxurious resorts. Situated in the south of the island, it also benefits from winter’s hottest temperatures. salobrehotel.com

Hotel Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora, Tenerife: Situated at the foot of Mount Teide, this resort boasts Europe’s longest salt-water infinity pool. There’s also a Clarins spa, Atlantic views, a heated pool, and delicious cuisine. melia.com

Image: Bahia del Duque & Las Villas.

Maia Anantara

Seychelles

Known for its soft sandy beaches, idyllic island vibe and clear waters, the Seychelles’ tropical climate means it never gets cold here – where better for a winter sun escape?

How To Get To The Seychelles From the UK

You can fly directly to the Seychelles from London Heathrow airport, or indirectly via a range of UK airports. Common stopovers include Paris, Frankfurt, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Where To Stay In The Seychelles

Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas: With architecture that blends seamlessly into the landscape, from the moment your feet touch the sand at Anantara Maia, you’re deeply immersed in tropical paradise (with a little help from meandering gardens designed by Bill Bensley). anantara.com

Four Seasons Desroches: In the Seychelles’ remote and less-visited Outer Islands in the Amirantes Bank atoll – six kilometres of sandy coral island teeming with beaches and forests of towering palms – sits hidden villas with breezy interiors and a beachy-chic vibe. fourseasons.com

Image: Anantara Maia.

Islas Secas

Panama

This transcontinental country famously separates the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, northern and southern America. It is rich in culture, and beautifully sunny for a spot of winter sun. To avoid the humidity, wait until the new year to pay a visit.

How To Get To Panama From the UK

There are no direct flights from the UK to Panama, but indirect flights are available with common stopovers including Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid and Frankfurt.

Where To Stay In 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. islassecas.com

Image: Islas Secas.

The Beverly Hills Hotel, LA, USA

USA: California & Florida

For a milder experience of these coastal southerly US states, head to California and Florida for a spot of winter sun amid a city break or hiking holiday.

How To Get To California From the UK

You can fly directly to a range of cities in California from London Heathrow airport, or indirectly via London, Paris, Amsterdam or Frankfurt. You could alternatively make your trip multi-destination and fly direct to New York City (from London, Manchester or Edinburgh airport) first.

How To Get To Florida From the UK

You can fly directly to Orlando, Florida from London or Manchester airport; directly to Miami or Tampa from London Heathrow; or indirectly from a range of UK airports.

Where To Stay In The USA

The Beverly Hills Hotel, California: This picture-perfect Los Angeles winter sun escape is a Hollywood favourite, with a recent chic redesign of its iconic cabanas, overseen by the renowned Champalimaud Design. dorchestercollection.com

The Setai, Florida: Go star-spotting in Miami at The Setai, an all-suite property that has played host to the Kardashians, Hadids and Beckhams. thesetaihotels.com

Hotel Bel-Air, California: King Charles once said, ‘I slept better in the Presidential Suite of the Bel-Air than in any other hotel in the world’. Convinced? dorchestercollection.com

Hotel Greystone, Miami Beach, Florida: This historic and iconic art deco hotel is airy and welcoming by day, but moody and jazzy by night, with a live music ensemble and singalong piano bar, to be enjoyed poolside or on a chic rooftop. greystonehotel.com

Thompson Hollywood, California: This new luxury hotel opened in 2021 in the heart of LA, with 190 mid-century inspired guestrooms, 16 suites, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a sophisticated dining concept from acclaimed LA chef Lincoln Carson, and a destination rooftop lounge and pool with panoramic city views. hyatt.com

Image: The Beverly Hills Hotel.

LUX* Le Morne from a distance, with blue ocean in the foreground and a mountain in the background

Mauritius

Hot days and balmy evenings make Mauritius – an island in the Indian Ocean, to the east of Madagascar – an ideal winter sun destination.

How To Get To Mauritius From the UK

You can fly directly to Mauritius from London Gatwick or Heathrow airport.

Where To Stay In Mauritius

One&Only Le Saint GéranMauritius’s first five-star hotel, this private peninsula resort is the perfect spot for soaking up some much-needed winter sun, with pristine sand, stunning waters of a sheltered lagoon, and the sparkling ocean itself. oneandonlyresorts.com

SALT of Palmar: With the local community at its heart, this adults-only resort treats visiting culture vultures and foodies to unique farm-to-fork experiences. saltresorts.com

LUX* Le Morne: Between the towering Le Morne Brabant and a beryl-blue lagoon, LUX* Le Morne has a little bit of something for everyone: romance for honeymooners, a spa for wellness seekers, and five swimming pools for families looking for a united escape. luxresorts.com

Image: LUX* Le Morne.

VIK Chile

Chile

Hottest in January and February, get your dose of winter sun in Chile this season, where incredible vistas await.

How To Get To Chile From the UK

You can fly directly from London Heathrow airport to Santiago, Chile.

Where To Stay In Chile

Vik Chile: This vineyard hotel makes a striking winter sun setting, perched at the top of a hill in the middle of a valley with views of both the Andes and the vineyards below. vikwine.com

Singular Patagonia: This intriguing architectural landmark – situated on a remote fjord and windswept views over the Señoret Channel – was carved out of a post-Victorian cold storage plant on the cusp of Puerto Natales. Fifty-seven rooms, a large spa and two restaurants promise luxe relaxation amid the exploration. thesingular.com

Image: Vik Chile.

DumaTau

Safari Holidays

Winter is the ideal time to go on that safari holiday you’ve been dreaming of.

Winter Sun Safari Destinations

Wilderness Safari DumaTau, Botswana: Here, guests can immerse themselves deep in the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, sharing a home with one of the world’s largest herds of elephants across eight tented suites with private plunge pools and an onsite spaRead our full review here. wilderness-safaris.com

Nomad, TanzaniaFor ultimate seclusion but high-octane winter sun adventure, Nomad Tanzania’s Entamanu will walk you along the rim of the country’s iconic Ngorongoro crater or along the rolling highlands. And, here, opting for an off the beaten track getaway doesn’t mean to sacrifce luxury. nomad-tanzania.com

The Saxon & Shambala Private Game Reserve, South Africa: One of Johannesburg’s beloved luxury hotels – and where Nelson Mandela worked on his biography, Long Walk to Freedom – The Saxon features sprawling gardens, exquisite art, and rooms decorated by local artists and craftspeople. Enjoy safari at sister Shamabala property, where you can spot the Big Five through a private game drive. saxon.co.za

The Safari Series, Kenya: If remote is what you’re after, The Safari Series comprises of six tents spread out across a 50,000-acre private conservatory in 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. safari-series.com

Ant’s Nest, South Africa: 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. luxtripper.co.uk

Image: DumaTau, Botswana.

Featured Image: The Setai, Miami, USA.