Every traveller is different, and the reasons we travel are just as varied. But travel brings people together and strengthens relationships in a way that Zoom and FaceTime simply can’t. Whether you’re still daydreaming about where to visit or are about to enter the planning stages of your next big trip, one thing’s for certain: Sharing your bucket-list experiences with the people you love most will make them all the more memorable.
Maybe living the island life is calling your name this year for a relaxing family vacation. Or perhaps you’re thinking about where your next culinary escapade should be – like the one you and your friends had in Italy last summer. Either way, planning itineraries to suit a variety of needs is an art form Four Seasons has mastered. Here are seven destinations worthy of a spot on your short list, along with ideas for what to do when you get there that will make everyone in your group happy.
A quiet fishing village in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, Punta Mita is famous for its tranquil coastline, snorkelling, dive sites, surfing and golf. At Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, the Concierge team can design group itineraries with the perfect mix of relaxation, culture and activity.
A prime Bahia de Banderas location makes chartering the Resort’s private yacht an ideal group excursion. The 17-metre (55-foot) ship is available for snorkelling charters to the protected Marietas Islands, seasonal whale watching and sunset sails. You can even take the yacht’s WaveRunner for a ride once the boat is anchored.
Back at the Resort, the private Las Manzanillas Beach offers an idyllic setting for an intimate family-style dinner served at a candlelit table in the sand. The low light leads to fantastic stargazing as ocean breezes rustle through the manzanilla trees. And once you’re ready to settle in for the night, you can take a moonlit stroll along the beach back to the five-bedroom Coral Beach House. With its completely private location directly on the sand, multiple terraces, personal media room, breezy layout and infinity-edge pool, this hacienda-style house is one of Punta Mita’s finest. You’ll have access to everything the Resort has to offer in addition to upgrades such as private full-time attendants, golf carts for getting around, and meals cooked by Four Seasons chefs in your own gourmet kitchen.
Meet on the Beach in Punta Mita
A mountain resort is a great place to have fun boosting your adrenaline, whether it’s awash with snow or with wildflowers. And few do it better than Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail.
Between December and April, enjoy an epic snowmobile tour with your group in Vail Valley through outfitter Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals. Great for beginner and intermediate riders, set out on a scenic groomed ride on a two-seat Trail Sled, or book a Powder Sled if you’re an advanced rider looking to carve your own path across the mountain’s steep and deep terrain. In summertime, white-water rafting is an exciting bonding experience, as groups work together to steer their raft safely over rapids.
Agreeing on where to eat can be a challenge for any large group, which is why pairing a restaurant with an adventure can appeal to the whole crowd. For an off-piste dining excursion, book a reservation at The 10th, an on-mountain restaurant located at MidVail atop Gondola One. Surrounded by breathtaking mountain views, The 10th offers updated classics in a modern alpine lodge. When the snow melts, groups can go on a one-hour horseback ride, led by an experienced wrangler, up to Beano’s Cabin. This log cabin is known for its farm-to-table fare with seasonal items ranging from a foie gras and black truffle tart to elk tomahawk.
After an adventure-packed day, the Resort’s Private Residences are ideal for relaxing together by the fireplace for warm evening chats or connecting over a meal on the outdoor terrace next to mountain views. Ranging from one to six bedrooms, these elegant alpine retreats offer plenty of space so you can all relax indoors after your great outdoor adventures.
Make mountaintop memories in Vail
Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire is a restored Georgian manor just an hour’s drive from London and 35 minutes from Heathrow Airport. Set on 500 acres of beautiful English countryside, this is where the hustle and bustle of daily life is happily traded in for a bit of quintessential English country living.
Running right through the estate grounds is the beautiful Basingstoke Canal, where you can hop aboard the Hotel’s private canal boat for an afternoon champagne and canapé picnic complete with a stop at a local pub. Adventurous groups can tackle the on-property highwire and zip-line courses, ride horses, or learn the art of falconry during a Hawk Walk. The latter involves accompanying a Harris’ hawk around the estate under the guidance of an expert falconer as you learn all about the majestic creature.
Come dinnertime, connect with each other and nature during a barbecue supper in the historic Walled Garden, which has beautiful gates, dovecotes and some much-valued privacy. Enjoy a dinner specially prepared by Four Seasons chefs and a spot of croquet in the nearby orchard.
Three wings of rooms and suites furnished with English countryside décor adjoin the 18th-century Georgian Manor House at the centre of the Hotel. Groups can work with the Concierge to choose a wing that suits them best. Large suites in the East, South and West wings provide sweeping views over the Estate’s grassy fields, and the spacious Royal Suite on the ground floor of the West Wing features a balcony for appreciating sunsets over the countryside. But history enthusiasts might prefer staying in the restored Manor House itself. Built in 1728, it has seen many lives, and was even used to billet Dutch and Polish airmen during World War II.
Experience English country life in Hampshire
“A voyage on West Lake offers more refreshment and delectation than any other experience on earth,” declared Marco Polo when he visited Hangzhou in the 13th century. Checking in to the intimate Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake – a serene oasis set right on the fabled lake – lets you fully immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage and stunning beauty of this ancient city.
Bespoke group activities such as outdoor tai chi and guided birdwatching tours make the most of the Hotel’s magnificent gardens and lakeside location. Head off-property and go cycling together around West Lake, one of China’s best bike trails, or take a private tea plantation tour for quieter quality bonding time.
Planning your visit around a special milestone? Jin Sha restaurant’s 11 private dining rooms surround a picturesque garden lagoon and make for intimate settings to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions over Chef Wang Yong’s award-winning Zhejiang cuisine paired with wines suggested by the sommelier.
For a sanctuary within a sanctuary, the Hotel’s three-storey Jiang Nan–style Three-Bedroom Presidential Villa features its own entrance, a private landscaped garden, a grand indoor pool and plenty of space for everyone to spread out. If a big family reunion is on the calendar, you can also buy out the entire hotel (81 rooms) to enjoy dedicated attention by the whole Hotel staff.
Find serenity together in Hangzhou
It may be small in size, but Mauritius brims with things to do. A year-round tropical climate makes it the perfect destination to enjoy beautiful beaches, water sports and golf at Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita.
One can’t miss activity: A sailing excursion to a secluded cove on Ile aux Cerfs, exclusively available to Four Seasons guests. Famous for its white-sand beaches and serene turquoise lagoon, this island is just a quick speedboat ride away from the Resort’s jetty. Once you arrive, beach attendants are on hand to help you find your perfect spot, while the Beach Bar and Grill serves up fresh-caught seafood brought in daily by local fishermen, shareable plates, local beers and refreshing cocktails and juices so you can play castaway all day long.
While we wouldn’t blame you for never wanting to leave the beach, the Resort’s Five-Bedroom Royal Residence Villa is quite the place to come home to. Set on a stunning peninsula with mesmerizing lagoon views, its infinity and plunge pools, full kitchen, and multiple communal areas make it the ultimate tropical oasis for comfort and seclusion.
Get on island time in Mauritius
Travel and trying new foods go hand in hand. And digging in to a destination’s local cuisine is one of the best (and most delicious) ways to experience its culture first hand. Nestled among fields of vibrant green rice paddies, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is not only a tranquil haven for reconnecting with family and friends, it’s also an excellent place to experience Thai cuisine.
At Rim Thai Kitchen – part restaurant, part cooking studio – you can learn the principles of Thai cuisine in a Thai teak house, then enjoy the fruits of your labour in the open-air pavilion overlooking a waterfall. Cooking class participants spend the morning investigating the Chef’s secret garden for ingredients and then return to the cooking school for a hands-on lesson in creating authentic Thai dishes.
Or leave it to the experts and let the Resort’s culinary team treat your group to a custom meal in the Orchid Nursery, a private dining space that mirrors the lush tropical landscape of Northern Thailand and sets an unforgettable stage for a private family brunch, afternoon tea or a themed reception amid a kaleidoscope of fragrant exotic orchids in bloom.
When you’ve had your fill, head back to you private residence to relax or spend some more quality time together. The Resort’s Private Residences offer spacious indoor-outdoor accommodations that families and groups of friends will love. Create lifelong memories with game night, yoga lessons on the pool deck, friendly cooking competitions, dinner, or a private performance for you and your group, all arranged by your full-time personal host.
Savour Thai cuisine in Chiang Mai
Looking to visit somewhere truly unique this year? Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh makes it possible to explore the dry, exotic landscapes of the Sinai Desert and the magnificent underwater world on the same day. In fact, the Red Sea resort is situated right next to the world’s warmest sea.
Be sure to pay a visit to the famous Ras Mohamed Protectorate, a naturally preserved dive site whose coral reefs are considered among the world’s best. Swim together alongside hawksbill turtles for an experience you’ll all bond over for years to come.
Then, at the end of the day, grab a seat beneath the stars for a private Bedouin-style feast on the Resort’s beach, complete with live entertainment, authentic Egyptian dishes and even a chance to take a nighttime camel ride along the shore.
Of the residential suites, the Four-Bedroom Villa offers the most space. Furnished in rich Middle Eastern style, that space includes a private pool, fully stocked kitchen and expansive terraces.
Dive deep in Sharm El Sheikh
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Come together and plan your next group getaway.