Winter is an enchanting time to explore new destinations. Escape the cold with a retreat to sun, sand and surf – or cosy up by the fire in contrast to the snow. Here, find five ways to enjoy the best of the season’s adventures, indoors and out, at
Four Seasons properties around the globe, with expert tips from their staff members.
Play castaway in French Polynesia with an escape to your own private island paradise at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. Spot colourful fish in the crystal-clear lagoon from your overwater bungalow suite, and stargaze from your private plunge pool.
Adventurous guests can introduce themselves to marine life on a half-day shark and ray snorkel safari. For another memorable underwater experience, guests can accompany the Hotel’s resident marine biologist into the Lagoon Sanctuary.
“One of the most special and meaningful experiences guests can have while with us is grafting and adopting coral in our Lagoon Sanctuary,” says Head Concierge Etienne Baldeschi. “Guests will learn about coral health and growth, work with branching corals – and then they can adopt one or more, which will be placed on one of the underwater structures at the Resort. Adopting coral is a great way for guests to commemorate an occasion, to memorialize someone or simply to give back to the environment.”
For a romantic dinner on the Hotel’s Sunset Motu, an outrigger canoe will deliver you to a tiny private island just off the main beach. With your toes in the sand, you can admire one of Bora Bora’s legendary sunsets while sipping Champagne, then dine under the stars with entertainment by fire dancers.
On the golden shores of Pinney’s Beach, the recently renovated Four Seasons Resort Nevis, West Indies, embodies laid-back luxury. Avid divers, mix in some adventure with the Dive and Dine experience: Don a wetsuit to join a Four Seasons chef and a local divemaster on a deep-sea culinary expedition.
“Catching your own spiny lobster with a lasso is a very local experience,” says Four Seasons Resort Nevis Guest Services Manager Mellissa Seabrookes. Sous-Chef Xavier Phillips describes the program as his take on fresh catch. “It takes guests to a world beyond the waves, where they get to feel the rush of catching a Caribbean lobster for the first time,” he says. “It’s an exhilarating experience for both me, as a chef, and the guests.”
Back on shore, a beach barbecue commences with cocktails. Meanwhile, a chef shares the recipe for a special Caribbean-style sofrito marinade made with organic ingredients from the Resort’s herb garden. Feast on lobster next in one of the private beach cabanas. Back on the beach, listen to the wash of the waves as you receive one of the Spa’s Ocean Breeze treatments.
With an enviable perch in the French Alps, Megève offers easy access to the slopes of Mont d’Arbois, one of the best wintry playgrounds in the world. “It’s one of the largest ski resorts in France, and it also offers more to do besides skiing,” says Chief Concierge Margaux Pfeiffer of Four Seasons Hotel Megève. “The medieval village is beautifully preserved and exciting to explore, and the town is home to three Michelin-starred chefs – not to mention the unique dining on the slopes.” This winter, the Hotel will also introduce guests to La Dame de Pic – Le 1920, a new collaboration between award-winning Chef Anne-Sophie Pic and Ariane de Rothschild.
The Hotel’s Ski Concierge will have your gear ready and waiting in the Ski Room, if you wish to tackle the day’s fresh powder. But for another thrilling run, Pfeiffer says, turn to man’s best friend – specifically, a team of energetic Greenland dogs, whose husky-type breed is known for its strength and endurance. Harnessed to a sled and guided by a professional musher, these canines will vigorously pull you through the snow-covered terrain. Return with the dogs to their farm, just a few hundred metres from the Hotel, to play with the frisky pups and help with daily activities like feeding and grooming.
For more Alpine adventure, climb aboard one of the Hotel’s electric snowmobiles. You’ll glide through new-fallen snow in the pine forests before returning to the Hotel for a warming après-ski glass of mulled wine, best enjoyed in front of a crackling fire.
Chestnuts roasting on street corners, shop windows decked for the holidays ˜ is there anything merrier than New York in the winter holiday season?
“This is the most magical time of the year to be in New York City, and Lower Manhattan is definitely the place to be,” says Tara Cruz, Director of Spa at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown. “Unique holiday markets and restaurants line the streets of the Seaport District, Tribeca, SoHo. Our youngest guests love to ice-skate at The Rink at Brookfield Place near our Hotel, overlooking New York Harbor.”
Also nearby is the SeaGlass Carousel at Battery Park, where you can ride any of the 30 fibreglass fish that glow and change colour. If you prefer the great indoors, Cruz says, head back to the Hotel: “Our indoor 75-foot pool is an urban oasis for those looking to escape the cold.”
Looking for warm temperatures this winter? Make like the humpback whales and head to Maui. Every year between December and May, these beloved visitors flock to the island’s warm waters to calve and nurse their young. At Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures in action – whether from a kayak, an outrigger or a helicopter. Sometimes there’s even a sighting from the Resort’s Serenity Pool.
“Maui is fabulous any time of year, but the winter months are absolutely magical,” Chef Concierge Sam Wilhelm says. “Witnessing whale behaviours up close is truly transformative.” For an enhanced whale-watching experience, Wilhelm recommends a boat tour with fine-art photographers and brothers Dan and John Cesere – part of the Keiki Kohala research team, dedicated to preserving Maui’s waters as a whale sanctuary. You’ll return to shore with lifelong memories and expertly captured images.
Back at the Resort, take in the feeling mohala (opening) with a Lomi Mohala Massage offered by the Resort’s Spa. The treatment draws on ancient Hawaiian techniques using herbal oils.
Your Journey Begins Here
Where will you choose to spend your favourite season?