As festive season approaches, do you start pining for an escape to sun, sand and surf – or for an epic excursion to play in the snow? Some of us embrace the chill, while others prefer to heat things up, but whatever type of destination you choose, the end of the year is peak season for gathering your loved ones, travelling to a home away from home, sharing cool adventures and making warm memories. Here, find our picks for the best winter trips, complete with expert tips from our Four Seasons teams.
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 personal plunge pool.
Ready for adventure? Meet marine life at close range on a half-day shark and ray snorkel safari. Or, for another memorable underwater excursion, accompany one of the Resort’s resident WiseOceans marine biologists into the Lagoon Sanctuary.
“One of the most special and meaningful experiences guests can have with us is grafting and adopting coral in our Lagoon Sanctuary,” says Head Concierge Etienne Baldeschi. “You’ll learn about coral health and growth, work with branching corals – and then you can adopt one or more corals, which we’ll place on an underwater structure at the Resort. It’s a great way to commemorate an occasion, to memorialize someone or simply to give back to the environment.”
For a romantic dinner on the Resort’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 from talented 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 can 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 ideal version of “fresh catch.” “It takes guests to a world beyond the waves, where they get to feel the rush of lassoing 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 is waiting, complete with cocktails. Learn the chef’s recipe for a special Caribbean-style sofrito marinade, made here with organic ingredients from the Resort’s herb garden. Then feast on lobster in a private beach cabana. Finally, listen to the wash of the waves as you relax with one of the Spa’s Ocean Breeze treatments.
If you’re looking for adventure, visit Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole, where you’re surrounded by rugged peaks, celebrated ski runs, and plenty of room to explore, thanks to the nearby Grand Teton National Park. Need gear? Head to the Ski Concierge, who can fit you for skis, schedule lessons, arrange lift tickets, and wax your skis and snowboard to match mountain conditions.
“Winter in Jackson Hole centres around the ski lifestyle – both on the slopes and off,” says Chef Concierge Taryn Shackleton. “Four Seasons offers direct access to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, giving our guests a seamless ski-in/ski-out experience. Our team also can arrange other adventures like dog sledding and snowmobiling.”
Take a day trip to Yellowstone National Park to see landmarks like Old Faithful and the Continental Divide – you might catch a glimpse of wildlife like elk, moose, wolves and bears. Or settle in for a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride: Get cosy under a warm blanket, sip hot cocoa and enjoy the scenery as you glide through the National Elk Refuge.
After a day out in the snow, warm up with a swim in the Resort’s year-round heated pool or kick up your boots and sip an inventive cocktail at The Handle Bar. For the ultimate après-ski experience, head to the Ascent Lounge for gourmet hot chocolate (with all the toppings including homemade marshmallows) by the fire and a glass of Champagne, served up in a winter wonderland.
Looking for warm temperatures? Make like a humpback whale 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 the 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 the best place in Hawaii to whale watch,” says Chef Concierge Margaux Pfeiffer. “You can admire whales breaching and nursing their young from the shoreline or take a whale-watching tour to see them up close. Seeing these magical animals in real life is such a unique experience.” For an enhanced whale-watching experience, try a guided kayak tour, available on-site with Maui Undersea Adventures. Or get a chance for an up-close encounter by venturing out on a complimentary outrigger canoe. Whether or not you spot a whale, you’ll return to shore with a tremendous story, amazing images and lifelong memories.
YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS HERE
Where will you choose to spend your favourite season?