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Now’s the best time to start planning your escape, before the cold weather really catches on. Perhaps you’re craving a tropical island, or a far-flung buzzed-about destination, or even a ski resort (fireplaces and outdoor hot tubs, we get it). And when it comes to booking a hotel, Marriott’s got you covered — it has thousands of stunning properties spread across 30 brands (and offers a best rate guaranteed rate match to boot!), so read on for a sampling of some awesome places to travel this winter.
1. Los Cabos, Mexico
This celebrity magnet on the tip of the Baja California peninsula ticks all the boxes for a FOMO-inducing warm-weather getaway: sunny beaches, swanky resorts, whale watching, seaside golf, Baja-style fish tacos, possible George and Amal sightings, and best of all, plenty of tequila bars to chase that perfect south-of-the-border buzz.
Where to Stay: Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort, Los Cabos.
Midway between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo is year-old Solaz, a knockout contemporary resort on 34 beachfront acres. Beyond the soaring open-air lobby, lie Sea of Cortez-facing suites, sleek infinity pools, and a spa with thalassotherapy treatments.
2. Deer Valley, Utah
Few ski areas carry the cachet of Deer Valley, the ultra exclusive Utah resort tucked into the Wasatch Mountains. Ski valets, beautifully groomed trails, heated walkways, and Champagne sabering during après ski are all part of the pampering alpine experience here, as is a night on the town on Park City’s historic Main Street, just 10 minutes away.
Where to Stay: The St. Regis Deer Valley
The ski-in, ski-out St. Regis, in a prime mid-mountain setting, makes it a cinch to hit the slopes. Post-schussing, hit the outdoor pool and hot tub, then chill on a chaise at its “ski beach,” a heated terrace with an Insta-worthy fire garden overlooking Deer Hollow Run.
3. Florence, Italy
With summer crowds gone, linger over Renaissance frescoes in the Uffizi, stroll the horde-free Ponte Vecchio, and if feeling ambitious, climb the 463 steps to the top of the Duomo for gorgeous Tuscany views. While you’re there, stock up on cashmere sweaters and leather bags before digging into a gigantic bistecca alla Fiorentina.
Where to Stay: The Westin Excelsior, Florence
Drop your bags back in your room (splurge for a lavish Arno River-facing suite) at the Westin Excelsior, housed in a 13th-century marble-rich palazzo. The rooftop Sesto on Arno restaurant is where you should be at sunset, preferably with a Negroni in hand.
4. Bali, Indonesia
Bali’s tropical Indian Ocean beaches and insanely lush interiors will zap you out of winter doldrums in seconds. Rent bikes to pedal past Hindu temples and terraced rice paddies; watch artisans at work in Ubud, the island’s cultural heart; and prop yourself up on oversized pillows on the sand with a Bintang beer at trendy beach bars.
Where to Stay: The Stones Hotel – Legian Bali, Autograph Collection
This stylish hotel in the Legian resort area has modern rooms, many with balconies. While the beach is just across the road, you’ll gravitate to the supersized lagoon-style pool, complete with swim-up bar, in-water loungers, and thatched-roof cabanas.
5. Barcelona, Spain
With its mild Mediterranean climate, Barcelona is a no-brainer as a place to visit in winter. In between endless rounds of tapas and sangria, squeeze in visits to cultural powerhouses like the Gaudí-designed La Sagrada Familia and the Fundació Joan Miró. Don’t ditch the siesta — you’ll want to be well-rested for a few rounds of Catalan nightlife.
Where to Stay: Cotton House Hotel, Autograph Collection
Once home to the Cotton Textile Exchange, this 1880s landmark has been transformed into an elegant boutique hotel. In a nod to its history, guest rooms feature Egyptian cotton linens and the exchange’s former social club is now a charming little library.
6. Miami, Florida
Miami is tailor-made for flee-from-winter weekends, Sure, it’s got beaches and nightlife and Art Deco’d South Beach, but the city has also been steadily upping its culinary offerings (a Michelin-starred chef recently opened Maska Indian Kitchen) and its cultural/arts scene gets revved back up each winter with December’s Art Basel.
Where to Stay: W South Beach
The W South Beach, with a coveted Collins Avenue address, oozes beach-chic cool. The beautiful people can be found soaking up the Florida sunshine at the cabana-lined pool where a DJ spins, while some nibble on dim sum and peking duck in Mr Chow.
7. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
If you’ve booked a trip Bora Bora, you’re going big. Because that means you’re likely staying in one of those dreamy thatched-roof overwater bungalows. It also means you’ll be snorkeling in the South Pacific’s most stunning lagoon, sipping tropical drinks out of coconuts, dining on freshly caught lobster, and likely wearing flowers in your hair.
Where to Stay: The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
Framed by Mount Otemanu, the St. Regis’ thatched bungalows extend far into the lagoon, creating a striking visual that lingers long after you’ve checked out. It also has a spa on its own private island and The Lagoon restaurant, featuring Asian fusion dishes.
8. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Trade snow for sand (and surf and skyscrapers) during a visit to Dubai. Marvel at its skyline, dominated by the famous Burj Khalifa; mega-malls; man-made islands; glitzy hotels (many with rooftop bars); in-town beaches; and the blinged out Gold Market. Plus, Lawrence of Arabia-like desert landscapes can be found just outside the city.
Where to Stay: Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
A highlight of a stay at this luxury eco-camp, 45 minutes from downtown, is a desert safari where you can ride a camel on dunes, try sand boarding, and come sunset, dine in the open air, Bedouin-style. Bed down in comfort in tented villas with plunge pools.
9. London, England
While London may not spring to mind as a go-to winter spot, the British capital has too much to see to let some frosty weather get in the way. Thankfully, many of its top things to do, including touring the Tate Modern, taking a twirl on the London Eye, and browsing Harrods’ food hall, are all indoor activities. And did we mention it has lots of cozy pubs?
Where to Stay: St. Ermin’s Hotel, Autograph Collection
During WWII, Winston Churchill held important meetings at this centrally located hotel (Buckingham Palace and Big Ben are a quick Uber ride away). Soak up St. Ermin’s rich history during afternoon tea, complete with freshly baked scones and clotted cream.
10. Cusco, Peru
If you’re set on checking Machu Picchu off your proverbial bucket list, you’ll likely find yourself spending a few nights in Cusco, a launching off point for day trips to the iconic Incan fortress. Explore Plaza de Armas square, dominated by Cusco Cathedral, then shop for Andean crafts in the markets, and lunch on alpaca steaks and pisco sours.
Where to Stay: Palacio Del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco
You’ll feel like you’re staying in a posh private home at Palacio Del Inka, a former colonial mansion that Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro once lived in. Rooms, featuring local textiles and carved wooden beds, overlook candlelit cobbled courtyards.
11. Napa Valley, California
It’s the off season, but that doesn’t mean you’re shut out from world-class sipping in (especially cabernet sauvignons!) at scenic Napa Valley wineries, including Hall Wines and Cakebread Cellars. Plus, winter brings the Napa Truffle Festival and Restaurant Week, offering wallet-friendly, multi-course prix fixe menus in the valley’s top eateries.
Where to Stay: Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Napa Valley
This two-year-old stunner has won fans with its stylish vineyard-facing suites and views of the Mayacamas Mountains from the pool and modern fire pit. Scrubs and hot stone massage are on offer at Atrio Spa, while Acacia House serves refined farm-to-fork fare.
Sure, Crazy Rich Asians brought buzz to this clean and orderly Southeast Asian island but Singapore can more than stand on its own. Marina Bay Sands complex and the crazy-but-cool Supertrees are musts, while foodies will have a field day sampling the island’s diverse cuisine, a blend of Malaysian, Indonesian, Chinese, and Indian flavors.
Where to Stay: JW Marriott Singapore South Beach
Housed in a modern glass-and-steel tower with glam interiors from famed designer Philippe Starck and a skyline-facing infinity pool, this JW property is in the South Beach area (across from the Raffles Hotel, where the Singapore Sling cocktail was invented).
13. Istanbul, Turkey
Straddling two continents, Europe and Asia, Istanbul is a mix of east and west, old and new. Alongside ancient wonders like the Blue Mosque, with its graceful minarets piercing the sky and the sprawling, chaotic Grand Bazaar are trendy restaurants along the Bosphorus Strait, edgy art galleries, craft beer bars, and third wave coffee roasters.
Where to Stay: The St. Regis Istanbul
After hitting the busy tourist trail in Sultanahmet, you’ll appreciate the serenity of the St. Regis in ritzy Nisantasi. Your personal butler will make sure everything runs smoothly, including booking you a prime table on the terrace at the rooftop Spago restaurant.
14. Phuket, Thailand
For the ultimate sun-drenched place to travel this winter, it’s hard to top a remote Thai island. Off the eastern coast of Phuket, laid-back Naka Yai, is home to a small fishing village and plenty of pristine beaches along Phang Na Bay. It’s also where you’ll find Naka Island, a luxury villa resort reached by 10-minute speedboat from Phuket.
Where to Stay: The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
From your Thai-style villa, you can live out your Robinson Crusoe fantasies (without sacrificing creature comforts, naturally). At Naka, it’s all about the beach, whether you’re swimming in it, strolling along it, sunning yourself beside it, or dining in view of it.
15. Oahu, Hawaii
Pearl Harbor, the Polynesian Cultural Center, and pineapple plantations are all associated with the Hawaiian island of Oahu — as is Waikiki Beach. This world-famous Honolulu strand is lined with high-rise hotels, beach bars, waterfront seafood spots for ahi poke and opah (moonfish), nightclubs, and places to catch a traditional luau.
Where to Stay: Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa
This Waikiki Beach classic dates back to 1901, but with its oceanfront Moana Lani Spa, Diamond Head-facing suites, Beach Bar with live music, and activities like yoga classes and surfing lessons, this grand dame isn’t resting on its laurels.