After a start-stop summer of travel that focussed heavily on permitted European beach destinations such as Italy and Greece, giving us all the fantastic weather and vitamin D we needed, we’re transitioning into the autumn and winter seasons. Whilst that desire for sun persists, there is also the longing to connect with nature is there as well, driving many travellers to seek the magic of the Arctic, planning trips to Lapland to see the Northern Lights.
Amongst the current restrictions, we’ve selected some getaways to satisfy either the winter sun craving or pining for snowy woods that are currently accessible from the UK sans quarantine on either side (at time of publication). Some destinations may require a negative Covid test in advance of flying, but we’ll always keep you abreast of the latest guidelines when booking your arrangements.
Antigua: Jumby Bay Island
Jumby Bay is a low-lying 300-acre private tropical island located in the heart of the Caribbean, offering a luscious landscape, beautiful coral reefs and crystal clear waters framed by white sand beaches. Reachable exclusively by boat, this is an island of simple pleasures that has gained a reputable name for its back-to-nature experience.
Having just undergone a multi-million-dollar refurbishment, Jumby Bay living strikes a balance between signature elegance and modern, contemporary style. Plentiful activities appeal to all age groups; younger guests can partake in the famed Hawksbill Turtle Program, which enables them to participate in the release of hatchlings in support of conservation efforts. Night-out activities and a Kiddies’ Spa Retreat give parents plenty of time for rest and relaxation.
Mustique: Cotton House
Make a true escape from the stress of everyday life and enjoy a luxurious island retreat – Cotton House is the perfect place to get away from it all. Offering a variety of accommodations from suites with plunge pools to exclusive private villas, days are leisurely and relaxing or activity-filled. Roam the grounds, go swimming or scuba diving, ride horseback along the beach as the sun sets. Everything is perfect.
The food at Cotton House is especially notable; the Beach Café features surf-fresh seafood that’s been grilled to perfection; the resort has an award-winning wine list that must be sampled.
Seychelles: Four Seasons Resort at Desroches Island
Desroches Island is an incredibly special place of tranquillity and serenity; allow the sound of birdsong and the breeze of the ocean to sink in whilst you enjoy an oasis in the middle of the Indian Ocean. At the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island, there are nine miraculous miles of white sand beach that beckon both relaxation and exploration along the shore or deep within the crystalline waters.
The accommodations on this private coral island include both rustic villas and bungalows for couples or families, each providing an intimate setting where you can relax and truly feel at home.
St Barths: Eden Rock
St Barths oozes French glamour and European charm, setting it apart from many of its Caribbean neighbours. Perched on a rocky promontory, this glamorous bolthole is known for its eclectic art collection, which is on view throughout each of the 34 guestrooms.
At the heart of the island scene, Eden Rock has an unpretentious ambience and is famous for its culinary delights. Known as the premier dining destination on the island, the cuisine is master-minded by Jean-Georges Vongerichten who showcases the very best of local and international produce in both The Sand Bar and Beach Bar restaurants – just one element of indulgence and luxury at this chic island hideaway.
Finland: Arctic Treehouse Hotel
The wonders of Finland’s Arctic Circle are best experienced whilst staying in luxury at the Arctic Treehouse Hotel. The hotel pairs local Lappish traditions with a modern Scandi touch across each of the Treehouse Suites and the Arctic Glasshouses – all of which boast panoramic views of the glistering landscape.
The hotel caters to everyone’s childhood dream, ensuring the most enchanting winter break. As a family, experience the most extraordinary arctic adventures, including meeting Santa Claus in the Secret Forest, dashing through the snow on a sleigh pulled by reindeers – or, take in the beautiful winter wonderland via husky-pulled sledge. The Northern Lights are the highlight of the beautiful surroundings; hunt for them on a snowmobile adventure through the wilderness or enjoy them from the comfort of your cabin, gazing at the sky from your bed.
This is the most authentic stay in the Arctic, located in Finnish Lapland at the Arctic Circle amongst 300 hectares of private forest. The ten-bedroom wilderness chalet is perfect for families, offering a plethora of outdoor activities and ultimate luxury.
Set above meandering, glimmering rivers within a magical snow-covered forest, Octola offers private and bespoke activities for the entire family. Resourcing experienced guides, chefs and butlers; the stay is made unforgettable by snowshoeing expeditions or toboggan races. Embark on a thrilling ride through the winter wonderland on a husky-pulled sledge, or engage in the traditional Lappish art of ice fishing. The secluded wilderness is the most idyllic place to watch the Northern Lights; venture out on a snowmobile or strap on snowshoes to enjoy them within the elements.
Lapland: Javri Lodge
Javri is the ideal winter retreat for couples wanting to experience the serenity and enchantment of Finnish Lapland. Adults-only, it’s located in the tranquil village of Saariselkä on the doorstep of Finland’s second-largest national park, offering direct access to the white wilderness.
Maximise the activity opportunities by cross-country and downhill skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. There are husky and reindeer safaris to take part in; the Northern Lights appear more than 200 times every year. The warmth of the lodge is a welcome respite after a full day of winter activities – cosy up next to the log fire or relax in the authentic Finnish saunas, immersing yourselves in the luxurious wellness facilities.
When you make a booking through Quintessentially Travel at many of the above properties, you’re entitled to a myriad of benefits from upgrades to breakfast to food and beverage or spa credits. Please enquire for the latest.