As the air turns crisp and the holiday season calls, we yearn for something beyond the ordinary. This is where a festive getaway comes in. Whether you are dreaming of a balmy winter by the Gulf of Oman, an uber-luxurious haven by the shores of Krabi or a sun-kissed beach escape under the African sun, it promises not just a change of scenery, but an opportunity to create memories in a whole new way. So, pack your bags for these spaces where festivities meet wanderlust.
Nestled between the Hajar Mountains and the Gulf of Oman, Shangri-La Muscat is what holiday dreams are made of. With Oman’s only lazy river, Frankincense Garden and classic car collection, it offers a unique blend of leisure and culturally immersive experiences. Come the festive season, the resort – a short-haul flight from India – will be geared up to offer unique activities for families, children, and couples. A special Kids Creative Atelier has been set up to host gingerbread-making and pizza/pasta crafting sessions, allowing young ones to unleash their creativity under the guidance of skilled chefs. Santa Claus will make a grand appearance accompanied by the resort’s mascot, Habibi the Turtle. No festivity is complete without food, right? What better than a resort included in the Michelin Guide? 21 chefs from different nationalities would whip up multi-course meals at 11 restaurants dotting the property along with a sumptuous Christmas and New Year’s Eve buffet. As the clock strikes midnight, Al Bandar Wing’s lawn by the Sea of Oman will vibe with the electrifying tunes of UK-based band Dynamic. Looking for a more intimate way? You can enjoy Jazz and Grill evenings at Sultanah restaurant, contemporary Indian flavours at Aangan by Chef Rohit Ghai, and Piano Lounge.
Don’t Miss: Signature drinks infused with Oman’s famous Frankincense and cocktails inspired by icons like British perfumer Jo Malone
How about spending the year’s end at a resort where the Hollywood film Hangover II was filmed? Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is an uber-luxurious resort in Krabi flanked by limestone mountains rising from the Andaman Sea, virgin rainforests and ethereal beaches. Nothing can prepare you for its serene setting and bespoke Dining Beyond sessions. On Christmas Eve, Santa arrives on a traditional boat amid carol singing and a fire dance followed by a six-course Christmas menu. Usher in 2024 with a 12-hour gastronomic extravaganza featuring live music, fine dining, live performances, traditional Thai dance, and a beachside countdown party. Begin the new year by seeking blessings from Buddhist monks as per the Thai tradition. Indulge in a luxurious Golden Glow treatment that uses real gold at The Spa.
Don’t Miss: A series of cultural rituals and culinary adventures on December 22 (the resort’s 14th anniversary), including a Buddhist blessing and a 14-course Thai-fusion tasting menu by Michelin-starred Executive Chef Christian Herrgesell
Fancy spending your holidays at an exotic island with luxury written all over it? The Residence Zanzibar is your answer. Why, you ask? This private pool villa-only resort, nestled within 80 acres of lush tropical gardens and flanked by a kilometre-long powdery sand beach just off the coast of Tanzania, is where enriching moments are created. Take a relaxing dip in the resort’s signature fish tank swimming pool overlooking the ocean. Exotic spices, indigenous fauna, and a mesmerising underwater world are icing on the cake. Blending the island’s natural splendour and cultural heritage, the resort has lined up enchanting activities, including a Christmas Eve gala dinner with live music, wine tastings, gourmet events, wood-fired pizza making and acrobatic shows. Your new year promises to be special as fireworks, a chocolate fountain party, and a culinary carnival in true Zanzibari style await.
Don’t Miss: Leaving a lasting imprint on the Zanzibar soil by planting a tree on the first day of 2024
Looking to welcome the year with a holistic touch? Spend the last week of 2023 at Santiburi Koh Samui. Nestled on Samui’s north shore, it offers an array of wellness and sustainable activities. You can craft your own path under the resort’s personalised Lèn Be Well concept. A selection of themed programmes – adventure, family, relaxation, romance, and culture – will seamlessly blend spa therapies, sports, excursions, and delectable cuisine. Engage in a vigorous game on full-size tennis courts, master the ancient art of muay Thai kickboxing, take a refreshing swim in the Olympic-sized 50-metre pool, or perfect your swing at Santiburi Samui Country Club. For younger guests, Panya & Yim’s Junior Camp opens up a world of arts, crafts, and culture with a full calendar of complimentary activities throughout the festive season. There will be frozen-themed fusion feasts, beachfront Christmas brunches and a New Year’s gala dinner at the beautifully decorated resort.
Don’t Miss: Walking on the nature trail observing diverse flora and fauna and learning about the ecosystem while healing your soul
If an authentic cultural experience wrapped in world-class hospitality is your idea of a holiday, then The Anam Mui Ne in Vietnam is where your search ends. This luxurious beachfront property, exuding Indochine charm, offers a gateway to authentic Vietnamese culture and craftsmanship. Original artwork by Vietnamese painters, artefacts dotting the property, and its interior design embrace local traditions. You can enjoy the sundowner ceremony every evening as the staff in traditional Cham garb lead a procession amid musical drum beats. Come December, the resort will offer sumptuous buffets, live entertainment, surprise visits from Santa Claus, and high tea sessions. Welcome the new year with a circus-themed barbecue buffet and beach countdown party directly accessible by the resort while a live band sets the stage for a memorable night. Start 2024 with an invigorating yoga session by the beach.
Don’t Miss: Learning how to make paper lanterns, statue colouring, and coconut leaf weaving
Opening its doors for the festive season, Amora Beach Resort Phuket is set to welcome you with direct beachfront access. It sports a fresh look and new facilities, and its long-serving staff are ready to extend the warm hospitality they are known for. Located on an exclusive 80m stretch of the pristine Bang Tao Beach, the resort has a vibrant entertainment line-up and sumptuous food and beverage that will make it a festive celebration to remember. Dine at ISLA, where freedom of choice awaits with a diverse menu of international and local cuisines. For the festive period, Nora’s restaurant presents a culinary celebration that takes you on a journey – from live international seafood and delicate Japanese sushi to Spanish appetite teasers and savoury barbecue meats and seafood. The magic happens at the Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve Sunset Session by Pimploy Acoustic, a Thai singer and guitarist who serenades with pop, jazz and bossa nova tunes under the stars and on the beach. On New Year’s Eve, a spectacular fire show will heat up the night’s agenda while Singapore trio OK Ready will rev up the mood with catchy tunes. You can look forward to the countdown with a fireworks display and a late-night party with a live DJ to welcome 2024.
Don’t Miss: Start your new year by focusing inwards and seeking holistic healing at the Amora Wellness Center which beckons with soothing spa treatments, rejuvenating massages or energising fitness workouts.
Curated by: Brandit India