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Warm-weather Christmas Destinations Around the World

by Staff

Sure, snow is beautiful. But do you really need Jack Frost nipping at your nose to get into the holiday spirit? This year, consider trading in your chunky sweaters and fleece-lined slippers for swimsuits, sunglasses, and tank tops at one of these warm-weather Christmas destinations around the world.

We’ve scoured the globe for hotels and resorts with comfortable temperatures and exceptional yuletide festivities. The Christmas cheer is omnipresent thanks to holiday meals, decor, and activities set against a balmy, sunshine-filled backdrop. Blue skies are practically included in the room rate at these resorts and hotels from the Caribbean to the American Southwest and the islands of the South Pacific.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Arizona

Courtesy of Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

If you’re the parent of royalty-in-training, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess makes good on their storybook dreams. Families can celebrate the holidays by ice skating in the desert, taking a train ride around a lagoon lit by 6.5 million LED lights, and marveling at a life-size snow globe. Blink too quickly and you may even mistake the simulated snowfalls for a New England blizzard. Your children are sure to love meeting Christmas characters like Princess Noel and Peppermint the Penguin, though grown-ups can always escape to one of the championship golf courses or the upscale spa.

Yasawa Island Resort and Spa, Fiji

Courtesy of Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Those seeking an antidote to mobs of holiday shoppers will cherish the remoteness of this all-inclusive Fijian resort. Guests stay in thatched beachfront bungalows complete with hammocks, daybeds, outdoor showers, and other amenities to coax you into a state of total relaxation. The resort even plans special holiday meals so you don’t have to worry about missing your favorite seasonal dishes. If you can pry yourself out of your sun lounger for long enough to participate in the festivities, enjoy a choir performance by singers from the nearby Bukama Village.

Raffles Singapore

Courtesy of Raffles, Singapore

Walk in the footsteps of literary icons Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham this holiday season at Raffles Singapore. Both writers reportedly stayed at the property back in the day. A century after it opened in 1887, the Singapore government declared the hotel a national monument. Today, guests can have a classic — and ritzy — holiday with festive afternoon teas including seasonal cakes. Meanwhile, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day feature meticulously planned menus for a holiday meal to remember.

Hawks Cay Resort, Florida

Courtesy of Hawks Cay Resort

Florida offers many promising holiday destinations, but this award-winning resort halfway down the Florida Keys goes above and beyond. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to partake in seasonal activities without stepping off the property. Between over-the-top decorations, gingerbread houses galore, and some quality time with Santa and his elves, the whole family can enjoy plenty of holiday cheer at Hawks Cay.

Angama Mara, Kenya

Courtesy of Angama Mara

Glamp your way through the holidays at the dazzling Angama Mara. Guests who are hearing the “call of the wild” this winter can head to the remote Mara plains, known for outstanding year-round wildlife viewing. On Christmas, conclude your daytime safari with an elegant candlelit dinner, complete with Christmas crackers and Champagne. After dinner, enjoy the festive lights and decorations while opening gifts around a fire.

Hotel Del Coronado, California

Courtesy of Hotel Del Coronado

Beach meets winter wonderland at the famous Victorian hotel on Coronado Island in San Diego Bay. The Hotel Del Coronado is known for its beachfront ice skating rink, and you can expect palm trees dusted with fake snow, marshmallow roasting, gingerbread house decorating, and a daily light show projected onto a grove of towering Norfolk Island pines. The hotel serves traditional holiday buffet dinners on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort, Thailand

Courtesy of Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort

Located at the border of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos, Anantara rescues elephants from unfortunate living situations. Watch the pachyderms move about their habitat from your own personal transparent Jungle Bubble decked out with Christmas trappings. Start the holiday at the Christmas Eve feast with both Thai and traditional Christmas specialties like local artisan cheeses, cold cuts, and decadent desserts, then enjoy carolers in the garden.

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton

From chocolate elves in the lobby to a gingerbread house workshop, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman does Christmas big. Guests can sip Champagne at brunch while enjoying the opulent decorations on Christmas Day. Beachfront suites set the scene for opening gifts before hitting the pool in 80-degree temperatures.

COMO Cocoa Island, Maldives

Courtesy of COMO Cocoa Island

The hotels in the Maldives can really get into the holiday spirit, with travelers from all over the world arriving on their sandy shores in December. COMO Cocoa Island rolls out a full “Festive Programme” covering special events and offerings throughout the season. Some highlights of the itinerary include sunset drinks with Santa, snorkeling with sharks on Christmas Day, and celebratory dinners with live entertainment. The party carries on through New Year’s Day.

Condado Vanderbilt, Puerto Rico

Courtesy of Condado Vanderbilt

A very merry holiday season awaits in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where you can enjoy soft white-sand beaches and a dose of Christmas cheer. Condado Vanderbilt incorporates local traditions into its celebratory offerings, especially when it comes to the holiday menus. You’ll sip on coquito (a take on eggnog) and indulge in roast pork and pasteles in the days leading up to Christmas. You can also join other travelers and locals in parrandas, Christmas caroling gatherings.

Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, Florida

Courtesy of Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

The Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, just south of Orlando, is known for going all out for the holidays. The decorations are next-level, and families can snow tube (yes, there’s fake snow!) and make gingerbread houses, among other holiday activities. There are even Christmas shows, like “Cirque: The Spirit of Christmas,” and you can borrow parkas from the hotel to keep warm while exploring its colorful ice-sculpture exhibit crafted from two million pounds of ice.

The Roosevelt New Orleans, Louisiana

Paul Broussard/Courtesy of The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel

The Big Easy offers endless charm around the holidays, and that charm is on full display at The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The property comes alive with gorgeous lights, wreaths, poinsettias, and ribbon galore. The hotel often hosts seasonal meals, from holiday teas with decadent pastries and hot chocolate (where Mr. and Mrs. Claus might just make an appearance) to a sumptuous menu served on Christmas Eve.

The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas

Courtesy of Ritz Carlton St. Thomas

Have the best kind of blue Christmas at this resort nestled along the turquoise waters of the Virgin Islands, where you’re practically promised balmy 80-degree weather. Your Caribbean Christmas might include special holiday meals of local flavors, seafood bars, and BBQ. The hotel often invites guests to participate in an elf scavenger hunt and tree decorating.

Montage Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina 

Courtesy of Montage Palmetto Bluff

Trade evergreen conifers for trees dripping in Spanish moss and white lights at this resort in South Carolina’s charming Lowcountry. The halls are decorated for holiday brunch with Santa, and there’s also a special oyster roast and Lowcountry boil on the May River if you want to celebrate like a local. On Christmas Eve, kids are kept entertained with a bounce house. It’s even warm enough to go looking for owls or winter fruits and berries on the property. 

The Cloister at Sea Island, Georgia

Courtesy of The Cloister at Sea Island

If you’re worried about being able to get into the holiday spirit without the chilly weather, the life-size gingerbread house that greets you at this Georgia destination will quell any lingering fears. The Cloister at Sea Island really knows how to bring the family fun. There’s a storytime with Santa’s Elves and the Reindeer Dash fun run on top of ornament decorating and caroling. At the end of a stay full of parties and festivities, toast the season with a glass of bubbly at Christmas Day brunch.

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, Hawaii 

Courtesy of Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Mele Kalikimaka! Head to Maui to watch Santa arrive on Wailea Beach by outrigger canoe — no sleighs or reindeer here. Embrace the 70- to 80-degree weather at the holiday luau or with an alfresco treatment from the holiday spa menu, and be sure to sample the festive fare across Grand Wailea Maui‘s several on-site restaurants. If you’re looking for true luxury, the Ho’olei Villas are some of the most expensive accommodations in the world.

The Breakers Palm Beach, Florida 

Getty Images/Travel_Bug

If you’re dreaming of a white-sand Christmas, you’ll find 70-degree temperatures and plenty of beachy fun in this South Florida town. Check into The Breakers Palm Beach to celebrate the season with holiday tea (complete with buttermilk scones heaped in Devonshire cream and rose petal jam), special multicourse prix fixe menus, Christmas Day brunch, and a New Year’s Eve celebration. 

Royal Mansour Marrakech, Morocco

Courtesy of Royal Mansour

This desert destination is perfect for anyone who’s ever wanted to fete the holidays with a dip in their own private pool. Christmas like royalty in your own private riad at this crown jewel in the heart of Marrakech. The celebrated hotel becomes a winter wonderland with ornately decked halls and a Christmas tree dripping in crystal. Special Christmas and New Year’s Eve menus are made all the more special by a bûche de Noël (or Yule log), a seasonal confection filled with a variety of flavors from coconut and lime to buttercream and coffee.

Four Seasons Hotel Austin, Texas 

Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels

Austin spares no expense when it comes to the festive season, evidenced at the Four Seasons where guests spend the holidays roasting gourmet s’mores and sipping Champagne alongside a sommelier. In the past, the hotel has offered special peppermint spa treatments and holiday buffets in the ballroom. Don’t leave before admiring the gingerbread village in the lobby.

Marbella Club, Spain

Courtesy of Marbella Club Hotel

There’s never a bad time to go to Spain, but escaping the winter chill of snowier climates for Málaga’s sunbaked streets makes the trip just a little more special. Marbella Club invites you into its halls decked with boughs of olive trees and dried oranges. Dine on festive menus of authentic Andalusian cuisine such as scallop carpaccio or crayfish quenelles and sweets like the honey nougat turron.

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