The Best Winter Sun Destinations

While for many of our Members, the winter chill brings with it thoughts of skiing, snow, and the mountains, a stay in a cosy chalet is far from the only option for a winter getaway. Destinations like the Alps will remain ever popular, but during the chillier months, why not turn things on their head, and experience some winter sunshine? From festive beach breaks to cocktails by the pool in January, here are some of our best winter sun destinations.

| Travel Inspiration

Costa Rica

Offering visitors some of the best beaches on the shores of both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica could be the perfect place to catch some sun this winter. The country experiences a dry and a wet season, with the drier time of year running between December and April. Thanks to its proximity to the equator, the temperatures in winter remain comfortably above 20 degrees Celsius.

It's not just the winter sun that appeals during a stay in Costa Rica: the country is also recognised as the happiest on earth in the Happy Planet Index. During a winter break you'll be able to enjoy everything from time on the water from world-class marina and yacht clubs; play a round of golf; visit a coffee plantation; or even enjoy some jungle exploration in search of the winter wildlife. It might not be the most traditional winter experience, but it's sure to be memorable.

A Costa Rican break in either Casa Cristal or Peninsula Papagayo (two of our luxury partner properties) is certain to be one of complete comfort. Both destinations boast unique aesthetic design and the very finest luxury facilities, including infinity pools and both oceanfront and canopy views.

Phuket, Thailand

During the winter months between December and April, the dry season sets in in Thailand, and it's the perfect time of year to visit. With hundreds of islands to explore, a rich history and culture, and some of the finest luxury experiences to be had, a visit to Thailand could be a fantastic way to enjoy the winter.

With daily temperature highs of around 30 degrees Celsius, a winter holiday to Thailand is anything but chilly, meaning the 'colder' months are perfect for unwinding in one of our properties. With three luxury villas to choose from on Phuket - the country's largest island - there are plenty of opportunities for a relaxing stay.

The winter might be the best time of year to visit one of Thailand's many unspoiled beaches, or to take a walk across the sand to the nearby island of Koh Kala. This, along with other sun-based staples (such as snorkeling or kayaking through the lagoons of the bordering waters) make Thailand one of the best winter sun destinations in the world. Combine all this with delicious culinary offerings - including delightful fresh street food and some exceptional fine dining restaurants on the doorstep - and the stage is set for a winter getaway that you'll never forget.

Marrakech, Morocco

While the arrival of the cold months might cause locals to reach for their warmest winter djellabas, for those of us used to colder climes, this time of year could be the best time to visit Marrakech. With temperatures remaining around 20 degrees fairly consistently throughout the day, winter is the perfect time to explore this hub of culture, cuisine, and comfort away from the summer crowds.

If you're visiting the city for the first time, you'll have the chance to explore the local cultural attractions, such as the contemporary Matisse Gallery, with very little competition from other tourists or visitors. You could also visit one of the many markets, dive into the sensory explosion that is The Souks & Jemaa el-Fnaa or simply explore the many stalls at your leisure.

Members of The Hideaways Club can also experience 5 golf courses in proximity to the accommodation, and a host of top restaurants (including the outstanding Cours de Lions, which offers a range of tasting and a la carte menus to sample some of the very finest traditional Moroccan cuisine available).

The Seychelles

This delightful collection of islands set in the Indian Ocean are about the nearest thing in the modern world to a true island paradise, and could offer the perfect escape from a winter of scarves and woolly hats. The annual climate is always warm, and sits comfortably between the mid 20s and low 30s in Celsius all year round. While the months between November and March are generally the coolest in the calendar, the weather is mild, warm, and humid, and these islands could be the ideal setting for a winter beach retreat.

With a charming Creole aesthetic and setting, our partner property in the Seychelles is set in the grounds Peter Sellers' previous home, and George Harrison's property). During your stay you can immerse yourself in some history by visiting the century-old Botanical Garden established by Queen Victoria (complete with private tortoise park), and then follow up with a game of tennis in the sun on the resort's private courts.

Sri Lanka

While Sri Lanka is subjected to not 1 but 2 monsoon seasons annually, the southern island (where our luxury property in Galle is located) is generally clear of rain between October and April. This, coupled with temperatures soaring to 30 degrees Celsius, means that the depth of winter could actually be the perfect time for a Sri Lankan holiday experience.

A trip to the palm-tipped beaches of Galle provides ample opportunity to soak up some winter sunshine, as you enjoy a drink on the sand. The islands rich history and Dutch colonial influence, combined with the tropical ambience is unique to the island, and the architecture, food, and culture all bring something unique to the experience. With the opportunity to visit authentic and original Sri Lankan landmarks such as the local tea plantation, a winter sun retreat to the island could be the setting for some fantastic new experiences.

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