There’s only one cure for winter wanderlust. Pack your bags, because we know just the place for you.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
Dreaming of a winter wonderland? Head straight to Kakslauttanen, 155 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland. The stunning resort is known for its glass igloo accommodations, which offer unrivaled views of the Northern Lights. Though the sun disappears for most of the region’s winter, the resort seems to glow through the darkness. They say it’s light reflecting off snow, but we’d place our bets on Santa’s magic. He, Mrs. Claus and their herd of reindeer live on the property and welcome guests inside their cozy home.
Giraffe Manor, Nairobi
You could spend the holidays with family – or you could spend them with Jock, Eddie and Kelly, the gentle giants that call Giraffe Manor home. The endangered Rothschild giraffe roam the estate’s 12 acres, occasionally poking their heads in through an open dining room window. This Christmas, they’ll be kissing guests under the mistletoe for a little luck in the New Year.
If you’ve been really nice this year, Santa might consider splashing out €64,000 (about $68,000) for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Antarctica. White Desert welcomes no more than 12 guests at a time in its luxury camp, a 5.5-hour flight from South Africa. The full-service resort features sleeping pods with modern amenities, a dining room, lounge, library and snow as far as the eye can see. And there’s no shortage of things to do in this crystal city. Whether your afternoons are spent kite skiing or visiting a colony of emperor penguins is up to you.
Fairmont Banff Springs
Prepare to live like royalty at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Nestled within Banff National Park in Western Canada – the “land of a million Christmas trees” – the historic 764-room castle offers fairytale views of snow-capped mountains and towering evergreens. During the holidays, the hotel celebrates festivities from around the world: the Germanic Tannenbaum tree-lighting tradition, the Norse Yule Log ceremony, moon-lit sleigh rides, ice-skating and fireside hot chocolate among them.
Parsea Resort Phuket
Snowmen and jingle bells aren’t your thing? Consider an escape to paradise. From its cliff-top perch in Thailand’s tropical forests, Paresa overlooks the turquoise sea. The secluded boutique resort has earned a reputation for indulging the senses with memorable experiences: infinity pool dining, spa services inspired by ancient Thai healing and adventures like snorkeling and jungle treks. Paresa’s name translates from Sanskrit to “heaven of all heavens” – just one night at the resort and you’ll be humming “Joy to the World” all the way back to sub-zero temperatures.