TRAVEL IDEAS: DECEMBER

 

So here we are again, and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...If you find yourself torn between the desire to escape the cold of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the desire to fully embrace it by taking to the slopes, then we have discovered the PERFECT solution! 

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As the ski season begins ease in gently at our favourite slope-side hotel, the Chedi Andermatt (named hotel of the year 2017) where alpine-chic meets Asian minimalism. Beginners can take their pick of slope from 120 kilometres spanning across including Gemsstock, Natschen, Sedrun and Oberalp and the more experienced skiers can play in powder exploring the backcountry. Guests can enjoy gourmet dining paired with the finest wines and finish off with a selection of cheeses (reaching 5 metres!) from the hotel's cheese cellar.  The hotel is just an hour's drive from Zurich makes it brilliantly accessible for a weekend away. Speaking of which, thanks to a direct flight with Oman Air from Zurich to Muscat, you can now combine snow at the Chedi Andermatt in Switzerland with sun in Oman at sister-property, Chedi Muscat. Located on the edge of the Indian Ocean just 20 minutes from the airport and a backdrop of the Hajar mountains, this exclusive 21-acre beach resort brings in a touch of Omani architecture and perfectly symmetrical simplicity with manicured gardens and water features. The chic minimalist rooms come with a complimentary minibar and Acqua di Parma toiletries with the Chedi Club Suites allowing access to The Club Lodge for those looking for peace and quiet. You can take your pick of eight restaurants with cuisine from around the world including Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean. The Chedi Muscat offers a wide range of activities from diving the azure waters to dune bashing in Wahiba Sands. NB Oman Air now also flies direct from Muscat to Nairobi and Zanzibar, we think 'souk and safari' and 'souk and spice' itineraries have a nice ring to them!

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Reykjavík is a very special place to celebrate New Year's Eve. Already renowned for its buzzing nightlife, the city comes alive with local bonfires and incredible midnight firework displays as far as you can see (and we know the best place to watch them). We've reserved tables at some fabulous restaurants serving delicious and inventive Icelandic fare, including Matur og drykkur, one of Reykjavík's top high-concept restaurants (the name means 'Food and Drink', and here you're sure to be plied with the best of both). The following day you can recover from the revelry with a long soak at the Blue Lagoon, or to build a longer itinerary we have some remaining space at several country hotels from where you can visit ice caves, climb glaciers, try your hand at snowmobiling or dogsledding, take in the sights of the exhilarating Golden Circle tour, and if you're lucky, catch a glimpse of the elusive Northern Lights...

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Alice Callander