Fly away for the festive season
From tipping the house upside down in search of decorations to manic crowds in over-heated shops, there’s no denying that Christmas sometimes feels a little samey. With this in mind, it can be tempting to ditch the traditions and see what else the world has to offer come December.
We’ve found a way for you to swap the Christmas chaos and tired old routine for high culture, ancient architecture, and far flung tropical escapes.
Unparalleled elegance in Paris
The “Oxford Street of Paris”, the Champs Elysées is a shimmering avenue of high end and high street shops interspersed with an array of eateries for a mid-spree snack.
But at Christmas, the Champs Elysées is amplified with a touch of rural charm. Quaint wooden chalets selling trinkets and tasty treats pop-up at one of Paris’s most magical Christmas markets. Pour over glittering goodies at the Christmas fairs or climb aboard a fairy tale carousel for a spin in the city.
If you’re really after a show, the Eiffel Tower will not disappoint. Hosting stunning displays every hour (on the hour) it’s a must see for light-show lovers, dazzling enough to enchant anyone into the Christmas spirit.
When it’s time to refuel, indulge in Parisian patisseries and a glass of champagne in the way it was intended, or sit down to fine cuisine for refined tastes in the most elegant surroundings of Paris’s chief restaurant scene in the 1st arrondissement.
This is a city purely for the cosmopolitan and it’s no different on the big day itself. So, if like Parisians, you prefer to ditch the dirty dishes for silver service and haute cuisine come Christmas day, you’ll find yourself in good company in Paris.
Expertly nestled in the cultural heart of Paris, the Millennium Hotel Paris Opera sits in the 9th arrondissement not far from the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Sacré-Cœur, and the Champs Elysées. An elegant base from which to explore the city, rooms at Millennium Hotel Paris Opera are clothed in luxury fit for celebrity.
+33 (0) 14 949 1600
Spiritual resplendence in Rome
The Christmas season begins in Rome with the holiday of the Immaculate Conception on 8th December and ends with the Epiphany on 6th January; plenty of time to explore the wealth of Rome’s cultural pedigree.
For an outdoor feel of the city’s celebrations, towering Christmas trees teeming with glittering decorations can be viewed at many of Rome’s high profile attractions such as the Spanish Steps, Colosseum, and Piazza Venezia.
And for the ultimate experience in Rome’s religious calendar, plan ahead to hear the Pope speak at Christmas Eve Mass at St Peter's Basilica. While seated outside of Rome in Vatican City – a country all of its own - this is an exception well worth making. Tickets are free, but demand is high so prior booking is a must.
Also not to be missed is the chance to glimpse ornate nativity scenes through the doors of the capital’s many churches - the most magnificent of which is said to be in St. Peter's Square.
A stay at the Grand Hotel Palace is a feast of finery in truly the most decadent surroundings. With its sweeping vistas, marble floors and the most refined decor, the word ‘palace’ delivers on its promise.
+39 06 478 719
Pulse-racing pastimes in Phuket
With idyllic beaches that hug the western coastline, magnificent cultural heritage and a colourful nightlife scene, Phuket is an incredibly popular Christmas destination for those on the hunt for out-of-the-ordinary festive fun.
Whether unwinding on sun-drenched shores or skimming the waves of this surfers’ paradise, Phuket’s coastline is a scenic delight of rich, verdant forest tumbling onto stunning white sand. With beauty just as startling offshore, diving and snorkeling is must.
A trip into Phuket Town will have you wandering among Buddhist monks in their signature orange robes while discovering vibrant markets, chic coffee houses, contemporary art galleries and eclectic boutiques. But if it’s true culture you crave on your Christmas break, then head off in search of Phuket’s hidden temples.
Being a predominantly Buddhist country, Christmas isn’t actually a holiday in Thailand. But you can still grab the traditional trimmings on Christmas Eve at Phuket’s western pubs and restaurants, or sample the island’s succulent seafood all season long.
Set within the complex of Jungceylon shopping centre, this peaceful urban retreat amid the hard-beating heart of Phuket provides sanctuary from sun-filled days strolling the beaches and sizzling nights on Phuket’s electrifying nightlife scene.
+66 7 660 1999
Whether it’s twinkling fairy lights or shimmering sands you’re after, holiday throughout the world this Christmas and #Letssparkle from Paris, to Rome to Thailand.