The year may be coming to a close, but there’s still time to tick a few destinations off your travel bucket list. From splashy restaurant debuts to larger-than-life concerts to wellness weekends in remote locations, there are plenty of reasons to pack your bags this December.
Dubbed Scarfes and Scotch: A Walk Through the World of Scotch Whiskey, the educational (and tasty) session takes you around Scotland in four sips, each accompanied by a brief history lesson, an overview of how the spirit is made and a description of its flavor profile. At the end of the 90-minute class, you’ll leave with newfound knowledge and a petite bottle of single malt as a parting gift.
After your tasting, linger over a Scotch and soda in the cozy surroundings of Scarfes Bar. Browse the collection of cartoon sketches by British artist Gerald Scarf (the lounge’s namesake), until the bar’s live jazz and cabaret shows begin.
This laid-back West Indies hideaway provides a respite from bitter winter winds. Just in time for the holidays, the island’s Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Four Seasons Resort Nevis is unveiling the final touches of a multi-year renovation.
Joining a roster of refreshed amenities like the Kids For All Seasons children’s club and ocean-view Mango restaurant, the infinity-edge Limin Pool is the new crown jewel of this Caribbean resort. Here, you can sip rum punch by day and listen to DJ-spun tunes after sundown. The updated pool will be accompanied by On the Dune, a casual, seafood-focused restaurant expected to debut in mid-December.
Catch a larger-than-life show under the stars during Face 2 Face, an Elton John and Billy Joel tribute concert on December 6. Part of Sea Island Resort’s Southern Grown Concert Series, the interactive duet features comedic bits, sing-alongs and covers of the two artists’ greatest hits, culminating in a dueling piano finale.
After the musical fun, retire to your posh, Spanish-Mediterranean digs at Five-Star The Cloister. If you’re still wired from belting out “Crocodile Rock” and “Piano Man,” head for the cozy confines of River Bar & Lounge for late-night bites (like Parmesan truffle fries) and a nightcap as classic as some of the songs you just heard at the concert.
On this particular peak, ski season kicks off November 29, making the beginning of December a prime time to hit the slopes before the holiday crowds settle in. Stay in recently renovated Snowpine Lodge to enjoy a prime location in the heart of Little Cottonwood Canyon, just a short downhill ski from a newly constructed lift.
After a day of outdoor adventures (snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are also popular winter pursuits), the luxurious address offers plenty of ways to help you unwind. Sing karaoke at The Nest entertainment center, fuel up at Swen’s Restaurant, take a dip in the heated outdoor pool or indulge in a muscle-melting massage at Stillwell Spa.
Break away from the holiday hustle with a remote (but no less luxurious) getaway to The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort.
As part of the picturesque property’s November-debuted Visiting Practitioners Series, wellness therapist Non Suksee will have private consultations from December 12 through January 28. Combining reiki, tai chi and yoga, the holistic specialist’s therapies can help relieve pain, reduce stress and stimulate the digestive system — just the antidote to seasonal stress.
Round out your wellness escape with a visit to Iridium Spa. Don’t miss a soak in the stunning Blue Hole hydrotherapy pool, where heated seawater and whirlpool jets dissolve any remaining tensions.
Expect a star-studded splash in Sin City this December when acclaimed chef Michael Mina and restaurateur/cookbook author Ayesha Curry debut the fifth outpost of their popular culinary collaboration, International Smoke.
Inspired by the duo’s love of global flavors and flame-grilled fare, the menu at the new MGM Grand Hotel and Casino location will feature smoked St. Louis pork ribs finished with your choice of sauce (the Korean sesame gochujang red chili paste version adds a unique kick) and Ayesha’s fresh-baked cornbread served with Thai red curry butter.
After your wood-fired feast, retreat to the quiet confines of The Signature at MGM Grand Las Vegas, a Forbes Travel Guide Recommended all-suite property just steps from the action.
Between festive gatherings and family functions, make time to recharge and reset with Four-Star Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.’s Silent Night. On December 11 at 7 p.m., the Four-Star spa will host a gratis one-hour silent meditation to help you feel centered this season.
But the multi-sensory experience doesn’t stop there: facial masks, aromatherapy, Tibetan singing bowls, low-glowing meditation lamps and post-session snacks stimulate all five senses.
Hang on to your Zen a little longer with a stay at the elegant, Asian-influenced hotel. Earth-toned rooms, deep-soaking tubs and serene courtyard views ensure an evening of relaxation.