You may think that, after all the festivities surrounding the holidays, January would be a time to wind down and regroup, but we’re of the mindset that it’s better just to keep the party going. Here are several events around the world that will tempt you to forget about your New Year’s resolutions for a little while longer.
If you follow sports, the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship (January 11) has probably been on your radar for months. Held at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, the big game will attract all sort of ancillary excitement to the area. Savvy ticket holders who want to stay near the action, but not necessarily in it, may want to reserve a spot at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician, just 30 minutes from the venue. It doesn’t matter if you’re an Alabama or Michigan State fan, you can agree that this 60-room resort-within-a-resort, which boasts private terraces overlooking the pool, golf course and Camelback Mountain, is pretty special. Even if you’re not going to the game, you can watch it from your well-appointed room (42-inch flat-screens) or from one of the TVs in the Thirsty Camel Lounge.
Punta Mita, Mexico
Combining golf and food, the VI Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic (January 29 through 31) is a welcome way to start the year. The 1,500-acre peninsula, home to two Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses, is surrounded on three sides by gorgeous waters and nearly 10 miles of coastline. The event brings out culinary stars (Dean Fearing, Diane DiMeo), golf legends (Lorena Ochoa, Craig Stadler) and aspiring players (over 200 individuals compete on three skill levels). A full slate of events makes sure everyone keeps entertained between all the goings on at the greens. Both the Five-Star Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita Mexico and Four-Star The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort are ideal locations to stay while you enjoy the events.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Fans of southwestern cuisine will be lined up for the first annual Santa Fe Foodie Classic, which will be held from January 15 to 17 at the Santa Fe Convention Center. The three-day event will feature more than 30 culinary artists, brewmasters and winemakers. Entrance includes samples from all the vendors and a souvenir tasting glass. Expect to be filled with special dinners, beer tastings, cooking demonstrations, a chef’s competition and much more. A great place to settle before and after you put your fork down is the nearby La Posada de Santa Fe, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa. Just a four-minute drive from the convention center, the luxe hotel has a contemporary Southwestern flair, an amazing art collection and a fantastic spa.
Charleston, South Carolina
Base yourself for the 33rd annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival on January 31. The world’s largest oyster festival, where more than 80,000 pounds of the mollusk are usually served, includes shucking and eating contests, as well as live music, dishes from local restaurants and food trucks, a kid’s area and more. VIP admission includes a special lane at entry gate and VIP tent access with food, beverages and oysters. If you want to further your Charleston culinary experience, book the Epicurean or the Grand Gastronomist package at Forbes Travel Guide Recommended French Quarter Inn, both of which include items like culinary tours, restaurant gift certificates and other treats.
The Four-Star Corinthia Hotel London has an unusual artist-in-residence program and, in January, Emily Hall will premiere her site-specific opera, “Found & Lost,” at the hotel’s fourth annual event. Running from January 25 through February 3, the musical journey will be performed for audiences of 12 at a time in rooms and restricted areas of the hotel. Beyond conceptualized art, the hotel is also home to the 35,000-square-foot, Four-Star ESPA Life at Corinthia spa (amphitheater sauna, indoor swimming pool). If you plan ahead, you can book the Stay Sunday, Spa Monday package and partake in the opera, an overnight stay, breakfast and a day at the sanctuary.
Giddyup, cowgirls and boys! This January and February, Four-Star Triple Creek Ranch is offering a ladies’ luxury vacation package in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The Cowgirl Gourmet Getaway (perfect for a girlfriend retreat or mother/daughter trip) packs cross-country horseback riding, hands-on cooking classes, one-hour massages and a chick-flick movie night into a four-night winter adventure. If you’re looking for a bit of romance, book a rustic cabin for two and attend a couples cooking school (January 28 to 31) with the resort’s executive chef, Jacob Leatherman.