Now that the confetti has been swept and the Christmas decorations have been stowed, it’s time to focus on some much-needed, post-holiday self-care. Kick off 2019 with an out-of-the-box adventure to a dynamic destination this January, when food-focused events, active pursuits and a few unusual attractions inspire a new year of bucket-list-worthy experiences.
Outdoor winter fun gets a whole new meaning in Hong Kong, where the fifth annual Great European Carnival takes over Central Harbour through February 18.
An array of retro rides and amusement park-style games promise non-stop family fun, but the undisputed highlight of the three-month extravaganza is The Great Circus of Europe, a troupe of British-based performers showcasing all your favorite acts, from gravity-defying acrobatics to feats of strength.
Reserve a room at Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong to enjoy a prime home base for the festivities (the hotel is less than a 10-minute walk from the venue) while basking in an event-themed package that includes daily breakfast, complimentary carnival tickets and two MTR (mass transit railway) day passes that allow you to see the rest of the city sights.
Winter in the Hub may be frightful, but inside Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Boston Harbor Hotel, the ambiance is delightful as the property gears up for the 30th edition of the Boston Wine Festival (January 11 through March 29).
Started by the hotel’s renowned chef, Daniel Bruce, this vino extravaganza is the longest-running wine fest in the U.S. The 11-week showcase highlights some of the world’s finest vintners, including 2019’s special guests, Anthony and Olive Hamilton Russell of South Africa’s Hamilton Russel Vineyards.
Be sure to pick up tickets to any of the event’s myriad tastings, Q&A sessions, wine dinners and brunches. In between sips, refresh in one of the ultra-luxe property’s plush accommodations —request a harbor-view room to make the most of your stay.
Prep for the upcoming awards season with a slew of behind-the-scenes studio tours on offer around Tinseltown from the likes of Warner Bros., Paramount and Universal Studios. See where movie magic is made and, maybe, catch a glimpse of an A-lister on the job.
Just 30 minutes from the Dolby Theatre, site of the 2019 Academy Awards, Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey is where to check in. Admire the docked luxury yachts just outside your window before heading down to the eight-room spa for a red-carpet-worthy treatment.
Silicon Valley’s Rosewood Sand Hill is more than just a lavish retreat from the bustling business district of Menlo Park. On January 8, the Five-Star hotel hosts a savory send-off for the chefs representing Team USA at France’s prestigious Bocuse d’Or culinary competition.
Stop by for an exclusive meet-and-greet with the crew (only 200 tickets are available) and a tasty reception packed with bites from some of the Bay Area’s top toques.
But the best part may be knowing that proceeds from the event will benefit Ment’or, a nonprofit offering culinary mentorship to young professionals.
The culinary stars align in the Caribbean this winter during the 11th annual Cayman Cookout. Held at Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, this foodie festival (January 16 to 20) cooks a lineup of celebrity chefs like Eric Ripert, José Andrés and Emeril Lagasse, who take the stage for meet-and-greets, cooking demonstrations and tasting tours.
Rest your head at the host hotel with its Cayman Cookout package: a four-night stay inclusive of daily buffet breakfast and tickets to some of the event’s highlights, such as the Wine Fair and Auction, Barefoot Barbecue and Saturday night’s After Dinner Party.
While this sleepy Northeastern town may not immediately come to mind when you think of gourmet goods, foodies will want to book a special trip to partake in the annual Sun Wine and Food Fest.
Held from January 24 through 27 at Forbes Travel Guide Recommended casino resort Mohegan Sun, the four-day fest features a slew of local restaurant tastings, celebrity chef demonstrations (including Food Network personalities Aarón Sánchez and Alex Guarnaschelli) and plenty of sips to go around.
Don’t miss the opening act, Boston Brews and Bites, during which a lineup of Hub-based athletes (former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez and Boston Bruin defenseman Ray Bourque highlight the roster) will cook up their favorite game-day eats alongside some of the city’s elite chefs.
Skip the gym and head straight for the mountains to work off those extra holiday pounds. Lake Placid’s Four-Star Whiteface Lodge offers a tempting Ski Soak Eat Repeat promotion this winter that hits all the high notes of a splendid self-care stay: two Whiteface Mountain lift tickets; complimentary use of the resort’s hot tubs, steam and sauna facilities; discounted spa services; and gratis breakfast.
To sweeten the deal, the ski-season package also includes up to a $100 resort credit when you book a three-bedroom suite, so be sure to round up a few friends to hit the slopes with you.
This vino-rich region is magical any time of year, but winter is particularly illuminating —especially during the city’s annual Napa Lighted Art Festival (January 12 to 20).
The downtown district will be dotted with light installations from local artists all accompanied by after-hours activities, including lantern parades, live music and the ever-popular Night Bloom (a nighttime hot-air balloon festival taking place both weekends of the event).
Take in the city sights from your perch at Four-Star Napa River Inn, where a dedicated festival package includes fresh pastries delivered to your room daily, spa discounts and gratis parking in addition to historic accommodations downtown.