Where To Go In January
After the excitement of the holidays, there’s no better time than January to jet off — whether that’s for a dose of winter sun or for a skiing jaunt in the mountains. Here, we share our pick of the best destinations to bookmark to start off the new year in style.
Salzburg Alps, Austria
In January, Salzburg itself is a snowy winter wonderland, with plenty of adrenaline sports on its doorstep in the Alps. We have two magical properties in the area: Biohotel Rupertus and Wiesergut. The first, near Leogang, is a family-run affair with a commitment to organic cuisine and guided by a climate-neutral lifestyle. The second is the new highlight of the Glemm Valley and boasts minimalist decor and a fantastic spa. Both give guests access to the Saalbach Hinterglemm skiing area, which has 200km of pistes and is considered one of the best areas in the Alps.
Bernese Mountains, Switzerland
The Bernese Alps, also known as the Bernese Oberland, has spectacular, James Bond-worthy scenery and is home to glaciers and towering peaks, including the alpine trinity: Jungfrau, Moench and Eiger. And it is in the Jungfrau region that you will find one of our favourite mountain stays, Hotel Jungfrau Wengernalp. Gloriously secluded at 1900m, this family-run hotel dates from the 19th century when it started life as an alpine inn. Now, guests can expect a five-course dinner every night, ski-in ski-out perks and an elegant drawing room for afternoon cakes and evenings by the fire. January is the perfect month to go, since the international Lauberhorn race rolls into Wengernalp.
After enduring a turbulent time, Sri Lanka is open and ready to receive visitors with open arms. There are several exciting new openings that make a new year trip there even more appealing, including Kurula Bay. Immersed in tranquility near Lake Koggala, there are treehouses and garden cottages dressed in perfect simplicity, alongside grounding wellness rituals and a beautiful pool. Nearby, PALM has opened a new four-bedroom villa and treehouse suites in its dreamy oasis near surfing spot Ahangama. Further down the coast towards the Yala National Park, stylish new hotel brand Reverie has just opened the beautiful and beach-front Kayaam House, with Ahu Bay opening next month.
For the eco-conscious traveller, there are few better far-flung options than Costa Rica, which has been a pioneer of sustainable tourism since the 1970s. Combine that with extraordinary biodiversity, a ‘pura vida’ slow approach to living and beautiful boutique hotels, and you have a very compelling destination for January, when the weather is also at its best. Make a booking at Nayara Tented Camp, which is set at the foot of the Arenal Volcano and where guests sleep in African safari-style canvas tents. But it is the outdoor terraces which make this hotel, with their outdoor showers, spring-fed pools and spectacular rainforest views.
Race lovers will also want to have ritzy ‘Kitz’ on their radar for this ski season since The Hahnenkamm race takes place at the end of January. Stay at The Kitzhof Mountain Design Resort, which has stunning views of the Kitzbüheler Horn and Hahnenkamm peaks; or the exclusive Kitzbühel Lodge, whose luxurious penthouses enjoy all the trappings of the 'Kitzbühel Country Club', a private members’ club. Whilst you’re in town, don’t forget to book in for a long lunch at The Sonnbühel, one of our favorite mountain restaurants and a fixture of Kitz since the golden age of the 1920s.