Where To Go In January 2024

Megève, France

Once the New Year crowds have subsided, January is the perfect time to go skiing. Our first Alpine port of call is France's Haute-Savoie region, specifically, Megève. Sitting at 1,100m in the hollow of the Mont Blanc massif, it is the chicest ski resort in the French Alps. The village itself dates back to the 13th century. Still, it became fashionable in the early 20th century when the Rothschild family — seduced by its cobbled streets and traditional farmhouses — decided to create a French ski resort to rival the Swiss classic, St Moritz. As well as its spectacular time-old views from the Mont d’Arbois plateau, you can make the most of its now vast ski area, which has 235 pistes for all levels — plus cross-country ski trails. Stay just above the village at Les Fermes de Marie, a five-star hotel with cocoon-like bedrooms and rustic-luxe interiors.

Book your stay here.

Read our Megève Insider Guide here.

Rougemont, Gstaad Valley, Switzerland

Newly opened this season, Le Club Chalet is a new project from 84 Rooms in the picturesque village of Rougemont in the Gstaad Valley. Featuring freshly renovated interiors that nod to the 60s and 70s alpine culture, its private hilltop position and seven bedrooms make it ideal for big group gatherings or a couple of families. Whatever their age, everyone will appreciate the dazzling 360-degree views of the surrounding Pays d’Enhaut and the Saanenland from its generous outdoor terrace. The Videmanette lift is a five-minute drive away, connecting skiers to the Gstaad Eggli resort, and the infamous Tiger Run on the Wasserngrat mountain. For those otherwise inclined, there are cross-country tracks and winter hikes that start right from the front door. After a day in the great outdoors, warm up in the Finnish sauna, before tucking into a feast by a private chef, or head into the village for the best raclette and fondue at Le Cerf.

Book your stay here.

Wagrain, Salzburg Alps, Austria

This month, our ski tour is also taking us to the family-friendly winter ski resort of Wagrain in the Pongau region of the Salzburg Alps. An idyllic area where nature is queen, this resort is joined with Flachau and Alpendorf thanks to the Panorama Link — creating the vast Salzburger Sportwelt ski area with 310 km of slopes and a matrix of cross-country trails. Bed down at one of Bergdorf Prechtlgut’s eight lavish chalets in the pretty mountain village Prechtlgut nearby. Designed like traditional Alpine huts, the chalets have cozy living spaces organized around huge fireplaces — as well as saunas and alfresco hot tubs. The best part? They offer a room service-style well-being menu that includes massages, baths, and meditation sessions with Carina, your host. In the evenings, you can eat a-la-carte in your chalet or join other guests for drinks and dinner for traditional Salzburger dishes in the restaurant.

Book your stay here.

Scottish Highlands

With Burns Night on January 25, the first month of the year is always a cozy, boisterous time to visit the Scottish Highlands. Long blustery walks where the elements are in charge, and candle-lit pub lunches are the order of the day. For the new year, we have our sights set on Aldourie Castle, the latest opening from the WildLand group. Set on the shores of Loch Ness, is a 300-year-old baronial castle that has been elegantly recast as a magical holiday home. As well as 500 acres of gardens and woodlands to explore, you will love the Boathouse — which has handy swimming access to the loch (not for the faint-hearted in January) and doubles up as a rather unique events space.

Kyoto, Japan

Winter in Kyoto is magnificent. Even though you will miss cherry blossom season — and its attendant crowds — there is so much to recommend this city in January, when the mountains are capped with snow, onsens come into their own and warming Japanese dishes such as hotpots are served. The place to stay is Shinmonzen, a small and luxurious hotel that sits on its namesake street, which is known for its artistic community and antiques shops. Sister to Villa La Coste in Provence, Shinmonzen was designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando, and took 10 years to complete. Shaped by omotenashi, Japan’s singular approach to hospitality, its eight-course tasting menus are something to savor. Make the most of the hotel’s insider access to local experiences, which include tea ceremonies and meditations within the grounds of the oldest Zen temple ‘Kenninji’. In January, you can also catch the start of Kyoto’s blooming plum trees, which have been prized for centuries and inspired many a haiku.

Byron Bay Hills, Australia

Now onto winter sun, and Australia’s Byron Bay Hills where in-the-know locals are flocking — and opening stylish new hotels. One such local is creative director Julia Ashwood, who has opened Sun Ranch alongside fashion designer Jamie Blakey in Coopers Shoot. A chic eco lodge set on 55 acres of old farmland, it was inspired by 1970s California ranch houses. Chef Pip Sumbak cooks over fire in the Field House’s alfresco dining area, with menus powered by local farmers’ markets and the hotel’s own kitchen garden. Byron’s surf beaches are only 20 minutes away by car, but there is so much to keep you busy at Sun Ranch: from a floating wood-fired sauna to ice baths, daily yoga and kayaking, sound healings and horse riding.

Palawan, Philippines

For a deserted island escape, we are looking towards the Philippines for January 2024. Head to Palawan, a pristine region in the Cuyo archipelago that is blessed with beautiful beaches and tropical rhythms. It is here that you will find Pamalican, the smallest island in the archipelago, which you can reach from Manila in a hour by a private, 15-seater seaplane. Pamalican is home to Amanpulo, which has 42 casitas — and no neighbors. An — albeit supremely luxurious — Robinson Crusoe-style set-up, it is the lush jungle, powder-soft sands and aquamarine waters that center stage at this Aman outpost. File this one under honeymoons.

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