Escape from Christmas

by Kobina Monney
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Christmas is all about snow, presents and the avalanche of movies that bombard our TV sets. Maybe you’re tired of the endless carols sung outside your house or you moan about meeting the less liked members of your family? What if you had the opportunity to escape the cold weather and wintry showers and head of for sunnier destinations? Why not change your routine, pack your bags and head off for a boutique cultural holiday in Malaysia? We have a few suggestions below for the best, most intriguing places to go for a warm winter holiday.

Lonno Lodge – Kenya

Situated on the edge of the Watamu Marine Park, this luxury hotel has only eight guest rooms (adding to the exclusive feel), making it the perfect place for a couple to go on a luxury wedding holiday in Kenya.

Surrounded by soft, white beaches, the view from the rooms of the marine park are peerless, made even better by the colours afforded by the rich, vibrant environment. There is a superb restaurant so while there probably will not be any traditional turkey, there will be something to savour on a leading gourmet break in Africa.

The best thing about the trip? Instead of being stuck indoors you will be able to venture out and try a variety of activities like walking in the shallow waters looking for marine life. Better yet, traverse the Sabiki River Delta and catch a glimpse of the wildlife in the area with flamingos and hippos that live in the area. For an unforgettable and special outdoor break in Kenya, a stay at Lonno Lodge is something to remember.

Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa – Malaysia

With wooden chalets, outdoor restaurants and lush, green scenery, the Meritus Pelangi Resort is a tropical haven that makes for a stunning destination for a special wellness break in South-east Asia. With a kilometre stretch of beaches, you and your spouse can walk unbothered as the sun beams down and not a Christmas carol to be heard. The resort, located on archipelago of 99 islands, is one of the most popular luxury nature holidays in Malaysia. That reputation is well-earned with its plentiful diving opportunities in the area. Make headway for Pulau Payer Marine Park and you will be able to go snorkelling in the shallow (or deep) areas of the park, finding a diverse array of nautical life to gaze at.

Dining at the hotel is a memorable experience where Malaysia’s rich legacy of authentic food is brought out by the aromas and spices used in their meals. If you are looking for a little more action and less contemplation then water sports might be your thing with a host of stuff to do (sea kayaking, parasailing and water skiing). A stay at Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa is the beginning of a rich holiday experience.

Moevenpick Hotel Doha – Dubai

With its sand swept scenery and luxury buildings, Dubai has sequestered the modern, technological feel that’s become synonymous with the Middle East. For a special Christmas break in Dubai, staying at the Moevenpick Hotel Doha will be hard to beat.

However it is not just the location that makes it such an interesting place culturally and from a shopping aspect. Places such as Doha are unrivalled in what they can offer for any tourist travelling in the region. Visit the museum of Islamic Art to dip your toes in cultural landmarks of the Middle East or have a walk down Doha’s famous Corniche, a 7km stretch of coastal esplanade that is dotted with palm trees making for a romantic and invigorating walk.

And as Dubai preaches the ‘bigger is better’ aesthetic, visit the Villagio Mall, a mammoth shopping centre that houses well known US, UK, German and Italian shops (where you can buy presents for loved ones). For a boutique cultural holiday in the Middle East, staying at Moevenpick Hotel Doha is hard to beat.

Eden on the Park - Australia

On the other side of the world lies a wealth of things to do on a leading cultural holiday in Australia and the best thing about it? Christmas happens during their summer months.

You can soak up the sun as you journey up and down the coast or stay in one place and maximise the opportunities the city has to offer. If you happen to be staying in Melbourne, we would recommend putting your feet up at Eden on the Park and taking it easy while the rest of the northern hemisphere freezes in the snowy conditions.

While you are there visit the Royal Botanical gardens and take a walk through the verdant scenery as you admire the variety of indigenous plants of offer and stroll past the idyllic lakes. Stop over at the Crown Entertainment complex where there are restaurants, nightclubs and spas; a little bit everything is on offer in the entertainment complex. Enjoy this and more when you visit Eden on the Park hotel for a special city getaway in Australia.

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