Winter is coming. No, we haven't temporarily taken leave of our senses and this isn't a belated April Fool's. You did, in fact, read that correctly - we said winter. While summer hasn't really even kicked off yet (and who knows whether it will even make an appearance) news has reached us (through our network of deep-cover travel spies) that many of our favourite destinations are getting booked up very quickly for travel this winter. And we wouldn't want to deny you that all important mid-winter vitamin D fix so, without wanting to induce mass panic, it's time to get booking, people!
Anyone looking for winter sun without having to fly half way around the globe should look no further than Oman. During December and over Christmas it basks in the balmy mid-twenties (centigrade) and offers the opportunity for both total relaxation and a spot of adventure in the mountains and desert. Glitz and glamour may be the name of the game in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates but Oman is an altogether more understated and calm affair with its chic hotels and naturally beautiful landscape - not a man-made luxury island in sight.
Mexico. Land of ancient ruins, vibrant colours, buzzing cities, beautiful beaches, fabulous food and pretty much anything else you could ever wish for. From the pristine coastline and hyper luxurious hotels of Baja California to the ancient ruins of the Yucatan Peninsula and all the tacos you can eat in between, Mexico has something for everyone. December to April is generally considered the best time to visit, when the country is warm and dry, and Christmas is particularly popular so the time is nigh to get planning your Mexican adventure.
The Caribbean is quintessential winter sun territory and our pick of the (very lovely) bunch for this winter is Antigua, which is particularly perfect for families. Stay at Carlisle Bay on the south coast, and while Mum and Dad enjoy some well-deserved R&R, the kids will be entertained by the myriad watersports that the hotel offers, as well as its two fantastic kids clubs, catering for children from six months to 12 years old.
Cambodia's iconic cultural sites, of which Angkor Wat is the most well-known, have attracted antiquity adventurers for years but in more recent times the country has also upped its game on the luxury front, particularly along its underrated coastline. While the beaches of neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam tend to steal the headlines, those of Cambodia are just as worthy of recognition. And the beautiful Song Saa, on the Koh Rong Archipelago, just happens to be one of our favourite hotels. Ever.
For divers, it doesn't get much better in winter than the Maldives, which boasts an incredible diversity of marine life, from nudibranchs to manta rays, frogfish and stonefish. Add to that some of the very best luxury hotels in the world and powder soft sand beaches and you're onto a winter winner. The likes of Six Senses Laamu and Soneva Fushi still have availability for winter and Christmas but it's going like hot cakes so now is the time to book.