, / September 20th, 2019

Your Concierge Recommends

Member Experience Manager Glen Stacey works with his concierge team to regularly blog about top trending destinations, experiences and events from around the world.

Christmas is coming! Okay, I tell a lie, it’s ages away. Let me explain. Because my next post comes out in December, I thought you’d appreciate some seasonal getaway ideas – with enough time to plan said seasonal getaway.

Without further ado, here’s my selection of festivals, markets, and celebrations that go perfectly with this magical time of year. Just don’t forget to tell Santa where you heard it first.

Arctic Pride & Northern Lights

Arctic Circle

11–16 November

What would we do without Pride? And what would we do without the smaller but exquisitely formed Arctic Pride in Tromsø? Located just 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the Norwegian city puts on a real spectacle, complete with Northern Lights in the sky and headlining acts, parades, shows and festivals down on earth.

Austria & Magical Markets

Austrian Christmas Market

22 November–26 December

Festive holidays are special occasions and Austria’s glistening winter wonderland is an extra-special setting. I absolutely recommend staying in Salzburg and visiting the Christmas market in the snow-dusted castles beside Lake Traunsee in Austria’s Lake District. Voted the best market in Upper Austria in 2018, it’s like something out of a Hans Christian Andersen tale.

Romantic Bath & Shopping

Christmas Market

28 November–15 December

When I’m home for Christmas, Bath is where I go gift hunting. The town’s drop-dead seductive and I love the Artisan Quarter (Bath’s Brooklyn) with its indie boutiques. And the Christmas Markets around Bath Abbey? I’m getting tingly just thinking about the 100s of little chalets with distinctly British handmade artisan products.

Portuguese Riviera & Christmas

Christmas in Lisbon

13–27 December

For 14°C temperatures and a surf-caressed paradise of seafaring cities, old quarters and fishing villages, the Estoril Coast is where dreams of a bright Christmas come true. Stay in Ericeira and visit Lisbon, Mafra, Cascais, Lord Byron’s ‘glorious Eden’ of Sintra and the gorgeous hilltop town of Óbido, where the festive traditions, crafts and cuisine go back centuries.

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Transylvania & New Year Scares

Skiing Transylvania

27 December–2 January

Ready to do the Auld Lang Syne time warp again, in Transylvania? Head for the beautiful ski resort of Poiana Brasov surrounded by spooky forests with creepy twisted trees, mystical mountains and a bewitching medieval Saxon old town. Bran Castle is nearby, but I suggest visiting Vlad the Impaler (Dracula)’s real haunt, the far heebier-jeebier Poenari Castle.

Lake Louise & Ice Magic

15–26 January

‘We are all of us stars and deserve to twinkle,’ purred Marilyn Monroe, a regular Chateau Lake Louise guest. If you’re prone to post-festive blues, I propose Ice Magic Festival in Lake Louise. Here in the Rocky Mountains, the world’s top ice-carvers create stunning ice sculptures. Add horse-drawn sleigh rides and skating on the lake ... and you’re bound to get your twinkle back.




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