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November 27, 2008

Relax-mas

We know it would be a shame to miss Christmas dinner at Aunt Trudy’s house this year (her turkey’s a little dry, but she makes a mean fig pudding!). But after the craziness of the past few months, no one would blame you if you were more into the vacation aspect of Christmas vacation than the cheer-spreading, tree-trimming and carol-singing elements. If, when you close your eyes, instead of visions of sugarplums, you’re seeing visions of strawberry daiquiris being brought straight to your beach chair, we’ve got a few suggestions to tempt you even further. . .

Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi, Thailand
If another weekend spent at a tourist trodden, culture absent, island chain hotel in Thailand just wont quench your intrepid wanderlust, escape to the tiny island of Yao Noi, just a 45-minute boat ride from Phuket where the newest Six Senses Hideaway is set to sweep you away. Pristine beaches, stunning limestone formations, lush jungles and tiny fishing villages await your thirst for adventure and authenticity, while 56 nature inspired villas with private sun decks and infinity pools provide privacy, luxury and comfort. The resort’s gorgeous and welcoming Six Senses Spa nestled into the hillside completes the picture, making this hide-away one you should definitely seek. Even St. Nic is booked for a post-xmas pampering! (+66 76 418 500, http://www.six-senses.com)

Capella, Lord Howe Island, Australia
If you’ve had a few too many doses of Hong Kong’s wild nights and crazy days, Capella on Australia’s remote Lord Howe Island is the perfect antidote. Rugged volcanic peaks, untamed forests and serene lagoons encircled by the southern-most coral reef in the world have helped to give this island the nickname “the world’s last paradise”. Capella, is perched high above the waters with both beach and mountain views, cosy suites, modern restaurants with contemporary Pacific cuisine and a beautiful spa. Take in the morning light on a hike up the nearby peaks, spend the afternoon snorkeling in the crystal clear waters, and embark on an evening stroll on the pristine beaches, all without seeing a stitch of pollution and with birds and sea life abound! This awe-inspiring paradise is just a two-hour flight from Sydney, and you’ll still be with a Lord (of some sort!) on Christmas! (+61 02 9918 4355 , http://www.lordhowe.com)

Huvafen Fushi, Maldives
Whether you’ve seen it in one of your thousand travel magazines or in your own very colourful escapist daydreams, the image of you standing on the terrace of a stunning over-water bungalow is so vivid it deserves to be a reality. And where better to live out your fantasies than the ultra luxurious, super suave Huvafen Fushi in the Maldvies. Just 30 minutes by speedboat from the international airport, this idyllic spa resort consists of 43 bungalows, each with a private pool (as if it wasn’t enough to have the ocean surrounding you on all sides!) kitted out by contemporary designers and wired up with everything from surround sound to iPod docking stations. An underwater spa helps relaxation come over you in waves while yoga programs in the open air remove any traces of your former urban existence. Sporting his new red swimsuit, we’re sure Santa will find it in his heart to visit you here! (+960 6644 222, http://www.huvafenfushi.com)

We have a feeling that this year you may be sending Aunt Trudy a postcard! Wish you were here. . .



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