Winter Travel – Tis The Season To Travel to Italy, Switzerland, St. Barts and more

Tuscany, Italy


Forget an Italian summer: winter is the best time to visit Tuscany. Eat fabulous food and drink fine wine without the hassle of crowds. December and January are the best months to have an Italian holiday if privacy is what you seek.


If you want to feel like a king or queen, immediately book a room at the newly opened five-star hotel, Castello di Casole. The Timbers group has lovingly and extensively restored this Italian castle once owned by the noble Bargagli family, located on a 4,200-acre estate in Siena, so that it’s even more opulent than its 17th century predecessor. In addition to the private painting classes and winery tours, the resort also offers wine lovers the chance to do their part for the winter harvest by helping to pick both grapes and olives. The resort hosts 41 private, Old Tuscan style suites for rental, but those who completely fall in love with the property (and you will) can actually buy a fraction of the penthouse or one of the farmhouses as part of the private club residence program. The VIP, very private Essere Spa is also a delightful spot to indulge in a couples massage after a long day of cibo and vino.

Castello di Casole
Località Querceto
53031 Casole d’Elsa
Siena, Italia
Room rates from $1500 to $5700 during peak season


For some fine Italian fare, try the Michelin starred Arnolfo, as well as the relative newcomer Il Palagio, located inside the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze on the Palazzo della Gherardesca.

Ristorante Arnolfo
Via XX Sttembre
50 53034 Colle di Val D’elsa
Province of Siena, Italy
0577 920549

Il Palagio
Borgo Pinti, 99 50121
Florence, Italy
055 26261

St. Moritz, Switzerland

St. Moritz is a snowy Swiss paradise for all ages. Jet setters come here not only to see and be seen, but also to enjoy the haute nightlife. Whether its hitting the slopes at Cresta Run or heading to the chic King’s club at Badrutt’s Palace, there is truly something different for everyone. Travel in January in order to catch the St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow as well as the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival.

El Paradiso, a private club perched above the city, offers an amazing view in addition to its mouth-watering delicacies.


Badrutt’s Palace, one of the certified Leading Hotels of the World, is easily the most luxurious in Switzerland. It is also home to seven gourmet restaurants including Le Bistro, run by Frederic Creuil and created by Italian designer Maurizio Argenti. To actually feel like royalty, book yourself into the Presidential Suite for $5800 per night. Another option is the Kulm Hotel, a timeless fivestar property that’s been in operation for over 150 years.

Badrutt ’s Palace Hotel
Via Serlas 27 7500
St. Moritz, Switzerland
081 837 10 00
Rates from $500 for an average room; the opulent Hans
Badrutt suite is $21,300 per night

Kulm Hotel
Via Veglia 18 7500
St. Moritz, Switzerland
081 836 80 00
Rates from $650 to $5800 per night in peak season


Bumanns Chesa Pirani, located in the neighboring town of La Punt, is a spot beloved by Queen Sylvia and Carl Gustav of Sweden, which should say enough. El Paradiso, a private club perched above the city, offers an amazing view in addition to its mouth-watering delicacies.

Bumanns Chesa Pirani
CH-7522 La Punt bei
St. Moritz/Engadin
+41 (0)81 854 25 15

El Paradiso
Via Engiadina/Randolins 7500
St. Moritz, Switzerland
081 833 40 02

St. Barts, The French Caribbean

Those who want a true winter getaway should head straight for the French Caribbean’s playground to the rich and famous, St. Barthélemy. On St. Barts you needn’t do anything more taxing than lie on the beautiful beach of Anse de Colombier, which is appropriately referred to as “Rockefeller’s Beach” after former owner David Rockefeller. Once you’ve had enough sun, enjoy some of the island’s luxury shopping in stores like Chopard, Tourbillon Saint-Barth and Goldfinger.


Though it made its grand island entrance in 2005, Le Sereno is still considered a relative newcomer to the St. Barts scene. Famed Parisian designer Christian Liagre recreated the resort’s 37 suites and villas on glitzy Grand Cul-de-Sac beach to have a modern luxury feel. Even the robes and high thread-count sheets and towels will make guests feel as if they’re indulging, as D. Porthault especially made the coverings for Le Sereno. Another hotel of note is perhaps the island’s most famous: The Eden Rock was the first and largely considered to be the most iconic— if you can get a room, that is.

Le Sereno Hotel
BP 19, Grand-Cul-de-Sac
97133 Saint Barthélemy
French West Indies
1-888-LESERENO or +(590) 590 298 300
Rates from $930 to $19,000 per night in peak season

Eden Rock
Baie de Saint Jean
St. Barthélemy
+590 590 297 999
Ultraluxe Beach villas, Villa Nina & Rockstar are priced
upon request


The combination of celebrity chef Jean Georges Vongerichten’s haute cuisine coupled with a pictureperfect location in the Eden Rock Hotel makes a meal at On the Rocks with Jean-Georges one that can’t be missed. Also try Le 88, the spot to see and be seen in Gustavia’s Carré d’Or shopping pavilion, which is conveniently nestled between Cartier and Hermès. Eat, shop and be merry.

On the Rocks with Jean-Georges
St. Jean Bay, St. Barthélemy
F97133 French West Indies
590 590 29 79 99

Le 88
Le Carré d’Or Gustavia
St. Barths 97133
590 590 52 46 11

Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is a sleepy little ski town in Colorado where A-listers go to hit the slopes. Its proximity to Los Angeles makes the gorgeous resort area a must-do for the LA elite. In addition to being the jet set’s favored spot for winter play, it’s also a great place for foodies, as there are dozens of delectable restaurants in the town’s tiny, 3.5-mile radius.


Check in to the Little Nell, Aspen’s only five-star, fivediamond hotel. Guests can ski in and out of the Nell’s back door, drop their fur coat and huddle in to warm themselves by a roaring fire. The extravagance of the Pfeiffer suite is well worth the $6,740 per night price tag. As another option, pre-book a stay at Aspen’s resident crown jewel, the Hotel Jerome. Though this historic, 123 year-old local landmark won’t re-open its doors until December 14, travelers are eagerly awaiting its return. Designer Todd-Avery Lenahan has lovingly restored the lobby and atrium, added a stylish new American bistro in Prospect, updated the guest rooms and added a new Auberge spa. Stay in the extravagant Jerome B Wheeler Room for $5800 a night.

The Little Nell
675 East Durant Avenue
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 920-4600
Rates range from $500 to $6,470 per night in peak season

Hotel Jerome
330 East Main Street
Aspen, CO 81611
(800) 331-7213
Room rates from $475 to $4,600


Nobu Matsuhisa’s fabulous fusion restaurant, Matsuhisa, is packed on any given night as patrons clamor to try his traditional Japanese dishes blended with Peruvian and Argentine ingredients. Another option is the Caribou Club, a wood-paneled members-only venue with an extensive wine list and contemporary American fare. For a truly special culinary experience, reserve a spot at Cloud 9, a bistro located at the top of the Cloud Nine lift that is only accessible by gondola or SnowCat.

303 East Main Street
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 544-6628

Caribou Club
411 East Hopkins Avenue
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 925-2929

Cloud 9 Alpine Bistro
At the top of Cloud Nine lift
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 544-3063

Courchevel, France


International travelers with an affection for winter sports should treat themselves to a vacation at Courchevel, a cold-weather resort destination located in the French Alps. Though the area is primarily a skier’s paradise, a pedestrian lift pass makes it easy for those who simply prefer to indulge in delicacies at one of the area’s seven Michelin-starred restaurants to meet others atop the mountain. Shoppers can also enjoy themselves by browsing through luxury boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Fendi, Dior and Chanel.

 Those seeking a gourmet meal should also make sure to try Le Chabichou’s upscale menu of caviar and duck foie gras.


The five-star Hôtel de Charme Les Airelles is a postcard worthy luxury ski chalet. Les Airelles, one of France’s esteemed LOV Hotel Collection properties, is situated in a prime location adjacent to the pistes via Gloriette and the Relais des Skieurs, hosts a two-Michelin star Pierre Gagnaire Restaurant, has an exclusive Hermes-designed horse-drawn carriage and a Fendi boutique. It also happens to be one of eight hotels honored with “Palace” status in France. Those who can afford it should stay in the 5,900 square-foot private apartment on the top floor of the hotel For $45,000 per night, you’ll have your own butler, screening room, spa and Jacuzzi.

Hôtel de Charme Les Airelles
Le jardin Alpin
73120 – Courchevel, Savoie—France
+33 (0 )479 00 38 38
Rates from $2,300 to $45,000 per night during peak


The two-Michelin starred eatery Le 1947 is designed in leather décor by Sybille de Margerie and serves haute cuisine from award-winning chef Yannick Alleno. Its name even has a pedigree: it refers to Chateau Cheval Blanc’s most prestigious and sought-after vintage. Those seeking a gourmet meal should also make sure to try Le Chabichou’s upscale menu of caviar and duck foie gras.

Le 1947 at Cheval Blanc
Cheval Blanc Courchevel
Le Jardin Alpin
73120 Courchevel 1850—France
+33 4 79 00 50 50

Le Chabichou
BP21, 73120 Courchevel, France
011 33 4 79 08 00 55

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

With its white, sandy beaches, crystal-blue waters and convenient location, Cabo San Lucas is the vacation spot of choice for many a celebrity and power player. The Mexican city is a hop, skip and a jump for everyone from George Clooney to Jennifer Aniston to even President Barack Obama. Angelenos rejoice in particular over the easy two-hour plane ride.


Las Ventanas al Paraiso is the only five-diamond resort in Cabo, which makes it easily the most exclusive property in the vicinity. This Rosewood resort, beloved by everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Jessica Biel, is best known as the hotel that put Cabo on the luxury map. This December marks the haute resort’s 15th anniversary, which also celebrates new and enhanced amenities including three new luxury beach cabanas, a multimillion dollar spa restoration and renovation of beachside restaurant The Sea Grill.

Las Ventanas Al Paraiso
KM 19.5 CTRA. Transpenninsular, San Jose Del Cabo
Baja California Sur, 23400, Mexico
Rates from $880 to $6,900; higher rates apply during


Make sure to dine at Cabo mainstay Edith’s, which serves standard Baja fare with a Guerreran flair, as well as Market, a Jean George establishment located inside the One & Only Palmilla resort.

Edith ’s
Avenida del Pescador SN El Medano
23410 Cabo San Lucas
Baja California Sur, Mexico
01 624 143 0801

One & Only Palmilla
23400 San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
01 624 146 7000