Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
The resort's 147 villas are built into a tiered hillside with lush foliage and clear bay views. Stroll down to some of the prettiest beaches in southern Bali, or spend some time in the infinity pool (one of our favorite spots). This is truly a place to get into the spirit of the season.
For more information, visit www.fourseasons.com.
Deia, Mallorca, Spain
La Residencia offers luxurious seclusion in a tiny mountain village setting above the Mediterranean. It's a magnificent hotel in a stunning place. The property was created from a 16th century manor house. Guestrooms feature antique furnishings. Make sure to take time to explore the hotel's amazing art collecting featuring the works of island artists.
For more information, visit www.laresidencia.com.
In the 1800s, King Louis XV commissioned the palace that became a luxurious home-away-from-home to the rich and famous in 1909. The rooms and suites offer all the comfort and cushiness you'd expect. The elegant Les Ambassadeurs restaurant is one of the city's finest--Chef Jean-Francois Piege's cuisine simply sublime. Christmas in Paris can't get any better than this.
For more information, visit www.crillon.com.
Located in a quiet corner of St. James Place in Mayfair, Dukes has only 90 rooms and is purposely low key. Guestrooms have traditional furnishings and marble bathrooms, and there's a small spa. But our favorite place is the cozy first-floor bar--sit here and you feel like you're in someone's living room, with the bonus of enjoying an expertly prepared martini.
For more information, visit www.dukeshotel.com.
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
One of the best ski resorts in North America. The 550-room Fairmont Chateau Whistler is located right at the base of Blackcomb, and has a classic alpine ambience. You'll find plenty of cozy fireplaces scattered throughout the premises. For a splurge, book a suite with a slope-view tub.
For more information, visit www.fairmont.com.
Uruguay Cruise from Buenos Aires
Small is a good thing on SeaDream. Passengers enjoy an ultraluxury yacht experience, far from the mega-ship crowds. Make sure to spend time in the comfy Balinese Sun Beds on Deck 6. Look out to sea and you won't miss your Christmas tree one bit.
For more information, visit www.seadream.com.
This is the original Santa country. It's highly likely you'll see reindeer, and you'll certainly see amazing scenery, from one of the 11 comfortable passenger/deliver ships in this fleet. The route is Bergen to Kirkenes and back, with the opportunity to take advantage of organized excursions.
For more information, visit www.norwegiancoastalvoyage.us.
The 493-room hotel is on the north shore, and guestrooms have sweeping views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Two Jack Nicklaus Signature courses will inspire golfers, there's a full-service spa, Camp Hyatt program for kids and a 10,000 square foot, European-style casino (hey, it's near Vegas). Are you gonna be naught or nice?
For more information, visit www.hyatt.com.
Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
Accommodations at both resorts are in condo-like suites set in tropical gardens, but the beach is the real attraction. Guests can enjoy the services and amenities of both properties with a complimentary shuttle.
For more information, visit www.oceanclubresorts.com.
Winter wonderland here is a historic palace on Lake Geneva, with views of the snow-covered French Alps. This 1800s property offers the height of European elegance. New additions include a wonderful full-service spa. The gourmet restaurant La Rotonde boasts a Michelin star, and is a perfect venue for Christmas Eve.
For more information, visit www.brp.ch.
Canadian Mountain Holidays
Since 1965, CMH has been choppering skiers to the far reaches of British Columbia’s peaks. You’ll hole up at one of their 12 luxury lodges in one of their 12 distinct ski areas and hit the slopes from right outside your door. Not only is the dry, fluffy snow some of the best in the Rockies, but skiers start at a lower altitude than the American Rockies (around 10,000 feet), meaning you’ll have more oxygen and can finish low enough to ski in the trees. A variety of packages lets you choose how long your multi-day stay is and how much chopper time you want so you can play as hard—or as easy — as you like.Season: December – early MayPrices: 7-day trips starting around $4,900 per personFor more information: Canadian Mountain Holidays;
Colorado’s only heli-skiing operation is based out of Telluride. For guests staying in town, Helitrax offers one- to three-day packages, as well as private charters and a one-week package including unlimited heli-skiing and accommodations at a turn-of-the-century ghost-town luxury lodge with natural indoor and outdoor hot springs. You’ll fly to a peak landing-zone elevation of 13,800 feet, the highest in North America, where everyone from amateur powder hounds to steep-couloir experts will be satisfied.Season: Mid-January – mid-AprilPrices: Single days from $945 per personFor more information: Helitrax; 866-435-4754
A unique, two- or three-country journey that choppers you through Switzerland, Italy and France while your bags travel by road. Ski Verbier, Courmayeur and Chamonix on the Three Valleys tour, or take in the splendor of the Matterhorn and stay in the famed Hotel Zermatterhof before continuing on to Cervinia on the Alpine Tour. Along the way are unique experiences like visiting the monks of the Grand St. Bernard Hospice, a famous mountain-pass monastery on the border between Switzerland and Italy. Experience mountain vistas and open-valley skiing as you appreciate the cultural difference and amazing cuisines.Season: March – AprilPrices: $6,500 – $8,260 per personFor more information: SwisSKIsafari; +41-27-398-2194
Casa Tours/Andes Heliski
Go with Chile’s first heli-ski company for a week schussing the Andes. You’ll be choppered out of Santiago to a base camp just 10 minutes away. But where you’ll be skiing feels a world away — it’s terrain that would take a week and tons of expert gear to get back into. The runs here go from 14,000-foot ridges to 8,000-foot high-valley floors, and the longest is a whopping 9,500 feet — it normally takes four hours to ski.Season: Mid-July – end of SeptemberPrices: $6,845 per personFor more information: Casa Tours; 888-311-2272
Perhaps the ultimate in indulgence. Your helicopter ferries you and 11 friends to your waiting 201-foot megayacht off the coast of British Columbia where you land à la James Bond. As the ship sails into quiet coves, you’re in total control of your activities. Board the chopper and within minutes be in some of the world’s deepest powder and most gorgeous peaks. If the weather’s bad or you don’t feel like skiing, take the copter and go heli-fly-fishing or go waterskiing or kayaking. Return for a massage, a custom-cooked meal and a stocked wine cellar.Season: March – April Prices: $36,000 per day (12-person maximum)For more information: Absinthe; 866-935-3228
Hit the backcountry of the Wasatch Mountains, in an area larger than all the Utah ski resorts combined. You’ll ski through untracked regions filled with Utah’s famous fluffy powder. Powderbird books per day, and you can expect an average of seven runs and 15,000 vertical feet while skiing with seven other guests and two guides. Or charter you own chopper and hit the vast backcountry with your friends.Season: Mid-December – mid-April Prices: $700 – $910 per person, per dayFor more information: Powderbird; 800-974-4354
The exclusive Arlberg region fittingly serves up Austria’s only opportunity for heli-skiing. Fortunately, you’ll find some amazing skiing out of the ritzy Lech and Zurs. Go with Wucher Helicopters and you’ll pay per run, with each lasting about an hour. You’ll be dropped off above treeline at around 8,500 feet, for wide-open, powder-filled skiing.Season: January – April Prices: 350 euros ($450) per ride (for 3 skiers)For more information: Wucher; +43-5550-3880-0
Ski the Pyrenees in Spain’s Val d’Aran region, where the altitude is a breathable 9,000 feet and the runs can be in wide-open valleys or off of rocky cornices. Choose an aggressive ski day where you can take on three to six runs. Or just get one lift in the chopper and enjoy a long, leisurely scenic run with a stop for – what else – a long, leisurely, scenic lunch. You can also commit to the four-day heli-camp, where you’ll explore all kinds of hidden slopes.Season: Mid-November – mid-May Prices: From 180 euros ($230) per person for 3 descentsFor more information: Heliski Aran; +34-646-13-36-21
Snowpack is what makes heli-skiing in Alaska so special — the snow sticks to almost inconceivable places, making even the most dramatic terrain accessible. You don’t pay for vertical feet here, but rather for helicopter hours, which works out to be more cost-effective. You’ll ski in an area of 2,000 square miles, over steep peaks and wide-open glaciers, watching for bears coming out of hibernation and staying in a cannery-turned-luxury lodge. Or book The Maritime Maid, an 85-foot vessel that can take you to even more remote locales.Season: Mid-February – mid-MayPrices: $3,720 per person for a 6-day trip; The Maritime Maidis $6,250 for 8 people For more information: Points North Heli Adventures; 877-787-6784
The only privately owned, family-run heli-skiing business in New Zealand is based in Mt. Aspiring National Park, in the center of the South Island. Skiing here is for those with patience; if the weather is marginal or worse, the birds can’t fly, which means there’s usually heli-skiing just 3 or 4 days a week. But when it’s good, it’s very good. Skiing is above treeline, going from about 7,200 feet to 4,800 feet, and there’s something for everyone, with plenty of bluffs and jumps for the experts and wide-open cruising basins for amateurs.Season: End of July – mid-OctoberPrices: 3 runs for $460 per person; 7 runs for $615 per person; extra runs $50 per person eachFor more information: Heliskiing; +64-3-443-1054