With the holidays imminently upon us, once again it’s time for the other Mr. Highlife and I to pack our bags in preparation for our annual Christmas trip. For the last couple of years now we’ve chosen to ignore festivities, ploughing all our Christmas funds into a no-expenses spared long-haul holiday. This is when we get to relax and unwind, which couldn’t have come at a better time given the particularly testing year we’ve had this year. I for one am looking forward to saying farewell to 2016, but not before we squeeze-in one more trip Highlife-style.

After three consecutive years of spending the holidays in Asia, we’re going the opposite way this year by heading over to South America, where we’ll be spending time in Peru and Argentina. Peru will be a first for me, and we’ll get our bearings with a few days in Lima, spending our days staying in the seaside barrio of Miraflores while we explore the city and eat our way through what I imagine will be oceans of ceviche.

Bucking the trend, we’ve planned to skip usual destinations like Cusco, Machu Pichu and the Amazon basin, opting instead for a trip to the surfing town of Mancora on the northern-most coast of Peru. I’m looking forward to staying at the Arennas Resort (pictured above), where I imagine the most strenuous decision we’ll need to make all day is deciding which sun lounger to choose. From here we’re off to Buenos Aires, a city we both fell in love with during the early noughties. Each time I visit BA, I leave a little piece of my heart there, so I’m looking forward to bringing in the New Year with old friends. We’ve got side trips to Cordoba and a potential stopover in Sao Paulo pencilled in, but have purposefully kept the remainder of our schedule a little fluid.

So what about 2017 travel? Those who read my blog will know I’m a planner, and my current hotlist consists of a handful of destinations we’re very likely to visit next year. These include:

Deauville for the other Mr. Highlife’s birthday
This is a work-related trip we’ll be extending to celebrate the other Mr. Highlife’s coming of age. I’m not a huge fan of the Normandy region of France, but Le Royale is part of the Barriere Group of luxury hotels and there’s something very old school glam about the whole city I’m looking forward to experiencing.

Le Royal Deauville
Le Royal Deauville


Seychelles or Mauritius for Easter

I’d be happy with either of these two options as flight availability is looking pretty good for the Easter week. This is our other long-haul trip, and given how much later in the year Easter’s coming this year, it’ll be a much needed escape to the sun. Hotel wise, I’ve got my eye on either the Kempinski or Four Seasons in the Seychelles, and since opening as a re-modelled Shangri-La, Le Touessrok in Mauritius has my name written all over it.

Kempinski Seychelles
Kempinski Seychelles


Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa over summer

It’s been a full two years since I’ve been to Japan, and it’s calling my name. Ever since it opened, the Aman Tokyo is a hotel I daydream about, and following a short stay in the city (with a side of Kyoto thrown in), we’ll be off to the Okinawan islands where we’ll more than likely stay at the Ritz Carlton for a different flavour of summer sun.

Aman Tokyo
Aman Tokyo
The Ritz Carlton Okinawa
The Ritz Carlton Okinawa


Boston for September

I lived in Boston for two years, and one of my favourite places to visit is Cape Cod. This trip has a big question mark around it for the time being, but combining New England with the last days of summer on the Cape is too good an option to ignore. We’ll likely stay at XV Beacon or The Liberty, popping into my old employer the Four Seasons Boston for their legendary afternoon tea service.

The Liberty Boston
The Liberty Boston


Sri Lanka and Maldives for Christmas 2017

The Shangri-La Hambantota on the west coast of Sri Lanka and the St. Regis Maldives are where we’re thinking of spending the holidays fast forward 12-months from now. This is probably the one with the most potential to change, as we can’t decide whether to do both Christmas and New Year on a Maldivian island, or to do a week of beach in the Maldives first and then plan different experiences across Sri Lanka, ending up in Colombo for New Year. Watch this space and any ideas are welcome.

St. Regis Vommuli Resort
St. Regis Vommuli Resort

Speaking of Highlife-style, there were many, many others on my destination hotlist including Tanzania, Iceland and Portofino to name a few, and we’ll see how the year ahead pans out. But whatever you end up doing, have a glorious holiday season with friends, significant others and loved ones.

Where will you be spending the holidays?

image credits: Hotel Arennas, Barriere Hotels, Kempinski Hotels, Aman Hotels, Marriott International, Starwood Hotels & Resorts

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