It is the gifting season, and we decided that rather than simply compiling a list of gifts for our Holiday Gift Guide this year, we would do something different. So we asked our globetrotting writers and editors what they wanted most for the holidays. As expected from this group of explorers, travel ranks high on their experiential wish list, along with useful travel items that they have discovered and want to also share with others going into 2019. Some have their hearts set on the not-so-practical but oh-so-adored, indulgences… while also looking at ways to “give back” at this time of the year.
As we wrap up the year, it doesn’t matter if Santa pulls up in his sleigh; you gather around the Menorah; exchange gifts for Kwanzaa; or gearing up for another celebratory gift-giving occasion; we are all reminded that the best gifts are our families and friends…
Happy Holidays from all of us at LuxeGetaways!
Cruise on the Celebrity Edge
MSRP: Winter 2019 Caribbean cruises start at $1,499
Andrew is dreaming of the first in Celebrity Cruises’ new class of ships, the Celebrity Edge, which breaks from traditional ship design to immerse the guests further into the destination they are visiting with modern luxury elements and spaces. Industry firsts on the Edge, such as the Infinite Veranda staterooms (which morphed the standard balcony room into an oceanic pied-à-terre and sunroom with a floor to ceiling window that can open to let the ocean breeze in), will make you re-think the way you cruise.
Away- The Bigger Carry-On in Blush
Beth can’t lie… she is guilty of luggage envy each time she travels. She sees everyone with the smart and beautiful pieces of luggage, and she Ioves the simple elegance of this simple pink carry-on. The fact that it is on the larger side of an approved carry-on is a bonus, because a girl has to have her shoes! The Away – Bigger Carry-On in Blush is perfect for Beth!
Skyroam Solis Mobile WiFi Hotspot Device
MSRP: $149.99 US (device) plus $9.00 (day pass)
Catherine discovered a new favorite item that she is excited to share with others this Holiday… the Skyroam Solis portable WiFi device! What is amazing about this device receiving a lot of buzz these days is the fact that it is light – making it easy to carry anywhere, and you upload “day passes” on your online account for instant access. A day pass is valid for 24 hours, and the best part is that it allows unlimited data for up to 5 devices. Now she has no reason to “roam like home” at all when traveling with Skyroam. She connects her cellphone, iPad, MacBook, and even her husband’s iPhone and MacBook on it, and they enjoy unlimited data!
Damon M. Banks
Bellefontaine’s Skin Line for Men
Damon was introduced to Switzerland’s Bellefontaine skincare about a year ago, and was very impressed with the brand’s natural and unique ingredients from the Alps, pure water from the glaciers and the latest in biotechnology. It turns out that they just released their Men’s Line in Europe, and though the brand is not yet well known in the United States, we will be seeing a lot more from this brand in the coming years… and the release is perfect timing for the Holiday season.
TAG Heuer Connected Modular
While Damon accepts that he is one of the very few these days without a digital smart watch around his wrist, and though he did enjoy his time with a Fitbit, he is still old school, and prefers his standard timepieces. However, he does believe that TAG Heuer has a way of convincing him to convert (at least part of the time) with this timepiece that has the ability to provide him with some of the primary digital advantages while allowing him to choose from the different face designs to keep the look and feel of his everyday timepieces. Besides, with the red strap, it just looks like it belongs under his Christmas tree this year!
Galapagos Cruise on the Celebrity Flora
MSRP: Ultimate Suite with Infinite Veranda, $25,765.00
Santa is going to need a bigger stocking for Elizabeth this year. Celebrity Cruises is nearing completion of their new, state-of-the-art, eco-friendly expedition ship to the Galapagos, the Celebrity Flora, debuting in 2019. The ship is an all-suite, 100-passenger ship and their itineraries look amazing, so this wish list item ticks off her #1 bucket-list travel dream, with a dose of luxury to boot.
Penhaligon’s Halfeti Eau de Parfum
Ginger believes that scents make you feel something specia each time that you wear them: confident, sensual, warm, strong, reassuring, and on top of your game. Penhaligon’s Halfeti is a captivating blend of bergamot, grapefruit, Saffron, cypress, sandalwood, Bulgarian rose, and jasmine along with other scents. Whatever her mood, the fragrances offered by Penhaligon’s always add a luxurious note to the day or evening for her, so we hope that she starts 2019 with a new bottle.
Fairmont Hotel’s Stearns & Foster® Plush Euro Pillow-Top Mattress
MSRP: $2,000 — $3,000 (mattress only)
When most people travel, they return home and comment how nice it is to be back, and to sleep in their own bed. Those people are not Janice. She admits that hotel beds are comfier than her own bed, and this year, it is time for a change. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has some of the most sleep-inducing mattresses out there, especially the Stearns & Foster® Plush Euro Pillow-Top Mattress, and she is determined to make one of them her own!
Christmas at the Remote Soneva Fushi
MSRP: From $3,177, per night
Jennifer is done with the usual turkey basting and tree-decorating this year… she is ready to celebrate the holiday far from the snow and cold, on a white-sand, palm tree-studded beach in the Maldives. Soneva Fushi, on tiny Baa Atoll, ticks all the boxes, with her own secluded oceanfront villa with a pool, gym, wine cellar, and spa plus a pristine stretch of sand just steps away. But she knows that she can still get into the holiday spirit, even in the middle of the Indian Ocean: The resort has several Christmas celebrations, including a gourmet dinner helmed by two-Michelin-star French chef Ronan Kervarrec. Enjoy your travels Jennifer!
Bali with Cathay Pacific
MSRP: $1,500 — $6,400. RT. Economy and Premium Economy on Cathay Pacific Boston to Denpasar- Bali.
Why Bali? Julie agrees that the resorts and beaches look beautiful, and it’s warm, lush, tropical, and floral, but there is an exotic culture too, with temples, religious festivals, and costumes with dances. Beyond the enjoyable ride with Cathay Pacific, it is said that the best hotel in the world is in Bali, and a stay here would make for a perfect holiday getaway… The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Savan. Note: Price depends on your gateway city, dates, length of stay, and class of service.
The Shibui Spa at the Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca is a perfect way to relax in Manhattan with a gym, indoor pool, steam and rain shower, tea parlor and beautiful spa treatment rooms. This year, Julie is already dreaming of a spa day here to start 2019 in the best way possible – after the holiday festivities are wrapped up, of course… a day in this spa is bliss!
Spread The Love: Donate
MSRP: Anything you can afford to spend
Kurt feels fortunate to have what he needs in life, and the ability to live a comfortable life and see the world one adventure at a time… However, he doesn’t feel truly content without doing what he can to support the arts, or donate to those working to help the voiceless. Consider which causes you care about and do a little research. Tip: use Charity Navigator to be certain that most of the funds donated to the causes that you select go to the cause. A few great options that he supports include North Valley Community Foundation – Northern California Fire Victims , San Francisco SPCA – helping rehabilitate and reunite Camp Fire pets, and PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) – where you can become a member of your local station. Thanks Kurt!
Michelle M. Winner
A Trio of Delicious Gifts…
Jordan Chef’s Reserve Caviar by Tsar Nicoulai
MSRP: $135.00 one ounce (includes shipping)
Celebrating Christmas Day for Michelle has always been about a sideboard near the tree full of exquisite culinary delights to share. There is always champagne, egg nog, and sweet and savory bites, to accompany the opening of gifts and the telling of amusing stories of Christmases past… Michelle will certainly have a delicious Holiday this year if she gets everything on her list! Alexander Valley’s notable Jordan Winery’s Executive Chef Todd Knoll, cures sustainably sourced California farmed white sturgeon from Tsar Nicoulai, in chef’s special salt and konbu blend, and presents it to you for gift giving or receiving, complete with a Mother of Pearl spoon. Place caviar in glass bowl set on chipped ice immediately before serving, using the Mother of Pearl spoon. Present with small bowls of chopped egg, sweet onion, crème fraiche, and toast points for guests to enjoy!
Scarpato Panettone – Williams Sonoma
Many memories are triggered by special holiday food from treasured recipes. And Pasticceria Scarpato in Legnago, Verona, Italy has been baking panettone for sweet memories since 1888. A Christmas and New Year tradition in Italy, this version of the bread incorporates glazed chestnuts into the batter for a rich finish. Michelle and her family love it on Christmas morning with their coffee. Yum!
Dreaming of a White Christmas? Or, perhaps you are simply dreaming of a white rum Peppermint Mojito, like our Michelle is doing? We think Santa would enjoy this unique blend of Kea white agricole rums distilled from Hawaiian sugarcane, whipped up into a delish Peppermint Mojito. Michelle is looking forward to finding this under her tree this year! In addition to the 375 ml. bottle of Kea rum, the gift set includes a muddler, jigger and leather flask.
The North Face Men’s Arrowwood TriClimate Jacket
According to Nicholas, this is the perfect all-weather waterproof jacket. Field tested in all seasons and weather conditions, the Arrowood TriClimate Jacket’s layers include several layer components, so you can wear it cold winter, or as the temperatures change, you can enjoy the outer layer in the summer. It is also waterproof and breathable, with zip-out liner. Because of this versatility, he believes that it is the perfect travel jacket.
Priscilla Karle Pilon
The Tumi International Expandable Carry-On suits all of Priscilla’s needs for domestic and international travel. The large interior compartment opens from the top like a regular suitcase – allowing easy access to items mid-flight. Separate zip pocket for laptops/iPads makes it stress-free to pull out for security. She is also a big fan of the top soft-lined zip for her passport, sunglasses and reading glasses. Free personalization done in-store ensures that she can quickly identify her bag when gate checked.
Try Treats Subscription Box
MSRP: $153.45 for a 12-month subscription of a standard box (different subscriptions available)
Although an around-the-world trip would be the ideal Christmas gift for Shelbie, we may not all have the budget or time to travel the globe observing new cultures and trying different cuisines. But that doesn’t mean you cannot give your loved ones a unique introduction to world travel thanks to Try Treats. This international treat subscription box offers an array of popular snacks from different countries along with a description of each snack and an educational postcard about the country – not to mention this is a gift that keeps giving all year long!
The Broadmoor Cloud Camp 2019 in Colorado Springs
MSRP: All-inclusive packages start at $875 per night.
Tracy spent the best birthday of her life at The Broadmoor Cloud Camp, and she would like to experience a few days at this magical place again with her husband. Broadmoor’s secluded Cloud Camp is located 3,000 feet above the Broadmoor Resort. You can select rooms in the guest cabins or the main lodge, and expect first-class service, gourmet food, outdoor fun, and spectacular views of Colorado Springs during your stay…
Veuve Clicquot Demi-Sec Champagne and Godiva Chocolates Gift Set
MSRP: $99.00 gift set
One of Tricia’s favorite memories of wine travel was her trip to the Champagne Region. She feels that there is nothing better than visiting their historic caves and then shopping at Veuve Clicquot for their best vintage. This Christmas she would like to reward herself with a bottle of their excellent Demi-Sec with a box of Godiva Chocolates…. along with gratitude for an excellent year with family, friends, LuxeGetaways, and wine. You deserve it Tricia… enjoy!!