Lounging by the fire may be delightful, but for travelers keen to trade their skis for sunshine, Benchmark Resorts & Hotels has a few tricks up its holiday sleeve. Get the swimsuit and the sunscreen ready, because these four retreats are a beautiful way to spend the December holidays out of the cold.
Mountain Shadows (Paradise Valley, AZ)
Imagine an endless summer. That is what guests will find at Mountain Shadows in greater Scottsdale, Arizona. With more than 330 days of sunshine for the region, the resort is an icon of luxury and design surrounded by stunning desert views. Spend the holidays outdoors in perfect weather playing a round of golf, lounging in a poolside cabana, hiking nearby Camelback Mountain or strolling downtown Scottsdale. Culture abounds thanks to Mountain Shadow’s The Gallery, a museum-quality exhibition space, and dining is inspired by the creativity of renowned Chef Charles Wiley. Make sure to meeting for a holiday toast at Hearth ’61 – named among the most beautifully designed bars in Arizona by Architectural Digest magazine. For those traveling with a larger group or family, upgrade your stay and experience the resort’s luxury residences. Each suite boasts custom furnishings and finishes, plus special features such as in-unit laundry, full kitchens, floor-to-ceiling glass windows and private outdoor spaces. With suites ranging from one to three bedrooms, The Residences offer the perfect home away from home this holiday season.
Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa (Bermuda)
Steeped in tradition and Bermuda history, the newly renovated Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa has been a treasured destination for oceanfront escapes for almost a century. Whether your version of a holiday escape means relaxing on the beach of a private island, taking a day trip on an island-classic scooter or sailboat, or swimming with the sea turtles – there’s no shortage of experiences at Cambridge Beaches. One of our favorites to recommend: snorkeling among the historic shipwreck sites. It’s said there are over 300 wrecks in Bermuda’s waters, some easy to see through clear Atlantic water without going scuba diving. With water views from every room, the resort features multi-room cottages and adjoining suite options for effortless traveling with family and larger groups.
Turtle Bay Resort (Kahuku, HI)
Retreat to the North Shore of Oahu this holiday season for an unforgettable beachside vacation at Turtle Bay Resort. The resort offers a long list of compelling activities for families or groups, many of whom opt for the resort’s newly renovated Ocean Suites, which overlook Oahu’s North Shore. Guests can enjoy stargazing excursions, stand-up paddleboard lessons with dogs and the resort’s interactive bird-watching tour. They can also relax on one of the seven sandy beaches or take advantage of the resort’s many pools. Guests will find plenty of holiday happenings, too, like coconut front ornament decorating, which makes a wonderful holiday memento.
Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa (Vero Beach, FL)
Experience Florida’s Treasure Coast at Costa d’Este Beach Resort and Spa. Enjoy sandy beaches and luxurious accommodations with magnificent views in Vero Beach this holiday season. For visitors traveling with a larger family or group, opt to stay in the resort’s Penthouse Suite for more space. During the stay, guests can snorkel on the wreck of the S.S. Breconshire, lay by the pool or on the beach, relax and revive in the spa, savor fine dining, and get out to explore the intimate town of Vero Beach featuring boutique shopping, craft breweries and more.