Six alternative festive breaks

Six alternative festive breaks

Christmas and New Year might be fast approaching, but it’s not too late to book a festive getaway. From assisting with marine conservation, to indulging in a personal winter wonderland, here are six quirky ideas for escaping this season


Release sea turtles in St Vincent and the Grenadines

At Mandarin Oriental, Canouan this Christmas, you’re invited to watch sea turtles (pictured above) being released into the ocean as part of conservation efforts to boost their numbers. The reptiles are being waved off on the sandy shores of Shell Beach, which will also be hosting weaving classes for Mandarin Oriental guests over the festive period. Other Caribbean-infused Christmas activities include steel pan lessons, rum tastings, coconut carving, moonlight golf and Christmas dinners featuring special seasonal menus.


Family pampering in Taipei  

Home to one of the most Instagrammed Christmas trees in town, Mandarin Oriental, Taipei has a festive package that Santa and his elves would surely approve of. The Winter Family Getaway features an interactive gift set for children, which comes courtesy of ‘Bizzie Bee’, a popular social enterprise that encourages learning through creativity. Big kids, meanwhile, get to indulge in much-needed festive pampering (pictured above), including complimentary massages and free wine. And to top it off? A night in one of the hotel’s deluxe rooms.
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A traditional New Year’s feast in Tokyo

See out 2018 in true Japanese style at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo with their lavish New Year’s Eve package – where traditional cuisine takes centre stage. Various local specialities are available, but the one to look out for is toshikoshi soba (year’s end) noodles. Legend has it that eating this dish symbolises conquering the hardships of the previous 12 months, on account of the soba noodles being easy to cut and chew through. In addition to a smorgasbord of Japanese cuisine, the hotel will also host a glittering New Year’s Eve soiree amid the opulence of the Oriental Lounge (pictured above).
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Christmas markets in Prague

With its fairy-tale architecture, rambling Christmas markets and legendary carol concerts, it’s hard to beat the Czech capital for a Christmas getaway. Getting into the festive spirit is Mandarin Oriental, Prague, which has yuletide wrapped up with its Christmas Time in Prague package. The extravaganza features a private limousine ride around the city’s Christmas markets (pictured above) and a cookery class with either the hotel’s Executive Chef or Pastry Chef, who’ll reveal secret recipes for traditional Christmas biscuits.
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Shop, sip and celebrate in Milan

Italy’s fashion capital abounds with designer stores, independent shops and one-off boutiques (pictured above), making it the perfect place to do your Christmas shopping. But while you’re busy sourcing gifts for others, you shouldn’t forget about a little ‘me’ time. Thankfully, Mandarin Oriental, Milan has put together a luxe package to ensure you get plenty of pampering this Christmas, too. The Christmas Shop, Sip and Celebrate package includes a private two-hour retail extravaganza with a personal shopper, €100 to spend at the Spa or Mandarin Bar & Bistrot and a bottle of Champagne personally selected by Chef Antonio Guida.
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New York

Home away from home in New York

Imagine your own winter wonderland to enjoy the festive period. Look no further than Mandarin Oriental, New York. Guests plumping for the hotel’s sumptuous seasonal package – the Holiday Winter Wonderland Suite Escape – will have their suites festooned with festive décor (pictured above), including a Christmas tree, live wreath, fairy lights and hanging stockings. You’ll also be served with a range of festive treats throughout your stay, including stollen cake, gingerbread houses and hot chocolate with a dash of Grand Marnier (well, it is Christmas after all).
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Six cities to get festive

From historic London to quaint European Christmas markets, and places to escape the season altogether, here are some ideas for where to celebrate the season in style