The Aspen Highlands ski area.

We’ve arrived at that stretch of winter, post holidays, where snow is no longer magical and festive and frosty conjures all sorts of imagery except for that of a loveable snowman. It’s cold in Canada, and there are still several more months until the first bud of spring. So the best way to deal is to pack up your skis—or bathing suit, whichever you fancy—and escape for the ultimate winter retreat. We compiled a travel guide of our favourite cold and warm
weather locales to escape winter here at home, even if only temporarily.


Winter getaway destination: Aspen
In the mood for
: A luxe ski weekend

What to pack: Look fashionable on the slopes with an all-in-one ski suit and Chanel ski goggles when on the slopes; plus lots of knits, cashmere and fur wraps (both real and faux) for après-ski lounging.

Where to stay: The St. Regis Aspen Resort or The Little Nell, both renowned in Colorado Ski Country. And if skiing isn’t your thing, you can totally indulge in soothing,
winter-escape spa treatments totally worthy of the majestic setting you’re immersed in.

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Winter getaway destination: Québec City

In the mood for: A romantic winter escape

What to pack: Layers are your friends here. Think
cozy sweaters, knit scarves and
knee-high boots for traversing the cobblestone streets of this heritage city.

Where to stay: The
Auberge Saint-Antoine, a quaint retreat from the snowy outdoors situated in the city’s Old Port neighbourhood, also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Or you could plan your stay at the world-famous Ice Hotel, if you’re brave enough.

Winter getaway destination: Salzburg, Austria
In the mood for:
A storybook European retreat

What to pack: An oversized coat for
strolling the winter markets around the Cathedral of Salzburg, and a bathing suit, for taking a dip in the warm-water pool floating in Lake Wolfgang.

Where to stay: The Hotel Wolf-Dietrich, surrounded by the rolling hills and mountains that provided the mountainous backdrop to 1965 film version of
The Sound of Music. Or the castle Hotel Schloss Fuschl Resort and Spa, a former hunting lodge for the Archbishop of Salzburg, nestled on the Lake Fuschl (and an outdoor hot tub with a view of Alps).

Travel guide: Skiing BRITISH COLUMBIA’S BEST

Prefer the beach? Read on for our travel guide of warm weather winter getaways!


The Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.


Winter getaway destination: Los Cabos
In the mood for:
Lounging on the beach—like a celeb
What to pack: The perfect time to bring out your rainbow Missoni bikini, sun hat, and must-reads. And your favourite spring bling from the 2014 runways.
Where to stay: The Las Ventanas al Paraíso resort, to both snorkel and spa on the Baja Peninsula. Or for a more Spring Break-style experience, vacation like those Laguna Beach kids at Meliá Cabo Real All Inclusive Beach & Golf.


Winter getaway destination: Necker Island
In the mood for:
A private island oasis
What to pack: A resort wardrobe—stocked with Louboutin leopard espadrille wedges and an Alexander McQueen macramé tunic—worthy of the island’s elite status.
Where to stay: For the ultimate exclusive experience, rent out the entire 74-acre island (part of the British Virgin Islands) and invite 29 of your friends along, or opt for one of six Balinese-style houses (rates start at $27, 475 USD for a seven-night stay for two people). Or you could always see if Sir Richard Branson has room at his place.

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Winter getaway destination: Rio de Janeiro
In the mood for:
A tropical party with the rest of the world
What to pack: Whatever goes with a wide-brimmed straw hat, like a popsicle-hued sundress from Missoni’s Resort 2014 collection. And anything bearing your country’s colours, if you can extend your stay for the FIFA World Cup in June.
Where to stay: The regal Copacabana Palace Hotel, which takes its name from the infamous white-sand beach it’s situated on. Or hop over to Ipanema Beach to stay at the legendary (and most likely star-studded) Hotel Fasano. Both are solid, luxe options for beating the winter blues.

Read more:
Travel guide: Aruba

5 luxe reasons to vacation in Bermuda

Romantic escape to Québec City
Travel guide: Skiing British Columbia’s best