Sure, snow is beautiful. But do you really need Jack Frost nipping at your nose to know it’s the holiday season? I don’t think so! This year, consider trading in your Christmas sweaters and fleece-lined slippers for swimsuits, sunglasses, and short-sleeved T’s.
The following destinations practically include blue skies in the room rate, and have given Christmas meals, décor, and activities a balmy, sunshine-filled backdrop. Skip the frostbite without missing out on the season’s festive fun. These destinations will fill your holidays with seasonal cheer. Here are the best Christmas Vacation Destinations:
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
December average high/low is 86°F/64°F
Puerto Vallarta is on Mexico’s pacific coast and remains one of the country’s tourism gems. Not only has it avoided the safety problems that a few other resort areas have struggled with in recent years, but it’s also the most interesting and authentic of Mexico’s resort areas. The weather during Christmas time is perfect for anyone wanting to escape the cold, and the airport also has good deals on flights from many North American cities as well. Hotels for well under US$100 per night per couple are easy to find, although if you want a well-located chain hotel you’ll be paying at least a bit more. Start planning your Puerto Vallarta vacation and visit our Puerto Vallarta Travel post. Here are the best Puerto Vallarta hotels:
Providing free WiFi and an outdoor swimming pool, Holiday Inn Express Puerto Vallarta offers rooms in Puerto Vallarta, 1.2 miles from Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center. The property is located 1.4 miles from Cruise Ship Pier. The property provides a 24-hour front desk and a shared lounge for guests. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at the property. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Holiday Inn Express Puerto Vallarta.
Relax in a world of tranquility enhanced by private immersion pools, Jacuzzis, cable television, wireless internet and a wide range of luxurious amenities. Discover their unique style of luxury in 80 plush suites. Each is exquisitely furnished and decorated with textures and colors inspired by traditional Mexican design, many of them with pieces by acclaimed Mexican sculptor Sergio Bustamante. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Casa Velas Hotel Boutique & Ocean Club.
Raintree’s Club Regina Puerto Vallarta is the perfect blend of Mexican elegance and style in one of the most traditional beach resorts in Mexico. The resort features two swimming pools and an on-site restaurant. Most units have kitchen facilities and a relaxing view of the ocean or marina. Guests have access to the laundry service and car rental at the adjacent hotel. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Club Regina Puerto Vallarta.
December high/low is 82°F/75°F
December marks the end of the rainy season 0n Boracay, but those tropical storms rarely last long so the place is very popular over the Christmas holidays anyway. This gorgeous strip of sand is lined with hotels, as well as a sand pathway along the beach, making it possible to spend days at a time in bare feet. There are no super-cheap hotels, but that’s mainly because every hotel is right on the beach. There are many choices for international cuisine here. This includes the great number of all-you-can-eat buffets that set up every evening right on the beach. There’s also plenty of live music. Here are the best Boracay Hotels:
Savoy Hotel Boracay’s facilities allow you to relax, play, and just be at ease. Immerse your senses in this vibrant and hip beach lifestyle as you indulge in an array of superb services and amenities. The hotel’s facilities include a fitness center for sculpting that perfect beach body. You can even re-energize at their spa. The hotel features 4 room types that offer the perfect spot for cooling down and relaxing after a day out in the sun. Each comes decorated with its own contemporary and colorful décor. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Savoy Hotel Boracay Newcoast.
The Lind Boracay is a 5-star hotel situated in Boracay. Found on the coveted beachfront of the exclusive end of White Beach’s Station 1, this property is a lifestyle hotel with a boutique aesthetic, designed with the contemporary and discerning traveler in mind. Each of the 120 rooms opens up to a view of either the beach or the gardens with 10 of the rooms, all three specialty suites, and the Presidential Suite with their own private pools. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit The Lind Boracay.
Boasting a swimming pool and free WiFi access, Coast Boracay offers comfortable, beachfront accommodations in the scenic Boracay Island Region. Guests can unwind after a long day at the pool, or enjoy a drink at the on-site bar and restaurant. All rooms are fitted with luxurious bedding, a 43-inch Smart LED TV and a private bathroom with shower. For your comfort, slippers are provided. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your
Tenerife, Canary Islands
December high/low is 71°F/61°F
Tenerife is the most English-language-friendly of Spain’s Canary Islands, which are just west of Morocco (and about the same latitude as central Florida). It’s not nearly as hot as most other destinations during December, but it’s still darn nice! It’s very popular among Europeans looking for something warmer. Because it’s not really a great beach season, hotels in Tenerife are still quite cheap during the Christmas holiday period. Most everything else is quite affordable as well. If you are looking for a place with reasonable airfares, this could be a good choice. The area around Los Cristianos and Playa de la Americas is the easiest for English speakers, and it has the most consistent warm weather as well. Visit our Tenerife Vacation Guide to start planning your vacation. Here are the best Tenerife Hotels:
This property is a 12-minute walk from the beach. Hotel Las Madrigueras Golf Resort & Spa – Adults Only has a beautiful setting within the Las Américas golf course, in South Tenerife. It has a full spa center and a lovely outdoor pool. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Hotel Las Madrigueras Golf Resort & Spa.
This property is a 4-minute walk from the beach. This extensive vacation complex offers spacious bungalow accommodations in the heart of Playa de las Américas, just 650 feet from the beaches of southern Tenerife. Enjoy a relaxing and fun family break in the year-round sunshine of this unique Canary Island with a stay at the Parque Cristóbal Tenerife. Its tropical grounds surround 2 huge outdoor swimming pools for adults, both heated in winter. Children can enjoy themselves in the supervised mini club or their own 2 swimming pools. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit HD Parque Cristobal Tenerife.
This stylish, urban hotel with a spa is located in a colonial-style building. Grand hotel Mencey offers spacious rooms equipped with a flat-screen TV. Free high speed WiFi is available throughout. Los Menceyes restaurant at Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey serves a variety of local dishes. It is open for breakfast and dinner. Guests can also relax in the hotel’s Bar Casino or in the lobby bar. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey.
December high/low is 86°F/76°F
Colombia has been rediscovered by tourism in recent years, but the historic beach city of Cartagena has been popular for much longer. Along the country’s Caribbean coast (about the same latitude as northern Costa Rica, by the way), Cartagena is an interesting mix of beach hotels and a gorgeous walled colonial city with plenty to see. Not only is Cartagena popular with international tourists in the winter months, but domestic Colombian tourists taking their holidays as well. So you won’t be avoiding the crowds here, but it is one of the more affordable sunshine destinations in the region. Here are the best Cartagena hotels:
They’re a small, friendly hotel, decorated in bright Caribbean colors, located in the tourist neighborhood of Bocagrande. They have the best location of any budget hotel in Cartagena, just 30 meters from the beach and the warm waters of the Caribbean. The renown Historic Center is a short 5 minute taxi ride away or a 20 minute stroll along the beach. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Hotel Pueblito Playa.
You will experience a luxuriously chic and relaxed atmosphere at this authentic boutique hotel, which was reimagined to maintain a colonial heritage intact within three beautiful white-washing houses that compose it. It’s 20 guestrooms and 11 suites beautifully decorated preserves the authentic Colombian style, while seamlessly incorporates the modern services and amenities for travelers of today. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Hotel Casa San Augustin.
The Hyatt Regency Cartagena is a modern oceanfront hotel near Cartagena’s historic center. Start your morning with a cup of their famous coffee and explore centuries of history in this world famous destination. After a day of discovering recharge at Aqoral Spa, dine in one of their two fabulous restaurants and take a dip in their infinity pools with expansive Caribbean and city views found only at Hyatt Regency Cartagena. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Hyatt Regency Cartagena.
Panama City, Panama
December high/low is 90°F/70°F
Panama has some very nice beach resort areas with reasonable prices during Christmas, but it also has a large and mostly modern city at its heart. You can spend some of your stay at a beach and another part of your stay in the city, as both are a great value this time of year. The city has a few large shopping malls in the tourist area, so it could be a good place to do some Christmas shopping or just hanging around. The restaurant scene here is very good. Here are the best Panama City hotels:
Hip hotel in El Cangrejo near restaurants, shops, and nightlife. Enjoy a stylish stay with vibrant décor, a rooftop pool and hot tub, gym, steam room, on-site restaurant and bar, and three banquet halls—including a VIP room. The on-site Gastro Bar at 5-0-7 is a vibrant restaurant with Mediterranean flavor. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Tryp by Wyndham Panama Centro.
Featuring modern-style décor and a roof-top garden with sun terrace and swimming pool, The Westin Panama is 1.9 mi from Old Panama City and 5 minutes’ drive from Plaza Costa del Este Shopping Center. The restaurant at The Westin Panama serves international cuisine, and there is a coffee shop and room service as well. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit The Westin Panama.
Discover a destination where contemporary luxury, gourmet Panamanian cuisine, timeless design and architecture merge to create a one-of-a-kind travel experience. From the moment you arrive at The Bristol Panama Hotel in Panama City, you will enjoy a stay distinguished by well-appointed accommodations, as well as five-star luxury and sophistication. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit The Bristol Hotel.
Montego Bay/Ocho Rios/Negril, Jamaica
December high/low is 86°F/70°F
Jamaica has 3 busy resort towns that are all served by the same large airport so they are somewhat interchangeable. Montego Bay has the airport so it’s the easiest to reach, but it has fewer affordable, hotels so Ocho Rios and Negril might be better options if you are interested in a more affordable hotel. These Jamaican resorts are also known for all-inclusive resorts and appealing package deals. Even during the peak holiday months, it’s possible to lock in an appealing deal if you book early enough. Visit our Jamaica Travel Guide to start planning your vacation today. Here are the best Montego Bay/Ocho Rios/Negril hotels:
Situated along Jamaica’s resort-heavy northwest shore, the hotel offers excellent communal amenities, including nearly a dozen restaurants, two large pools, and an oceanfront spa. The quiet, elegant vibe is what most guests would expect of a luxury adult-only Jamaican resort. Each of its 234 rooms features a spacious floor plan and bright, modern decor. Amenities include fully-stocked minibars, free Wi-Fi, luxurious marble bathrooms, butlers in some rooms, and private balconies or terraces — many with ocean views. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall.
Nestled on a hillside to afford spectacular ocean views from each of its 150 suites, Couples Sans Souci is a lush tropical paradise. Its suites have French or sliding doors leading to private, furnished balconies or patios. All suites have plush terry robes, Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities, hair dryers, showers or bathtubs, coffee makers, iron/ironing board, safety deposit box and nightly turn-down service. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Couples San Souci.
Facing the ocean, Tensing Pen is a rustic-style hotel that has an outdoor swimming pool, massage services in the spa and yoga lessons. Free Wi-Fi is also available. The on-site restaurant serves a daily complimentary breakfast that include tropical fruits and coffee. The restaurant also has ocean views and specializes in seafood like lobster and shrimp. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Tensing Pen Resort.