Escaping for the holidays is an art. We asked 14 ridiculously well-traveled people where they’ll go this season to get away from it all.
Donna Karan, designer
“I go to Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos. The whole family comes down, and we get to be together away from the chaos of work and the city. I call Parrot Cay my three-hour Bali, because if I could go anywhere in the world, it would be Bali, my spiritual home. But it’s on the other side of the world.” Rooms, from $775; Providenciales; 649-946-7788; comohotels.com.
Michael Kors, designer
“New Year’s Eve on a boat in Sydney Harbour—in a swimsuit, under the fireworks—beats black tie for me. I’m in love with Australia. December is summer down there—the whole country is in full holiday mode.”
Michael Bastian, designer
“They’ve spoiled me at the Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia in the Canary Islands. Rarely have I been to a place where everything—the room, the food, the pool, the service—is equally perfect.” Rooms, from $325; Avda. del Oasis 32; 34-928/723-100; grand-hotel-residencia.co.uk.
Nathaniel Goldberg, photographer
“Fortunately, Bangkok isn’t really a tourist destination. I stay in a neighborhood called Ari—a lot of locals, a lot of diplomats, a lot of old money. There’s an entire street of just street food: At one stand, you’ll wait half an hour for the best papaya salad you’ll ever taste.”
Laure Heriard Dubreuil, The Webster, Miami
“I’ll take the ever-evolving view from Big Sur, California’s Post Ranch Inn bedrooms on the cliff, above the clouds and the raging, foaming sea. And I’ll top it off with a massage at the Esalen Institute. It’s the most relaxing experience on earth.” Rooms, from $675; 47900 California 1; 888-524-4787; postranchinn.com.
Jeff Klein, Sunset Tower, Los Angeles
“I love this little restaurant called La Huella, on the beach in Saint Ignacio, Uruguay. It’s actually on the sand, and local fishermen bring their catch right to the chef, who cooks it on a woodburning grill. It’s fabulous.” Playa Brava; 598-4/486-2279; paradorlahuella.com.
Cathryn Collins, founder, I Pezzi Dipinti
“We like to take off to Paris for the week of Christmas and New Year’s. Last year Christmas lunch was at Le Relais at the Plaza Athénée—the only place that was open.” 25 Av. Montaigne; 33-1/53-67-66-65; plaza-athenee-paris.com.
Brunello Cucinelli, designer
“I go to the mountains, to the Dolomites in northern Italy. My favorite town to visit in the winter is Cortina, and I always find myself returning to the Grand Hotel Savoia, where the service is impeccable. From every window you can enjoy one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the world.” Rooms, from $220; Via Roma 62; 39-04/363-201; grandhotelsavoiacortina.com.
Han Feng, designer
“The Amanfayun resort is an old, traditional Chinese village that’s been preserved in the mountains of Hangzhou, surrounded by temples. The mountains are covered with beautiful carvings of different Buddhas. The resort will give you a key so you can join the monks at the temple for meditation at 4 a.m. Hangzhou is cold and humid at once, but the stone courtyards and pathways are heated. So you grab your coat and walk to the temple in bare feet.” Rooms, from $700; 22 Fayun Ln.; 86-571/8732-9999; amanresorts.com.
Larry Leight, founder, Oliver Peoples
“I fell in love with Costa Rica when I traveled the Pacific coast and visited Witch’s Rock—this five-story boulder made famous in The Endless Summer. Christmas is the best time to go because the weather is clearer. These days there are a few more hotels, but you still see cows in the road. It’s not so civilized, which I like.”
Tory Burch, designer
“I’m headed to Brazil to open stores in Rio and São Paulo. I’ll start my nights with live jazz at Baretto bar in the latter’s Hotel Fasano and end with dancing at Traço de União, a traditional samba house.” Hotel Fasano: Rooms, from $720; Rue Vittorio Fasano 88, São Paulo; 55-11/3896-4000; fasano.com.br. Traço de União: Rua Cláudio Soares 73; 55-11/3031-8065.
Daniel Humm, chef-owner, Eleven Madison Park, New York
“On my last trip to Sivergues, a village in Provence, we stopped at Le Castelas, a farm and guesthouse with goats on the property. After lunch, the owner milked one of the goats into a pitcher and brought the still-warm milk to us with our coffee. It was one of those dining experiences that will stick with me forever.” Rooms, from $90; Sivergues; 33-4/90-74-30-81.
DJ Kiss, entertainer
“I’m on the road 24-7 for work, so when it comes to travel on my own time, I try to go somewhere with a down-home feel. You’ll find me in New Orleans for the holidays. And I’ll be barhopping.”
Tomas Maier, creative director, Bottega Veneta
“I stay put in Palm Beach and enjoy my Sunday dinner at the Palm Beach Grill, which is an institution here. It’s perfect—everyone else is traveling.” 340 Royal Poinciana Way; 561-835-1077; hillstone.com.