Winter has officially arrived, and with it comes three-day holiday weekends, the pressure of Valentine’s Day trip planning and the desire to escape the “winter” of our ordinary lives. Whether you’re in need of high-altitude pampering, beachside bliss or a dose of arts and culture in the city, your sense of wanderlust this season may take you to luxury resorts in destinations like Aspen, Cabo San Lucas or Chicago. However, Previews Inside Out poses this question: why choose to stay for a week when you can stay for a lifetime, in your very own luxury home? From Costa Rica to Colorado and Hawaii, we have uncovered the most luxurious winter getaways worth buying in 2013.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO
If you prefer beautiful beaches, swaying palms and the magic of awe-inspiring sunsets to the frost and snow, then Cabo San Lucas is the perfect place to escape in the winter. One of Mexico’s most exclusive destinations, Cabo has long been revered by West Coasters since it’s just a quick flight away from major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix and Las Vegas. Whether your pleasure is swimming, snorkeling or sipping pina coladas under the sun, tropical luxury abounds at every turn in Cabo.
Stay for a Week: A seven-night stay in the three-bedroom Auberge private residence at Ezperanza Resort costs around $14,000 USD.
Stay for a Lifetime: Casa Tokase offers the ultimate private sanctuary for $9,900,000 USD. Majestically situated on an oceanfront cliff, Casa Tokase fully embraces its location in the ultra-exclusive, gated community of Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas.
What could be better than making fresh tracks down a mountain with fresh powder? How about living in a posh winter wonderland complete with five-star restaurants, celebrity sightings and stylish après ski-a-plenty? Aspen has all of that and more – deserving of its reputation as the Rocky Mountain playground of the rich and famous. After all, where else can you test your skills on the slopes for the day, relax your weary muscles with a hot stone massage at a luxe spa, stop in at Dior for a little retail therapy and enjoy exquisite sushi at Matsuhisa in the mountains?
Stay for a Week: A weeklong solace in the Presidential Suite at the St. Regis Aspen Resort costs about $29,673 USD.
Stay for a Lifetime: There is something special about owning a spacious five-bedroom residence directly on Aspen Championship Golf Course with stunning views of Pyramid Peak. For $5,995,000 USD, you can enjoy the Aspen lifestyle from winter, all the way into summer.
You want beach? Oahu has beach. 112 miles of coastline, to be exact. Privacy, however, is a highly sought-after commodity on Hawaii’s busiest island – but not impossible if you’re willing to venture beyond downtown Honolulu and Waikiki. Located on the windward side of Oahu and separated by the soaring Koolau Range, Kailua seems like a world away from Waikiki. Now that President Obama has claimed Kailua as his, the town has become a more popular elite vacation retreat – but it is still a true slice of Hawaiian heaven.
Stay for a Week: At Halekulani, a deluxe room with a private lanai and sweeping view of Diamond Head and ocean, could cost $5,950 USD for a full week.
Stay for a Lifetime: A resort within itself instead, this stunning Kailua beachfront estate boasts over 65,000 square feet of tropical grounds and an exquisite 5-bedroom main residence with walls of glass opening to Hawaii’s sandy shores and turquoise waters. And it could be yours forever – for $24,950,000 USD.
Chicago might be the quintessential American city, but it also offers world-class culture. Catch inspiring skyline views in Grant Park, take an architecture tour with the Chicago Architecture Foundation or admire Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks at the Art Institute of Chicago. After a day of seeing the city, you must stop at chef Grant Achatz’s Alinea restaurant in Lincoln Park, which just maintained its three Michelin-star rating for 2013.
Stay for a Week: A week spent in a grand deluxe suite at The Peninsula Hotel typically costs around $13,650 USD.
Stay for a Lifetime: Owning a penthouse at One Magnificent Mile Residences for $3,500,000 USD has its perks, namely: 5,000 square feet with incredible views of Lake Michigan and Michigan Ave, a large East/West living room, formal dining room, large eat-in kitchen, three bedrooms, study and plenty of elegant space for entertaining.
In recent years, Costa Rica has enjoyed a larger headline presence, attracting a wide swath of celebrities and eco-minded travelers with its white sand beaches, wildlife, fine food and luxury sustainable hotels. Luxury hotspots include Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica’s premiere 5-star residential resort, while other areas along the central Pacific coast, such as Dominical offer more privacy and seclusion.
Stay for a Week: The three-bedroom Pacifico residence at the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo runs around $28,175 USD for a seven-night stay.
Stay for a Lifetime: Casa Big Sur, a newly built tropical Tommy Bahama style estate set on two acres in Dominical, elegantly blends Carribean influences with modern architecture. Offering ocean panoramas and total year-round privacy, it’s hard to imagine that the price tag is only $2,750,000 USD.
CRYSTAL BAY, NEVADA
Ask anyone – the beauty of Lake Tahoe can’t be captured in mere words. In fact, even Mark Twain declared it “the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” In the winter, the area is transformed into a powder paradise surrounded by the peaks of the Sierra Nevadas, creating enough majestic moments to fill up multiple digital cameras. Even if you do not fancy yourself a skier or snowboarder, there are still plenty of seasonal pursuits to keep you entertained, from snowmobiling and lakeside casinos to a relaxing day at the spa.
Stay for a Week: A seven-night stint in The Ritz Carlton’s Sugar Pine Suite, a 3-bedroom residence with top-floor mountain views, could cost you a pretty penny at $52,500 USD.
Stay for a Lifetime: Let us count the ways this architectural residence in Crystal Bay, Nevada is a true Tahoe gem: modern walls of glass, glass elevator, 6-story glass stairwell, hidden garden rooms and 98 degrees of lake frontage with its own pier, gym and spa. At $39,750,000 USD, it’s not just a vacation home, but also a rare work of art.
When theatrical snowflakes aren’t enough to satisfy your winter wanderlust, it’s time to jet off to London for a dose of drama. In winter, London’s theater season is in high gear – plus you can escape the bitter European cold. Whether you fancy Shakespeare, musicals, comedies, thrillers or off-the-beaten path dramas, there is something for every kind of theatre aficionado. And if you happen to be in London after February 9, you shouldn’t miss a showing of Macbeth, starring James McAvoy and Claire Foy (White Heat).
Stay for a Week: The new Terrace Suite, designed by Alexandra Champalimaud, at The Dorchester is the epitome of English luxury at $85,533 USD for a seven-night stay.
Stay for a Lifetime: A beautiful townhouse in Mayfair – one of London’s poshest neighborhoods – offers six floors, an elevator and wonderful period details for $11,097,868 USD.
Which Previews luxury property is your dream winter getaway?