The holidays are the perfect time for a vacation— and celebrities think so too. Each winter your favorite stars retreat to relaxing getaways across the globe, from tropical retreats to snowy winter wonderlands. If you’re searching for star-studded holiday travel options, we’ve come up with 5 of the top winter destinations that are completely luxurious and absolutely celeb-approved.
Gorgeous winter scenery, snow covered slopes, and tons of winter sport options— it’s no wonder that Aspen is a top vacation spot for stars like Kate Hudson, Mariah Carey, and other sporty celebs. Aspen’s ski and snowboarding opportunities are perfect for adventure-minded celebs, and people like Jessica Alba, Orlando Bloom, and Victoria Beckham have been spotted enjoying Aspen’s pristine powder and shopping at the high-end boutiques. Over the holidays, Aspen features activities like tree lightings, the 12 Days of Aspen holiday celebrations, and the torchlight parade.
For those stars who don’t own property in Aspen, luxurious ski resorts like Hotel Jerome and the St. Regis offer a luxurious home away from home. Celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Paris Hilton, and the Kardashians have booked with these hotels, and have been seen enjoying après ski spa treatments and sipping winter cocktails.
For those celebs looking for a more tropical getaway, Maui is Hawaii’s most popular destination. The island boasts amazing natural wonders that can be seen on drives like the Road to Hana, and many stars enjoy the surfing, snorkeling, and tanning on Maui’s stunning beaches. Of course, a Hawaiian trip wouldn’t be complete without a luau and a stay at a luxury resort like the Kahala Hotel or Turtle Bay, where guests like Bill Clinton, Snoop Dog, and Lauren Conrad can be seen enjoying the exclusive pools, cabanas, and swim up bars.
Stars like Owen Wilson, Justin Bieber, and Britney Spears are frequent Maui vacationers, and even the Obamas have been spotted taking in the sun, sand, and suf. Maui also has several holiday celebrations like the lighting of the largest Banyan tree.
3. St. Barts
Another destination for stars looking to escape the winter chill, St. Barts offers blue skies and sun-drenched beaches that are perfect for relaxing. Located in the Caribbean, St. Barts (short for Saint-Barthélemy) is known for its 22 white sand beaches, adorable gingerbread-inspired architecture, and high-end, designer shopping opportunities. Guests are often able to stay in their own private villas, which is just one of the reasons that St. Barts is a perfect getaway for stars looking for privacy.
Well-known celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay-Z frequent St. Barts, and stars like Jessica Alba have been spotted taking in St. Bart’s glitzy night life in Baie de St-John, shopping in picturesque Gustavia, or sipping local drinks like Ti Punch and watching the sunset at one of St. Barts’ laid-back restaurants like Café Santa Fe.
4. Rio de Janeiro
Known for its breathtaking scenery, massive spring Carnival celebration, and more recently for hosting the 2016 Olympics, Rio de Janeiro is also a celebrity hot spot during the winter. Ipanema Beach (partially made famous by the song “Girl from Ipanema”) is the perfect place for seeing stars, including Penelope Cruz, Gerard Butler, Madonna, and Javier Bardem.
Additionally, Rio de Janeiro offers a number of cultural attractions, including parks, museums, and gardens. Monuments like Cristo Redentor are also popular destinations, for stars looking for stay active on their vacations. For accommodations, the hotel Copacabana Palace has played host to celebrities since the 1920’s, including John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich, and Ava Gardner. More recently, Gisele Bundchen booked a stay with a group of friends for Carnival.
5. Lake Como
Located in northern Italy’s Lombardy region, Lake Como offers breathtaking scenery and plays host to some of the most glamorous celebrities. The area is dotted with tiny, picturesque villages, including the capital Como, which is home to a Gothic Renaissance fusion-style duomo and is full of tiny cafés and piazzas that are perfect for relaxing and enjoying a glass of wine. Also of note are the stunning gardens at destinations like Villa Carlotta, which was built in the 17th century and contains over 500 varieties of plants, trees, and flowers.
In addition to high-profile figures like Richard Branson and David Beckham, George Clooney also spends about four months out of the year in Lake Como. The star purchased a 30-room villa in the village of Laglio in 2002 and often visits with his wife, the human rights lawyer Amal Clooney.
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