Fancy swapping snow and shivers for sunshine? With these luxury holiday ideas, you'll find the best places that are hot in December for your escape. From the tropical shores of Barbados to the desert dunes of Oman, we know the best places to heat up your Christmas and New Year.

The Hottest Places to Go on Holiday in December

Long Haul (8 hours or more)

Short-Haul - Medium-Haul (7 hours or less)

  • Oman (27°C average temperature)
  • Tenerife (20°C average temperature)
  • Dubai (22°C average temperature)

1. Maldives 27 °C

Flight time: 10 hrs

While the waters back home are frozen over, why not migrate to the warm shores of the Indian Ocean? Reaching a sizzling 27 degrees in December, the tropical climate of the Maldives will certainly warm up your winter months.

Basking in sunshine from dusk to dawn, these beautiful islands are the ultimate place to unwind. Snorkel around your resort’s house reefs, sail through lagoons, go fishing for your daily catch, or swap your Christmas turkey for gourmet cuisine as you watch the sun set over the lagoon.

After lazing on one of the idyllic beaches, you could wander down to your resort's spa. Far removed from any shivers, warm up and relax with an indulgent massage. After a long year, what better place to undo some stubborn knots than under the Maldivian sun?

Hotel Highlight

We have to nod to OZEN Life Maadhoo for a stunning private island getaway this December. Let your toes sink into powder-soft sands upon arrival, and then laze the sunny days away in awe of the island’s surroundings. 

OZEN Life Maadhoo, Maldives

Explore the nearby reefs on a complimentary shuttle boat trip, feast on seafood at the underwater restaurant and take a sunset fishing excursion. Every day is a sun-soaked adventure with bespoke, luxury service as standard and complimentary treats, from windsurfing and kitesurfing, to 60-minute spa sessions for added pampering.

You'll find more tips on spending Christmas in the Maldives in our guide.

2. Antigua 24 °C

Flight time: 9 hrs

Graced by the Caribbean sun pretty much all year round, the winter months will be a distant memory for you as you touch down in Antigua. With beautiful weather throughout December, this island is one of the best places for a winter escape.

There are various activities to keep beach lovers entertained, whether it’s a snorkelling session off Half Moon Bay, or a swim in the Caribbean Sea.

Meanwhile, history buffs can catch some shade in the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda. Dating back to the time of the islands’ first settlers, this spot houses original artworks, sculptures, and carvings. You can also check out two famous forts at Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, along with an authentic collection of art galleries, shops and restaurants.

Hotel Highlight

For a peaceful stay in Antigua, we recommend Hermitage Bay. Tucked away in a quiet corner of the island, this resort is an adults-only haven.

Hermitage Bay, Antigua

Nestle into your Hillside Pool Suite and soak in the sea views from your private plunge pool. Foodies can join weekly al fresco Caribbean cuisine cooking demonstrations when feeling creative, or sit back and let the head chefs do the cooking with locally sourced ingredients.

Nourishing your soul as well as your stomach, the resort also offers multi-sensory therapy rituals and soothing treatments at the spa. Combined with Antigua's irresistibly sunny weather, it's the ultimate mood booster.

If you like the sound on a holiday to Antigua in December, see more ideas on where to spend Christmas in the Caribbean.

Where is it good for a beach holiday in December?

The Caribbean islands are the best places for a beach holiday in December. Not only do they offer sunny skies, hot weather and sea that's warm enough to swim in, but many are an easy flight away. You can travel to Barbados in around eight hours on a direct flight, and be enjoying warmer temperatures straight away!

3. Dominican Republic 25 °C

Flight time: 8 hrs 30 mins

The Dominican Republic is another beach-filled retreat that offers the perfect weather for a holiday in December. The most popular beaches are scattered between the capital of Santo Domingo and Punta Cana, including Playa Bayahibe. This beach grants you easy access to its surrounding forests and caves if you’d like to venture a little further into the unknown.

With different terrain allowing for a range of activities, there won’t be a dull day on your December escape here. Get involved with hiking, mountain biking and, when you reach the sea, diving, swimming, and fishing. No day is the same in the Dominican Republic, and the December temperatures make for the perfect beach holiday.

Hotel Highlight

Speaking of the great outdoors, Eden Roc Cap Cana lets you admire the scenic views first thing in the morning and last thing at night from your room or suite. When it's time for dinner, choose from six restaurants, including fine dining fare at Mediterraneo. While there's fabulous facilities for kids, spa lovers will be in their element at the wellness centre - why not try some anti-gravity yoga while you're there?

Eden Roc Cap Cana, Dominican Republic

4. Barbados 26 °C

Flight time: 9 hrs

You can always rely on Barbados for warm weather in December! Perhaps one of the ultimate spots for winter a winter sun holiday, you'll find picture-perfect beaches, gently lapping waves and plenty of laidback luxury.

Known for being one of the most beloved winter sun destinations, Barbados has something for everyone. Families will love playing on the soft sands and paddling the shallows. Couples, meanwhile, can find plenty of peaceful, grown-up spots to watch the famed sunsets with a rum cocktail in-hand. Whether you snorkel with the turtles, take a romantic catamaran ride or head out to the lively Oistins Fish Fry, you'll fall in love with Barbados in December. 

Hotel Highlight

Burrowed within bountiful tropical gardens, set on the stunning West Coast, Coral Reef Club brings you quintessential Caribbean living. Each stylish suite, cottage or villa is individually decorated for an elegant feel. However, it's the warm and personal service at this family-owned hotel that keeps so many people returning, year after year. 

Coral Reef Club, Barbados

5. St. Lucia 29°C

St Lucia immediately springs to mind when thinking of tropical paradises. It’s doused in sunlight all year round, even throughout the UK's drizzly December. The lush rainforests are thriving, and the rugged landscapes shine in a patchwork of colours. If you’re seeking a Caribbean destination with fantastic beaches, wildlife, nature trails, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the Pitons – two beautiful volcanic spires), look no further than St Lucia.

Hotel Highlight

For accommodation, Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort epitomises luxury living in St Lucia. This beachside oasis sits in between the iconic Pitons, among 100 acres of tropical rainforest – placing you right in the heart of the island’s natural beauty. The service and facilities offer everything a luxury winter sun holiday should, including stylish accommodation with plunge pools and an attentive butler at your service 24/7. You’ll find an opulent spa nestled in the rainforest, boasting an array of soothing treatments, tailored to you. Adventure-seekers can explore the warm, crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean with a snorkelling session!

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort

6. Mauritius 27°C

Nestled in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is an ideal destination for a winter sun getaway. The exquisite beaches, clear azure waters, and verdant scenery wrap you up in summertime bliss so you can forget the woes of winter. Sail across the Indian Ocean, admire the colourful coral reefs on a deep dive under the sea, or take a wildlife-watching excursion deep in the jungle. 

Hotel Highlight

Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury, lets you embrace Mauritius' tropical landscapes with complimentary non-motorised watersports. You can try windsurfing, kayaking, and private boat excursions. It certainly won't feel like December as you drift across the sea, with views of the golden sands lining Grand Baie and the luscious palm trees. 

Royal Palm

7. Grenada 27°C

Grenada's December allure lies in its lesser-known gems. The island's Nutmeg Festival, a fragrant celebration of its "Spice Isle" reputation, unfolds with spice tours and culinary adventures. Meanwhile, the underwater sculpture park and vibrant coral reefs provide exceptional diving experiences amid lovely December weather. 

Hotel Highlight

Family-owned Calabash, one of only a select handful of Relais & Châteaux hotels in the Caribbean is the perfect spot for a peaceful Christmas cut-off from the world. It's set in the secluded L'Anse Aux Epines Bay, framed by lush greenery and palm trees. Swap the Christmas turkey for locally-sourced Caribbean cuisine at the iconic Rhodes Restaurant and Beach Club, and enjoy al fresco breakfast on your private balcony or veranda. Spice Island Beach Resort also offers a remote oasis, with the two-mile-long Grand Anse Beach on your doorstep. 


8. Anguilla 27°C

In December, Anguilla's unique charm blossoms as it hosts the Festival of the Sea, a celebration of its maritime heritage. This offbeat event features boat races, seafood feasts, and captivating regatta traditions. Coupled with the island's secluded bays and luxury villas, Anguilla offers an exclusive and culturally rich December getaway unlike any other.

Hotel Highlight

Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel is one such jewel on the coast, inviting couples and families to experience ultimate luxury. It shines bright from the sands of Maundays Bay, with stunning suites and villas with private pools that overlook the Caribbean Sea. You can dine on fresh gourmet as you gaze out over the water, or opt for a private candle-lit dining option. To explore your surroundings in depth, the hotel offers guided nature walks around the coastal lagoon of Cave Pond.

Cap Juluca

9. Seychelles 27°C

Seychelles' pristine beaches, framed by lush jungle and giant granite boulders, shine under the warm December sun. Explore unique flora and fauna in Vallee de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage site, or try snorkelling or scuba diving to meet the many creatures living under the sea. 

Hotel Highlight

Raffles Seychelles is an excellent base for exploration, with private excursions available to Vallee de Mai and the beautiful islands nearby. Each villa here boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with beautiful views of the Indian Ocean, and a private pool for just you and the family. On the resort's lavish Takamaka Terrace, you can enjoy customised cocktails, tailor-made to suit your taste. 

10. Bali 27°C

Mesmerising Balinese dance performances and temple festivals come alive during the winter season in Bali. The lush rice terraces and scenic volcanoes are at their greenest, perfect for exploration and hiking. With idyllic beaches, warm waters, and luxury resorts, December offers an ideal mix of culture, adventure, and relaxation on this Indonesian paradise island.

Hotel Highlight

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay is nestled in a calm bay along three miles of beautiful beach, enveloping you in Bali's natural beauty. You can enjoy a variety of signature experiences here, including the onsite Cooking Academy, a surf school, and, for little guests, an immersive Kids' Club. The Healing Village Spa offers tailor-made treatments, while Sundara Beach Club provides a limitless supply of delicious tapas. December is usually the season for heaped plates and second helpings, and here you can do the same, only with a Spanish twist. 

Four Seasons Bali Jimbaran Resort

11. Oman 27°C

Flight time: 7 hrs

Nestled on the south-eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, with beautiful scenery to show for it, Oman brings a different kind of winter backdrop to warm up your December. From the towering Mazoon Mosque to the copper coloured Jibreen castle, Oman replaces snow and ice for a white-walled landscape of rich history and culture.

The region really heats up in December, so we recommend slotting a few indoor activities into your holiday for a break from the sun. Between your Wahiba Sands tour and your stroll along Al-Sawado Beach, be sure to check out the Sultan Qaboos Mosque, an architectural triumph, along with a show or two at the Royal Opera House.

Hotel Highlight

For those whisking the whole family away to Oman, Shangri-la Al Waha is a must. Settled on the beach, with exquisite coastal views from each of its 262 rooms, this hotel finetunes your stay to perfection.

Shangri-La Al Waha, Oman

Adults can lounge beside the hotel’s oasis-like swimming pools while little ones take a splash in the kids’ pool. In the evenings, take a short stroll to Al Bandar, where you’ll find a whole host of incredible bars and eateries.

12. Tenerife 20 °C

Flight time: 4 hrs 30 mins

It's not scorching hot in Tenerife in December, but the mild climate of this Canary Island means you can still enjoy the beaches throughout the winter months. With warm daytime temperatures in the 20°C region during the day, you can take a catamaran trip around the Atlantic Ocean, hike up Mount Tiede, or savour a slow bike ride along the winding coastline.

When it comes to swimming and watersports, the sea might be on the chillier side this time of year, but brave souls and experienced cold water swimmers can still dive right in with confidence!

Top tip: If you'd like to remain in the Canary Islands, but want a little more heat, then Gran Canaria is the hottest of the lot in December.

Hotel Highlight

Perched beside the sea, The Ritz-Carlton, Abama is the perfect place for families on a December getaway to Tenerife. While the hotel is a truly immersive destination in its own right, with a vibrant kids' zone and Michelin-starred dining options, it’s also a gateway to the surrounding region too. Borrow a bike and explore the area with tailored routes and GPS navigation, or take a private train down to The Beach Club, a popular hangout spot. The hotel aims to help you make the most of your stay in Tenerife while offering a luxurious base to return to.

Ritz-Carlton Abama, Tenerife

13. Dubai 22 °C

Flight time: 7 hrs

December is the season for filling stockings - so, why not head to Dubai for some shopping? Not only can you enjoy warm temperatures through December, but you can head to the mega-malls for some last-minute retail therapy! During the winter season, you can also enjoy festive experiences - watch the Nutcracker at the grand Dubai Opera, or take a swish down the family-friendly ski slopes at Ski Dubai?

If you're more about sun for your winter getaway, Dubai still has plenty in December. Without the scorching heat of summer, you can relax on the golden beaches and forget about any chills back at home.

Hotel Highlight

Caesars Palace Dubai is sure to cure any winter blues. Sat across from nearly 200 shops and restaurants, as well as the stunning Jumeriah Beach, this hotel is a beautiful base from which to explore all Dubai has to offer.

Caesars Palace, Dubai

Better yet, Caesars Palace fuels your days with excellent cuisine at either Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen or the world-renowned Bacchanal restaurant. In the evenings, you can unwind with scintillating treatments at the Qua Spa or count the stars above the hotel’s private beach.

Seeking some more sunny places to warm up your winter?

For more winter sun holiday ideas, contact us today. With your help, we can tailor-make a holiday personalised to you, suggest the ideal time to visit, and arrange the best bespoke experiences to make your December getaway one to remember.

Keep reading...

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Winter sun destinations to visit this year

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