The Best Places to Travel in January

1. Miami

The Magic City shows no signs of slowing down—in the past few months, it’s gotten a ton of big openings, including the palatial 1 Hotel South Beach and the glitzy Faena Hotel Miami Beach (which boasts a Damien Hirst sculpture and Top Chef winner Paul Qui’s new restaurant). This month, Swire will open the East Hotel downtown as well. Go in January to see the hotels, and stay for the unbeatable beaches.

2. Bali

Getting a hotel room in Bali over the holiday season is just about impossible, but the crowds clear out in January. The best new place to stay is Mandapa, the new Ritz Carlton Reserve located deep in the lush jungle. The rooms are spacious and modern, the service impeccable, and scenery drop-dead gorgeous.

3. Dizin Iran Ski

The recent nuclear agreement has paved the way for Americans to visit this Middle Eastern country. In January, hit the slopes in Dizin, just two hours from Tehran. Its high elevation means that ski season lasts until late May—much longer than comparable resorts in Europe. Stay at the ski-in, ski-out Dizin Hotel, which was originally built for the Shah.

4. Palm Springs California

The desert town remains a Hollywood hideaway, but lately has attracted the likes of Nicolas Ghesquiere—who staged a Louis Vuitton fashion show here—and Barack Obama. Whether you stay at the new L’Horizon Palm Springs or the beloved Parker Palm Springs, you’re bound to spot celebrities of all stripes hiding behind their sunglasses by the pool.

5. San Juan Nicaragua

Thanks to its proximity, travelers are gradually catching on to the beauty of a quick Nicaragua getaway. The 37-room Mukul remains a standout, and the stunning beaches are a fantastic antidote for winter blues. Plus, the waves are calm through January, making conditions ideal for amateur surfers.

6. Hokkaido Japan Ski

The Japanese yen remains weak against the U.S. dollar, so it’s still a great time to visit the Asian country. Hokkaido—which has some of the best powder in Asia—is ideal for skiing this time of year. A bonus for ski buffs: holders of Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass also have access to the beautiful Niseko resort. Just make sure to do as the Japanese do, by following up a long day on the slopes with a soak in the onsen (hot spring).

7. Puerto Plata Dominican Republic

With the opening of Aman’s latest Caribbean offering, there are now two gorgeous properties on the island’s northern coast—the glass-enclosed Amanera, with a world-class golf course; and the preppy-perfect Playa Grande Beach Club, designed by Celerie Kemble. No matter where you choose to sleep, the two hotels are a mere walk down the beach from one another, meaning you can easily stay in one and dine at the other.

8. Adelaide Australia

The Australian city has always been in Sydney and Melbourne’s shadows, but it’s now gaining notice for its wineries, public gardens, and architecture. The cultural scene is growing too, with programs like Art After Dark and an increase in festivals and events. In January, the city gets an influx of tennis players and fans, as it plays host to the World Tennis Challenge.

9. San Antonio Texas

The Pearl district and River Walk area have been buzzing for some time now, but the opening of the Roman & Williams-designed Hotel Emma is bringing new attention to San Antonio. Go for the warm weather, and stay for the great food—even the Culinary Institute of Arts has put a stamp of approval on the city by opening a campus there.

10. Jaipur India

The beloved (and free) Jaipur Literary Festival takes place this month, with headliners like Margaret Atwood, Steve McCurry, and Stephen Fry. The festival is held in the historic Diggi Palace Hotel, a great home base for exploring the food and monuments of this historic, colorful city.

11. Park City Utah

America’s largest ski destination is now under new ownership by Vail Resorts. The mining village still maintains much of its charm—the boutiques on Main Street, the ski-in, ski-out distillery—but now has all the perks of a major resort, like ultra-speedy lifts and great restaurants. Best of all, the snow is as great as ever.

12. Guadalajara Mexico

There’s no hotter art scene right now than in Guadalajara, which has impressive museums and jaw-dropping murals. The creative crowd has been flocking to the new design-centric Casa Fayette hotel, but you’ll also spot them at the Traversia Cuatro gallery and Julia Y Renata, a fashion boutique run by two sisters.

13. Coasta Rica Zip line

January falls right in the middle of Costa Rica’s dry season. Enjoy the perfect weather at Nayara Springs, a reader favorite that debuts 19 new villas this month. The adventurous can go white-water rafting or zip-lining; those who prefer to unwind can tour a coffee plantation or try candlelit yoga at the newly built pavilion.

14. Whistler Canada

The family-friendly ski town is fantastic in January, when the little ones have gone back to school. And there are tons of growing après-ski options, too, from great restaurants (Sidecut Modern Steak & Bar, Basalt Wine & Salumeria) to a burgeoning art scene (the Audain Art Museum is scheduled to open any day now).

15. Byron Bay Australia

The surf town now has serious foodie cred, with a major emphasis on local produce and seafood. Don’t miss the sprawling Farm complex, comprising a fitness studio, florist, and Three Blue Ducks, a spin-off of the popular Sydney restaurant. Stay at the stylish Halcyon House, where the restaurant, Paper Daisy, is run by Noma alum Ben Devlin.

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