Winter destinations blog pic

For Immediate Release – With winter doldrums setting in, more travelers are seeking both quick and lengthier getaways this year, according to Ovation Travel Group – one of the largest independently owned travel management and luxury leisure travel companies headquartered in the US. Today, Ovation unveiled some of the top destinations its leisure advisors are recommending. While the most highly recommended destination is St. Barts, which offers a close-to-United States respite from the cold in the Caribbean, Ovation advisors’ recommendations span the globe.

“One of the best times of year to get away in any year is in its first three months. Not only does traveling at this time of year provide a welcome break from cold and snow, but it is also low season throughout much of the world. That in turn means less crowds and better value,” explained Paul Metselaar, CEO and Chairman of Ovation Travel Group.

“We recently asked our luxury leisure travel advisors for the destinations they recommend to clients seeking a reprieve from wintry weather,” noted Gina Gabbard, Senior Vice President of Leisure and Independent Advisors. “The hands-down favorite winter getaway among Ovation’s expert advisors is the French hot spot, Saint-Barthélemy Island, or St. Barts, where beloved properties like the fabled Eden Roc have not only reopened, but they are better than ever. Not only is the journey from the United States relatively easy, but it offers a level of sophistication, elegance and exclusivity unmatched throughout the rest of the Caribbean.”

St. Barts and the Caribbean
“St. Barts is very happening in the winter, yet has the laid-back island vibe that sets the tone for definitive relaxation,” stated Jill Fischbarg, Luxury Travel Consultant for Ovation. “During our cold months, the sun shines and the beaches and restaurants are lively with music, sunseekers and great food. Offering a number of chic hotels, beautiful beaches, fun shops and a variety of restaurants, St. Barts is the ultimate setting to unwind and be playful.”

Limor Decter, Luxury Travel Advisor and Concierge with Ovation agrees, “The chic French island is back – St. Barts is better than ever with newly renovated hotels, stunning beaches, world-class shopping and a festive club scene set on this lush tropical island.”

Also extolling the virtues of St. Barts – and other Caribbean destinations – is Andrew Steinberg, Luxury Travel Concierge for Modern Travel, Inc. an affiliate of Ovation Travel Group. “The Caribbean is always a great spot in the winter to get a dose of Vitamin D and soak in the healing waters of the sea. St. Barts is at the top of the list since it has the beauty and soul of the Caribbean as done by the French with great food and shopping.” He added, “Grenada is really coming on with the new Silver Sands resort, and all eyes are looking toward the reopened Rosewood’s Little Dix Bay (Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands), which is getting many inquiries.”

Domestic Destinations: From California to Charleston
Also close to home, Ovation leisure advisors named their picks for top winter getaways across the United States, including Malibu and Napa in California, as well as Charleston, South Carolina.

“After the holidays, a wellness vacation is a great time to reset your mind and body by placing your New Year’s resolutions in motion,” explained Fischbarg. “The Ranch at Malibu incorporates physical and mental health, plant-based cuisine and its life-changing program. Hiking, fitness, wellness and spa opportunities transform your body and energy in the winter. It’s a great place to visit on your own, with a friend or a significant other.”

“Napa is a mecca for food and wine with stunning scenery, mild weather and world-class resorts – an ideal place to visit in the Golden State,” said Decter, who also offered, “Southern hospitality coupled with sunny skies and sumptuous cuisine make charming Charleston a wonderful place to visit and escape the winter blues.”

Off Southern Europe’s Beaten Path: Portugal and Italy’s Dolomites
Ovation advisors shared two special places that are not overrun with tourists, even during summer months in ways that much of the rest of Europe is: Portugal and the Dolomites in Italy.

“This year, I find myself recommending sunny Portugal to my clients over and over again,” noted Denese Senno, Luxury Travel Advisor with Ovation. “Portugal is an incredible value and has so much to offer. The temperatures are mild and the food and wine are just off the charts! Being a small country, it’s possible to visit several regions even in just one week. There is much to explore: the Moorish and Roman history of Lisbon, the Port cellars and fish markets in the vibrant city of Porto and the vineyards and stunning landscape of the Douro Valley. Portugal also offers hiking, biking and horseback riding while staying at an authentic farmhouse in the Alentejo Region or sampling traditional fish and seafood dishes while exploring secluded islands in the Algarve, all without the summer crowds.”

“For a winter getaway that embraces the snowy season, look no further than the Italian Dolomites. Located just two hours from Verona, the Dolomites offer the perfect destination for skiers of all levels and those who enjoy après ski, too,” noted Lauren Shook, Travel Concierge for The Stein Collective, an affiliate of Ovation Travel Group. “A true winter wonderland, the Dolomites offer world-class adventure activities paired with a glorious setting. From local farm-to-table restaurants and many Michelin-star offerings, travelers can experience Northern Italian cooking in a whole new way. The Dolomites, the cushy cousin to the Alps, are gaining in popularity thanks to the area’s first luxury wellness resort, Lefay Resort & Spa Dolomiti. The resort is situated in the Madonna di Campiglio ski region and is comprised of a 50,000 square foot spa – one of the largest in the region. The majestic backdrop of snowcapped peaks makes the Dolomites and this eco-friendly, hillside retreat a top winter escape!”

Ultimate Winter Getaways: South Africa and the Maldives
For those who have more time for a completely relaxed winter getaway, Ovation advisor Jill Fischbarg also recommends two far-flung destinations that are more than worth the time it takes to travel to them.

“January through March is a great time to visit South Africa, especially with United Airlines’ new seasonal nonstop flight from Newark to Cape Town. The weather is great and South Africa offers many activities from active to cultural adventures,” Fischbarg stated. “Though Kruger National Park can be hot, it is a year-round destination and safari rates and space are better after the December holidays.”

“The Maldives is the ultimate winter escape with over-water bungalows, pristine beaches and that deserted island feel. The Maldives offer complete relaxation and the sense of being away from it all,” noted Fischbarg. “The weather is dry and sunny from January through March, making it an ideal time to visit.”

For counsel and assistance with luxury getaways and vacations around the world, travelers are invited to tap into the expertise of Ovation Travel Group’s experienced advisors by calling 800.977.5893 or emailing Ovation’s luxury leisure travel division is also inviting independent advisors to learn how to qualify for its program by visiting