When making travel plans early in 2020, social distancing wasn’t even a familiar concept and certainly not part of the everyday vernacular. Now, nearly every activity in daily life takes the degree of social distancing into consideration. Especially when planning a vacation.
With flights picking back up and many gearing back up for travel, we’ve scouted domestic destinations and activities that are prime for social distancing. Whether you want to hit the slopes, beach or seek yuletide cheer, this social distanced travel guide has you covered.
NEW YORK CITY
The Big Apple is always one of the most enchanting destinations for holiday travel, but how is the city making visitors feel safe this fall and winter? Baccarat Hotel has implemented a way to enjoy the city and spread out with a family, offering a new Maison Privé.
Guests can take over the top floor of the midtown hotel, enjoying the ultimate in exclusivity. Designed for travelers desiring an added measure of security and service, this unique private hotel stay facilitates the need for exclusive-access accommodations in the most convenient way.
Inspired in-room dining, the country’s only Spa de La Mer, a glamorous sunken ballroom 55-foot swimming pool, and fitness center add even more perks to a stay during the ‘most wonderful time of the year.’ Private direct-access elevators transport guests straight to Maison Privé, which includes a total of 11 guest rooms and suites that feel like a pied-à-terre.
Now, that’s a private retreat.
With the holidays just around the bend, a cozy mountain retreat is a natural go-to. And it’s no secret that Colorado is a hot destination for Texans to cool off. The Gant Aspen is home to a flurry of snowy adventures that can be enjoyed individually or in a small travel group, or quaran-team. One of the property’s most popular offerings involves a helicopter sky-high above a picturesque mountain backdrop.
Whether flightseeing and experiencing the allure of the Rockies by air in a helicopter, or heli-snowmobiling or heli-skiing, The Gant Aspen offers many jaunts up the mountain by air, including some backcountry spots exclusively accessible via helicopter. In true Aspen fashion, each of these helicopter experiences are paired with après and catered to individual travel groups.
Another popular frosty Colorado retreat includes Beaver Creek. The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch has pet-friendly offerings in case your socially distanced getaway includes some canine socializing. The hotel has a program that provides guests the opportunity to explore the mountain on daily snowshoe adventures, where visitors may bring their own pampered pup or join with official canine ambassadors. That’s Bachelor, a 100-pound Saint Bernard puppy, and Scout, a Bernese Mountain Dog.
Beaver Creek Mountain opens November 25 just in time for Thanksgiving weekend. Ski-in and ski-out slope side access and a ski concierge at the resort provide more time to enjoy the mountain and minimize crowds on the slopes. This winter, reservations are required in order to maintain a safe number of guests on the mountain and mountain facilities.
With mental health appearing at the forefront of discussion amidst a global pandemic, many Texans are opting for a retreat swept up in mindfulness and self-care. Trading skis for a yoga mat at this Colorado retreat, Garden of the Gods Resort and Club leaves guests feeling balanced with new levels of self-awareness.
This is a perfect practice for dealing with the holiday season, or just recovering from the extreme stresses of 2020 in general. From individual mindfulness sessions to healing therapy, relaxation is the main event with this getaway. One of the most popular healing therapies includes Healing Touch Energy Therapy, where certified energy healers feel the body’s energy and help to balance and restore.
These guided sessions include a meditation and relaxation techniques. You can also spread out in the STRATA Integrated Wellness and Spa for a dry floatation therapy session or a Body Glow, which exfoliates from head to toe and is polished off with decadent oils from Biologique Recherche.
With many Texans having felt landlocked during the better part of 2020, a beach vacation is sure to top many wish lists. Lanai, a secluded oceanfront retreat on Hawaii’s last unspoiled island is home to Four Seasons Resort Lanai, and it reopens November 20.
The Hawaiian oasis now offers revamped beach activities with thoughtful social distance considerations in mind. Many travelers are seeking destinations where time can be spent outside, wherever the destination may be. With chillier winter months ahead in Texas, Hawaii offers that toasty retreat: the average temperature for Lanai in the winter is 75 degrees.
One of the most exciting and thrilling private excursions includes off-roading in a 4×4 Jeep. No other individuals will be spotted for miles as adventure-seekers claw their way through the Hawaiian terrain.
Note: The resort requires that out-of-state visitors must present evidence of a valid negative COVID-19 (NAAT) test from a certified provider upon arrival into Hawaii and the resort.
Luxury resort Montage Palmetto Bluff — nestled in a 20,000-acres of coastal nature preserve — provides a festive yuletide getaway with a curated socially-distanced itinerary, while still preserving the annual holiday traditions that families of all ages enjoy. Echoing Southern grandeur, Montage Palmetto Bluff features decorated gas lamps, welcoming cobblestone streets and a panoply of dazzling lights.
With Instagram full of earlier-than-usual Christmas decorating, this Southern retreat is doing the same. Each guest’s stay includes a curated Lowcountry itinerary, and one of the most anticipated events of the season on the property is champagne and wreath-making classes. More than ever this year, individuals are craving quality time and activities together.
Montage Palmetto Bluff also offers a private cruise aboard a 1913 antique yacht called Grace: a festive vantage point to take in the dazzling holiday lights.
Located on 350 acres of natural surroundings in Santa Barbara, El Capitan Canyon creates an outdoor experience for guests, while still offering the amenities of a hotel. You can safely distance themselves amidst Mother Nature in a yurt or small cabin. It’s not every day you can cozy up for the evening under the stars, and kayak the Refugio Beach coastline in the morning.
The property also has access to private hiking trails (hikes to visit a nearby llama ranch are offered) beach cruiser bicycles, s’mores and barbecue kits, as well as storytelling and astronomy lessons by the campfire. With grounds situated amongst undisturbed beauty, and just a half-mile walk to the Pacific Ocean, the setup makes for an ideal private getaway.
And for those Texans not wishing to venture too far from home, The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas is also offering posh privacy pursuits ideal for the safety-conscious traveler. Just in time for the holiday season, High Tea will be offered several dates in December. The tea service was cultivated with social distancing in mind, as it’s seated and served under progressive COVID-protocols and social distanced seating.
The presentation includes a menu of sweet treats, savory bites, champagne, and of course, tea. And for those traveling with a small, individual group, the hotel offers a Privacy Please buyout escape. The experience is inclusive with a stay in the Privacy Wing— a veritable, private hotel within a hotel — offering an enhanced level of discretion and social distancing through its own private entrance, access staircase and specific keycard granting guests entry to the area via an exclusive elevator.
This private escape also provides the option to elect enhancements and add-ons such as a one-hour social distanced cocktail reception, in-room spa treatments, an exclusive Chef’s Table dining experience, and more.