A dreamlike winter wonderland, Lausanne's cobblestone streets can be canvassed in an afternoon and are fronted by charming restaurants; extravagant chocolate, cheese, and wine shops; and jewelry stores to drool over. For a truly decadent experience, settle in at the five-star Beau-Rivage Palace, where many of the guest rooms look out over Lake Geneva to the French Alps. And speaking of decadence, should you overindulge— easy to do with the hotel's 75,000-bottle wine cellar and the rich offerings of both a brasserie and a more formal, Michelin-starred restaurant—detoxing is pain-free at the property’s recently opened $10 million Cinq Monde spa.brp.ch, 01-41-21-613-3333.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Only half an hour from the Cancun airport, this stretch of white-sand beach is as exotic as any South Pacific atoll. Some of the most spectacular waterfront borders Ikal del Mar, a resort that is the definition of romance. (Indeed, many couples find themselves taking the hotel up on its offering of a seaside Mayan wedding ceremony, which isn't legally binding.) There are no cell phones or motorized vehicles allowed on the property, and the only noise to distract you from the lapping waves is that made by the birds singing from their leafy perches. The 30 individual villas each have canopy beds, a large plunge pool, outdoor living space, and a moon shower set among tropical flowers. There's only one good reason to change out of your bathrobe: chef Erick Anguiano's award-winning Yucatan cuisine. ikaldelmar.com, (800) 578-0281
Skip town and ring in the new year with an unforgettable holiday.
1. Ever wonder why you never see SJP's boobs? Sarah Jessica Parker was the only one of the girls with a clause in her contract stating she would never appear nude on screen.
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