Humbug Holidays: Where To Go To Get Away From Christmas

By Astrid Carter |
4th November 2019

If the thought of sprouts, Christmas trees and Mariah’s All I Want For Christmas sends shivers down your spine rather than festive spirit, we’ve rounded up the best places to escape to this December. From long haul Japan (where they have the weirdest 25th December tradition we’ve ever heard of) to Morocco, a more convenient 3.5 hours away, here are our top picks for even the most humbug of holidayer.

Morocco

Morocco

For a quick city break, Marrakesh is a great option thanks to the 3.5 hour flight time and one hour time difference. But it’s Morocco’s lesser-known spots that will really win over any Scrooges out there. Taghazout is a yogis and surfers’ paradise. The little fishing town sits on the rugged, clay-baked coast. Or, indulge your inner hippy and head along Morocco’s famous hippy trail and make like the rock stars and free lovers of the 1960s. Plus, if you’ve an aversion to turkey and Brussel sprouts, delve into delicious tajines and spiced keftas.

Where To Stay: 

Marrakesh The Source Where rockstars go for R&R
Taghazout Munga Guesthouse Stripped back surfer chic
Marrakesh Four Seasons All-out glamour
Japan

Japan

Spend your Christmas budget on wacky beauty products and tech gadgets (oh, and the flight to get there) this year and jet off to Japan. From the attack on the senses of Tokyo to the bamboo groves of Kyoto and Miyajima’s Itsukushima Shrine (so cult it even has its own emoji), this is a country swathed in culture and rich in diversity. Fun fact: in Tokyo, the Japanese like to go to KFC on Christmas Day. It’s so popular in fact, that you have to book in advance. We’re not even joking.

Where To Stay: 

Kyoto Four Seasons Five star luxury with an 800 year old history
Tokyo Aman Zen interiors in the city
Shima-shi Amanemu Healing hot springs
Vietnam

Vietnam

South East Asia is a popular choice for the Christmas holidays, but the likes of Thailand and Bali are so popular with Western tourists that you’re bound to see a few Christmas trees and baubles, you may even get a Christmas dinner on the beach. Vietnam, however, remains fairly untouched by Christmas spirit. From the pretty coloured lanterns of Hoi Ann to the famous train trail that connects the north and south and the sprawling palm tree-dotted beaches of the west coast, you could easily spend the entire festive season in Vietnam, providing you’ve got the annual leave left.

Where To Stay: 

Lang Co Banyan Tree Jungle and sea views with the best sunset in Vietnam
Nha Trang Six Senses Ninh Van Bay Eco-conscious hideaway big on style
Son Tra Peninsula InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort Private beach, luxe spa and Insta-worthy interiors
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

The notoriously closed country has opened itself up to tourists for the first time in decades, so if you’re looking to swap candy canes for camels and jingle bells for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia makes for a great alternative Christmas. The kingdom is actively trying to modernise and become more tourist-friendly. Unmarried Western couples are now allowed to share rooms and a programme of liberalisation, especially towards women, has been introduced. Culture differences aside, the sheer natural beauty of the country is worth the plane ticket alone, from the Red Sea to the ‘empty quarter’ – the desert land that sprawls a third of the Arabian Peninsula.

Read more about Saudi’s new tourist route in our article, here.

Where To Stay: 

Jeddah Assila Hotel Jewel tones and epic bedroom views
Riyadh The Ritz-Carlton Unashamed Middle Eastern gold and glitz
Al Ula MGallery Boutique boarding in a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Israel

Israel

While the Christmas story may have originated here, it isn’t widely celebrated in Israel as only 2.5% of the population are Christian. Tel Aviv is the place to go if you want to party and eat like a king. The foodie scene has gone big in recent years from the best street food falafel you’ll ever taste to Ottolenghi-style long lunches and inventive fine dining. The city has also become known for it’s buzzing party scene. Go for Christmas and you’ll want to stay until New Year.

Where To Stay: 

Tel Aviv The Norman Wes Anderson-worthy 1920’s design and epic rooftop pool
Tel Aviv The Vera Hotel Industrial chic meets indoor botany
Tel Aviv The Setai Stunning sunsets over the Mediterranean

Become An Insider

Want free instant access to secret locations, exclusive parties, the latest openings and much more!

  • * a company email is required to download this file
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.