From the chilled-out beach vibes of Antigua right through to the early bird snow bunnies of Switzerland whatever your preference for a winter holiday our top picks for the best luxury holiday destinations in November will provide great inspiration to help you chose the perfect November escape. Read on for some serious wanderlust.
Best for: stylish city break
Perched on the banks of the Bosphorus, the cultural melting pot of Istanbul is where east meets west. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the stunning Hagia Sophia museum, which acted as both a Greek orthodox cathedral and an Ottoman mosque before being converted into its current guise by Mustafa Atatürk, the first Turkish President, in 1935. Widely considered to be the pinnacle of Byzantine architecture, its huge dome made it a marvel of engineering following its construction in the Middle Ages and it remains a celebrated feature of Istanbul’s enchanting skyline to this day. Just a short walk away lies the Blue Mosque, arguably the city’s most famous tourist attraction. Constructed by Sultan Ahmed I at the beginning of the 17th century, the mosque is an exquisite structure, boasting a total of 13 domes and six minarets. The best views of the mosque can be found at night when it is illuminated, creating a spectacular backdrop. Foodies amongst you should check out one of Istanbul’s many bustling bazaars. We recommend the Misir Carsisi bazaar in the city’s Fatih district, where the assortment of exotic spices and the rich aroma of freshly-ground coffee will prove to be a treat for all the senses.
Best for: chilled out beach vibes
Though it may be considered primarily a summer destination, with November temperatures still in the 20s°C Antigua is the perfect place to catch some sun this autumn. Despite its relatively small size, this idyllic Caribbean island has 365 beaches to its name – one for every day of the year. Expect to find golden sands, crystal clear waters and a range of activities, making it ideal for the whole family to enjoy. The glass-bottom boat trips are a particular favourite of ours, as they allow you to admire Antigua’s beautiful marine life up close – keep your eyes peeled for whales, dolphins and turtles. Banana-boat rides and jet skiing are also great options to keep teenagers entertained. Given Antigua’s prime location on the Caribbean’s doorstep, it is of little surprise that the island’s cuisine revolves around seafood – Antiguan lobsters are regarded as some of the finest in the world.
Best for genuine personal touches and attention to detail: Hermitage Bay
Best for elegant escapism and relaxation: Carlisle Bay Antigua
Best for infinity pools and uninterrupted views: The Cove Suites at Blue Waters
Best for: iconic celebrations
This November marks the 500th anniversary of Havana’s foundation by Spanish conquistadors and the Cuban capital has pulled out all of the stops to mark the occasion. Preparations have been in full flow for the past two years, with the renovation of thousands of buildings to ensure the city is looking at its resplendent best for the anniversary. The most impressive renovation is that of the neoclassical El Capitolio building, which served as the Cuban seat of government until Fidel Castro and Che Guevara’s revolutionary forces famously usurped power in 1959 – the building has recently reopened to the public and is a must-see. Head to the city centre, Old Havana (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), to experience the classic image of Cuba – expect to see vintage American cars roaring along streets overlooked by vividly-coloured buildings. No trip to Cuba would be complete without experiencing Havana’s pulsating salsa scene, whilst the island is also a bookworm’s paradise, having been immortalised by the works of Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene – you can follow in the footsteps of these literary heroes by stopping in for cocktails at the iconic Floridita Bar.
Best for: early-bird snow bunnies
Located in the Swiss Alps, the village of Verbier has established itself as one of Europe’s most exclusive ski destinations. Known as the gateway to the 4 Vallées, with its easy access to a range of slower blue slopes and extensive off-piste, Verbier is suited to seasoned skiers and beginners alike. Although the 4 Vallées has over 410km of ski runs, its pièce de résistance is undoubtedly the summit of Mont Fort. Getting there from Verbier involves taking four separate cable cars, but the breath-taking views of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc that greet you will be more than ample reward for your efforts. Away from the slopes there is a variety of restaurants to cater for all palettes, but the best is the Michelin-starred La Table d’Adrien at Chalet d’Adrien, with its sublime Italian-inspired menu accompanied by first-class service. Verbier is also home to a thriving après-ski scene – take the opportunity to unwind with a cool beer at one of the après bars after a long day on the slopes.
Best for: Thanksgiving celebrations
For a truly magical experience, head stateside this November to soak up the Big Apple’s world-famous Thanksgiving celebrations. Immortalised by the film Miracle on 34th Street, the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan is the flagship event of the celebrations and is marking its 92nd edition this year. With marching bands, celebrity appearances and huge balloons shaped into cartoon characters ranging from Mickey Mouse to SpongeBob SquarePants, it is an unforgettable day out for the whole family. Bryant Park, known as Manhattan’s town square, is also a must-visit: it hosts an annual Winter Village with a stunning 17,000 square feet ice rink and lots of engaging events for children. Take time to wonder around its European-inspired open-air market – it is the perfect place to find unique artisanal souvenirs or just sit down for a well-earned hot chocolate and enjoy the holiday atmosphere.