Is This Where Prince Harry is Taking Meghan Markle on Vacation?


No matter if winter weather at home has been tough or tame, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone opposed to the idea of a little mid-season getaway. Come February, that seasonal affective disorder (yes, it’s real) or post-holiday lull can strike out of nowhere. It leaves many travelers craving a change of scenery, be it at the beach or on the slopes.

“Extreme winter weather is good news for travel advisors,” says Judy Stein, a Virtuoso advisor from New York City. “There’s a direct correlation between snowstorm forecasts and last-minute getaways to warm-weather locales or other new places. Be it the Caribbean or Paris, the point is to get away, stay at a fabulous hotel, and immerse yourself in a destination. With a great trip, winter can become a much brighter season.

So, where to? Inspired by a trio of recent jaunts by a former head of state, a smitten prince, and a few queens of reality TV, here are three great, Virtuoso-friendly ideas for winter vacations. (Because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?)

Head to the Caribbean.

Richard Brandon’s Necker Island. (Photo: Courtesy Virgin Limited Edition)

After jetting from the White House to Palm Springs, the Obamas continued their much-deserved vacation at Necker Island, Sir Richard Branson’s 74-acre private retreat in the British Virgin Islands. Barack and Michelle relaxed, hit the beach, and joined Branson for a kite-surfing excursion seen ‘round the world. Visits to Necker Island are as active or laid-back as you want them to be: Beyond the array of water sports options, choose to spend the afternoon lazing by the pool or zip-lining down to Turtle Beach. While Necker Island is typically rented out for exclusive use (for up to 33 people at a time), guests can book a bungalow a few times a year during one of the island’s “Celebration Weeks.” Virtuoso amenities include breakfast daily and two complimentary one-hour massages.

One of Necker Island’s Bali House bungalows. (Photo: Courtesy Virgin Limited Edition)

 Live la vida villa in Costa Rica.

Villa Manzu, a Costa Rica celebrity enclave. (Photo: Courtesy Villa Manzu)

With a fleet of paparazzi close behind, the Kardashian clan hopped from L.A. down to Costa Rica for a few days at Villa Manzu, an eight-bedroom, oceanfront estate on the Peninsula Papagayo. The ultra-luxe, 30,000-square-foot rental easily meets the family’s A-list requirements, with two swimming pools, a movie theater, and a 22-person staff. Hop in one of the villa’s Range Rovers or Jeeps (driver included) and head into the surrounding rainforest, full of several Instagram-worthy spots for starring in your own impromptu photo shoot. Virtuoso amenities include breakfast daily and a $500 spa credit.

Pacific Ocean views from a Villa Manzu bathroom. (Photo: Courtesy Villa Manzu)

Quit shoveling snow and ski on it instead.

The Lodge, Verbier’s cozy Party Room. (Photo: Courtesy Virgin Limited Edition)

Royal rumor has it that Prince Harry is taking his girlfriend, Canadian actress Meghan Markle, and friends away to Verbier, Switzerland, for a week of skiing and bonding at The Lodge, Verbier. In the summer, the chalet’s nine rooms can be booked separately, but it’s an exclusive-use rental for up to 18 in the winter. Switzerland’s popular Four Valleys ski resorts keep guests busy by day, who return to the lodge for a chef-prepared dinner, drinks by the fireplace, and rounds of billiards in the party room. Virtuoso amenities include breakfast daily and two complimentary one-hour massages.

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Is This Where Prince Harry is Taking Meghan Markle on Vacation?

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