If you’ve left it too late to get that perfect gift, opt for a jet set break instead
The days are ticking away quickly to Christmas and before you know it time might be against you when it comes to buying those nearest and dearest the perfect gift. With last minute, real time availability, take the stress out and explore some destinations that are sure to delight – and have your loved ones thinking you’ve been especially organised this year.
A stunning piece of jewellery or a very special timepiece are always a winner when it comes to pleasing a partner on Christmas Day, but, if you haven’t managed to sort out the shopping, what could be more romantic than recreating a legendary Hollywood moment and jetting away by private jet for a box at the opera and the opportunity to get things just right with shopping à deux in some of Italy’s finest boutiques?
Milan’s La Scala – the 18th century opera house and arguably the most renowned in the world – offers all the glamour you could want to impress, and even though this season does not include La Traviata, which was central to the iconic scene in Pretty Woman, big hits like Die Fledermaus (running January into February) do. Another highlight a little later in the year will be La Scala’s first staging of the French version of Orphée et Eurydice, running February into March, and with tickets only going on sale on December 21 you’ll have a good chance to bag the very best. Afterwards head to The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls, and under the beautiful vaulted glass ceilings select a gift knowing you have got it just right, making sure to visit Prada’s Galleria, the first Prada outlet, which opened in 1913.
It isn’t just partners who you might do well to treat for a luxurious getaway if you’ve not got things arranged already. For active fathers the Marbella Club is an ideal escape. If it’s golf that does the trick there is the 18-hole Dave Thomas designed course to play as you do much to elevate yourself to favourite child status, or the Puente Romano Tennis Club, managed by Wimbledon Champion Manolo Santana for over 25 years and opened in 1979 under the management of Bjorn Borg. As well as the botanic gardens and an equestrian club there is maybe the most important club of all in the complex to make the most of – its beach club – and with sunshine most months of the year, even if things get a little cool there’s the heated seawater pool to enjoy.
For mothers, nothing says pampering more than a world-class spa, and sons and daughters alike will find something to suit them as well at Geneva’s La Réserve. Set in a 10-acre landscaped park on the shores of Lake Geneva this is a retreat from the bustle of day-to-day life that will have any mother beaming. As well as five restaurants, 73 rooms and 29 suites there is the villa which could be a home from home, spanning 385 square metres over 2 floors and with interiors by Rémi Tessier. But to the spa, the hotel’s Nescens Spa, for the real key to this indulgent gift, and the chance to make the most of the medical and scientific expertise of Professor Jacques Proust. With a focus on cellular aging and anti-aging medicine, there are state-of-the-art therapies available, as well as some pure relaxation in the indoor pool, sauna and hammam. For those wanting to keep active there are tennis courts and a fitness centre, plus a hair salon perfect to get mother looking her best ahead of a sumptuous meal at Virginie Basselot’s The Loti.
This year if you’ve left things late, or clear forgot to get those closest something that shows how special they are, create a magical getaway instead that will be remembered for years to come – and best still will be gift you’ll be able to share in too.
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