September 1 is a day every travel agent has circled on their calendars. That’s because it’s the day deposits are usually due for holiday bookings—and the day that many people change their minds and cancel their plans. That means a whole lot of space opens up tomorrow. This year, why not give yourself an early Christmas gift and book your holiday vacation far in advance. It saves you an enormous amount of money and grief—and you can actually get what you want.

By Jes Ware
Aerial View
Photo by Ritz-Carlton

SAND

Nizuc, Cancún Christmas with your toes in the sand? There’s still space at Nizuc, a sleek, secluded resort (originally planned as an Aman). It’s a ten-minute drive from the airport, but miles away from the Cancún scrum.

Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico This Ritz-Carlton Reserve is legendary—concocted by a Rockefeller, it was a favorite crash pad for everyone from JFK to Amelia Earhart to Beyoncé. Join the epic guest list for the holidays.

Half Moon, Jamaica The tried and true resort of Jamaica has activities to keep the entire family occupied, a gorgeous beach on Montego Bay and one of the best restaurants in Jamaica.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Mexico It’s an all-inclusive—but not what you think: a plethora of restaurants, a huge kids’ club, and margaritas by the pool.

Andaz Maui The Andaz nailed the tricky balance between local and luxury: a 70’s Hawaiian vibe plus a great spa and food by Morimoto.

Belle Mont Farm, St. Kitts One of the best culinary experiences in the Caribbean is at this farm-to-table, eco-conscious resort with secluded, luxe guest villas.

Aerial View
Photo by Montage Deer Valley

SNOW

Hotel Jerome, Aspen Finding a holiday opening in Aspen is as rare as spotting a white Bengal tiger in the Rockies. And yet five nights have freed up around Christmas at Hotel Jerome, a red brick Victorian favorite in downtown Aspen. Ski in, ski out!

Alpaga, Mégève, France Overlooking Mont-Blanc, Alpaga says it embodies esprit de hameau, or village atmosphere, but the Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant adds a pretty cosmopolitan touch. Stay slopeside in a charming chalet for Christmas.

Montage Deer Valley, Utah Hitting the slopes? Stay at the Montage, located just five minutes from Park City's Main Street, with the largest spa in Utah, enviable dining options, and a pub with its own bowling alley. 

Exterior
Photo by The Ned

CITY

The Ned, London London’s buzziest new hotel is an Edwardian amusement park of restaurants, bars and a heated rooftop pool with a killer view of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Hotel Pulitzer, Amsterdam A canalside icon that was recently renovated to give the rooms even more eccentric charm. 

Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel Have yourself a very royal Christmas at the city’s newest/oldest palace—built 1758, lavishly restored 2017.