Duty- and Hassle-Free Shopping | St. Maarten
Stay at: Holland House Beach Hotel
The Dutch Caribbean island of St. Maarten boasts island vibes galore with its powdery soft sands, ombre blues and diverse range of culinary offerings. The island-living lifestyle, although often synonymous with a minimal aesthetic, Travelers will be delighted to discover Phillipsburg, the color-laden capital where streets are riddled with quaint jewelers and artisan crafts awaiting to fulfill this year’s holiday wish list. Guests can opt to stay at Holland House Beach Hotel — a 55-room boutique hotel that’s as centrally-located as it gets while still conveniently tucked away from the action for a quiet escape. In town, stores range from the Guavaberry Emporium, where the island’s national rum is of absolutely no shortage; to endless jewelry stores with unbeatable prices thanks to the island’s duty-free status; while roadside stands offer handmade goods, local clothing and more. No luck strolling down the cobblestone streets? Try the St. Maarten Nectar Factory in Cole Bay to browse 100% natural and handmade skincare and beauty products, or even head over to the French side of the island and pay a visit to Ruby Bute — an artist often referred as the island’s “national treasure” — for unique and cultural paintings.
Handmade with Love | Columbus, OH
Stay at: AC Columbus Downtown
Columbus, Ohio, is within a half day’s driving distance of more than half of the U.S. population, making it an ideal road trip destination for those who are looking to complete their holiday shopping in one fell swoop. With lots of locally-owned stores with handmade goods, guests can feel good knowing their holiday shopping supports small businesses in town. Stay in the center of all the action at the recently-opened AC Hotel Columbus Downtown, sitting right at the intersection of the city’s bustling business districts, Arena District and Short North Arts District, putting you within walking distance to the town’s best shops. Walk half a mile to Red Giraffe Designs, a local jewelry store with both handcrafted and vintage options that are fully customizable, meaning you can find something here for everyone. For the beauty queens in your life, stop by Tiki Botanicals to check out a selection of handmade and organic soaps, shampoos, lotions, fragrances and more. Not able to find the perfect gift anywhere? Make it yourself! At Penn & Beech Candle Co., also a half-mile walk from the AC Hotel Columbus, you can curate a blend of your loved one’s favorite scents and gift them a candle you know they’ll not only love, but appreciate the thought that went into it. Once you shop ‘til you drop, make your way back to the hotel to unwind at Lumin Skybar to indulge in scenic sunset views, an assortment of craft cocktails and a variety of Spanish tapas before resting up for another day of shopping.
An Artisan Wonderland | Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Stay at: Casa Palopó
Casa Palopó is perched on the hills that surround Guatemala’s spectacular Lake Atitlán — famous for its natural beauty, three majestic volcanoes and 12 colorful Mayan villages that dot its shores. The private home turned boutique hotel offers just 15 uniquely decorated guest rooms and suites, adorned with colorful walls, Latin American artwork and locally handwoven textiles — all perfectly complemented by its invigorating volcano views. Design is key as Casa Palopo places a strong emphasis on Guatemalan designers, showcasing to guests – via its decor and boutique gift shop items – a number of unique handmade designs that range from housewares to apparel, and that support of local artisans of Mayan descent. The property also sources many items from Meso Goods, a boutique home decor shop that supports 200 artisans across Guatemala and Honduras including the works of Isabella Springmuhl Tejada, a young Guatemalan designer who is reportedly known as the first fashion designer with Down Syndrome. Through its “Palopo Activo” program, the hotel gives guests 10% of their nightly rate back in vouchers so they can shop from local weavers, artisans and shop owners — ensuring the return of tourism directly benefits the town’s indigenous residents by aiding in their recovery. Other cultural experiences at this Relais & Chateaux property include Mayan shaman blessings onsite, tours through Lake Atitlan’s villages, and voluntourism opportunities via Pintando Santa Catarina Palopo where neighboring indigenous towns undergo colorful transformations via murals representative of their Mayan roots. Learn more and book now at www.casapalopo.com.
A Designer Shopping Excursion | Atlanta, GA
Stay at: Thompson Buckhead
A central hub and short drive or nonstop flight from most major U.S. cities, Atlanta offers the perfect setting for marathon shoppers looking to fulfill their holiday checklist. Stay at the brand-new Thompson Buckhead, opening in mid-December in a residential, tree-lined neighborhood where you’ll find some of the city’s best dining, shopping, and nightlife at nearby Buckhead Village. Within a few minute walk from the hotel, shoppers will be delighted to discover a six-block enclave of sixty-plus stores to source the latest and greatest holiday cheer, not to mention plenty of opportunities to splurge on that special person on your list with designers like Dior, Christian Louboutin and more. Post shopping excursion, wind down with some comfort food with Italian-American red-sauce classics at Dirty Rascal, the hotel’s signature restaurant by celebrated local Chef Todd Ginsberg and Rye Restaurants. In need of a little shopping inspo? Don’t miss the Art Meso Fashion Exhibition, located just under a mile from the property — bringing international art and fashion to Atlanta with a gallery-style exhibit, available until January 3.
Mom & Pops and Local Shops | Memphis, TN
Stay at: Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis
Known as one of America’s most iconic streets is Beale Street, one of the top destinations for travelers to see when visiting Memphis, TN. Looking as if it’s straight out of a movie set, the street is lined with local shops that offer an eclectic assortment of all things Memphis. From original and rare vinyl, novelty items, children games, fine clothing, art and more, travelers looking to do some shopping for the holidays during their travels are bound to find a variety of gifts they won’t find anywhere else. While stepping foot on Beale Street and getting some shopping done is a treat within itself, until recently travelers have never been able to stay on Beale Street. The newest addition to the infamous street is new-build Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis, the first and only hotel to acquire a famous Beale Street address. After a day of ‘Walking in Memphis’…or shopping in Memphis, guests can imbibe in local spirits and beers at the hotel’s rooftop whiskey bar, Beck & Call and experience the city’s only rooftop bar with premium views of the Mississippi River and ‘M’ Bridge. Guests can continue to enjoy the view as they indulge in Southern-style Latin-American inspired fare at the hotel’s riverfront restaurant CIMAS, before stepping back onto Beale to finish up some shopping and experience its eccentric nightlife.
The Most Luxurious Holiday Shopping Destination | Miami, FL
Stay at: The Hilton Aventura Miami
Outdo yourself this holiday season, and visit one of the world’s most celebrated luxury shopping destinations for all of your gifting needs. Perfectly nestled between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, just 12 miles from each airport, lies Aventura – recognized for being home to the nation’s fifth-largest mall with over 300 upscale designer stores and art galleries. Shopping, sunshine and serenity are key highlights of the Aventura experience, and no hotel is a better option than the new and luxurious Hilton Aventura Miami, opened in May 2021. Offering 208 well-appointed guest rooms and suites, with some offering connecting room capabilities and multi-room offers perfect for bigger groups, Hilton Aventura Miami is the perfect place to rejuvenate after your Santa duties are done. Not only is the hotel conveniently located just three minutes from Aventura Mall, it also offers ample amenities to enjoy on-site, including an elevated pool deck with cabana and unparalleled views of Downtown Aventura, a garden terrace with tufted green flooring perfect for private yoga classes, a signature restaurant called Gala offering high-end cuisine and 24/7 room service. Insider’s tip: book the hotel’s Shopping In Style package to receive 10% savings on the best available rate, access to a Bloomingdale’s personal shopper, a 15% savings on a Bloomingdale’s purchase and late check-out at 2 PM. You can also take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary shuttle for trips to the mall or beach. For more information and to book your stay at Hilton Aventura Miami, please visit www.hiltonaventuramiami.com.