Winter in Summer: Head (Far) South with Hilton to Beat the Heat
Five destinations in the Southern Hemisphere to properly escape a sticky summer
We've all sought relief in an air-conditioned space when the summer heat gets too blistering. But instead of hiding inside, why not seek relief in another climate all together?
Consider sipping wine and observing whale migrations in Uruguay, exploring the famed shopping districts in Argentina or skiing down snow-covered mountains in New Zealand. And that's just a start. For more destinations where you can bask in the outdoors, instead of your central air, peruse the list below for perfect spots to chill out this summer.
Where to Go: Montevideo, Uruguay
Montevideo, the port town and capital city of Uruguay, is a refreshing summer escape — in terms of pace and temperature. Due to its location south of the equator, Uruguay (and the rest of South America) has opposite seasons as the U.S., Asia and Europe, averaging around 58 degrees Fahrenheit during its winter months of June to September. As a certified UNESCO World Heritage Site, a walkable city and home to colorful buildings positioned between a spatter of skyscrapers, this city is the perfect low-key, South American cultural excursion for an unconventional summer vacation.
What to Do: Whale watching and wine-tasting
June and July are not known as Uruguay's popular tourist months since most people would rather visit the country when the weather is warm. This means that popular Uruguayan attractions are not crowded for those who choose to venture there during the cooler months. One fan favorite activity in the region is the Bodega Garzon wine tasting experience that's about a two-hour drive outside the city of Montevideo. Guests can tour the Bodega Garzon olive tree plantations from a tractor-drawn carriage and then enjoy a tasting of olive oil, cheeses, homemade bread and wine. But wine enthusiasts aren't the only ones who flock to Uruguay during its winter season. For the animal-loving traveler, Punta del Este is a great coastal city for whale watching and is located about an hour from Montevideo. Whales migrate to the country's East Coast at the beginning of July to mate and take care of their young before taking off again in October when the weather starts warming up. Consider booking a boat tour to spot these seasonal visitors, from a safe distance for tourists and the whales, of course.
Where to Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Montevideo
This hotel brings to mind the importance of the famous saying: location, location, location. In the heart of the Uruguayan capital city, the Hilton Garden Inn Montevideo puts guests in the center of everything. By foot, guests can reach the World Trade Center Montevideo, one of the most popular buildings in the city, as well as local restaurants and shops. Carrasco International Airport is also a quick drive north of the hotel, so guests can enjoy their vacation shortly after landing. Members of Hilton's free-to-join loyalty program, Hilton Honors, who book their stay through the Honors Discount Advantage Package at least seven days before their check-in date are eligible for up to a 15% discount. Non-members can join now and get immediate access to the deals and special offers that come included with a membership.
Where to Go: Victoria, Australia
It's no secret that Australia is one of the hottest places on earth on its peak days of summer, a season that runs from December through February. In January 2019, the 15 hottest places in the world were all located in Australia, at a record 116 degrees Fahrenheit in certain regions. That means visiting the Outback during its winter months of June through August might be the best option, and fortunately winters in Australia are just as charming as its warmer days.
What to do: Explore the city, travel Great Ocean Road and ski the slopes
Get the squad together for a coastal road trip down Australia's Great Ocean Road, a 151-mile National Heritage List stretch of road. You will traverse varying terrain that includes a breathtaking coastline, national parks and enchanting towns. Looking to enjoy the snow during Australia's winter season? Plan a day or overnight trip to Mount Buller, about 150 miles from Melbourne. Here you'll find one of the largest ski villages in Australia that also boasts fantastic views of the Victorian Alps. Enjoy the snow and slopes before heading back into the city to discover what else beautiful Victoria has to offer.
Where to Stay in Victoria: DoubleTree by Hilton Melbourne - Flinders Street
DoubleTree by Hilton Melbourne - Flinders Street is a modern, comfortable hotel located in the heart of Melbourne's dynamic city center and opposite the iconic Flinders Street Station. The hotel's unique style gives guests a real sense of place, with design elements inspired by the Victorian architecture of Flinders Street Station and Melbourne's edgy, cool laneways. Guests with an eye for detail will be impressed by the simple but chic rooms, which feature custom headboards, vintage luggage drawer pulls, commissioned black and white photography and stylish bathrooms with on-trend subway tiles. Step outside to discover Melbourne's most famous laneways, shopping boutiques, hot dining spots, famous galleries and iconic sporting attractions — just a short stroll away. At DoubleTree by Hilton Melbourne - Flinders Street, guests are on the doorstep of the very best that Victoria's vibrant capital has to offer.
Where to Go: Queenstown, New Zealand
Next on the list is New Zealand, another Down Under favorite. Like Australia, temperatures in July tend to range between 21 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit. Queenstown is located on the West Coast of the South Island and is usually the driest in July, compared to other winter months, meaning it's perfect for staying dry while exploring.
What to Do: Carve the slopes on The Remarkables and explore grand waterfalls in Milford Sound
Located just 15 miles outside of Queenstown and boasting seven parks and an extensive learner's area, The Remarkables is an ideal ski destination, especially during New Zealand's ski season of June to October. Options include skiing, snowboarding and sledding, but the slopes are for more than just a snowy adrenaline rush. Visitors can make their way to the top of the Southern Alps ridgeline for an aerial view of Queenstown, one of the best in the Otago Region. After you've had your fill of the snow, take a visit to Milford Sound, called the "eighth wonder of the world" and considered to be one of New Zealand's most popular tourist destinations. Featuring fjords of inky black waters, soaring mountaintops and towering waterfalls, the Sound is breathtaking no matter the weather and a natural beauty that can't be missed. And adventure junkies, take note: Bungee jumping was made famous here.
Where to stay: Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa
After spending a long day exploring the Southern Alps in the Adventure Capital of the World, unwind at Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa. Set on New Zealand's South Island by the tranquil shores of Lake Wakatipu and in the heart of Kawarau Village, the upscale hotel features a majestic mountain backdrop and provides the perfect base to explore the area's natural attractions. The hotel has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the "Ski Hotel of Choice in New Zealand" by World Ski Awards and the "Leading Hotel in New Zealand" by the World Travel Awards, and was placed on Condé Nast Traveler's prestigious Hot List. In addition, it is the closest hotel to The Remarkables Ski Area.
Where to Go: Santiago, Chile
Set against the snowy backdrop of the Andes Mountains, this South American city is a picturesque winter wonderland. Located in the heart of Santiago's recently developed commercial and financial district, where snow-covered roads are a rarity and where popular ski centers are a short drive away, the city brings together the best of both worlds. With colder winter days averaging around 35 degrees Fahrenheit, Santiago is the ideal destination for a comfortable winter getaway.
What to Do: Family snow day
If work and family holidays kept you from the slopes last winter, you can make up for lost time this summer at El Colorado, one of Santiago's surrounding ski slopes. With 22 trails spanning 1,110 acres, equipment rentals and lessons for every level of skier, El Colorado is the perfect winter ski getaway for the entire family. If you'd rather not ski, consider traveling to Farellones, Chile's first ski center and town that offers winter excursions for tourists interested in more than simply skiing. Excursions include tubing, zip lining and taking the little ones to the kids' minipark, where they can have their own snow day adventures on a smaller scale. Both winter parks are less than two hours from the hotel.
Where to Stay: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Santiago - Vitacura
Centrally located within Santiago's burgeoning commercial and financial district, DoubleTree by Hilton Santiago - Vitacura is just one block away from the Costanera Center — an extensive business and commercial complex that includes South America's largest shopping mall, theaters, offices and the tallest building in Latin America: Gran Torre Santiago. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the Andes Mountain from their room, as well as works of celebrated Chilean artists featured throughout the hotel. Off-site, guests can explore the country's artistic past at one of the three homes of Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda, or admire exhibits at one of Santiago's many museums, including the Museo de Artes Visuales (Museum of Visual Arts) and the Museo de Nacional Bellas Artes (Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts). Guests can also enjoy easy access to restaurants, boutiques, galleries, cultural buildings and other Santiago attractions. Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport is also just 15 miles west of the hotel.
Where to Go: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Enjoy the temperate climate of this city sometimes regarded as the Paris of South America. It's a colorful cosmopolitan place with rich history, stunning architecture and world-class shopping and dining. Buenos Aires rarely dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit during its winter months of June through August and often reaches highs topping 60 degrees. That makes it the ideal destination for a metropolitan getaway for those who'd rather not chill out too much to beat the heat.
What to Do: See historic sites, shop, tango, eat steak and repeat
Buenos Aires is home to myriad picturesque historic sites and neighborhoods. La Recoleta Cemetery, regarded as one of the world's most beautiful cemeteries, is known for its ornate, above-ground tombs and elaborate mausoleums housing notable Argentinians, including former presidents, famous writers and politicians. San Telmo, the oldest barrio (neighborhood) in the city features cobblestone streets, quaint cafés, antique stores and a famous Sunday market. If you're searching for more modern wares, stroll down the Avenida Alvear in the Recoleta neighborhood. This elegant street is lined with fashionable boutiques and other high-end retail shops. Or try the eclectic Palermo neighborhood for trendy shopping and dining. No trip to Buenos Aires is complete without a visit to the city's famed underground milongas (tango dance clubs). Travel a bit off the beaten path to Bar Los Laureles, an authentic tango club that dates back to the early 1900s. If you visit the city in August, don't miss the International Tango Festival, a two-week celebration featuring free concerts, shows, classes and the Tango World Championship. The cooler weather also lends itself to indulging in Argentina's hearty cuisine. Don't miss the famous parrillas, where a variety of meats are prepared on an open-fire grill and served family style. Wine lovers can pair their meal with a full-bodied Argentinian Malbec.
Where to Stay: Anselmo Buenos Aires, Curio Collection by Hilton
Located in the epicenter of the historic San Telmo neighborhood, this hotel offers the perfect blend of storied history and modern luxury. Originally built as a mansion in 1906, the first owner was rumored to have been the famous tango musician and composer Anselmo Aieta. The hotel maintains its original 1900s façade and is complemented by a modern design that infuses the area's history and local flair. Guests will enjoy the hotel's communal gathering areas and onsite bar and restaurant. Situated just off Plaza Dorrego, Anselmo Buenos Aires is surrounded by winding cobblestone streets, bustling bars and cafés and eclectic shopping. It's the ideal launching pad for an immersive escape to Buenos Aires.
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