Top 6 Last-Minute Active Getaways for the New Year

by Jane Reynolds on December 27, 2011

You know what New Year’s Eve means: cocktail dresses, wild parties, a midnight countdown, and just hours until your New Year’s resolutions kick in. It can be tough to start in on your new diet-and-exercise regimen — especially after a night of raucous debauchery — so we’ve come up with the top six last-minute active getaways to help you jump start your goals for 2012. You will have never looked or felt better! We have a destination for every kind of woman in every kind of location (with great deals to boot) so getting in shape will be fun – we promise! Whether you like to burn calories whizzing down the slopes or want to start fresh with a detox and yoga, we have a spot for you. Check out Oyster.com’s top picks for active getaways below, or on Shape.com!

The rock wall in the fitness center at the Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa

The rock wall in the fitness center at the Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa

For the party-girl: Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa Miami Beach in Miami

Some of you will undoubtedly be hitting up the clubs in Miami Beach for a wild New Year’s Eve. So for all you party girls out there, the Canyon Ranch Miami Beach is the perfect choice: It has a slightly more relaxed vibe than other Canyon Ranch resorts (so there will be no judgment for your escapades the night before) and it offers about 40 free fitness classes everyday (so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to burn off the calories from the New Year’s Eve champagne toast). The Canyon Ranch brand is synonymous with good health and the Miami Beach outlet is no different; guests sign waivers that they will not smoke while at the resort, the restaurant serves healthy options off of a menu with detailed nutritional information next to every item, and the massive fitness center includes dozens of cardio machines and a rock-climbing wall. Best of all, starting on January 1st, the hotel offers a four-night Your Stay, Your Way package for guests staying in room types of the Ocean Palm suite or higher, which entitles them to a $400 credit that can be used towards the spa, the shop, and the restaurant. So after a sunset yoga class or a beach conditioning workout, you can order an icy, alcoholic beverage by the pool (albeit low-cal and flavored with acai juice) – hey, you’re still a party girl at heart.

The yoga studio at Natura Cabanas

The yoga studio at Natura Cabanas

For the laid-back mama: Natura Cabanas in the Dominican Republic

Those looking to start their new year in a serene spot, away from the hustle and bustle of life back home, will love the serene, secluded location of Natura Cabanas in the Dominican Republic. Naturas Cabanas features eco-friendly bungalows, without AC or TVs, a clean, private beach, and a small, but luxurious, al fresco spa. Guests come for the low-key, intimate atmosphere and Natura Cabanas is a great option for a healthy start to the new year: The beach is a nice spot for a vigorous swim (waves can be rough, but not too rough that it becomes unsafe) and is just a short paddle from surfer haven Playa Encuentro, the two on-site restaurants serve up healthy treats like fruit-filled crepes and fresh seafood, and the excellent yoga studio, overlooking the ocean, offers daily yoga and Pilates classes. It even offers yoga for kids on Wednesdays and Saturdays! The hotel can also arrange excursions to nearby waterfalls and horseback riding trails for an extra dose of action. And all of this comes at remarkably reasonable rates (which include a large, healthy breakfast). Guests pay per person per night; for couples, it starts at only $90 per person per night and children (ages two to 12) are only $40 per child per night. Guests who pay with cash receive 10 percent off.

The lobby at the Viceroy Snowmass

The lobby at the Viceroy Snowmass

For the ski bunny: Viceroy Snowmass in Snowmass Village

Skiing is one of those activities during which you’re burning calories without even realizing it, and the slopes — especially those in Snowmass — can really be a place to see-and-be-seen during the new year! (Celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn, and Zoe Saladana were all spotted in Snowmass last holiday season.) About 20 minutes from downtown Aspen, Snowmass Village is Aspen’s equally luxurious, but slightly more understated, neighbor. The village sits at the base of the massive Snowmass Mountain, where active types can ski, snowboard, and snowshoe. And there are slopes for every level of skier, so even if you don’t ski, why not start now? Especially since the luxurious Viceroy Snowmass, with a prime ski-in, ski-out location and a phenomenal ski valet service, offers a package for skiers that you’ll want to get your hands on. The Simply Ski package, for guests staying four or more nights, includes accommodations in a studio residence and a $175 daily resort credit, so you won’t need to worry about meals or shopping – you can spend all day skiing! And then spend your après-ski hours in the 7,000-square-foot spa or the heated outdoor pool for a little R&R.

The fitness center at the Auberge Du Soleil

The fitness center at the Auberge Du Soleil

For the wine-loving lady: Auberge Du Soleil in Napa Valley

So drinking a ton of wine may not be the best way to work on your health. But then again, some wine in moderation can’t hurt. In fact, studies have shown that red wine can actually be good for you (again, in moderation). Not only is it high in antioxidants, but red wine can help reduce the risk of everything from cancer to the common cold! So this new year’s, why don’t you head to Napa Valley where the plenitude of wine, and the fresh outdoor air, can do a body good? Guests at the 50-room Auberge Du Soleil, a luxury inn, have access to lush and peaceful grounds, a 7,000-square-foot spa, a lovely pool (great for doing laps), tennis courts, a private yoga studio, and a large, airy fitness center with French doors opening to more equipment on a wraparound deck – plenty of options for getting a good workout in before the wine tasting. Though this luxury resort is pricey, the Suite Life package offers a lot of value, with a two-night stay, a four-course meal for two, a free massage, and breakfast both mornings.

The pool at the Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

The pool at the Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

For the island chick: Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado on Cayo Levantado, a private Carribean island

Here’s the active getaway for the island – that is, private island – chick. Start your new year off in style by whisking away to the Gran Bahia Principe Cavo Levantado, a luxury, all-inclusive resort on its own private island off the coast of the Dominican Republic. Once there, you can start getting yourself in shape while enjoying the sand, sun, and tropical breezes in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. The resort features classic amenities, like gorgeous pools, a large fitness center, and a scenic beach (with windsurfing, kayaks, catamaran rides, snorkeling, and scuba-diving lessons), but it also features a jogging circuit, tennis courts, and a studio with Pliates classes– all right at your fingertips on your private island retreat! And after a day of full-on exercise, you can dance the night away at the outdoor discotheque that stays open until 2 a.m. (the bar shuts down at midnight, but hey, you don’t need those sugary cocktails anyways). For the month of January, rates start at just $159/night – definitely a steal for a 4-star, all-inclusive resort!

The golf course at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

The golf course at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

For the golfer gal: The Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay in Half Moon Bay, CA

So what if the folks on the golf course are usually 70-year-old retired men? It simply shows that it’s a sport you can continue to enjoy your whole life long! And it’s certainly a full-body workout (especially if you skip the golf cart and carry your bags sans caddy). Though golf can be excruciatingly frustrating, there’s a serenity to it at times – especially at the two courses at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific, the Ritz-Carlton’s 18-hole Old Course, designed by Arnold Palmer, is a challenging 72-par course, and the same can be said for the Ocean Course, ranked among the top courses in California. The Legends Golf Package, offered every year, includes accommodations and unlimited golf for up to two players! You’ll really get your workout. But if you tire of the links, there are still plenty of activities to get your heart-rate going at Half Moon Bay. The resort, ranked by Tennis Magazine as one of the “Top 50 U.S. Tennis Resorts,” features tennis courts with daily clinics and the concierge can set up everything from horseback riding tours to surfing lessons.

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