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Words by Mr Gavin Brett

Winter is upon us, you might have noticed. For those of us unlucky enough to be in the northern hemisphere, where once there was the tangible presence of your fingers and toes, there's now just frozen numbness. Commutes are wet and windy. Walking anywhere requires a 45-degree-angle lean into the howling gales ahead. Sure, there's the clothes, but soon enough even those don't make up for the fact that should you lie in on a Saturday you risk missing all daylight entirely. Winter: it isn't all that.

Option one: wrap up and suck it up. No? Option two: escape to the sun, if not directly (hurry up, galactic travel) then to any of the global destinations where sunglasses and SPF50 are as every day as underwear. Take your chances with the farther corners of Europe if you like, but one cloudy spell and you'll undo any good UV vibes. So don't bother. Luxury hotels, resorts and retreats with a clear line of sight to that huge, fiery star we all worship are ready to facilitate your winter escape, and we've picked eight we know you'll love, from India to the US, Australia and beyond.

As a bonus - and because no sane person escapes anywhere without a smartphone - we've added an Instagram hotspot for each destination. So when you finally arrive at the heat, you can grab some truly epic shots to share with your friends and followers, who'll be kicking themselves for waking up to another bleak winter's day. Let's go!