Hotels • February 2017
Who said winter was a bad thing? The Club asked Alicia Miller, assistant editor at The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, to guide you to Europe’s cosiest boltholes that are made for savouring the last of the continent’s cold days
Blustery Jurassic Coast walks can leave you feeling frozen, but at the Cary Arms you get the full jaw-dropping seaside vista without any of the chill. Book into their new clapboard beach huts, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, and you couldn’t be closer to the water – yet you’ll stay snug with deep suede sofas, flickering fires and natural materials such as cedar and Cotswold stone.
Tucked in the chichi Lärkstaden neighbourhood, Ett Hem was built as a private residence in 1910 – so little wonder it feels homely. There are only 12 rooms, each decked out differently with the likes of sheepskin throws, marble bathrooms, cast-iron stoves and four-poster beds. Should you need a change of scene – though we doubt it – decamp to the tome-stacked library, fireplace-furnished lounge or traditional Swedish sauna.
It’s a given that ski hotels should be cosy, but Le Lodge Park is on a completely different level. The venue is so cabin-chic it’s pratically a cliché (in the best possible way): think wall panels made from logs, side tables fashioned from birch branches, splashes of tartan and plenty of antlers. In fact, it’s so inviting you’ll want to curl up with one of the fur-covered cushions and a leather-bound book from their collection, and not bother with skiing at all.
The Bavarian Alps backdrop may be snow-dusted, but Schloss Elmau’s rooms are cocoons of warmth, with burnt orange-and-gold touches, and cavernous bathrooms with toasty heated floors. It’s tempting to stay put – except then you’d be missing out on the hotel’s three enormous spas (complete with steamy outdoor pools), Michelin-starred restaurant, and jam-packed cultural calendar, including top musical acts in the on-site theatre.
It may be where the indulgent Sachertorte was invented, but there’s more to this comforting hotel than a cocoa-laced dessert. Take Hotel Sacher’s lounge-like décor. There’s the jewel-box Blue Bar, a vision in sapphire velvet, and the restaurant’s scarlet environs, from which you can gaze out onto snowy streets beyond. But the highlight is the chandelier-clad rooms, all antiques, candy hues and cavernous baths with chocolate-scented toiletries. Bliss.
Copenhagen is the birthplace of hygge – that uniquely Danish ‘cosiness’ – and the dozen swanky rooms at The Nimb encapsulate the concept perfectly. The hotel’s facade, an alabaster, Taj Mahal-esque palace at the edge of the twinkly Tivoli Gardens, belies its snug, Scandi-homely interiors. It’s a vision in wood furniture, silky Geismars linen, and crackling open fireplaces burning local birch.
With bedrooms all named after great creatives – Shakespeare, Picasso, Liszt – there’s already a restful familiarity about the rooms at Hotel Seven One Seven, which mix juicy pops of colour with classy, old-school furnishings. From the eclectic wall art to the mismatched lampshades, it’s a bit like being at your stylish Dutch cousin’s apartment. Trot through nippy air to the nearby Rijksmuseum, then head back for a shoulder-unclenching, in-room spa treatment.
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