HOTELS • January 2019
Embrace winter’s plunging temperatures, says travel writer Colleen Stinchcombe, with a trip to one of the best boutique accommodations for solo travellers, loved-up romantics and powder-enthralled families
The aurora borealis makes even the most frigid of evenings worth braving, but at Finland’s Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort the magnetic poles’ colourful light display is viewable from the comfort of your heated glass igloo – available to book until the end of April when the Northern Lights’ season ends. Braver souls can bundle up in a snow igloo for a true silent night, while families might enjoy the alpine-chic log cabin accommodations more. To pass the time until nightfall, play Santa on a reindeer safari ride, try your hand at ice fishing or embark on a cross-country ski wander.
Glass igloos from £487 a night, half-board
Rising like a pine cone from the ground, Hôtel des Dromonts is in the car-free resort area of Avoriaz (a two-hour drive from Chambéry airport). Rooms range from cosy classics to spacious suites with snow-plush mountain views, all featuring 1960’s-throwback decor. Couples can snuggle up by the communal fire or kick back on a horse-drawn sleigh ride through town, before unwinding in the outdoor Nordic Jacuzzi and sauna. Families could take a spin on the outdoor skating rink, or cheer on their favourite team in a competitive evening snowball fight.
Doubles from £232 a night, B&B
At 1,500 metres above sea level in the heart of the Swiss Alps, this slope-side resort is just steps from the main Médran Gondola and all-day snow sport activities. It features six restaurants and bars, including to-die-for tapas, scrumptious sushi and a good-for-your-gut juice café to satisfy your appetite after a day on the mountain. Punctuated with pops of Swiss red, each stylish room has a fireplace and private balcony overlooking snowy peaks, so you can take your morning coffee with a splash of winter wonderland views.
Doubles from £257 per night, B&B
Located in one of North America’s largest ski resorts, Four Seasons Whistler has easy access to both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Steaming outdoor whirlpools soothe sore aprés-ski muscles as you take in the surrounding white peaks, snow-dusted hemlock, cedar and fir trees. For a truly unique winter adventure, enjoy a five-course Champagne dinner in The Blue Room, a private ice cave catered by Four Seasons’ executive sous chef David Baarschers.
Doubles from £196 per night, room only
Although nearly 700 years old, this boutique hotel nestled among the Austrian Alps features 18 rooms that are refreshingly modern and individually decorated to alpine perfection. Let the owners, a charming brother-and-sister team, take you on a tour around the original wine cellar for a boozy history lesson, before you dine on gourmet cuisine in the hotel’s award-winning restaurant. Ready to hit some powder? A free shuttle bus takes guests to some of Austria’s best snowy slopes or, if you’d rather take things easy, visitors can go on a guided snowshoe hike or race toboggans.
Doubles from £196 per night, B&B
If you want wide-open spaces and a cowboy lifestyle, look no further than luxury all-inclusive Vista Verde Ranch, located on national forest land outside Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Choose from the central lodge or private cabins – both authentic log buildings, though furnished with top amenities. Work up an appetite with any of the resort’s all-inclusive excursions, from horseback riding to dog sledding, cooking classes, photography workshops and snowmobiling through fresh frost, before dining on rustic local cuisine.
Doubles from £1,249 per person for three nights
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