Winter gets a bad rap. With so much focus on the temperature, it’s easy to overlook the fun of winter sports, the peace of quieter days, and how absolutely spectacular the world looks when covered in a glistening layer of fresh snow.
One of the best ways to get through a less-than-exciting winter at home is to plan a getaway to a destination that simply stuns during the colder months. Here are a few of our favorites to make this a winter you’ll actually look forward to.
The Little Nell
This hotel in the winter-favorite Aspen, CO delivers an opulent experience with a hint of rustic charm. The extraordinary service and recent renovations have put this hotel on the map, but it’s the hotel restaurants that keep people all over Aspen clamoring for more. Be sure to take advantage of their incredibly accommodating ski valet to assist everyone from novice ski bunnies to full-fledged experts.
Hard Rock Lake Tahoe
Combine a little ‘sin’ that the Hard Rock is known for with the powdery bliss you’ll find just outside the hotel’s doors on Heavenly Mountain. Only two blocks from the gondola, a stay here is ideal for those wanting to spend their days cascading down the mountain, but the hotel itself offers plenty of ways to stay warm and have a blast. Live music, hip bars, a casino, and the always intriguing club Vinyl all create a seriously amped up experience perfect for nightlife lovers.
Rosewood Hotel Georgia
Enjoy exquisite luxury in the revamped stylings of this Vancouver, Canada icon. Consistently lauded as one of Canada’s best hotels, you can partake in some serious winter fun with a day trip to resort-town Whistler, or stay local and spend an afternoon skiing and snowboarding on Grouse Mountain. Of course, be sure to save at least one day for exploring the always lovely Vancouver and be on the lookout for any one of the great festivals that fill their winter months.
Cathedral Mountain Lodge
Staying in British Columbia, but looking to get away from it all, we recommend the Cathedral Mountain Lodge. Stay in a personal cabin at this resort nestled in the Rockies between Vancouver and Calgary, amidst four phenomenal national parks, and you’ll be treated to one of the most stunning landscapes you’ll ever find. Spend your days viewing wildlife, joining in on a glacier tour, and enjoying your favorite winter sport without the crowds.
Winter Clove Inn
Family-owned since 1838, this beloved hotel sits on 300 exquisite acres in New York’s Catskills Mountains. Included in your stay are home cooked meals, and access to a variety of activities from cross-country skiing to bowling, all on their grounds. Or within just 30 minutes, you can reach the highly-acclaimed ski areas of Windham and Hunter Mountains. You’ll also be nearby several breweries, wineries, as well as the always picturesque two-tiered Kaaterskill Falls.
Who wouldn’t want to stay in a palace? Spend your nights in the aptly-named accommodations in this Gstaad, Switzerland landmark and spend your days enjoying a mountaintop treat with their “lunch by helicopter” or just hitting the slopes. The mountains of this region are best suited for beginners and more casual skiers, but the real draw to Gstaad is the luxury that the region boasts. If you’d prefer to spend your vacation shopping than slaloming, you’ll find some of the world’s best fashion houses, plus plenty of local boutiques lining the main promenade.
Further south in the Alps you’ll discover this delightful hotel tucked away in the charming Italian town of Alta Badia. Their 2 Michelin Starred restaurant attracts foodies from all over the region and the local mountains offer up trails for every skill level. For fantastic day trips, hike around The Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or journey to Venice, just a two-hour jaunt south.
Iceland is one of our favorite places on Earth, and a winter vacation to this destination is sure to thrill. For those looking for a chic locale, stay at this Reykjavik hotel known for its modern design and inviting Scandinavian feel. Be sure to take advantage of some of their great winter excursions like exploring ice caves, touring the Golden Circle, swimming in the Blue Lagoon, and viewing the Northern Lights. We also recommend exploring Iceland’s coastline with Iceland ProCruises, for a shore excursion that will be a real highlight of your trip, no matter the season.