GREAT WINTER ESCAPES
As temperatures fall, these locations heat up.
The name’s Bond… no prizes for guessing which suite gets top billing at this classic Alpine hotel with killer views of the Eiger, M?nch and Jungfrau. Perched on a sunny terrace high above the Lauterbrunnen valley, and only reachable by cable car, Mürren has several claims to fame – including a starring role in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Also, downhill skiing was popularized here by another daredevil Brit, the mountaineer Arnold Lunn.
Hotel La Perla
Corvara, Alta Badia, Italy
Sitting pretty in the heart of the Italian Dolomites this snug retreat oozes charm, from the chalet-style rooms to the boundless hospitality of its owners, the Costa family. Not only do you have the Sella Ronda ski circuit on your doorstep, but also some of the finest mountainside dining in the Alps, including the hotel’s own gourmet restaurant, La Stüa de Michil.
Juvet Landscape Hotel
Nestled among the snowcapped mountains of northwest Norway, nothing is allowed to come between you and the great outdoors, not even curtains. Here creature comforts are put on ice so you won’t be distracted from your surroundings, with nine bare-bones wood cabins set amid a forest of birch, aspen and pine on the banks of the Valld?la river. In winter you can clip on your skis right outside the hotel and disappear into the mountains – or simply sit back and watch the snow settle.
Fogo Island Inn
Standing on zigzagging stilts on a rocky ledge above the roiling Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Newfoundland, this far-flung retreat is a modern take on the old outport way of life. Days are whiled away snowmobiling, snowshoeing and sledding while in the evening you can watch majestic ice floes heading down Iceberg Alley from Greenland to the North Atlantic through the floor-to-ceiling windows in the dining room or from one of the hot tubs on the roof.
Majestic Yosemite Hotel
Yosemite National Park, California
Fit for royalty and presidents alike – Queen Elizabeth, JFK and Barack Obama have all stayed here – the grande dame of Yosemite hotels is as venerable as the giant sequoias pictured on its walls. Its imposing granite walls, towering log-beamed ceilings and massive sandstone hearths are in keeping with the natural grandeur of Yosemite Valley.
For those who want to experience winter in all its bone-chilling glory the Ice Hotel is carved anew every year out of ice and snow. With only reindeer skins and thermal sleeping bags to block out the cold in your room, where temperatures are a numbing -5 to -8C, the better part of the day and night is spent trying to keep warm dog sledding, cross-country skiing and chasing the northern lights on snowmobile.