Dreaming of a white Christmas: 5 incredible winter hotels
Luxury hotels and snow go hand in hand.December 7, 2014
We love the year-round sunshine of the Middle East, but come Christmas time, the only warmth we really crave is that of a roaring log fire after a long day out on the slopes. If you too are dreaming of a white Christmas, check out these five fantastically festive luxury winter wonderlands where you could be spending the holiday season in the snow:
Kakslauttanen Hotel, Finland
Witnessing the Northern Lights is pretty high up on most people’s bucket lists; that’s because actually achieving it is easier said than done. Increase your chances by spending the night in a glass igloo with clear views of north Finland’s night sky – the standard accommodation at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.
One of the original Finnish Lapland hotels, there’s more to do than lie horizontally gazing upwards through your transparent ceiling at the aurora borealis. Husky rides, reindeer safaris, snowmobiles, horse riding and ice fishing are all options to while away the time in this back-to-nature, snowy setting.
Romantic log cabins, smoke saunas and ice swimming in the resort’s lake are all unique experiences that further remove you from city life, while a 15-minute drive gives you access to nearby ski slopes.
Details: visit kakslauttanen.fi
Cheval Blanc, Courchevel, Switzerland
Holding the title of ‘most exclusive hotel in Courchevel’ is by no means an easy task, but it is one that Cheval Blanc does with plenty of fuss and fanfare. Owned by LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault, the haute-couture property located in Courcheval 1850’s fashionable Jardin Alpin area is hard to miss, largely thanks to the enormous glass stallion erected in front of the hotel.
The 34 rooms and suites are ostentatiously decorated with rich velvets, deep faux-fur rugs, sleek animal hides and leathers. Each room has a terrace, floor-to-ceiling windows and the untreated wooden surfaces are decorated by commissioned photographs from Karl Lagerfeld. Three Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alleno oversees the plush black-velvet restaurant, Le 1947, with an always-creative twist on traditional Alpine dishes.
Details: visit chevalblanc.com
Hotel Jerome, Aspen, USA
As one of the the rich and famous’ favourite US ski resorts, Aspen, Colorado, has more than enough five-star hotels to vie for your attention. But if you are looking for something that feels altogether a little be more authentic American, then it is hard to overlook the Hotel Jerome.
Built in 1880, the square brick building dates back to Aspen’s silver mining days, which gives it the feel of a colonial outpost. With a recent revamp making it into one of the town’s most prominent landmarks, the hotel offers a unique blend of contemporary luxury and heritage, in a town that is fast becoming dominated by larger chain hotels.
Housing 93 guestrooms and suites, luxury SUV local transportation, on-ski mountain storage and an onsite spa, the Jerome is tailor-made for guests who are serious about their skiing – and even more so for those who enjoy a good après-ski.
Details: visit hoteljerome.aubergeresorts.com
Hotel Avenue Lodge, Val-d'Isère, France
Probably the most renowned high-end ski resort in the French Alps, Val D’Isere certainly isn’t lacking for luxurious places to stay. But the 5-star resort of Hotel Avenue Lodge is the closest you’ll find to a Savoy experience in the knee-deep snow.
The hotel’s six choices of room are all styled with contemporary elegance and huge levels of comfort that will make it hard to leave each morning, but we’d recommend the 485 sq ft duplex suite, with its open mezzanine layout An indoor swimming pool, sauna, hammam and jacuzzi are enough to rest your weary limbs after a hard day skiing, while the restaurant, lounge bar and sitting room with a roaring fire will ignite your energy levels once more.
Details: visit hotelavenuelodge.com
The Chedi Andermatt, Switzerland
A year on from its lavish opening, The Chedi continues to change the landscape of the formerly underused Swiss ski resort of Andermatt. As the only property to be located in the old town, opposite the railway station, The Chedi has become something of a landmark.
The hotel oozes luxury, style and opulence from every inch of petrified wood, Belgian slate, buttery leather, silk and fur that make up its immaculate and tasteful interiors. The current redevelopment of the Andermatt-Sedrun area has become a real draw for winter sports such as skiing, cross-country skiing, curling and ice-skating, with up to 120 new ski runs opening on the sunny slopes of Nätschen. The new cable car system also offers more accomplished skiers and snowboarders a trip up Gemsstock Mountain to nearly 3,000 metres.
The Chedi Andermatt’s guests can choose from 104 spacious rooms and suites, 31 deluxe rooms and 13 grand deluxe rooms, 61 deluxe suites, and the showpiece Gemsstock suite with its 134sqm of grand living space.
Details: visit thechedi-andermatt.com