A blissful tropical climate softened by Atlantic trade winds, pinkish-white, sugar-soft beaches, fabulous scuba diving, and laid-back catamaran cruises… These are just some of the fabulous experiences to be savoured in one of the Caribbean’s most popular and welcoming destinations - Barbados.
Hygge Retreats for a Cosy Winter
Embrace winter this year with a getaway that makes the most of this season’s unique charm. The Danish term hygge derives from the 16th-century Norwegian hugga, ‘to comfort or console’ (related to the English ‘hug’), and we’ve looked at some of our favourite hygge accommodations that will wrap you up all cosy and warm while also inviting you to make the most of the great outdoors that surrounds them.
Goldene Rose Karthaus, South Tyrol, Italy
This family-owned boutique retreat with a rustic-chic feels occupies a former Carthusian monastery deep in the lush alpine Senales Valley, swathed in cosseting pine forests that may put you in mind of scenes from The Sound of Music. The views are heart-opening – not least from the Finnish sauna. But there are plenty of other places to get toasty, including the glass Gloriette pavilion with its central open fire, the wood-panelled restaurant with its simple, nourishing fare based on mountain ingredients, the vaulted wine cellar and the on-site patisserie.
Severin’s Alpine Retreat, Lech, Austria
Indulgence is the watchword at this stylish timber-clad chalet-hotel with its sleek spa with heated pool and infrared, ‘bio’ and steam saunas, and its in-suite glass-enclosed fireplaces and slate soaking tubs. The cuisine is a star: Tyrolean four-course dinners given a fine-dining spin in an atmospheric setting blending country tradition with contemporary decor, with a custom-built tiled stove keeping things snug and warm. If you’re heading for the slopes, there’s a private shuttle service, as well as heated ski lockers on site.
Valsan Hotel & Apartments, Arosa, Switzerland
Boldly botanical prints and reclaimed and industrial furnishings set this spot apart from the twee chalet-hotels that predominate in this ski resort in the heart of the Arosa-Lenzerheide ski area. It’s seriously eco-friendly, too, and there’s a youthful feel to the cuisine: as well as hearty mountain fare, there are dishes for clean-eaters, vegans and those who eschew gluten. The decor is super-cosy – think oak parquet floors and Aztec-print throws –and the split-level Loft Junior Suites all have bath tubs positioned for the most magnificent mountain views.
Luxury Treehouse Experience, Wales
Retreat deep into the forests of Wales for a few days of peace and tranquility suspended above the forest floor in a beautifully designed treehouse. Crafted by local artisans, the treehouses are warmed by traditional log stoves to create a warm and cosy setting for an evening of hiding away from the cold or regenerating after a long day of hiking through the countryside.
Arctic Treehouse Hotel, Finland
This Arctic Circle hideaway provides shelter from the cold in slick Scandi cabins with picture windows onto snow-speckled pines and, if luck strikes, the Northern Lights. But of course, there are all the reasons in the world to venture outdoors, with activities on offer including ice swimming, reindeer or husky safaris, and even heli-skiing. There are also wild food tastings to be savoured, as well as in-house cuisine of refined Finnish dishes featuring the lights of local lake perch and reindeer ribs – served by the fireside in the snow should you desire.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort – Glass Igloos, Finland
This world-famous property is most sought-after for its iconic glass igloos, specially designed for the Northern Lights season. The two/three- and four-person incarnations, some with showers, have access to saunas, or there are more recently built six-person pinewood versions – hybrid log cabins/glass igloos with private saunas, fireplaces and kitchenettes. Winter activities here include safaris (husky, reindeer, snowmobile or even snow tank), horse-riding, Aurora Borealis hunting, ice-fishing, and skiing and snowboarding.
To book your cosy winter break for the end of the year or this start of the next, get in touch today.
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