Spend your holiday season in a winter wonderland–deep in a snowy forest or beside a tranquil lake. These ten exceptional properties offer snug getaways where you can fully experience the essence of a landscape before returning to the reassuring warmth of logs crackling in the fireplace.
Las Balsas, Villa La Angostura, Argentina
Las Balsas hotel is the way to sense the immensity of Patagonia. The surrounding landscape is formed by the shores and waters of Nahuel Huapi Lake and the forests and mountains embracing it. There sits the villa with its blue facades, right at the water’s edge. Gaze upon the countryside from your guest room, letting the peace and quiet soak into you. Once outside, anything is possible–activities, adventures or excursions on land, water and skis–before you return to relax by the fire.
© Diego Meier
Hôtel Les Barmes de l'Ours, Val d’Isère, France
In winter, the large chalet Les Barmes de l'Ours at the base of the slopes is an invitation to relax. Wood, mirrors and stone, the materials vary almost as much as the cuisine, with three restaurants inspired by flames: La Table de l’Ours, a Michelin-starred restaurant featuring intimate décor around a large crackling fire; Le Coin Savoyard, serving a creamy, cheesy abundance of raw-milk raclette and fondue; and finally La Rôtisserie where traditional dishes and cuisine of the moment delight guests as the season unfolds.
© Nicolas Anetson
Xitan Beijing, Beijing, China
On the site of an ancient village, atop mountains that stretch to every horizon, the Xitan Beijing Hotel invites guests to relax in a contemplative ambiance. Here, low houses, sloping roofs and traditional architecture dovetail with absolute comfort, while the bonds with nature remain sure and strong. Landscapes are found in courtyard gardens framed by large openings or vast picture windows, while waters splash and murmur in the fountains. The forest gives off an invigorating, resinous fragrance, scenting your treatment at the spa.
Mii amo, Sedona, Arizona, USA
In Boynton Canyon, Arizona, against a backdrop of red-rock towers, juniper and ponderosa pine, Mii amo offers an enveloping, protective sanctuary that communes with the great outdoors. Terracotta, cream, white, wood, stone: the colors and materials are extensions of the panoramic views. Nature is similarly omnipresent in the Fitness and Movement Studios. And each guest room has a fireplace and private patio, for even more quiet moments to yourself.
Gravetye Manor, West Hoathly, United Kingdom
In the county of Sussex, just over 30 miles/48 kilometers from London, Gravetye Manor masters the art of comfort in true Elizabethan style. Discover sitting rooms rich with wood-paneled walls and open log fires, and floral fabrics in abundance in the bedrooms – places where time slows down to let you savor every detail. In winter, depending on the time of day, a mist can settle over the gardens, creating a magical atmosphere. The house once belonged to William Robinson (1838-1935), one of England’s most influential gardeners. Today, the kitchen garden is the jewel in the crown for Head Gardener Tom Coward, who ensures the best seasonal produce reaches the one-Michelin-star restaurant and culinary artistry of chef George Blogg, to the delight of guests.
SPA-HOTEL Jagdhof, Neustift, Austria
Deep in the Austrian Tyrol, the SPA-Hotel Jagdhof exudes irresistible alpine style. The property has numerous observation posts from which to drink in the beautiful views over Stubai Glacier (the country’s largest skiable glacier), including this sitting room with plush sofas and a central, contemporary styled fireplace. In the spa that spans over 32,000 square feet/3,000 square meters, sample twenty kinds of baths, spaces and saunas to relish the delicious, enveloping warmth.
Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont, USA
The Twin Farms hotel is surrounded by wildflower meadows, forests and lakes as far as the eye can see–the quintessence of Vermont’s natural wonders. Spacious guest cottages are dotted about the property of nearly 300 acres/121 hectares, along with large treehouses, perfect for gaining perspective on the woodlands and ponds and enjoying peaceful views. Indoor comfort takes the form of roomy bathtubs, bubbling Jacuzzis and mesmerizing fireplaces.
© Jim Westphalen
Awasi Patagonia, Torres del Paine, Chile
Awasi Patagonia is the Relais & Châteaux’s southernmost hotel, tucked amid a breathtaking series of lakes and mountains that are home to three granite peaks, the namesakes of Torres del Paine National, a haven for majestic local species such as the puma, condor and guanaco. Private excursions, led by devoted, expert guides, provide an inkling of the park’s vast landscapes. A steaming cup of mate, a book resting on a woolen coverlet, eyes gazing upon the endless horizon–the time spent in one of the property’s 14 villas encourages contemplation both within and without.
Terra - The Magic Place, Sarentino, Italy
Terra – The Magic Place, at an altitude of 5,321 feet/1,621 meters in the South Tyrol, almost vanishes into its natural surroundings. This is by exquisite design, with the contemporary structure’s generous use of wood and glass and vast openings overlooking the breathtaking Dolomites. At Schneiders’ restaurant, everything is bewitching, from the chef’s hand-picked harvest (wild herbs and mushrooms) and charcoal cooking to the homemade bread and spectacular views. Terra, awarded two Michelin stars, is Italy’s highest-altitude restaurant.
© Stefano Scatà
Bettei Senjuan, Minakami, Japan
Views of Mount Tanigawa’s snow-capped peaks combined with the warmth of hot-spring baths–the Bettei Senjuan hotel is where fire and ice coexist. A day on skis might be followed by a treatment at Spa Sora, or moments by the fireplace. Uncluttered décor inside and out, artistry in wood and delicate calligraphy relax and release the mind. Even the gardens seem to bid you goodnight.