December is a month full of holiday parties, friend dinners and family get-togethers with lots of festive cheer. Once this celebratory time is over things can feel a little bleak, but planning a cozy winter trip can really lift your mood during the dreary winter months. If you’re looking for some cozy locations to visit, you’ll love these 5 snowy destinations around the world.
1. Banff, Canada
Located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff is famous for its breathtaking natural beauty. You’ll be mesmerized by the backdrop of snow-capped peaks, dense evergreen forests and turquoise frozen lakes — a true winter wonderland. The region caters to skiers and snowboarders of all levels, offering exhilarating experiences on the slopes in ski resorts like Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Mt. Norquay. You can also explore the wilderness through other activities like dog sledding, ice climbing and snowshoeing. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is one of the most recognizable properties there with stunning lake views. For a more boutique experience, stay at Post Hotel & Spa, a rustic yet refined option with great on-site dining for all tastes.
2. Megève, France
If you’re looking for cozy chalets and cobblestone streets, Megève is calling your name. This picturesque town in the French Alps is a destination for all types of travelers, whether you like to be active, relax with some spa time or consider yourself a foodie. With views of the Mont Blanc, this region boasts a wide variety of slopes suitable for skiers and snowboarders, but you can also take it easy and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride to soak in the scenery. Megève is famous for having a multitude of Michelin-starred restaurants and cozy mountain eateries — you have to try the local Savoyard cuisine when you’re there! The Four Seasons Megève is a ski-in ski-out property that truly embodies alpine luxury, and L’Alpaga is a chic chalet-style property with a cute outdoor wood barrel spa to get your sweat on. Slip into a pair of our Original shorts after and warm up under the covers for a great night’s sleep.
3. Catskills, New York
Just a short drive away from New York City you’ll find the Catskills, a region filled with adorable cabins, unique hotels and great eateries. The sprawling landscape lends itself beautifully to hiking where you might stumble across frozen waterfalls in the winter season. There’s skiing nearby if you’re more into endurance than speed, and cross-country and snowshoeing to enjoy if you like to take things a little slower. The Catskills have a vibrant arts and culture scene with galleries, theaters and music venues, if you’re more indoorsy than outdoorsy. There’s no shortage of hotels to pick from here — head to Scribner’s Lodge for convenient access to Hunter Mountain and live music après ski, or Urban Cowboy Lodge for unplugged fun (there’s no cell service) for wine tastings and tarot readings.
For travelers looking for an extraordinary trip, Iceland has otherworldly landscapes, cultural richness and the opportunity to witness the spectacular Northern Lights. Famous for its pristine beauty and rugged mountains, winter adds an additional dramatic touch with snow-covered landscapes and icy lakes. Make sure to check out the renowned Golden Circle where you’ll see iconic sites such as the Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss Waterfall and Thingvellir National Park, all draped in a chilly winter cloak. Stay at the cozy Hotel Ranga in the Icelandic countryside which is famous for its Aurora Borealis sightings. Or enjoy a more exclusive experience of the Blue Lagoon when you can stay at the adjacent hotel property, The Retreat.
5. Arosa, Switzerland
The scenic drive to Arosa involves 360 (!) turns to the mountain village but the scenery and charming atmosphere are worth the drive. This is an alpine sports lover’s dream offering an extensive network of slopes catering to skiers and snowboarders with breathtaking panoramic views. Ice skaters will also love gliding across the pristine Obersee Lake on a sunny day (and don’t forget to layer up with a pair of Thigh Society shorties to keep warm). Stay at Tschuggen Grand Hotel if you want to enjoy a stunning indoor-outdoor spa after a day or on the slopes. The hotel also features a bowling alley for a little evening enjoyment. Or book the quintessentially Swiss Hotel Stoffel surrounded by gorgeous views of the mountains built in 1910 with lots of old world charm.