With the pandemic severely disrupting travel in 2020, we all hope 2021 will open up the opportunity again to explore paths untrodden or even just to revisit some of your most-loved destinations. With vaccine roll-out underway and as better testing rolls out at airports, we can start to brush the cobwebs off our suitcases and put your air miles on standby! While sunshine might be top of many people’s post-lockdown holiday wishlist, we’re finding ourselves dreaming of snowy adventures. Whether you want to book something last minute for early 2021’s winter season from Jan-March, fancy holding out for a truly spectacular Christmas to compensate for 2020 or just simply want some winter travel inspo to lift your spirits, then here are 7 destinations to add to your bucket list.
Tree Hotel, Sweden
A treehouse perfect for grownups, this one-of-a-kind hotel set on stilts will live up to all your childhood dreams except on a more luxurious scale! Treehotel in Sweden consists s of six floating eco dens featuring scandi-chic interiors and the most beautiful snowy outlook of the surrounding forest. If privacy and seclusion is top of your list, this is definitely a place to add to your iPhone notes! Don’t worry though, there’s plenty of activities to keep yourself entertained. From horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowshoe-walking to Segway tours and scenic zip line runs. The best part? After a day in the snow, you can head back to your cosy treehouse and order room service straight to the foot of your ladder.
Le Coucou, Meribel
If you’re after wooden chalet vibes with beautiful interiors to boot, then Meribel’s Le Coucou is the perfect option for ski and snowboard lovers. With direct access to some of the best slopes in Les Trois Vallées, this couldn’t be a better spot to get your ski legs back. Unwind in their Tata Harper spa after a tiring day on the slopes and soak tired muscles in the heated swimming pool. All rooms come with outdoor terraces and their restaurant also offers superb views while you re-fuel, french style! Meribel is a fabulous all-rounder resort for families and daredevils alike and this is top of our list for ski season.
If a wintery weekend escape that’s a little closer to home is what you’re after then there’s no place better than Gleneagles in the Scottish Highlands. If your outdoorsy nature needs satisfying, then you’ll be pleased to know Gleneagles have something for everyone to enjoy and take part in. Special experiences not to miss out on are falconry, archery and off-road driving. The latter being particularly fun! Tackle challenging terrain and take a stab at their purpose-built obstacle course, which includes water splashes, ditches, escalating ridges, gullies and steep gradients. There’s also the most heavenly spa to relax and unwind in with all sorts of indulgent treatments to end your fun-filled day. We recommend a luxurious 2-hour treatment called “The Source”. It incorporates Scottish honey, local river-washed stones and Scottish lavender to provide a truly authentic Scottish spa experience.
Mount Engadine Lodge, Canada
Who doesn’t have Canada on their bucket list for a trip of a lifetime? With its outstanding scenery and stunning national parks, a winter vacation to see snow like you’ve never seen before is something everyone should experience. If cosy log-fire vibes are your thing, then we’d suggest you check out Mount Engadine Lodge in Spray Valley Provincial Park. Expect lots of wildlife spotting from your bedroom or cabin window (many guests have spotted moose!) and seriously jaw-dropping, snow-topped mountain views. If you want to spend a bit extra on a cabin, go for Birdwood. As the name suggests it has views of Birdwood Mountain straight from its private balcony. Pretty epic. It also features a super cute window seat where you can chill with a book and a cup of hot cocoa.
Arctic Bath, Sweden
A floating hotel set in remote Sweden, Arctic Bath is definitely one to add to your winter travel bucket list! It’s mesmerisingly unique architecture and stunningly icy views is what makes this place so unlike anywhere you’ve been before. Choose between land and water cabins to soak up the panorama, both featuring all the amenities and cosy interiors to cocoon yourself away in. For the more adventurous who want to try first hand the health benefits of cold water swimming (Wim Hoff eat your heart out), alternate between a seriously icy dip in the river and thawing out in the spa’s toasty sauna.
Deplar Farm, Iceland
Totally remote and off-the-grid, Deplar Farm in Iceland’s Fljót Valley is a blackened, timber-clad lodge which is surrounded by towering snow-dusted mountains. In a previous life, it was an 18th-century sheep farm but it is now home to a super luxurious heli-skiing and salmon fishing private residence. It’s been transformed into a total wellness retreat, complete with all the amenities of a 5* hotel, with an in-house chef, private concierge and chauffeurs, whilst activities are led by a team of expert guides. This experience doesn’t come cheap but if a once-in-a-lifetime holiday is what you desire then you won’t get more luxurious than this place. Get private, front-seat views of the Northern Lights from their outdoor-heated pool and experience Iceland’s sensational backcountry skiing and hiking.
Airelles Mademoiselle, Val D’Isère
Adventurous guests of Airelles Mademoiselle Hotel in Val D’Isère can experience the unique and other-worldly sport of ice diving in nearby Tignes Lake. Accompanied by a qualified dive instructor, scuba dive below the nearly two-metre thick ice sheet on the lake’s surface and take a peek into the mysterious world. If you don’t dare to take the plunge then back at the luxurious hotel located on the slopes of Val d’Isere, warm up at the Guerlain spa or with a tipple next to an open-log fire at the bar. Opened in December 2019, Mademoiselle is a new 5* hotel situated at the Place de Neige, in the very centre of Val d’Isère, and is the only luxury ski-in ski-out hotel in the resort.