Winter in the northern hemisphere is one of the most popular times to get away. If you’re holiday dreams are made of toasty fireplaces, cheesy fondues, perfect ski slopes and quiet walks in countryside through the season fog, these exquisite chalets and historic homes are for you.
Chalet Bear – Klosters, Switzerland
Tucked away in the breathtaking Prattigau Valley, Klosters still retains the charm of a traditional Swiss village thanks to its quaint chalets, local farmhouses and laidback atmosphere. The perfect place to stay in family friendly resort is the Chalet Bear. Spread over four floors, it sleeps up to eight guests in four bedrooms, one double room with ensuite and three twin rooms, making it ideal for families. The first floor entrance hall is home to a comfortable sitting room with a large fireplace, a television room/study with DVD and internet access, and a small pantry/bar. The spacious ground floor dining room with a fireplace and a long table which sits up to 16 people brings guests together for a tasty mountain meal in the evenings. Available through Pt Ski.
Ski Mansion – Telluride, Colorado, U.S.A.
Telluride has some of the best skiing in America and there’s no better place to stay than the opulent Ski Mansion, the most extraordinary holiday home in the Telluride area. The exceptional seven-bedroom home is set on a perfectly manicured estate in this winter wonderland. The main room, with its vaulted ceilings, wooden beams, large stone fireplace and baby grand piano, is extremely inviting. On the other side of the dual-sided fireplace is the formal dining room and an adjacent kitchen with a breakfast nook, granite countertops and custom cabinetry. The bedrooms are all beautifully decorated and feature king or queen size poster beds with ensuites, some have fireplaces, offices or kitchenettes. When not on the slopes, guests will be fully entertained in the games room, the home’s theater, the resistance gym, the two-lane commercial shooting range, AMF Bowling Alley, 75’ long pool with hot tub, infrared sauna and full steam shower, full-scale labyrinth replica and outdoor hot tub. Available through Villas and Apartments Abroad.
Black Pearl Chalet – Courchevel, France
The extravagant Chalet Black Pearl is one of the most luxurious chalets in the glamorous French ski resort of Courchevel 1850. The imposing 1350m2 chalet is decorated in modern contemporary tones and outfitted with the best luxury amenities and facilities. With eight individual bedrooms, it’s ideal for large groups of friends or multigenerational families. One whole floor of the chalet is dedicated to relaxation and wellbeing. This has a 14m-long indoor swimming pool with ample seating for socializing, a UV cabine, a hammam, sauna and massage room. It also has another floor for entertaining with a bar with pool table, lounge with piano, a cinema room with large comfortable sofas and a playroom for children. The main living room has incredible views over the Courchevel ski port. This gives way to the comfortable terrace with a large dining area. Available through Ultimate Luxury Chalets.
Schloss Kogl Castle – Near Salzburg, Austria
The Austrian countryside is a magical winter holiday destination. Visitors can enjoy some of the best holiday markets in Europe, Austrian comfort food and graceful classical concerts in charming local churches. A wonderful place to take in this ambiance is the gorgeous Schloss Kogl castle. This Baroque aristocratic home in located in the scenic Salzkammergut area, near Salzburg. Set on expansive private grounds, in 2000 the castle was fully and carefully renovated to ensure its 250 years of history were retained. The ground floor living spaces feature antiques and refined wall paintings. The bedrooms have all been modernized to meet modern luxury standards. Guests staying in winter can savor the season’s long nights by the fireplace in the library or next to the grand piano. More information on Schloss Kogl here.
Chalet Merveille – Verbier, Switzerland
Situated in the posh Swiss ski resort of Verbier the gorgeous Chalet Merveille, known as one of the resort’s largest and most luxurious holiday rentals. The eleven bedroom 1,000m² chalet is beautifully decorated with art and antiques and extends over three separate levels. Striking views of the glaciers and snow-capped peaks can be admired from its south-facing terraces and balconies. Children adore its separate loft and mezzanine areas whereas its open hearth fireplaces are enjoyed by all. Additional modern amenities include high-speed, high-capacity WiFi broadband throughout to under-floor heating throughout living, bathroom, hall and spa areas. Live-in staff provide attentive service to complete an unrivalled alpine experience. Available through Carpe Diem Luxury Travel.
Isola Santa Cristina – Venetian Lagoon, Italy
While Venice might not get the snow its northern neighbors receive, it does have its famous thick winter fog. It’s also also a great time to visit Venice if you want to circumvent the tourist crowds found at other times of year. Enjoy this tranquility to the fullest at enchanting Isola Santa Cristina. This private island is hidden in the Venetian Lagoon, a ten-minute boat drive from Burano and Torcello and twenty-five minutes from Venice. The recently renovated house is decorated in a light, Mediterranean style and is specially decked out for the winter holidays. It sleeps sixteen in two suites, five double bedrooms and two single bed rooms, all with ensuites. Spend your days discovering the island’s lovely grounds, curling up with a good book in the Art-Deco library or snuggling up beside its Its utter seclusion, stunning natural beauty, and luxurious comfort make it the perfect getaway. More information about Isola Santa Cristina here.
Grizzly Creek Ranch – Montana, U.S.A.
Over in the rolling plains of Montana, shadowed by the Rocky Mountains, is the sprawling Grizzly Creek Ranch, a fantastic winter escape for families, groups of friends or corporate retreats. Sleeping up to 30 guests, the estate includes exclusive use of six wooden homes, a vast dining and event hall, a recreation barn, yoga and massage cabin, and the 2,000-acre ranch. The recreation barn is outfitted with a pool table, foosball and ping pong. The ranch is lovely in winter and many outdoor activities can be enjoyed on-site, plus there are ski resorts and other activities in the area. Available through Mountain Home.
Castlecoote House – Roscommon, Ireland
Ireland’s green maintains in winter, however, its cozy, calm atmosphere makes it a great destination to retreat from the busy city. Castlecoote House is set amid picturesque woodland and gardens next to the fast flowing river Suck. This elegant five-bedroom 18th century family home features pretty plasterwork ceilings and marble period fireplaces, yet has been brought up to 21st century luxury standards. Guests can take their hand at cooking in the large, well equipped kitchen or arrange for a private chef. Meals are enjoyed in the elegant dining room and hours of evening entertainment can be had in the games room. The bucolic grounds include medieval castle ruins, two tennis courts, a croquet lawn and trout fishing right in the bordering river. Other nearby activities include golf, hiking, horseback riding and sightseeing. Available through Elegant Ireland.