The most romantic spots are not only those sitting on tropical seas and sparkling shores. With a little imagination, and the help of Mother Nature, the coldest places on earth can also be the most amorous. Substitute white hot sand with fluffy snow. Warm up to a steaming cup of hot chocolate instead of cooling down with a piña colada.
Below are six cold destinations that are sure to heat up the honeymoons of the most adventurous spirits to the calmest souls, or simply those who love winter.
The Swiss Alps
Skiing rarely gets better than in the Alps, and Switzerland is among the most scenic destinations in the world. Step the experience up a notch in the beautiful resort village of Gstaad, which will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a painting.
The five-star Alpina Gstaad hotel in Switzerland, a work of art in itself, is so charming that it is frequently visited by celebrities and is on Condé Nast‘s Gold List for 2016 as one of their favorite hotels in the world.
For your honeymoon, the Alpina has a suite just for you: The Love Suite, by Kiki de Montparnass, “celebrates intimacy and nourishes the spirit and senses in a truly five star environment.”
You can also visit Zermatt, home of the Matterhorn, for a one-of-a-kind hiking experience, weather permitting. After a day of adventure on the Alps, relax at one of the many spas or while enjoying delectable fondue and crisp champagne.
Have you ever wanted to visit an ice hotel? The Lapland region in Sweden is home to the first of these accommodation types in the world, and each visit will differ from the last, since the hotel melts each spring and is rebuilt every winter.
The ICEHOTEL in Sweden, “an art exhibition and hotel made of natural ice and snow,” is the first of its kind in the world. In addition to being awed by the uniquely stunning art suites, guests can participate in ice sculpting, learn about the Scandinavian Sámi culture from native Nils Nutti (who will also let you meet reindeer), and horseback ride in the snow. Now that’s uniquely romantic.
Split your honeymoon experience between Finland, Norway, and Sweden. In Lapland, enjoy a day of husky sled rides, snowmobiling, or ice swimming. At night, relax in a wedding chamber log cabin or under the stunning painted hues of the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, from inside a glass igloo at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland.
Helpful tip — use Nordic Visitor for help on a pre-planned romantic getaway.
Succumb to the lure of New England charm in western Massachusetts, where you will feel like you’ve traveled off the beaten path while never leaving the USA. This is a great spot for two lovebirds whose only agenda is getting lost… in each other. Don’t worry — when you are ready to mingle with the outside world, there is plenty to do, from wine tasting to dining out and winter hikes through the calm countryside.
The Garden Gables Inn is a quiet country house retreat hidden amongst the trees, where you can do everything from Nordic skiing and snowshoeing, to relaxing with a massage or private dining by fireside. The Inn, voted Best Village Retreat in 2013, also offers wine tasting at its Hilltop Orchard year-round.
Other recommended accommodations: Gateways Inn
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
What is more romantic than a horse-drawn sleigh ride while sipping on hot cocoa and cuddling under a blanket, followed by a candlelit dinner? Let’s add ice skating together or some downtime soaking in hot springs from the Aspen View Lodge. You can find all of this and more in Steamboat Springs, the Rocky Mountain city filled with charming boutique hotels and lodges, and plenty of winter activities.
The Inn at Steamboat, a boutique hotel that believes indulgence and sustainability can coexist, offers a year-round heated outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, as well as night skiing under its Ultra-Tech™ Lighting on the mountain.
Among the most popular skiing destinations in the USA is Park City. It’s also where honeymooners can find the largest spa in Utah at the Montage Deer Valley. 35,000 square feet house redwood saunas, steam rooms, and more to relax you after a long day on the slopes.
Adrenaline-loving couples can get their fair share of activities in, from skiing and snowshoeing in snowy zones to mountain biking, when the weather permits.
For a more intimate skiing experience, as its name suggests, check out Solitude Mountain Resort, located 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.
Discover all that this French-speaking Canadian city has to offer, from gastronomy to museums and history, or indulge in skiing and ice skating expeditions. This is also the location of the largest winter carnival in the world.
Here you can visit the only ice hotel in North America. A stay at the Hôtel de Glace is “the ultimate Nordic adventure [in a] magical environment.” You can even go behind the scenes of its magnificient production through select packages at the resort.
The hotel’s design is changed by season; and in 2016 (open until March 28th this year), it’s all about rivers. As explained by Pierre l’Heureux, the hotel’s artistic director, “Man and water join forces to take you on a voyage along imaginary rivers through a world of ice and snow, as you experience the Hôtel de Glace as a river.” It may not be traditional, but it’s certainly one way to sail off into the sunset together.