Winter is the best time of year to see some of the most picturesque parts of Europe.
There’s nothing quite like snuggling up by the fire when it’s chilly outside, is there?
From igloos in Finland to quiet fjords in Norway and a stunning alpine retreat in the Dolomites, we’ve rounded up some of the cosiest and most romantic European hotels for when you’re ready to jet off again.
Is there any better way to watch the Northern Lights dance across the sky than from the comfort of your own sumptuous bed in a glass-topped igloo? Probably not. Finland’s renowned Kakslauttanen Arctic resort offers two and four-person igloos, each with their toilet and shower, for guests to admire the twinkling stars whilst indulging in luxury during the Northern Lights season from the end of August to the end of April. While you’re there, soak up all Lapland has to offer and indulge in a classic Finnish sauna to help you relax and unwind.
From £900, kakslauttanen.fi
Hotel Severins, Austria
Set on a tranquil mountain slope, this resort melds traditional Austrian alpine architecture with Italian furnishings to create all the comforting and cosy feels. The boutique resort has just nine suites kitted out with wood furnishings and some feature a roll top bath right in the middle of the room. You can also find a heated pool, sauna room and private cinema in the resort. It’s located in Lech, one of Austria's chicest ski resorts, with access to nearby Zürs, St. Christoph and St. Anton.
Price on request, severins-lech.at/en
Guesthouse Bonifacius, Bruges
Bonifacius is a 16th century guesthouse located in one of the most historic areas of Bruges, overlooking the Bonifacius Bridge. Each guest room has been decorated with its own distinct style and is filled with original and authentic antiques, with a jacuzzi bath in each bathroom. There’s also a Michelin-starred restaurant conveniently situated just next door to the hotel; with museums and the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk, which houses a Michelangelo, all nearby. Fun fact, Colin Farrell stayed here while filming In Bruges.
From £193, bonifacius.be
Gilpin Hotel & Spa, Lake District
This sprawling 21-acre country estate, has 25 bedrooms, six of which with their own cedarwood hot tub, and a further five detached spa lodges – each with their own rainmaker showers and steam rooms inside and hydrotherapy hot tubs and saunas outside. Alternatively, choose to stay at the Gilpin Lake House (pictured). The lakehouse accommodates just 12 guests who can enjoy acres of private grounds, along with spa facilities. If this doesn’t scream winter getaway then we don’t know what does.
B&B from £255, thegilpin.co.uk
Ett Hem Stockholm, Sweden
Ett Hem means 'A Home' in Swedish, and it's no surprise why. The 100-year-old Stockholm-based building was originally built as a private residence and has since been delicately transformed into a hotel while maintaining a strong homely vibe. Ett Hem has 12 rooms, each beautifully decorated by Ilse Crawford and filled with Scandinavian antiques, a pilates studio and sumptuous spa offering hot stone massages.
From £360, etthem.se
Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel, Iceland
This luxe Icelandic hotel in up-and-coming downtown Reykjavik offers a modern spin on traditional elements and boasts views over the city and Mount Esja. The family-owned hotel has an emphasis on organic produce and environmental responsibility. Rooms feature four-poster canopy beds and Nordics-meet-Bali interiors. You’re in Iceland after all, so head to the Blue Lagoon where you can bask in the natural hot springs, or let the Northern Lights put on a spectacular show.
From £150, hoteleyja.is
San Luis, Dolomites
Set on 40 hectares of alpine park, just a few kilometres away from Merano’s many Michelin restaurants, this family-run boutique hotel in Italy's South Tyrol is perfect for a winter wellness break. The lake and surrounding area is peppered with luxury tree houses, lodges and chalets, while you’ll also find a barn-style spa, complete with an indoor pool, saunas, steam baths and massage treatments which use local herbs.
Prices available on enquiry, sanluis-hotel.com/en/
Hotel Union Øye, Norway
Nestled in a quiet Norweigian fjord, surrounded by mountains and cascading waterfalls, in the village of Øye by the Norangsfjord, Hotel Union offers guests a truly unique experience. Hike through the stunning local scenery or ski in the Sunnmøre Alps, before enjoying a three-course dinner prepared by chef made with seasonal ingredients and retiring to your own four-poster bed in one of the hotel’s 27 rooms.
From £450, unionoye.no