It's finally winter — which means time to hit the slopes, people! And some of the best skiing this year can be found in Salt Lake City (a.k.a. Ski City). Utah offers the easiest access to big mountains and deep pow, with 10 superb ski resorts within a one-hour drive of Salt Lake International Airport.
At L’Apogée Courchevel, two-time Olympic medalist Florence Masnada is on hand to teach skiers the ropes—be it for ski jumping or downhill racing. Then, after a full day on the slopes, cozy up back in your room, which comes complete with flannel floors, fur blankets and a fireplace.
At the foot of the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia, The Emerald Lake Lodge is a great jumping off point for exploring nearby Banff National Park and Lake Louise. After a day on the slopes, warm up inside the lodge’s rustic hand-hewn timber interiors and enjoy a cognac at the salvaged 19th century Yukon saloon. The 24 cabin-style buildings embody the height of après sky luxury, with pillowy down duvets, wood burning stone fireplaces (stocked daily with firewood) and wraparound balconies with panoramic views of the frosty lake below.
The ultimate way to see the winter scenery? On a train ride through the Swiss Alps that crosses rugged Alpine landscapes, steep gorges and misty waterfalls. The Golden Pass line from Lucerne to Interlaken chugs around emerald lakes and charming Swiss chalets; board the glass-topped panoramic train for the best views. At 13,642 feet, Jungfrau is aptly dubbed the 'Top of Europe' and can be reached by a crowded cog train.
In the southern Alps, the Bernina Express from Chur champions over other lines. Crawling at 20 mph, this track navigates close to 200 bridges and weaves through mountains via 55 tunnels, a journey so impressive it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
These arctic igloos make Urho Kekkonen National Park look like a dreamy winter wonderland. At night, snuggle up in the glass-roofed globe and watch the dancing northern lights overhead. Just prepare yourself before you step outside, temperatures can drop to -22 degrees!
Set in a stately manse in Scotland, The Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course is the perfect winter hideaway. The masculine interiors are decked out with a hunter green palette, plaid accents and rich mahogany furnishings (not to mention the roaring fireplaces).
This Victorian stunner sits on the cliffs along the British coastline, overlooking the sea. Its nickname? The White Palace, a lofty title that is fitting when the hotel is covered in a blanket of glistening snow.
To really get in the winter spirit, head to Iceland. Here, you'll explore cobalt blue ice caves, hike glaciers, and maybe even see the Northern Lights (if you're lucky).
During the colder season, Romania's Apuseni Natural Park sheds its lush green skin for a snowy wonderland of pinks, purple and clear flakes. We love walking through the woods, hearing nothing but peaceful silence and the crunch of your snowshoes.
There's no argument: One of the best places to be during Christmastime is in a quaint German village like Heidelberg or Bergen. There's the charming holiday markets dripped in lights, tinsel and ornaments, plus endless lebkuchen (gingerbread) and glühwein (mulled wine) to taste in the local pubs.