Soak up some snow-dusted views from these winter wonderland terraces
In search of the chicest spots to cosy up with some hot chocolate or a glass of mulled wine? From ski chalet balconies overlooking the slopes, to pop-up igloos and alpine sun decks, these are ten of the top places around the world to while away a winter’s day.
1. Storfjord Hotel, Skodje – Norway
The scent of timber hangs in the air at Storfjord Hotel, a secluded log cabin settled on a wooded, fjord fringed hilltop in Alpine Norway. This handcrafted haven encourages guests to slow down and enjoy the simple things – find a snug corner and just get lost in a good book. The outdoor patio is cosily kitted out with Scandi-style scatter cushions and Viking-esque throws, centred around a smouldering fire pan. Sip on some Storfjordbrygg, a locally brewed ale exclusively served at Storfjord Hotel as you drink in the spellbinding views of the Sunnmøre Alps.
2. FORESTIS, Brixen – Italy
Forests and snow-dusted peaks stretch out in every direction from FORESTIS, a summit-level sanctuary in a sheltered, sunny spot in the South Tyrolean mountainscape. Every part of this perfectly poised spa hotel is in tune with the elements, and when the Dolomites are blanketed in snow you can even ski out (and in) directly from the hotel. Sip Plose mountain spring water at altitude as you simply soak up the natural beauty from the panoramic terrace, which is warmed by a crackling fire.
3. Crans Ambassador, Crans Montana – Switzerland
With sublime mountain views at every turn, Crans Ambassador offers the chance to immerse yourself in your surroundings – whether that means getting out and enjoying the fresh air, or staying in and letting the peaceful atmosphere wash over you. Terrasse Valaisanne is the hub of this contemporary chalet, with Nordic-style blankets thrown over seats around an open fire where you can enjoy Swiss lunch and dinner dishes overlooking the Valais Alps.
4. Le Coucou Méribel, Méribel – France
Snuggled into the Méribel mountainside with Le Rond-Point des Pistes on its ski-in, ski-out doorstep, Le Coucou reinvents the classic chalet as a chic slope-side retreat with Pierre Yovanovitch interiors. Watch skiers on the Belvédère piste from your suite’s balcony, chocolat chaud in hand, or tuck into the finest cuts of meat at Beefbar which has a terrace you can ski straight onto for lunch in the mountains.
5. El Lodge Ski and Spa, Granada – Spain
With a golden exterior crafted from Finnish wood, El Lodge Ski and Spa is an enchanting Alpine-style boutique retreat in Sierra Nevada’s fairytale landscape. Outside, you can enjoy après-ski on the Sun Deck, with the only ski-in ski-out restaurant in Sierra Nevada. The fusion menu features everything from warm consommés and homemade soups to BBQ platters, making this the perfect lunch pit stop. If you’d like to enjoy a signature cocktail or a crisp gin and tonic, stay warm between runs with faux-fur throws and artisan tables with built-in fireplaces and an exclusive boot warming service.
6. Kristiania Lech, Lech am Arlberg – Austria
An exquisitely decorated Alpine retreat with the feel of a private residence rather than a hotel, Kristiania Lech is just a short walk from the centre of the upmarket ski resort of Lech. Special services include a ski valet, bath butler, and leisure time consultant, so all you have to do is put your feet up on the ski-styled sun deck and watch the world go by from the famous Arlberg area of the Austrian Alps.
7. Vintry & Mercer, London – UK
Named after the local fine wine and silk trading guilds, Vintry & Mercer is immersed in the commerce and culture of the City of London – both past and present. In the winter months, two spectacular igloos sit on The Mercer Roof Terrace for groups of up to six people, which come with sweeping views of London’s skyline, from the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral to the glass tip of The Shard.
8. Stein Eriksen Residences, Utah – USA
Stein Eriksen Residences are striking ski retreats that make the absolute best of their breathtaking setting in Utah’s exclusive Deer Valley resort. Being able to ski straight in and out from your hotel’s lounge to some of the world’s best powder is the icing on the cake. You’ll have exclusive access to the resort’s Main Lodge where the expansive terrace with indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs and spa make the perfect après-ski relaxation spots.
9. Le Grand Bellevue, Gstaad – Switzerland
Recognising the need for socially distanced dining options, Le Grand Bellevue installed an oversized igloo set in their picturesque grounds as a winter pop-up restaurant, The Lodge which opened in December 2020. For the ultimate après ski indulgence, head straight from the slopes to the twin dining domes for a cosy yet exclusive way to end a snow-dusted day in Gstaad – the likes of homemade vegan potato truffle soup, warming organic carrot ginger soup, and beef bourguignon with creamy mashed potatoes feature on the menu. Keep an eye on @the.lodge.gstaad for the next pop-up location.
10. Miramonti Boutique Hotel, Merano – Italy
Between snow-capped mountains and emerald forests, Miramonti Boutique Hotel is in a magical setting for a snowy sojourn. Indulge in a spot of fine dining with a sweeping Alpine vista on the sun terrace which is built on porphyry stone, over a thousand meters above sea level, where bottles of South Tyrolean white wine are paired with classic Italian dishes and Mediterranean favourites.