Winter is one of our favourite times of year in Edinburgh, as the city transforms into a wonderland in the lead up to Christmas. But as usual we like our finger on the pulse and with flights to central Europe being so convenient, a weekend break in one of these 5 destinations is something we have on our winter check list this 2013.
This Swiss city has long been an international favourite thanks to the sheer number of foreign businesses and organisations headquartered nearby. While Geneva is a stunning destination in the summer thanks to the lakes, it transforms into a winter haven around November and stays that way until March. If you want to escape everyday life and explore the heart of Europe, Geneva is the place to be. Geneva is unsurprisingly home to a staggering number of luxury hotels, but one of the best is undoubtedly the Four Seasons Des Bergues. This former palace has been transformed into a hotel, and many of its guests are royalty or celebrities from around the world. Des Bergues overlooks the Arve, Genevas main river.
As the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is becoming an increasingly popular tourism destination throughout the year. During the winter, however, it takes on a charm that you have to see to truly understand. As snowflakes fall around Prague’s Castle, it can feel like you are in a medieval town, and modern life feels worlds away from where you are standing on cobblestone streets. You will almost be guaranteed snow during the winter in Prague thanks to the climate. To make your stay truly luxurious, be sure to stay at the Suite Hotel Pachtuv Palace Prague. Once the residence of the Earl Karel Pachta, the hotel offers a limited number of suites as as well as views of Prague Castle.
For a completely unexpected winter getaway, Lapland is perfect. Well within the Arctic Circle and guaranted snow during the winter months, Lapland is the ultimate place to escape everyday life. At night, the sky lights up thanks to the colourful display of aurora borealis, and days can be spent snowshoeing or just relaxing by the fire. While there are a number of luxury resorts to choose from in Lapland, few can compare to the upscale Hotel Kakslauttanen. This hotel boasts igloos made of thermal glass to retain heat and provide you with views of the scenery as you sleep.
During the summer, Paris can feel hectic and overrun by tourists. During the winter, the city changes completely, and it becomes a scenic and romantic retreat. Something about Paris covered in snow is absolutely stunning, and it makes the sophisticated metropolis feel almost otherworldly. There is no better accommodation choice than the Hôtel Ritz, which is arguably the most lavish hotel in all of France.
Nestled in the heart of the French Alps, Chamonix is one of the most popular winter destinations in all of Europe. The vast majority of visitors come specifically for the chance to go skiing or snowboarding in the Alps, but that isn’t the only reason that visitors will love Chamonix. The town also offers the Mer de Glace glacier, a crystal museum and dozens of eateries and bars worth exploring. Be sure to stay in The Club House, an art deco mansion turned into chalet accommodations for skiers.
So that’s the 5 places The Luxury Editor would like to be this winter, what are yours?