Updated: Jan 20
When the chilly season approaches, people around the world look forward to snow, holidays, vacation time to visit family, cozzying up with loved ones indoors or opportunity for outdoor fun for those adventurous souls. It's a special time that sparks creativity for magical moments and where you stay during your travel is essential for your experience. Though hotels is still a popular choice for lodging, everyday we are seeing an increase in tourists deciding on the unique stays created by vacation rentals or popular websites such as AIRBNB and VRBO. We've piled up a list that combines both and will motivate even those who aren't usually the biggest fans of winter weather.
1. Aqua Dome Hotel & Thermal Spa - Oberlängenfeld, Austria $250 a night
This beautiful hotel is most popular for its wellness spa experience like no other. Surrounded by the majestic snow capped mountains of Austria, let yourself immerse in their one of their relaxing thermal baths. This resort includes a total of 200 rooms throughout, 12 basins, 7 saunas and panoramic views. It is also known as a popular destination for honeymooners. Relax in luxury as you are surrounded by nature.
2. Amangani Hotel - Wyoming, USA $800 a night
This luxury accommodation is one of a kind in Grand Teton National Park. The name alone means "peaceful home" in Shashone; the ancient dialect of the natives of the area. If this spot sounds familiar it is because you've probably heard of the celebrities that have been drawn to this hotel chain. Each of its suites includes terraces overlooking amazing views of the valley. They also have beautiful 4-5 bedroom homes that you can rent which are beautifully isolated from the resort.
With year-round wildlife and sensational skiing, staying here is perfect for the outdoor lovers who wish to indulge in the natural wonders that Wyoming is known for. Hop on one of their hot air balloon attractions or visit the astonishing Yellowstone National Park which is only a few hours away drive from here.
3. Snow igloo AIRBNB - Pelkosenniemi, Finland $250 a night
This creative space is built every year from scratch by its owner, and the stay is exactly as it states, a snow igloo! The accommodation features beds inside, LED lights and if you're lucky you might even get a chance to glance at the Northern Lights. Since its always minus degrees inside you can count with the essentials for a nice overnight stay which include thermal sleeping bags. If you get a change of heart, the owner provides a warm apartment that houses bathrooms, showers, living room and a kitchen which guests are free to use.
4. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort - Saariselkä, Finland $275 a night
This is another gorgeous resort which is nestled in the part of Finland where you can enjoy the Northern Lights experience. You have probably seen the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort all over Instagram or Pinterest as this is a popular choice for travel bloggers these days. The night views while lying in bed completely surrounding you is something like no other.
Though they also feature cabins, their most popular rooms are their glass igloos. And if you decide for this option, you might have to book at least a year in advance as these sell out before any of their other rooms. This region inside one of Finland's national parks is also a known to be a place that is one of the cleanest in the world. This means you can count with pure water to clench your thirst and air so fresh you can feel it in your lungs.
5. Hotel de Glace - Saint Gabriel de Valcartier, Canada $400 a night
There is definitely no limit with winter stays and this brings us to another unique option which is a majestic ice castle! Though there has now been several new ice hotels built around the world, this one always remains the classic. You'll feel like you're immersing yourself into a real life version of Disney's Frozen. Built every year as well from scratch, you can book a stay here between beginning of cold season through January.
And since it is re-built every year you can count on a different theme each time. Back in 2015, for their 15 year anniversary they did a space time feature which was out of this world! The architectural work is incredible and there are numerous talented works of art carvings you'll find throughout the hotel.
We highly recommend for large families and kids. At this place you will find an indoor waterpark and a winter play center that has skating and snow rafting for you to enjoy. The booking of a room at the ice castle automatically entitles you to a discount when purchasing tickets for these activities.
6. Intercontinental Times Square - New York City, USA $160 a night
If you're looking for a grand winter vacation there's nothing quite like the magical city of New York. From the ball dropping during New Years Eve to the shopping during Christmas time or just the big city spirit in the air there's something for everyone to enjoy. With 36 stories and amazing corner views, you will enjoy the sophistication of this hotel. Sip a cocktail at their lobby bar before stepping out into the heart of Manhattan. The Intercontinental at Times Square is the perfect place at the center of it all.
7. Aurora Borealis Bubble Hotel - Reykjavik, Iceland $462 a night
Sleeping under the stars is a dream for some, however an overnight rest at this bubble hotel is quite impressive! This concept combines nature, innovation and luxury. Not only are you placed in a room in the middle of the luscious green forest, but the clear wrap surrounding the bubble gives you the best views as you lay down in bed and gaze at the night sky.
But there's way more to the night stay. The booking of the stay at The Bubble Hotel includes amazing tour experiences. Guided tours by luxury SUV or similar take you to stops at Thingvelir National Park (a UNESCO world heritage site) and their geyser hot spring in Haukadalur. Immerse yourself in wild adventure as you explore the spectacular Icelandic scenery.
8. Ashford Castle Hotel - Cong, Ireland $350 a night
There is no better way to combine luxury and winter than with a stay at the 800 year old Ashford Castle, now hotel, in Ireland. With countless awards, allow yourself to be catered in true royalty fashion. The attention to detail goes unnoticed. The amazing decor, furnishings and cuisine offered here are sure make you feel like you never want to leave. However, you'll need to because the beauty of staying here doesn't end there.
There are numerous unique experiences and activities offered as well. Outdoors you will find their 350 acre gardens which are a perfect setting for walks, weddings or capturing great Instaworthy photography. Some of their experiences also include falconry, boat trips, fishing, equestrian and archery. They even have a grand cinema to enjoy and zip-lining at the estate!
9. A Black A-Frame - Kerhonkson New York, USA $286 a night
North of the New York State you'll find this cozy and romantic cabin. Known for its all-black unique look in the middle of the forest, you'll feel just like home. Wake up to quiet morning and get yourself a homemade meal in their modernly cool kitchen. then make your way outdoors where they feature a fire pit, large steel barbecue grill and an extra long picnic table so you can take in the surroundings . Its a great getaway drive if you happen to want to take a break from the neighboring big cities of NYC, Philadelphia or Boston.