Seven destinations where a white Christmas is guaranteed
If Bing Crosby crooning “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” is your idea of holiday perfection, it’s time to find the winter wonderland you’ve been pining after. Of course, snow can be capricious, but a few resorts and hotels around the world can practically guarantee piles of the white stuff on Christmas morning. From Prague to Vermont, these 7 winter destinations — and the luxury resorts that call them home — offer a sure-fire way to that Bing Crosby bliss.
The Resort at Paws Up
Brisk temperatures and falling snow are no reason to stay indoors, and the 37,000-acre ranch at the Resort at Paws Up (above) beckons guests to enjoy its powdery wilderness from the wheel of a snowmobile — or better yet, the back of a dogsled. Other thrilling adventures include horseback riding through the snow, festive sleigh rides, and private ski adventures with seasoned guides. Meanwhile, the resort’s expansive log cabins are the perfect place to trim the tree, light a fire, and wait for Santa Claus to arrive.
The Point has been a luxury escape since the 1930s when William Avery Rockefeller built his holiday home on the edge of Lake Saranac as a swish family retreat. Today, the Great Camp — which, to be sure, is more mansion than lodge — remains one of the Adirondack’s most storied winter getaways. Fresh off a three-month closure and a multimillion-dollar renovation, the Relais & Châteaux property is ready for the holidays, with chic new interiors throughout its 11 rooms and fun snow adventures like curling and winter barbecues set among the pines. And, for the first time ever, the resort’s most luxurious accommodation, the 950-square-foot Boathouse, will be available for winter stays.
Mandarin Oriental, Prague
With its cobbled lanes, hidden courtyards, ancient Gothic chapels, and ample snow, Prague is the definition of a winter wonderland. And at its heart is the 99-room Mandarin Oriental, Prague, which occupies a 14th-century Dominican monastery. For some holiday cheer, stroll the property’s snow-covered walkways overlooking Malá Strana’s gingerbread-like houses or peruse the city’s world-famous Christmas market.
Deplar Farm, Iceland
Located deep within two fjords in Northern Iceland, Eleven Experience’s Deplar Farm is the ideal way to spend an adventurous holiday in pristine white. The converted sheep-farm-turned-chic-resort values privacy, with empty double-black-diamond ski runs and a mere 13 guest rooms. Snowmobiling, skeet shooting, and horseback riding allow guests to immerse themselves in the winter landscape, or they can choose to snuggle up inside and indulge in local delicacies like Arctic char and Icelandic lamb.
The iconic 1950s holiday musical White Christmas was filmed in Vermont, and it’s no surprise why: During the winter, the Green Mountain State is pure white bliss for snow seekers. Stay in the state’s only five-star property, Twin Farms, for exclusive access to 300 powdery acres of forest. The Relais & Châteaux property celebrates the season with ice skating on nearby Copper Pond, cross-country skiing, and, of course, sledding.
Nothing beats the Swiss Alps for a white Christmas. Classic and traditional, the mountainous region has been a go-to holiday destination for generations. And though the Alpina Gstaad is new to the neighborhood — the property is, in fact, the first luxury hotel to open in the village in more than a century — it seamlessly blends into its alpine surroundings. Inside, touches of modernity include a Japanese restaurant and a Six Senses spa.
Finland’s capital thrives on celebrating Christmas. Colorful lights line the city, mulled wine — known as glögi in these parts — flows abundantly, the sound of carols fills the chapels, and a festive Christmas market emits a warm glow that combats the frigid temperatures. Amidst it all, Hotel Kämp, a belle-epoque grande dame dating to 1887, is a symphony of traditional service and old-world charm that will transport you to the holidays of yesteryear.