It’s not just the crisp snowy walks and hot toddies that epitomise getting away in Europe in winter. The hotels that open their doors for the winter season look to attract a more discerning visitor with great interior design, good food and speciality treats. We choose our selection of those going the extra mile.


Copperhill Mountain Lodge, Are, Sweden

Designed by Peter Bohlin this high-end ski-in and ski-out chalet has designer furnishings, huge fireplaces to while away the evenings, and spa ‘tee-pees’ inspired by the Sami Tribe who are the local indigenous population. The spa pool is fed by natural hot-springs and the Samezen massasge features plant extracts and warm stones.


Hotel Búðir, Snæfellsnes, Iceland

This 17th century trading post is now a fabulous 28-room lodge which you really won’t want to leave – although the surrounding area has stunning scenery too so it would be a shame not to. It is an escape from the landscape of lava fields, cliffs and volcanic glaciers, and provides luxury with spectacular views from deep sofas while sipping from the large whiskey collection.


No.38 The Park, Cheltenham, UK

Nothing beats a luxury boutique hotel when it’s cold outside, and Cheltenham (which is experiencing a bit of a resurgance in popularity with visitors recently) has a few including No.38 The Park. Set in a Regency building for which Cheltenham is reknown, the 13 bedrooms have been lovingly decorated by the owners Sam and Georgie Pearman and include reclaimed wood furniture, freestanding Victorian bathtubs to warm you up and classic David Hockney prints. Dinner can be had at No.131 next door.


Hotel La Ferronniere, Boullion, Belgium

Walkers and foodies will both appreciate a trip to Boullion in Belgium, a medieval town on the bend of the Semois River and the Hotel La Ferronniere a 10th century Tudor mansion. Surrounded by gardens and reknown locally for its local cuisine – think cassolette with wild mushrooms, lobster and Ardenne ham dishes. There is also a wellness centre with saunas, a hammam, and a Jacuzzi – so the perfect respite after a days walking.


Villa Gella, Pamporovo, Bulgaria

Pamporovo  is set in the Rhodope Mountains which are quite spectacular and is one of Bulgaria’s favourite ski resorts. It sports some 35 miles of pistes and 23 miles of cross-country skiing and is certainly buzzing in winter. The Villa Gella is a modern villa and has an indoor pool, gym, steam room, yoga corner and a resident chef – so if skiing doesn’t appeal to everyone in your party they don’t need to venture outdoors. It’s also within striking distance (so a day trip for each) to four of Bulgaria’s UNESCO World Heritage sites including the Pirin National Park.

BOE Magazine