Charming villages and picturesques snowy landscapes make these European destinations a hit in the winter season.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
The pretty enclave of Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Italian Dolomites, is known as a high-end ski town drawing visitors from all over Europe, as well as further afield. While it’s a favorite winter wonderland destination for affluent travelers, it’s a lot more relaxed than say, Courchevel. Stay at the classic Grand Hotel Savoia Cortina, where you can après-ski at 1224 Terrazza against a backdrop of the stunning, snow-covered Dolomites.
While all the seasons bring their own charms to the UNESCO spa town of Baden-Baden, winter is a special delight, with postcard-worthy snowy views over the enchanting Lichtentaler Allee park and the surrounding Black Forest. Stay at the nearly 150-year-old Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa for relaxing medi-spa treatments and plenty of outdoor pursuits, such as winter hikes through the over 10,000 hectares of parkland.
Val d’Isère, France
With challenging slopes, natural beauty and high-end hospitality offerings, France’s Val d’Isère is one of Europe’s most sought-after winter escapes. The Alpine-chic, piste-side Airelles Val d’Isere is the place to stay, with just 41 rooms, plus a Guerlain Spa and brand-new restaurant, Loulou.
St Moritz, Switzerland
St Moritz needs no introduction. Always bringing glamour, glitz and excitement, the ski season kicked off in December with the Audi FIS Ski World Cup, but there’s plenty more to come this winter, including the Snow Polo World Cup; the St Moritz Gourmet Festival; and the White Turf horse race. A favorite of well-heeled VIPs, Kulm Hotel St. Moritz has over 160-years of history, not to mention the winter-only, must-visit gourmet restaurant, The K, by world-renowned chef Mauro Colagreco.
There’s never a bad time to visit Budapest, but in winter, the city transforms into a veritable wonderland of snow-covered city views, cozy eateries, and steamy thermal baths. This winter makes for an especially great time to visit, as the city has recently introduced several new hotels, including the extensively renovated Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Budapest, the glamourous former home of a German princess.