What we want from an overnight can and does vary from season to season. A pool, a cabana, and a cheerful hotel employee spritzing guests with scented spring water might be a slice of all right come July, but in wintertime it is all about the toddy. Well, sipping a hot toddy next to a fireplace while bundled in something snuggly and February-ready. But where does one fully get his or her toddy on come the briskest weeks of the year? There are several snug-but-swanky lodges around the country that have perfected the art of the snuggle-up chill-down.
The Resort at Paws Up: Not only does this well-known, well-regarded, and well-everything-else Montana destination boast the cutest of names, but it carries its animal-sweet aesthetic through to its popular wintertime activities. Dog-sledding is at the top of the list – an energetic, tongue-waggy team really pulls you past frozen meadows and icicle-laden trees – but horse-drawn sleigh rides are popular as well. Yep, you’ll dream of getting back to your cabin fireplace for cozy time, but snuggling up in a sleigh to a close friend is a close second.
Lake Placid Lodge: When people think “winter lodge” they tend not to think of glass and steel and ultra-modern. They want a rustic, woodsy fairyland of a getaway, warm of winter and crackling of fire. This lake-close New York State landmark is so much all of those things that it almost looks as if it sprung, fully formed, from a winter-whimsical romance novel. The quintessential Adirondacks-y activities are plentiful, including the nightly snow bonfire, but you might want to stay cuddled close to the inside logs, talking of Olympians past (Lake Placid, of course, hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1980.)
Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge: It’s one of Colorado’s most historic properties, no doubt; one glance at the hefty building’s fancy and slightly foreboding lines says this was a place built in the 1800s. Visitors come to happily hibernate in a well-built building, of course, but they also have a certain steamy very large aquatic feature in mind: Glenwood’s world-famous year-round swimmin’ hole. A spring feeds three-and-a-half million (!) gallons into the pool every day. And swimmers care not if it is zero degrees outside; the steamy hotness of an afternoon swim keeps the wicked winter at bay.
The Ahwahnee: The Yosemite National Park stone-and-wood-laden masterpiece may have just about the best location in the annals of spectacular hotel settings, but winter visitors do indeed come to lounge in front of the oversized fireplace and linger over morning coffee in the dining room, a room that could double as the Great Hall from “Harry Potter.” Bonus wintertime cred: Designers for “The Shining” borrowed a lot of the lodge’s Native American touches. The elevators, too, are quite cinematic.
L’Auberge de Sedona: The Grand Canyon State is frequently portrayed as a hot and sunny place, but visitors to this creek-close luxe-laden getaway know differently. You want to cozy-it-up in this higher clime, when you’re not out admiring how snowflakes settle atop Sedona’s supernaturally beautiful red rocks. Fireplaces, a posh spa, and detail-driven rooms complete the winter picture. Go for the wood-burning fireplace in the Creekside Cottage.