Five-star resorts are fabulous any time of the year — but there’s something especially alluring about them in the snow and ice of winter. This is when their high levels of service and extravagantly cozy furnishings make existence in the coldest months easy enough for us to enjoy outdoor frolics you’d never get the chance to experience in the summer: skiing, ice skating, snowboarding, sledding, snowmobiling or simply walking and shopping in the snow, or looking out the window to enjoy winter’s serene beauty.
Midway, Utah — Zermatt Utah Hotel and Resort
This town near Park City showcases all the wonders of wintertime with horse-drawn sleds, snowmobiling, the original of six annual ice castle displays built from icicles by professional artists across North America, plus year-round swimming and scuba diving in the 90-degree waters of Homestead Crater. The Zermatt, named after an alpine Swiss resort, is just steps away from the crater and has a full-service spa, steakhouse and pub, as well as convenient access to several ski resorts.
Raton, New Mexico — Vermejo, a Ted Turner Reserve
This 550,000-acre ranch in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains has been compared to a private national park experience. It’s brimming with onsite adventures including ice fishing, guided and self-guided hiking, mountain biking, shooting and archery, horseback riding, guided bison and wildlife tours and several family-friendly activities. Its spa has rejuvenating wellness programs and deep therapeutic experiences, and guests are served three gourmet, locally sourced meals per day.
New York City — The Pierre
The city that never sleeps takes huge advantage of that fact during the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, softening into a winter gloryland of holiday lights, ice skating and snowy walks in Central Park, not to mention the stellar museums, shows and other year-round attractions. After New Year’s many of its top luxury hotels offer tempting winter specials, including the landmark Pierre on 5th Avenue, overlooking Central Park and the city.
Cooperstown, New York — The Otesaga
If you think about the “boys of summer” all year long and also crave a serene winter getaway in the northeast, there’s no better choice than the historic Otesaga, hosting guests since 1909 in the upstate New York town that became the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The baseball mecca is open year-round and is located in a “Village” district of shopping and nightlife, a short walk away from the resort. Of course there’s a restaurant and spa, and nearby winter sports abound.
Quebec City, Quebec — Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac
Experience a sublimely cozy French winter without having to fly overseas, and stay in this luxury landmark that is a tourist stop in its own right. Its 611 hotel rooms on 18 floors still offer plenty of privacy as you wallow in the posh linens and furniture, gaze at the St. Lawrence River, enjoy an afternoon tea and explore the Old Quebec district, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site as the only existing walled city north of Mexico.