10 Winter Honeymoon Destinations That Aren't the Beach

Make the holidays last a little longer at these wintery getaways

Updated 01/13/18

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Is there anything more romantic than the feeling of being inside a snow globe, fluffy flakes falling down around you two all bundled up in down and knit? There’s something unquestionably magical about a perfect winter scene—even better if there are hot toddies, dancing fires and ski-in/ski-out slopes within easy reach. Just as in Bora Bora or the Maldives, the perfect honeymoon for many seamlessly blends activity with pure pampering, and these 10 destinations are the winter wonderland equivalent. Just be sure to pack things to wear both outdoors in the cold and inside in the heat.

Montana

From the size of the flakes to the outsized array of adventurous and laid-back activities available, Montana is a winter-lover’s playground. At the user-luxe The Resort at Paws Up, there’s snow tubing, dog-sledding, sleigh rides, snowboarding and even something called skijoring (a Norwegian term), which is essentially skiing while being pulled by a horse. The Ranch at Rock Creek, where lovers thaw out after long days of horseback riding, snowmobiling and even practicing snowga (yoga in the snow) by sipping bubbly in private hot soaking tubs by the creek or having a cocktail in the bar, is another dreamy—and safe—bet.

Switzerland

What more fantastical setting than a palace to experience blanketed in snow? In Gstaad, the circa 1913 fairytale-like Gstaad Palace gives its guests a sense of romance with a sense of austerity, fine dining and spa options alongside thrilling nearby skiing. In Zurich, the Dolder Grand’s trio of outdoor hot tubs—overlooking serene fields of snow and the lake—are the best way to experience hot and cold together. Also try ice skating, hand-in-hand, as the perfect precursor to dinner in their glam Michelin-starred restaurant.

Wyoming

Private suites with deep soaking tubs, fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling windows for snow-gazing make Amangani one of the most refined ways to experience a rugged winter outside Jackson Hole, with sweeping Tetons views and plenty of places to ski. There’s also dog sledding, fly fishing and private nature treks to keep you busy when not taking advantage of all the suite has to offer. The rustic-elegant Hotel Jackson nearby isn’t only poised for easy access to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, but offers boot valet and warming services, fireplaces in every luxe room and elk sleigh rides. To go a little more rustic, consider Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins, or Mammoth Hot Springs & Cabins (with a handful of cabins boasting private hot tubs), at Yellowstone National Park, where snowcoach tours are available and cross-country skiers and snowshoers can get their fill of the Old Faithful Upper Geyser Basin.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Summer in the States doesn’t mean you have to succumb to the sun. Snow-seekers can find it in Queenstown, New Zealand, where the opposite seasons allow for pristine powder-coated ski and snowboarding in what we think of as the warmest months. Known as the adventure capital of the world (it’s where bungee jumping was founded), there is oodles for adrenaline-fueled couples to get their fill, including glaciers to hike, but luxe digs like the intimate and window-laden Matakauri Lodge ensure all that frosty fun is balanced with equal parts TLC and luxury relaxation.

Colorado

A no-brainer of a destination, the ultimate winter wonderland state is more than just Aspen. Telluride, with its world-class, all-levels skiing, claims the iconic Dunton Hot Springs, where secluded cabins make the coziest hideaways between ski runs, hot springs soaks and many more snowy activities, and The Hotel Telluride has packages that include Champagne-paired dinners, snowmobiling trips and wine and charcuterie in front of the fireplace. Vail has luxury resorts in the form of European-inspired The Arrabelle at Vail Square, A RockResort, and the fab new ski-in/ski-out Hotel Talisa where the après game is so strong it boasts a hot chocolate bar, Champagne sabering and music, year round. In Beaver Creek couples who want ultimate privacy can opt for the White Glove Winter Package, which includes first-class airfare, a private helicopter transport and private car transfer to the luxurious Trappers Cabin, with its personal concierge, private chef and first-tracks access that means you get first dibs on the runs before they open to the public.

Iceland

What’s more wondrous than the Northern Lights? It’s a rare sight to behold, and the neon spectacle is only possible in the winter, when the days are oh-so short but full of possibility. Iceland has it all, from glaciers to ice caves to lava fields to hot springs, which are that much more satisfying when the air is frigid and steam rises up, obscuring the other soakers. Come spring, The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland is the best way to experience the famed waters and local cuisine (at Moss Restaurant), with suites embedded in lava flow and terraces that give access to the geothermal waters. Hygge vibes and a mega dose of adventure are available at Ion, which is the luxest pick near the Aurora Borealis.

Sun Valley, Idaho

Snowbirds seeking short lift lines, perfectly groomed trails and a little historic charm to boot will find it at America’s first destination ski resort, Sun Valley, where the Sun Valley Inn is newly renovated, the dining scene is updated and the mountains’s recently seen a slew of enhancements. When your muscles ache from the slopes, there’s the picturesque outdoor hot tub or heated pool, and a 20,000 square foot spa that will fix you right up.

Tromso, Norway

The most obvious major draw to the Arctic Circle is of course those magical lights of the Aurora Borealis, but there’s much more adventure to be had for those couples up for getting off the beaten track. Reindeer—broth, steak—is one of the ways you’ll be taken out of your comfort zone in the far-north destination that’s a prime spot for experiencing the Northern Lights, though it’s quite normal for the Lapp people, who are reindeer herders. The cutest part of a trip up here is at the Tromso Wilderness Center, where hundreds of huskies train for racing, and you can cuddle up with adorable pups. A dogsled ride should also be in the cards if fun is what you’re after.

Banff, Canada

Serious skiers know all about Banff, one of the most epic destinations for the sport in North America and also the world. It’s consistently snow-blanketed peaks are drop-dead gorgeous to boot. The best way to do it? Book a suite at the stunning Fairmont Banff Springs, surrounded by fairytale forests and aquamarine river valleys. The jaw-dropping resort harks back to 1888 and is a National Historic Site with 11 restaurants, 50-foot heated outdoor pool, glorious spa, palatial rooms and suites and, of course, plenty of magic-making powder.

Maine

It’s not as known as Western ski resorts, but Camden, Maine, is notable for at least one pretty cool reason: It’s the only place in America where skiers can gaze out over the Atlantic Ocean while skiing down the Camden Ski Bowl. The ideal place to install yourselves on your romantic getaway is in one of Camden Harbour Inn’s (a Relais and Chateaux property) two Grand Suites, with in-suite saunas large enough for two, steam and rain showers, plunge tubs and multiple fireplaces, alongside original artworks and a fine restaurant serving a drool-worthy five-course lobster tasting menu.

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