When it comes to honeymoons, the norm for most newlyweds seems to be an exotic location with great weather, lots of relaxation, and just enough to do. But while setting course for an island—or other parts unknown—it’s hard not to consider letting the stillness and quietness of the winter months make for a charming getaway filled with cozy, romantic nights by a fire, warm cider, outdoor hot tubs, and other generally romantic chilly weather things you do. Behold—just a few winter wonderlands so good they might make you rethink your on-a-beach-somewhere honeymoon.
Chenonceau & Le Clos d’Amboise
Built over the River Cher, this 16th-century château and its marvelous gardens, gardener’s house, and stables are breathtaking when covered in snow. In the stables, you’ll find a collection of horse-drawn carriages and inside, bedrooms dedicated to the nobility that lived at this royal residence. There’s also a tiny chapel decorated in white and glitter—barked trees, butterflies, glass ornaments, orchids, and fern—giving the entire property a wintery fairy tale vibe. Though you can’t stay in the château itself, you can rest your head at one of the area’s cozy hotels—like Le Clos d’Amboise, a 17th-century house with a large hearth fireplace in its game room, nestled just steps from the charming French town of Amboise, where you’ll also find grand residences of Francois I and Leonardo da Vinci nearby.
Stowe Mountain Lodge
With an outdoor pool that is heated to 84 degrees 365 days a year and hot tubs to relax in while the snow falls—pretty much guaranteed since you’re in Vermont—Stowe Mountain Lodge is a picture-perfect place for couples to take in the winter scenery. The lodge offers ski-in/ski-out access to some of the most revered snow sports in the Northeast, and a spa offering a rejuvenating Sacred Love treatment—a romantic bath, body polish, and massage for two.
The Villas at La Cantera Resort & Spa
Guests staying in one of La Cantera’s 34 secluded villas located in the Texas Hill Country are immersed directly into its natural surroundings, full of winding paths where majestic oak, mesquite, and pine trees make up a winter forest. Come the cold weather—and yes, it occasionally snows in Texas—guests can warm up by gathering around a stone fireplace in the reception area or in the hot tubs, which are serviced by a marble-clad bar featuring signature handcrafted cocktails.
The Fairmont Banff Springs
Isolated in total wilderness, the Fairmont Banff Springs is what winter wonderland dreams are made of. Known as the “Castle in the Rockies," the Rocky Mountain hotel is steps from the charming alpine village of Banff and its famed hot springs. Active honeymooners can take advantage of Fairmont Banff Springs’s Luxury Ski the Canadian Rockies package, which includes—among other things—ski passes for you and your bae at Mt. Norquay, the Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Sunshine Village, as well as daily spa access.
The St. Regis Deer Valley
For adventurous, athletic couples looking to make the most of the winter season, this Park City, Utah, ski-in/ski-out paradise is the place to be. Not only do they have some of the sickest fire pits, well, ever, but guests can take advantage of the hotel’s winter programs, which include bobsledding on the same track as the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, skiing alongside Paralympian Chris Waddell, or try a hand in the biathlon at Soldier's Hollow—with expert coaches, of course. Fun fact: Thanks to the backdrop of those dazzling fire pits, this St. Regis location sabers champagne daily—more, in fact, than any other in the entire luxurious portfolio.
Kempinski Grand Hotel Des Bains
What could be more chic, not to mention bountiful in winter activities, than a winter weather ’moon in St. Moritz? It’s here you’ll find some of the most glamorous mountain guest rooms and chalet-style suites in handsome decor, top-notch fine dining, and an unreal Swiss sauna and spa you need to see to believe. Speaking of the spa, the Travel Siblings—who specialize in unique honeymoon experiences and were just named Condé Nast Traveler's top specialty wedding planners for 2017—tell us that you don’t have to ski the Alps to experience them at the Kempinski, since the spa incorporates natural elements like glacier water, Bergell granite, and Engadine wood into their treatments.