It goes without saying that the Winter of 2020 will be unlike anything else we have collectively experienced. Around the world, we are all facing the challenges of this difficult time and are making compromises every day to our personal, social and working lives. The experience for each of us is different, but one feeling we all share is that we can’t wait for the pandemic to be over, so our lives can return to some kind of normality….
Many of us are yearning to travel, to escape the mundanity of the walls we call home and take in different sights, sounds and smells, to make us feel more alive. We long for adventure, for something to reignite the spark of passion in our lives. Looking back to a time when we couldn’t wait to slow down, to stop dashing about and be still, we now look forward to packing a bag and setting off once again.
The other thing many of us have come to appreciate more is the beauty of spending time with loved ones, and especially at Christmas. Whilst much of the country will travel to spend 5 days with family at home, for the lucky few this is an opportunity to escape to somewhere further afield. So whether you have been tasked with finding somewhere large, luxurious and of course COVID-safe for your principal, or you simply enjoy letting the mind wander, we hope you will enjoy these five Private Winter Getaway ideas….
Stargaze in Iceland
Iceland is undoubtedly one of the most special places on Earth. As the last place to be populated by humans and with vast parts of the country uninhabited, it’s little surprise that Iceland is one of the most eco-friendly places in the world. These are just some of the reasons that Deplar Farm is a unique place to stay.
Situated on the Troll Peninsula in the the Fljót Valley, this really is an off-the-grid location. With some of the highest average snowfall on the planet, it’s a dream spot for skiers, but the unrivalled natural beauty also makes this for photographers, artists and anyone needing to ‘reset.’ A converted sheep farm, Deplar Farm has black timber cladding, a living roof and thefloor-to-ceiling windows around the property that embrace the surrounding peaks. With two helipads on property, guests can arrive in style and have great access to rolling descents that lead all the way to the ocean.
Iceland’s conditions mean the snow ranges from smooth, buttery slopes and corn snow to fresh powder, and the region’s midnight sun makes night skiing something to savour. Unlike many heli operations, things are very flexible at Deplar. If conditions aren’t right for flight, Deplar’s guides can take guests cat skiing or on-piste. For recovery, or for those not wishing the grace the slopes, Deplar’s geothermal-heated outdoor pool, Isopod flotation tanks, sauna, steam room, gym, yoga room, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and talented massage therapists keep guests in excellent condition… and the pool is the perfect place to watch for the Aurora Borealis.
Accommodation comes as 13 en-suite bedrooms, including 5 king suites, 4 king suites with queen sleeping lofts and balconies, 2 queen suites, 1 king suite with lofted lounge and private balcony and 1 bunkroom with four double beds and a double en suite bathroom.
Relax in the Media room or challenge others to billiards, foosball or ping pong. Or if you really have to work, check in with the office via the fully equipped conference room….before heading to the bar for a wind-down drink.
Hitchcock meets Wes Anderson?
Welcome to Badrutt’s Palace, a place to experience legendary service in the heart of St. Moritz. It is more than iconic glamour… it’s a unique melting pot of style, outdoor adventure, epicurean excellence and multi-faceted well being. And what’s more, Alfred Hitchcock wrote his iconic masterpiece ‘The Birds’ whilst staying in what is now The Hitchcock Suite!
The property comes into its own in the Winter, when then breathtaking views of the lake or the charming village are blanketed in snow and shimmering under the Engadin sun. The hotel has 157 elegant rooms and suites, but the highlight is undoubtedly the Tower Suite.
A private residence occupying the top three floors of the majestic tower of the hotel, the Tower Suite offers four individually decorated bedrooms each with its own bathroom ensuite. Guests can relax in the elegant living room, entertain in the dining area with fully equipped kitchen and retire to the sitting room with its open fire place. The Butler Service will mean you dont have to lift a finger. There are also two large tower balconies with bird’s-eye views of the area. It’s an exceptional and exquisite location to stay and entertain and has been named the most luxurious hotel suite in the Swiss Alps.
Dining at Badrutt’s Palace is exceptional – cosmopolitan cuisine for the curious and discerning. With eight restaurants, three bars and the King’s Social House, the hotel’s lively, exuberant club, guests can experience something different every day and night. Every meal is a discovery, from signature Japanese-Peruvian fare at Matsuhisa, 2 Michelin-star dining at IGNIV, to a casual dinner at the Pizzeria Heuboden: the culinary team at Badrutt’s Palace celebrates your favourite classics with an eye most decidedly on what’s happening locally… and globally.
Le Restaurant is the “grand dame” of St. Moritz dining. With candlelight and white tablecloths, crystal chandeliers and double-height windows, this formal dining room offers a rare chance to experience the theatrical “in-front-of-you” Gueridon service. Breakfast is elegantly elevated by a live harpist. The hotel also offers a selection of “secret places,” atmospheric hideaways for the most special private celebrations, events and dinners. Badrutt’s team will create the perfect ambiance for you and your group.
Winter guests can revel in the beauty of the snowscape. Ice skating, ski instruction, helicopter rides and skijoring are just some of the activities available to guests in this dramatic and beautiful setting. Cooking classes with the hotel’s chefs are extremely popular. Whether how to make cheese, bake an assortment of sweets, or master some of the most popular dishes from the hotel menu, cooks of all levels will find something to enjoy. At the end of the session, you’ll sit together and enjoy the fruits of your labour!
Horse-drawn carriage rides in the Engadin valley are wonderfully languid and romantic. Young guests are well looked after with a host of activities laid on for all climates, including kids skating sessions, yoga classes and even a disco!
The beautiful Palace Wellness Spa is a delight. With an indoor infinity swimming pool, scenic outdoor pool, extensive fitness facilities and full massage and beauty services, this is the perfect place to unwind.
Lap of Luxury
The highly sought after Octola Private Wilderness is a magical place to spend the Christmas season.
Octala’s founder says, “Leave the stress behind of the day to day world and savour the healing qualities of Lapland’s stunningly beautiful natural environment.” If the stress of 2020 has left its mark, this is definitely the destination for you.
Set in 300 hectares of private wilderness within the Arctic Circle of Finnish Lapland, the property will thrill even the most discerning of guests. It is the ultimate ‘bubble’ – privacy, space, an incredible amount of facilities and activities within the private estate, as well as your own dedicated team of staff and chefs, this is the epitome of Covid-secure travel.
With 12 ensuite rooms set over 2 villas, there is plenty of space for all the family. Sold as all inclusive, the fantastic staff will take care of your every need.
With wild reindeer as your neighbours and unforgettable elves creating magical moments en-route to Santa’s private cabin, this is a truly magical time of year to visit – and that’s before you even consider the incredible Northern Light safaris – the lights this year have been spectacular so far!
The height of cool in the Dolomites
Let us introduce you to FORESTIS a conceptual new 5* Tyrolean mountain retreat that just opened this Summer and is already officially one the coolet places to stay in the mountains.
After travelling the world extensively, owners and hosts Teresa and Stefan Hinteregger wanted to create an attentive, traditional service for their guests, offering ‘peace as a new luxury’.
Located in South Tyrol, on the Southern slope of the Plose mountain at 1800 metres above sea level, FORESTIS is surrounded by a dense mountain forest where all 62 suites have panoramic views of the massif of the UNESCO world heritage Dolomites. The new luxury hideaway inspires year-round relaxation and regeneration, with a focus on time, nature and simplicity.
In an area renowned for its health-boosting air and natural beauty, the building itself has an interesting past, having played home to those looking for healing, priests and clergy in the 1950’s and then a hotel – but with the new hosts, Forestis is now something really quite special.
All 62 suites at FORESTIS embrace nature. Due to their southern exposure, they are spoiled by the sun all day, whilst the natural materials of the interior, light earth tones and the style of the furnishings encourages a feeling of relaxation. They range from 50 m² in the older building, with 1 or 2 bedrooms and an outdoor terrace, to Tower Suites, also 55 m² in size with terraces but only 1 bedroom, although they boast the best views of the Dolomites from their panoramic windows….
In the two outer towers there is a two-story 200 m² penthouse suite which includes a spacious living area with an open fireplace, a custom-made sofa and a large dining table, smart TV and bar as well as a glass front that extends across the entire width of the bedroom, allowing guests to enjoy the most beautiful view of the Dolomites from bed. A staircase leads guests to the upper floor, on which there is a pool (3 x 6.5 Meters), a spruce wood sauna with a view of the Dolomites, sun loungers and a rain shower from which of course fresh spring water flows again.
The impressive Spa extends over an area of 2,000 m² below the three towers and is distributed on two floors. Featuring an indoor pool, outdoor pool, brine steam bath (65 ° C), one Finnish sauna (85 ° C), a bio sauna (70 ° C), a textile sauna (Finnish sauna at 45 ° C) and one Outdoor sauna (Finnish sauna at 90 ° C) in a traditional South Tyrolean wooden house, the choice is extensive. The silent room with a hearth in the middle does exactly what it says on the tin – here guests can find silence and peace after their sauna session. Four treatment rooms, a ‘private spa’ for couple treatments and two cosmetic rooms and relaxation rooms, plus a state-of-the-art gym and yoga space make the spa complete.
FORESTIS offers a wide range of activities including ski-in / ski-out where ski tours can be arranged where a guide can take you to all the secret skiing spots. The 45 kilometres of slopes of the Plose ski area have mixture of blue, red and black runs. In addition, there are Toboggan runs and winter hiking trails for non-skiers. There are four bike trails on the Plose, primarily due to extensive and dense forests. It is also possible to do paragliding or take a hot air balloon ride too!
But if all this is great, apart from the flying part, then we have just the option for you…
Get Festive in the Glens
If a Scottish break sounds like just the ticket, look no further than the truly spectacular Turin Castle. Set in the Angus Glens, amongst the picturesque scenery of rolling hills and lush greenery, this stunning property is available for exclusive-use rentals. Whether you want a weekend of pampering or an experience-packed few days, you can perfectly tailor your time in Scotland to be whatever you want it to be.
The complete property rental means peace of mind when it comes to COVID, you can have as much or as little interaction with the outside world as you like. Built in 1659 and relocated stone-by-stone from the loch in 1907, Turin Castle sits in twenty acres of sweeping lawns with majestic views of the rolling Scottish countryside. Children will love exploring the gardens and countryside, while the adults can relax in the beautiful castle and get away from it all.
Accommodation is set over 10 beautifully appointed bedrooms, each with a private bathroom and views of the gardens and beyond to the Angus Glens.
Public spaces are extensive, with ample room for everyone, including a Games Room, Library, Conservatory, Music Room and the beautiful Ogilvy Bar, perfect for a drink before dinner.
Activities abound – Turin Castle has no less than 118 golf courses just a short drive away, including some of the most iconic courses in the history of the sport, as well as opportunities for fishing, falconry, hunting, archery and other outdoor pursuits close at hand.
If the weather is off, indoor activities include cookery lessons in the castle kitchens with local chefs, Whisky and Gin tastings and of course, banquet level dinners.
This very special property is the perfect place for a Winter Getaway, without needing to get on a flight!
If any of these look like just the thing for your principal or your family, please get in touch and BBB will be happy to help you make it a reality. We also have some excellent connections around the world for lower budgets, including city breaks, smaller country houses and more. Plus we will have 3 more blogs coming over the next 3 weeks to show you a range of other Winter Escape ideas….