Quebec City

Is all the talk of summer and beaches…bumming you out? Does the entire concept of humidity make you want to cry? If you see one more Instagram photo of “hot-dog legs” are you going to lose it? Good news! You’re not crazy or a heartless, sun-hating scrooge — and you’re not alone. The dogs days of summer are truly upon us, and sometimes it’s all too easy to dream of snowbanks and icicles (which will be a nightmare once we’re in the thick of winter — but then, of course, we’ll dream of sizzling sidewalks and sun galore). So if you’re already missing winter, here’s where you can travel right now where it’s 50 degrees or cooler. And, of course, we’ve found the coziest hotels nearby where you can properly embrace sweater weather by curling up in front of a fireplace that will chase the (all-too-welcome) chill away.

1. Melbourne, Australia 

melbourne

The Southern Hemisphere is where winter’s at, and one of our favorite destinations down under is none other than Melbourne, Australia. Known as Australia’s culture capital, this city situated on Port Phillip Bay is packed with Victorian buildings, museums, galleries, large parks, and gardens. The tree-lined streets and green spaces create a clean, eco-friendly vibe, which is probably part of the reason Melbourne has consistently been dubbed as one of the world’s most livable cities. During the winter months, locals enjoy ice skating, curling, and banishing the chill at the nearby Peninsula Hot Springs.

Stay: Hotel Lindrum

This modern boutique is located just a short walk from sights such as Federation Square and Melbourne Park. It lacks a fitness center and spa, but the features it does have are done well: The restaurant serves a nice breakfast buffet, and the cozy bar features a fireplace and a billiards table. Rooms feature sleek lines, dark wood accents, high-style light fixtures, and contemporary artwork, which combine to create a chic vibe. Read More »

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Sure, your wedding day may be the most memorable day of your life, but there’s still plenty of pressure for the precursor proposal to be a noteworthy occasion. It can be an intimidating undertaking, and many choose to pop the question in a special place so the whole experience feels particularly luxe. Fortunately, numerous hotels have picked up on both the need for something special and the need for a little help; from offering proposal packages with diamonds already included, to lending a helping hand with customized engagement plans, these six resorts go the extra mile in (almost) guaranteeing engagement success.

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City

Nestled in the heart of Old Quebec, the Fairmont Le Chateau has lured celebrities and reality show stars with its charm. It was even the spot where NFL Quarterback Jesse Palmer and his lady love Tara enjoyed a date on ABC’s The Bachelor. This seductive resort provides breathtaking pop-the-question scenic backdrops of the St.Lawrence River. Toast your happily-ever-after at the hotel’s wine and cheese bar before heading back to the luxurious Van Horne suite for a night to remember.

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The Junior Suite at the Pavillon de la Reine; Paris, France

The Junior Suite at the Pavillon de la Reine; Paris, France

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Pavillon de la Reine’s special Valentine’s Day package includes a padlock inscribed with the couples’ names that they can lock to Le Pont des Arts bridge.

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac now offers free BMW rides to all its guests staying three or more nights.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? New England Patriots player Rob Gronkowski was seen dancing shirtless at the Wynn Las Vegas the night of the Super Bowl.

4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The most expensive spa treatment at The Beverly Hills Hotel’s spa is a 90-minute White Caviar Illuminating Facial that includes a cellular three-minute peel.

5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta has just started offering a guaranteed 24-hour stay, meaning guests don’t have to check out at 11 a.m. anymore and can enjoy the room for a full 24 hours.

Check out the answers after the jump!

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The New York Palace gets in the holiday mood -- maybe they're inspired by the holiday shops at Bryant Park?

Christmas markets, or Christkindlmarkts as they are known in Germany, originated in the Late Middle Ages as a way to celebrate the beginning of Advent — the four-week lead-up to Christmas Day. Usually hosted in town squares, these street fairs offer all kinds of seasonal charm, including handcrafted Christmas decorations and gifts, and tasty treats like mulled wine and gingerbread. From Scotland to Chicago, German-style Christmas markets are offering a jolly dose of holiday cheer to people around the globe. Here are some of our favorite Christmas markets the world-over — and the charming hotels to call home so that visions of sugar plums are sure to dance through your head all night long.

Berlin’s Christmas Markets

With over 60 Christmas markets held each holiday season in Berlin, those seeking some magical winter charm need look no further than the German capital. The creme-de-la-Christmas-creme, however, can be found at the historic Gendarmenmart, which is bordered by the French and German Cathedral on one side and the Concert House on the other. Visitors can wander the many booths lining the streets, or visit the heated craftsmen tent where toy makers, goldsmiths, and wood carvers show off their talents. The market stays open through New Year’s Eve, when visitors can hear various bands, toast the New Year with fireworks, and dance a traditional waltz after midnight. There is a one-Euro entrance fee (which is odd for a Christmas market) and New Year’s Eve tickets cost 10 Euro. Other historic Christmas markets in Germany include Dresden’s and Nuremberg’s charming fairs.

Where to Stay: Bleibtreu Hotel

Blumen 31 Flower Shop

A boutique property that has managed to ingratiate itself with its neighborhood, the Bleibtreu Hotel offers a charming bistro/diner and a flower shop with an outdoor garden that is often frequented by locals. Rooms are stylish and functional, if small, and are decorated with natural materials; some have balconies. Read More »

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St. Laurent Bar and Lounge at the Fairmont le Chateau Frontenac

St. Laurent Bar and Lounge at the Fairmont le Chateau Frontenac

The 618-room Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac is a grand and ornate Quebec City landmark. It’s housed in a 19th-century castle, which was used as a stopover destination for Canadian Pacific Railway riders, and is full of ornate design features, such as a grand double staircase, wood paneling, coffered ceilings, and chandeliers. Rooms are elegant, and even though standard rooms start relatively small, some have fantastic river views. Amenities include a beautiful indoor pool with Jacuzzi, steam rooms, and a fitness center. Le Champlain is a fine dining restaurant with sweeping views, and the St. Laurent Bar has live jazz once a week. Due to it’s gorgeous views, top-notch dining, and rich history, the hotel is not only one of the most luxurious options in Old City but also a destination in itself. Check out more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now» Read More »

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