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.
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 »
The snow has finally started to fall which means that it’s time to take a ski vacation with the family! Whether your kids are future Olympians or have yet to perfect the “pizza,” they probably won’t want to do just that — and hey, you might need a break from the kiddies yourself — so we’ve rounded up the best kid-friendly hotels in our favorite cold weather destinations. After (or in lieu of) a day on the slopes, tots can enjoy numerous kid-friendly amenities — everything from swimming in the year-round pool to bowling to participating in activities at the kids club — at these luxurious resorts.
SKI SPOT: Vail
WHERE TO STAY: Four Seasons Resort Vail
The Outdoor Pool at the Four Seasons Resort Vail; Vail, CO
WHY: The Four Seasons Vail opened in 2011 and has been one of the area’s top hotels since then: All the rooms have stone fireplaces, balconies, and huge marble bathrooms with standalone soaking tubs. (How cozy does that sound?) Not only do families enjoy the beautiful, heated outdoor pool (open year-round), but the Teen Club, with an air hockey table, video games, foosball table, and iMac computers, is also a popular hangout for the young ones as well. Plus, there’s on-site daycare in the kids’ club and young children receive a welcome gift upon arrival.
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The main lobby at Bear Hollow Village; Park City, UT
If you’re lucky enough to be heading out to Park City next week for the Sundance Film Festival, you’re gonna need a hotel to set up shop — one brimming with celebs, of course. The festival is probably more known for stars photographed in winter’s finest gear rather than the indie films it centers around, which means that the hotel scene is ripe for an A-list glimpse. Your best bet star search-wise would be to check out the Sky Lodge, a centrally located, upscale property with slick amenities like balconies with hot tubs and top to bottom stylized decor. If you’re hoping to hit the slopes, the 170-room Stein Eriksen Lodge offers ski-in, ski-out access to the powdery mountains of Deer Valley Resort. And should you be traveling with family in tow, look into Bear Hollow Village. With its super-cozy atmosphere (it has mini-condos and townhouses instead of traditional hotel rooms), the lack of Wi-Fi or a flat-screen TVs in some spaces is made up for by washer/dryers, fireplaces and sleek kitchens in every condo. Want more? Read the full guide to the 2012 Sundance Film Festival now >>
It’s chilly out there, and sometimes there’s nothing better than curling up with a cup of hot cocoa and a book — or even just the cocoa. But when you’re staying in a hotel, it can be tricky to find the perfect corner for
dozing off reading. That’s where we come in — Oyster.com investigators have stayed at hundreds of hotels with libraries that run the gamut: everything from one-book “lending libraries” to luxurious library-themed bars to entire hotels devoted to the Dewey Decimal System. So pick a book (or turn on your Kindle) and check out our favorite hotel libraries below!
The Book Room at The Jefferson, Washington DC
For the dignified historian: The Jefferson, Washington DC
After a massive renovation in 2009, this boutique hotel reopened, and regained its place among DC’s elite hotels. The staff went to great lengths to incorporate aspects of Thomas Jefferson’s life that are less known than his accomplishments as a statesman and an author. Jefferson the architect? The custom-made toile draperies in the rooms depict scenes from Monticello and other buildings he designed. Jefferson the book lover? Enter the lovely library, and peruse its impressive collection of vintage hardcovers (Writings of Thomas Paine, The Age of Voltaire, Encyclopaedia Americana). With the blazing fire, the velvet chairs, and the resulting romantic ambiance, any historian would feel right at home in this intimate, luxurious space.
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Ah, winter: that special time of year when short days and freezing cold weather combine forces to keep most people locked up indoors. But with early onset cabin fever approaching, you might want to consider rediscovering the great outdoors with one of our newest locations: Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It’s home to the vast, untouched natural beauty of Yellowstone Park and some of the most challenging skiing in the country. Expect breathtaking views, fantastic dining, fun nightlife and the occasional moose sighting. For outdoorsmen and city slickers alike, the experience is unparalleled.