Travel

Celebrate Christmas in style at these winter wonderland spots

Celebrate the holiday season in style at these winter wonderland destinations

HOTEL KRISTIANIA, LECH

One of the most beautiful winter resorts in the Alps and the birthplace of modern skiing, Lech is located in the Arlberg region of Austria - a sophisticated hangout for those in the know, where the hotels are stylish and the skiing, superb.

Family-run boutique hotel Kristiania is the perfect place to stay when visiting the charming town over the festive period.

It has 29 individually designed guestrooms, each boasting incredible views of the mountains, and a spectacularly curated contemporary art collection to rival any world-class museum.

New for this season, Kristiania will be opening a luxury retro-chic ice rink with a champagne bar and lounge for guests to enjoy over Christmas.

What's more, travellers visiting Lech between Dec 13 and 16 can get into the festive spirit by visiting the picturesque Christmas market in the church square.

A candle-lit path leads marketgoers to the festivities, where local brass bands and choirs help to create a magical atmosphere alongside the stunning backdrop of snow-capped roofs and mountains beyond.

Those staying at Kristiania over the holidays can enjoy evenings drinking Christmas punch on the terrace next to a roaring open fire, and mornings spent baking traditional Austrian Christmas cookies.

On Christmas Eve, guests are invited to a Krug champagne reception while the Lech brass band plays carols in the candle-lit lounge.

The reception is followed by a black-tie Christmas gala dinner or a more relaxed Fondue Austrian evening in the Kaminzimmer (fireplace room). On Christmas Day, Santa Claus arrives for tea with treats and surprises for all children.

Rates from 400 euros (S$606) per room per night on a B&B basis, including a bottle of champagne on arrival, complimentary mini-bar and snow shuttle van.


ROUND-THE-WORLD
SKI TOUR WITH SCOTT DUNN

Luxury tour operator Scott Dunn has created a new once-in-a-lifetime ski itinerary which spans five countries in three continents over 34 days.

This round-the-world itinerary whisks guests around the globe in a month, starting in the Alps and ending in Iceland (left).

It begins in Zermatt, then to Zurich to take an overnight flight to Sapporo via Tokyo and a transfer to Niseko. Next up is Whistler and the wilderness of British Columbia for one of life's ultimate heli-ski experiences.

Finally, heli-ski Iceland's descents of 915 vertical feet with expert local guides, before being pampered back at Deplar Farm on the remote Troll peninsula.

Scott Dunn's trip for two to Zermatt, Niseko, Tokyo, Whistler, Vancouver, British Columbia Heli-Ski, Aspen and Iceland is from 123,000 pounds (S$217,140). This price includes international First Class flights from the UK, accommodation at Aman Tokyo, The Little Nell, Four Seasons Whistler and Deplar Farm, private transfers, internal flights and full board basis during heli-skiing accommodations.


SUVRETTA HOUSE, ST. MORITZ

With impressive turrets and a Belle Epoque exterior standing out against the valley landscape and snow-covered forests, Suvretta House (translated directly as 'house above the woods') is one of Switzerland's most iconic heritage hotels.

Set in a pristine private estate, the 181-room property is steeped in history and remains firmly on the map as one of Europe's finest retreats.

It has its own private ski lift to the Engadine valley's 350km of piste, 218km of cross-country ski trails and 150km of winter walking paths.

Suvretta House comes into its own over Christmas, with elegant decorations and magnificent Christmas trees around the hotel, complete with homemade gingerbread decorations.

Children will love the mystical Christmas party in the Suvretta woodland and the Jingle Bells children's buffet at Suvretta House's Teddy Club.

For competitive kids, children's ski races will take place on Dec 27 and 28 on Chamanna piste and Suvretta hill.

At the hotel, guests staying on Christmas Eve can enjoy homemade stollen and a Christmas Eve dinner, while on Christmas Day, there will be cocktails and atmospheric swing tunes with Swiss musician Raphael Jost, followed by dinner at the Grand Restaurant.

Winter rates at Suvretta House start from 660 Swiss francs (S$907) per night in a Double Room (with breakfast and dinner). The 2019/20 winter season will run from Dec 6 to March 29.

TOURISM & TRAVEL