Whether it’s for Valentine’s Day or winter snuggles, these hotels put the “hug” in hygge, the Danish word for cozy contentment (pronounced “hoo-gah”). Robes, slippers, fireplaces, hot cocoa — and perhaps a steamy adult beverage or two, depending on the company — all make for a winter filled with the warm and fuzzy.
At boutique collection Lark Hotels, throughout New England and California, the Hot and Hygge Package celebrates all things named for this Danish tradition through March 15. From coastal charm at Captain Fairfield Inn (Kennebunkport, Maine) to colonial cool at The Merchant (Salem, Massachusetts), or winter ski sports at Field Guide (Stowe, Vermont), even at the beach with Blue — Inn on the Beach (Plum Island, Massachusetts) or Blue Door Group (Mendocino, California), cuddle up in front of their fireplaces with soft blankets and hand-knitted slippers to keep, a handmade hot cocoa kit and a longer sleep-in for later check-outs.
Get active during the day like a snow bunny at the 250-year-old Equinox Golf Resort & Spa in Manchester, Vermont, a quaint 147-room inn nestled in the Green Mountains (pick from snowshoeing, dog-sledding, skiing and more), then head to the Great Room or several other common areas for magnificent and historic fireplaces accompanied by complimentary hot cocoa. The spa’s relaxation room’s comfy couches are great for unwinding and watching the flames fly, framed by rocks sourced from the resort’s namesake, Mount Equinox. There’s also an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms, along with the Falcon Bar for either chocolate-y goodness or an adult tipple. The 1811 House makes a good option for those looking for extra elbow room when meeting up as a family, with 13 guestrooms offering fireplaces and canopied beds, along with the modern comforts for kids like WiFi and flat-screen TVs.
If modern is your jam, then look to the Bungalow Hotel, a seaside escape where each of the 24 rooms in this contemporary hideout on the Jersey Shore has a fireplace. Each room has a touch of Scandinavian cool, with local artwork and ocean views, while suites also have snuggly living rooms, in-room bathtubs for a soak and chandeliers. The hotel just opened Bungalounge, a bar and rotating art gallery and cozy hangout spot for guests to sit back and enjoy drink specials like hot toddys and spiked cocoas. Traveling with the family? There’s also an ice rink at nearby Pier Village, with ice skating, warm winter beverages, restaurants and shops, all the way through President’s Day for school break.
Those who’ve traveled to Scandinavia know that no one does “cozy” better than modern Vikings, but the Hotel Viking comes close. This Newport, Rhode Island ,Historic Hill neighborhood gem with a spa offers a modern center fireplace in the lobby and several throughout the property in common areas and suites. There’s also a fun, communal atmosphere at outdoor patios, and at One Bellevue restaurant on site. Pair up family-friendly accommodations (the Viking has an indoor heated pool) with fun at the 31st Annual Newport Winter Festival, New England’s largest festival of its kind. Running through February school break, it features teddy bear teas, princess parties, a country music festival, chili cook-off and much more.
Modern YOTEL makes Boston’s trendy Seaport District the comfort zone, with a new hygge-themed winter menu. Think four-cheese fondue; baked Brie with cinnamon, apples and walnuts; shareable charcuterie and cheese boards; and hot cocktails on a 360-degree heated rooftop. Toast the season with a 1773 (bourbon, lemon, black tea syrup) or Le Baron Rouge (cognac, coffee, cinnamon syrup), and cuddle up all winter long thanks to new heaters, European-style hot water bottles and plush blankets.
While large areas of Colorado are experiencing exponential growth with far too many trees being clear-cut (it’s one of the fastest-growing states in the country), it’s still the home for great businesses striving to make the world a little greener. Those businesses include Sherpani, creators of women’s day bags, backpacks and travel bags, including a line of sophisticated, beautifully crafted items made from recycled plastic.
It’s been almost three years since Category 5 Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico, wreaking havoc on the island and leaving most residents without electricity and clean water. Tourism, which accounts for 6.5 percent of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product, took a beating, with hotels closed for year-long repairs, airlines cutting service and cruise lines shifting itineraries to other Caribbean destinations. Timing for the hurricane couldn’t have been worse, coming on the heels of the government’s announcement in May 2017 that it was unable to pay more than $70 billion in public debt and thus forced to file for bankruptcy. Large protests and a change of government would follow. Then, in January 2020, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the south side of the island, forcing San Juan restaurants to close while power was restored. And as we write this story, coronavirus runs rampant across the globe with severe economic implications for all destinations, including Puerto Rico.
This summer, family travel at The Peninsula receives an upgrade with the debut of Camp Peninsula, a children’s experience that recreates the spirit of camping right in the heart of Beverly Hills. The journey begins with a special welcome from Peter Bear, the hotel’s lovable mascot, at check-in. After taking a picture with the life-sized teddy bear, kids will be whisked away by a Peninsula Camp Counselor to a luxurious guestroom where a charming teepee awaits. An afternoon of camp-themed games and activities, including a hotel-wide scavenger hunt, rounds off the family-friendly experience, fun for children of all ages. Whether it’s a luxe staycation or an extended holiday, Camp Peninsula is an ideal way to ensure the little ones are happy campers.
My youngest daughter and I arrived from Barcelona on the high-speed AVE train (in less than three hours) and entered Westin Palace Madrid in time for the Sunday Opera Brunch — which takes place under the stained-glass cupola of La Rotonda, where daily breakfast and cocktails are served. I’d heard about this event on several occasions when I toured the hotel in 2015, and when my granddaughter and I stayed there in 2017.