CHIC BUT COSY WINTER BREAKS

by

MINE

Just as the nights draw in and you start searching for your smartest coats to keep you warm, we look at some of the best cities and hotels to match where you can get fashionably cosy. 


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Standing tall in the heart of Ghent, the magnificent 1898 The Post offers an unrivalled luxury offering to this picturesque Belgian city. Ghent already boasts an abundance of trendy restaurants and bars dotted along its famous canal. The hotel is located in the upper floors of Ghent’s historic post office building, offering its guests some of the best views in the city. Featuring an atmospheric cocktail bar ‘The Cobbler’ offering welcome respite after a day’s exploration.

Facing the Graslei Canal within close proximity to many of the city’s prime attractions such as the Cathedrals of St. Bavo and Gravensteen are just a five minute walk from the hotel whilst an array of the city’s best restaurants and cafes are situated right on the hotel’s doorstep. With many events held throughout the year and a beautiful Christmas market taking place in December and January each year, Ghent is gradually making its presence known and is perfect winter getaway destination.

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Situated just outside of the town centre, yet only a five minute drive from the slopes,  Le Chalet by Zannier offers guests a luxurious hideaway in the French Alps.   A mountain hideaway comprising three authentic alpine-style chalets, Le Chalet by Zannier’s interiors have been designed in a minimalist way with earthy colours and warm lightings creating a cosy atmosphere and classic Alpine experience for guests.

Megève offers a plethora of exciting sporting and cultural events. Winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy various international skiing competitions throughout the season or watch curling tournaments in the resort’s impressive sports centre. Meanwhile families will be enchanted by the traditional Christmas market and Megève’s giant Christmas tree which sparkles on the Place du Village throughout the festive season.

After a day of exploration guests can curl up by the fire in their private suite or relax and unwind in the adult-only spa with indoor relaxation pool, hammam, sauna, and treatment rooms. The in-house restaurant, La Ferme de Mon Père, serves authentic cuisine using only seasonal ingredients sourced from the best producers. Post-dinner drinks can be enjoyed at the bar which houses an impressive whisky collection. Whilst, the wine bar offers carefully selected wines and a relaxed atmosphere.

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BALLYFIN, IRELAND

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Home to the illustrious Coote Family for 100 years, Ballyfin has long been admired as one of the most distinguished late Georgian houses in Ireland. Located at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, a 1.5-hour drive from Dublin airport, the hotel boasts just 20 individually designed bedrooms and The Gardener’s Cottage, giving guests a private residence environment with the comforts of an international luxury hotel. Today's guest can enjoy formality blended with a relaxed and easy-going approach that is wonderfully warm and welcoming. 

Outdoor activities include coarse fishing on the lake, croquet, clay pigeon shooting, tennis, archery, rowing and falconry whilst an indoor swimming pool and four spa treatment rooms ensure there is plenty of opportunity to unwind following a day of exertion in the grounds.  Gastronomy is integral to the Ballyfin experience and guests are treated to exceptional dining with dishes using the finest seasonal ingredients expertly curated by Executive Chef, Sam Moody.

Recently, Ballyfin launched its first standalone, private residence The Gardener’s Cottage.  The Gardener’s Cottage is located adjacent to the main house with accommodation spread over two floors and boasts glorious views out across Ballyfin’s 614 acres of private parkland, walled gardens, ancient wood and 28-acre lake.

On the ground floor, guests can relax in a refined and comfortable sitting room featuring cosy open fireplaces at either end of the room. Upstairs, there is one charming guest bedroom, which can be set up either as a double or twin, plus two bathrooms. The Gardener’s Cottage is perfect for couples looking to enjoy all the amenities and luxuries afforded by a stay at Ballyfin yet who also wish to have a little more privacy.

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JUST opened so very much hot off the travel press, The Machrie is set in the dunes of Islay, Queen of the Hebrides, an exceptional part of the world. Home to some of the world’s finest whiskies, birdlife, seafood, dramatic coastal seascapes, and famous golf links there is much to do despite it’s tranquility. 

Perfectly positioned for golf enthusiasts, The Machrie acts as a brilliant backdrop to a newly remodelled 18th hole golf course guided by DJ Russell, a former European Ryder Cup Vice Captain and designer of the Archerfield Links.   Russell has kept many of the best original holes and features and made the course wonderfully appealing to the modern player. After an invigorating round of golf, guests can unwind in The Machrie’s Spa complete with treatment rooms, sauna and gym.

Guests of The Machrie can enjoy a wide range of outdoor pursuits such as shooting, stalking and fishing, catering for both the experienced adventurer and the novice, with a gun cabinet for shooting parties and kennels for working dogs. The hotel itself will be dog friendly with rooms set aside for guests and their canine companions.

Interestingly, the island of Islay boasts nine whisky distilleries and, in homage to this, the hotel will have in excess 80 whiskies for guests to sample. Many of these whiskies will be exclusive bottles that you can only purchase on the island. Alongside the Islay malts, the hotel will also have a fine selection of all other Scottish and Irish whisky designations, therefore catering to suit all tastes from standard bottlings to aged and very rare malts. The Machrie will also hold in house tastings of standard, intermediate and aged malts for guests to try and are more than happy to arrange a visit to one of the many distilleries for special, bespoke tastings from a particular range.

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