Cool Beginnings: Honeymoons in the Snow
The term ‘honeymoon’ conjures up images of newly-married couples downing glasses of champagne on terraces flanked by palm trees and bathed in the red glow of a setting sun – or else they might be chasing each other down custard-coloured sands into a turquoise ocean. But there’s no reason to run with the herd – your honeymoon is your affair and if you want an alternative to the Maldives, there’s many options, and one of them is to head for snowier climes where you can ski, catch some Alpine sun and guzzle Glühwein and fondue.
Read on for some more cool honeymoon ideas.
The French Alpine region offers the most diverse range of skiing options on the continent – as well as an equal amount of exciting and luxurious après ski opportunities, luxury hotels, spas and swimming pools. If you and your spouse opt for skiing in Val d’Isère, not only will you be skiing on 300 km of runs used by champions, but the resort also offers you the chance to begin your life together in the rather gorgeous surrounds of their 5-Trident luxury space, Le Refuge. Here, you’ll be served a daily continental breakfast, have exclusive access to all on-site services as well as priority booking for the gourmet restaurant. Your minibar will be refilled daily (if you can’t empty it nightly on honeymoon, when can you?) and you’ll have the concierge’s dedicated and expert advice on fun things to do beyond the resort.
The Cinq Mondes spa offers treatments for you both, including body scrubs and polysensorial baths. After some extreme pampering, you can take advantage of the nighty bar service in the exclusive lounge with its terrace, hot tub and panoramic views – all accompanied by champagne that’s almost as cold as the snow laying all around you.
Counting Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn among their peaks, the Italian Alps are justly famed for offering skiing opportunities, for all levels of abilities, for the beauty and stillness of their vistas and for the levels of local hospitality.
The Cervinia resort, set at the foot of Mount Cervino, offers deluxe rooms at the Cristillano for you to retire to after a day of skiing, snowboarding or swimming in the indoor infinity pool. On days when you feel like doing as little as possible, head for the Decleor Spa, with its Zen tea rooms and treatment areas.
The restaurant, The Cervino – which has Table Coup de Coeur status – serves Italian Alpine cuisine and offers some breathtaking views over the snowy vista of the Matterhorn Valley.
With its picturesque, almost-model villages, resorts and towns, there is an eternal romance to Swiss Alpine resorts, not to mention a sort of James Bond-esque glamour, reflected in the grand hotels, majestic peaks, lengthy, cross-border ski-runs and chalet-style gourmet restaurants. Villars-sur-Ollon sits amid the south-facing Vaudoise Alps and is dominated by the ornate Villars Palace hotel, dating from the early 1920s and ideal for honeymooners seeking some luxury in the snowy surrounds.
There are miles of ski runs in the vicinity, but if you fancy something less active, then head for the Payot beauty spa, with its Hammam and Finnish sauna, as well as massage and body-sculpting techniques.
After sundown, head for the splendid Le Chamossaire restaurant, set in a listed building and featuring dazzling antique chandeliers, carved wooden ceilings and gourmet dishes from around the world.
A honeymoon taken in these less obvious settings will give you the opportunity to indulge in as much – or as little – activity, eating, drinking and relaxation as you wish; the choice belongs to the both of you.