As an elementary school slopes-seeking class cutter, a graduate of a northern Maine college, and a former Wyoming ski instructor, one might say that I've spent much of my life in search of snow. In fact, when I left my full-time job at a travel magazine three years ago, my first stop was the white-capped mountains of the Wild West. So it goes without saying that my ultimate #MeMoment includes a dusting of fresh powder, several layers of wool, and a romp in the frosty outdoors.
Okay, and a horse-drawn sleigh. Like this glossy-painted one that takes pride of place at the entrance of the Jagdgut Wachtelhof Ski Lodge. The interiors (by Peter Hutter and Michele Bönan) of the Hinterthal, Austria chalet exude cozy chic, but it's the hotel's snowy exteriors, at the foot of High King Mountain, that have me ready to book the next flight. Picturing a star-lit ride seated high on the comfy plaid bench, fur throw cast over my knees and a hot toddy in hand is all it takes to send me googling takeoff times.
Courtesy W HotelsThe same can be said of the new W Verbier, the first ever alpine retreat from the contemporary-cool brand. Set at the base of the slopes with breathtaking views of the surrounding Swiss Alps, the expansive terrace of the 123-room property is primed for a #MeMoment. My vision of the ultimate winter "me time"? Being outdoors, snuggled up with a craggy mountain view and a pile of plush cushions. From the looks of it, the W Verbier could certainly deliver.Courtesy Andermatt RealtyA three-hour drive to the northeast, and you'll find yourself at another new Swiss mountain hotel, The Chedi Andermatt. A similarly immersive al fresco experience awaits there, where low-slung midcentury chairs piled with leather pillows and cozy blankets offer views through the structure's sun-kissed slatted-wood veranda at the natural bounty of the Urseren Valley. I can't help but imagine that it would be the perfect spot to enjoy a fabulous glass of wine and my highly-anticipated Christmas break reading material.