The Big Six: Luxury lakeside retreats
Friday 10 February 2012
Lake Placid Lodge, New York State
Built in 1882 by a wealthy German family, this lodge in the Adirondack Mountains became a hotel in 1946. After a fire in 2005, it was painstakingly restored, and now boasts 13 rustic-chic rooms in the main lodge, with 17 log cabins around the shores of Lake Placid. In winter, guests can ski terrain that has twice hosted the Winter Olympics (in 1932 and 1980); summer brings the chance to kayak, hike and swim.
Lake Placid Lodge, 144 Lodge Way, Lake Placid, New York, US (001 518 523 2700; lakeplacidlodge.com). Doubles start at US$434 (£289), including breakfast.
Blanket Bay, New Zealand
The sapphire-blue waters of Lake Wakatipu meet the majestic peaks of the Humboldt Mountains at Blanket Bay. Inside, the look is all soaring ceilings, exposed stone walls, polished wooden floors and floor-to-ceiling windows. But the main draw here is the great outdoors. Guests can stay local to hike, bike and horse-ride amid stunning scenery; or drive further afield to reach New Zealand's adventure capital, Queensland, in 45 minutes.
Blanket Bay, Queenstown Road, Glenorchy, Otago, New Zealand (00 64 3441 0115; blanketbay.com). Doubles start at NZ1,150 (£606), half board.
Ard na Sidhe, Ireland
Few views are as enchanting as those found at Ard na Sidhe, which means "hill of fairies" in Gaelic. Built in 1913 as a country retreat for the Irish aristocrat Lady Edith Gordon, it was completely renovated and reopened as a luxury lodge last year. Today, it remains one of the country's finest examples of the Arts and Crafts style. The handsome limestone mansion sits on the thickly wooded shores of Lake Caragh. Inside, the 18 bedrooms are a cosy fusion of old and new; some feature antiques that date back to Lady Gordon's era, alongside contemporary comforts for today's visitor.
Ard na Sidhe, Lake Caragh, Killorglin, Co Kerry, Ireland (00 353 66 976 9105; ardnasidhe.com). Doubles start at €160, including breakfast.
Las Balsas, Argentina
Sweeping views of Patagonia form the backdrop to Las Balsas. It has 12 rooms and three suites with a jetty that pierces the chilly waters of Nahuel Huapi Lake. There's a spa, gym and pool, plus a gourmet restaurant.
Las Balsas, Bahia Las Balsas, Villa La Angostura, Neuquén, Argentina (00 54 2944 49 4308; lasbalsas.com.ar). Doubles from US$479 (£320), including breakfast.
Villa d'Este, Italy
This landmark retreat on Lake Como has 152 opulent rooms spread between a 16th-century mansion and the adjoining Queen's Pavilion. It's set among celebrated gardens, planted with jasmine, oleander and magnolia trees. There's also an outdoor pool that appears to float on the lake.
Villa d'Este, via Regina 40, Cernobbio, Lake Como, Italy (00 39 031 3481; villadeste.it). Doubles start at €430, including breakfast.
Nkwichi Lodge, Mozambique
This lodge overlooks the white sands and sparkling waters of Lake Niassa, with six chalets and two houses hand-built from local materials. Guests can explore the lake aboard Miss Nkwichi (the lodge's private dhow), or explore the surrounding wildlife reserve.
Nkwichi Lodge, Lake Niassa, Mozambique (020-3239 6253; mandawilderness.org). Doubles start at US$640 (£427), full board.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 5 Baby rescued 1km out to sea after parents forgot about her
Are plastic planes the future of flight? Heathrow expansion reopens debate over aviation's effects on the environment
Inside Travel: Greece 2015 Q&A - should we cancel our Greek holiday? Are our flights safe? And what will we be spending there?
The most powerful passports in the world
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
Settle to Carlisle railway celebrates 150 years: A line carved out of stone
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...
£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...
£22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...