Five Nordic snow retreats
After a day on the slopes, thaw out in Scandinavian style, says Sophie Lam
Saturday 27 December 2008
Hotel Granen, Sweden
Set near the ski lifts of the pretty town of Are, this 1920s building reopened as a boutique hotel last year. Guests can expect slate-tiled floors, stone fireplaces and communal spaces with a homely vibe: plump armchairs, book-filled shelves, candles, cushions and a large but inviting restaurant serving Swedish fare. The guest rooms are simply furnished and come with crisp linen, felt cushions and beautiful views of the winter landscape outside.
Hotel Granen, 127 Tottvagen, Are, Jamtland, Sweden (00 46 647 51560; aregranen.se). Doubles start at SK1,350 (£112), including breakfast.
Villa Pekka, Finland
This modern five-bedroom house is perched above a lake by the popular ski resort of Tahko. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame views of the snow-blanketed pine forest whilst log fires and a sauna keep things toasty inside. The simple, stylish décor was conceived by a renowned local interior designer who has updated the traditional log cabin with whitewashed, wood-panelled walls and dark wood flooring.
Villa Pekka, Tahko, Savonia, Finland (book through blacktomato.co.uk; 020-7426 9888). One week's rental starts at £999 per person, including flights from Heathrow via Helsinki and car hire; sleeps 10.
Sitting just below the Arctic Circle, Ruka's slopes are floodlit to make up for the lack of winter daylight, but at night there's a chance you'll catch the Northern Lights. What better place to see them from than Kelokoto, a four-bedroom log cabin, 200m from the ski lifts? Inside, there's a sauna and a Bose home-theatre system. A caretaker can deliver meals.
Kelokoto, Mastorinne, Ruka, Kuusamo, Finland (00 358 50 367 6916; kelokoto.fi). Five days' rental starts at €1,000 (£909).
Copperhill Mountain Lodge, Sweden
Are's newest hotel boasts interiors that might well tempt guests away from the slopes of this lakeside resort. The lodge has James Bond glamour in spades, with a champagne bar and rooms with animal-hide rugs, high-spec kitchenettes, PlayStation 3s and mood lighting.
Copperhill Mountain Lodge, Mount Forberget, Are-Bjornen, Sweden (00 46 647 14300; copperhill.se). Doubles start at SK1,835 (£152), room only.
Lyngen Lodge, Norway
Catering for 16 guests, Lyngen offers an intimate retreat for extreme winter sports fans: activities take place in the untouched Lyngen Alps, which are ruffled high around a spectacular fjord. The lodge's white-painted pine interiors are spruced up with sheepskins, glass lanterns and kooky bedlinen printed with reindeer heads. In the winter, snow conceals a turfed roof, which keeps the geothermal-heated lodge cosy as the mercury dips.
Lyngen Lodge, Djupvik 9146, Olderdalen, Norway (00 47 47 62 78 53; lyngenlodge.com). Doubles start at NK1,500 (£144), including breakfast.
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