Avelengo, Italy

Photo: WICAM S.A.S.

Winter. Your least favorite season is quickly approaching. Since December is right around the corner, you can’t deny it any longer. You dread the snow, the dreariness, and, most importantly, the frigid temperatures. But maybe you’re looking at the change in seasons the wrong way. Let’s focus on the pretty, snow-covered views outside and cozy spots inside instead.

First, you need a cozy room. How about a treehouse? This wooden one sits one flight up in the branches. It features a little kitchen, a king bed, and a wrap-around balcony. The open-plan bathroom has a soaking tub and a walk-in wardrobe. Breakfast is delivered each morning. The spread includes fresh milk and whipped butter, homemade bread and cake, and eggs to cook as you like. While the view, when you aren’t blinded by the sun’s rays beaming through the trees, includes untouched snow with jagged peaks in the distance.

Second, you need comfort food. The breakfast delivery is a good start. It allows you to be lazy much longer than you normally would. The rest of the meals are served in the rustic-chic Clubhouse, the central lobby where the restaurant, the bar, a huge terrace, and even a small cinema are located. An antipasti lunch buffet is covered with salads and soups, cheeses and meats. Sweet treats, including cake and ice cream, are available during afternoon tea. It leads into the aperitivo hour when you’ll want to snuggle on one of the blue velour couches in front of the roaring fire. Then upscale Mediterranean dishes—wiener schnitzel is the local favorite—are served for dinner.

Photo: WICAM S.A.S.

Last, but certainly not least, you need a spa. This one is pretty spectacular. The barn-size space, complete with massive wooden beams, takes up the second half of the Clubhouse. There’s a heated pool, hydromassage beds, saunas, and steam baths inside. Relaxation spots are scattered all around. Essential oils and local herbs are used in the treatments. Plus an open fire is always crackling at the end of the room. Another heated pool and a jacuzzi, which juts out into the lake, are just beyond the wall of glass windows.

Does winter sound a little more appealing yet? Of course. A cozy treehouse, Clubhouse, and spa make all the difference in the world. Now you just need to make your way to South Tyrol, the autonomous region of Italy that borders Austria and Switzerland. Innsbruck, Austria is actually the best airport to fly into. From there, it’s just a two-hour drive south to reach Avelengo. The German-speaking mountain village is known for its Haflinger horses, high elevation, and nearly 200 days of sunshine each year.

Avelengo is also where you find San Luis Retreat Hotel & Lodges. The tranquil mountain retreat sits along a glacial lake. Its usually clear water is now covered with ice, snow, and, a seasonal ice rink. Its wooden buildings are stripped back, posh, and utterly cozy all at the same time. And, if you gather the courage to bundle up and go outside, you can go ice climbing, snowshoeing, and skiing. Carriage rides and Christmas markets are nearby, too. So are you still dreading December?

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