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Hotspots

From a roaring log fire high in the mountains, to a tropical surfing beach, we pick five remarkable places to enjoy keeping warm this winter

Words Claire Walsh

01. Fogo Island Inn (Canada)

Surrounded by untouched wild scenery the Inn is a bold design by architect Todd Saunders. It tentatively creeps out into the ferocious North Atlantic Ocean and offers more than bed and board. Fogo Island boasts not four but seven seasons to experience all year round. Take a guided hike to learn about the geology of this rugged eastern Canadian outcrop; explore marine life with a local cod fisherman; or take an art class with artist Vida Simon. All can be arranged by the Inn. Saunas and hot tubs are located on top floor deck, boasting a jaw-dropping ocean view. The interiors, designed by Studio Ilse, are a clean contemporary riff on local tradition. A room on the third or fourth floor comes with a woodburning stove, so you can warm up and take in the awesome landscape through the floor to ceiling windows.

Book direct with Fogo Island Inn.
www.fogoislandinn.ca

02. Culinary Tour (India)

Delay the detox this winter and warm up the palate with a luxurious 11-day gastronomic tour of India. Once you have touched briefly down in Delhi, you move on to Ahmedabad, a city that mixes modern and medieval, dotted with Indo-Saracenic and monolithic masterpieces by Le Corbsuier. Stop three is the delights of the Punjab city of Amritsar to learn about Vand Chakko, a Sikh tradition of preparing and sharing food. Plus organisers here have also scored you an invite to a local wedding, so pack something suitable. Next Calcutta, to experience Bengali hospitality first hand; visit a tea plantation to sample the local specialty, Darjeeling. Finally it's on to Hyderabad, the home of Biryani. Along the way you will visit local homes, organic farms, and street food markets, take a cookery class and be treated to a tiffin box lunch - all in the name of pioneering culinary adventure.

Organised by Ampersand Travel
www.ampersandtravel.com

03. Mainport (Netherlands)

A European city break where the spa will trump sight-seeing, Rotterdam's Mainport hotel is located port side. Although you may intend to drop off the bags and take a stroll round Europe's most impressive docks, you would be forgiven if you headed straight to the hotel's eighth floor to take full advantage of the spa. Here you will find a panorama Finnish-style sauna, a Turkish steam room and a hammam, plus the expected facial, body and massage treatments. Once you have been pummelled back into shape you might be ready for that stroll. On return relax in your waterfront spa room, which features an oversized Jacuzzi and generous glazed views of the water's edge. We recommend you take the Eurostar to Rotterdam, for a stress-free start to a stress-free stay.

Book through Design Hotels
www.designhotels.com

04. Hotel Escondido (Mexico)

If you are looking for a sunshine break to dissect your winter then head to this brand new opening in Puerto Escondido, in the west Mexican state of Oaxaca. It promises to attract a cool crowd, who will flock for either the renowned Pacific surf of Zicatela Beach or the achingly hip design executed by Frederico Rivera. Reserve one of the 16 beach bungalows, made from local tropical timbers, topped off with traditional palapa roofs. Spend your days surfing or kayaking, or just soaking up vitamin D in one of the many hammocks - there is no judgment here. During the balmy evenings explore the port town's laid-back music scene; Escondido even has its own underground club.

Book direct with Hotel Escondido
www.hotelescondido.com

05. Wiesergut (Austria)

This Austrian Alpine hideaway located in the twin towns of Saalbach-Hinterglemm is ideal for those who like to work up a sweat on the slalom before retiring to a snug Stuben, or dining lounge, for a leisurely dinner. Aside from snowboarding and skiing the estate offers fantastic hiking opportunities, and has its own mountain hut nestled 1,500m above sea level. The clean lines of the spacious rooms are clad in warm ashen timbers, and pale stone; simple and modern, they each come with a roaring fireplace, for that post-slope glow. The stainless steel pool, sauna, and roof top spa are communal and should keep you occupied. Finally, there is an outdoor fire-pit to toast marshmallows on whilst you take in the glittering night skies.

Book through Design Hotels
www.designhotels.com

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