In fantasies of honeymoons to come, many dream of sun-dappled beaches, swimming pools and tropical drinks. But, winter lovers, I know you’re out there. You’re the ones who’d rather snow ski than water ski, prefer sweaters to bikinis and reach for a hot, spiked libation instead of a piña colada. If snow seems sexy to you and your beloved, why not don big coats and cavort amid the white stuff. When the world opens soon, this icy spot will melt your hearts. Note: Please check COVID restrictions before booking a honeymoon or meal.
The Bucket List Stay: Ice Hotel, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden
Imagine a work of art where you can sleep, a palace of ice, designed by architects and artists, which gets rebuilt each autumn, then melts away each May. The world’s original, fancy igloo lodge, Ice Hotel, deep in the heart of Sweden’s Lapland, 125 miles north of the Arctic Circle, transforms each year. An ornate, fantastical haven, with 85 rooms, hewed from 3,000 tons of ice, it sports such details as carved columns, vaulted ceilings, an ice-crystal chandelier, arches, stunning ice art, reindeer-skin covered beds, art suites, a ceremony room and an ice bar, where drinks are served in — what else? — chunky ice glasses. Don the hotel’s complimentary winter outerwear to comfortably enjoy the inside temperatures, which range from 16 to 25 degrees. Dog sledding, snowmobiling, reindeer meet-ups and other wintery experiences rule the day. To extend your honeymoon up north, but in cozy warmth, add to your visit with fully heated chalets, hotel rooms and Ice Hotel 365, also on property.
Are you unable to wait to fly to Sweden? These romantic igloo eateries, located around the United States, will build anticipation for the real thing.
Aurum Food + Wine – Steamboat Springs, Colorado
A favorite ski escape for Colorado natives, just three hours from Denver, Steamboat Springs boasts stellar slopes, an enchanting mountain hamlet ambiance, tons of unique restaurants and an historic hot springs, ideal for the after snow soak. Known as Ski Town, U.S.A, Steamboat has produced more Winter Olympians than any other town in North America, thanks to its trademarked Champagne Powder snow. S-turn down some169 trails and nearly 3,000 skiable acres at the revered Steamboat Ski Resort. End the day with a socially distanced dinner in one of four outdoor yurts at Aurum Food + Wine. Snug, heated, each one offers the restaurant’s seasonal, locally sourced menu. A special chef’s multi-course meal with an amuse bouche and mignardise makes the grade.
Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel – Santa Monica, CA
Always chill for the holidays, luxurious, oceanfront Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel replays its annual holiday program, Miracle on Ocean Avenue, from Nov. 25 to Jan. 3. Including its usual premier holiday decorations, festive drinks, and signature upside down Christmas trees, it also adds a private igloo dining experience this year. Located on the oceanfront terrace at Blue Streak, one of the Loews’ peerless dining establishments, the frosty cube, which can seat six, overlooks the Pacific Ocean and iconic Santa Monica Pier. The $200 fee includes a bottle of wine and charcuterie board. Open daily (check for COVID changes), the igloo experience can be reserved on Resy.
Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina – Newport, Rhode Island
Eat every meal in an igloo — in Rhode Island? You bet. A pop-up experience at Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina, the igloos hold four people and can be reserved for two-hour slots. With views of Newport Bridge and Narragansett Bay, the classic, locally driven menu, interpreted with flair includes such items as lobster kimchi fried rice, butternut squash “love letters,” tuna poke, charred octopus, soy chili calamari, and lobster rolls. At night, drift off in elegance at the hotel, considered one of the most captivating on the Eastern seaboard.
With big skies and magnificent nature, South Dakota calls outdoor enthusiasts. Those with a penchant, as well, for the past and a thirst for craft beer can indulge both at South Dakota’s Miner Brewing Company, which pays homage to the 19th-century’s Black Hills gold rush miners. Grab a brewski, blanket and your darling to snuggle amongst the snowy expanse — all visible from the panoramic, see-through walls. During your one-and-a-half-hour reservation, sip such favorite local brews as Black Currant Maibock, Campfire Cocoa, Chokecherry Brown Ale, or Elderberry Kombucha Berliner.