Embrace the Winter Chill at Regenerative Travel Destinations

Words Inga Krohn
Date

As winter settles into the Northern Hemisphere, it often brings a touch of melancholy, tempting us to hibernate until spring arrives. Beat the winter blues by indulging in these winter escapes, which will make you forget all about short days and freezing temperatures. Whether you yearn for a winter wonderland worthy of a Christmas card, a snug city retreat, or mountain adventures, there is an option for everyone. 

In addition to being perfect winter escapes, these Regenerative Hotels and Change Makers have embraced regenerative practices, so while you feed your winter wanderlust, you can rest assured that the footprint left behind is one of purpose, not only warming your soul, but supporting natural environments, employees, and the local community. 

1. Authentic Charm and Winter Romance at Wythe Hotel

The Wythe Hotel in the hip neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, strikes the perfect balance – just distant enough from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan to feel tranquil, but simultaneously close enough to enjoy both the skyline views and feel the pulse of the city. 

Rooted in century-old industrial heritage, the hotel maintains its authenticity with exposed brick, cast iron columns, wooden ceilings, and arched windows. Throughout its construction, local artisans were enlisted to repurpose materials salvaged from the building’s demolition, resulting in uniquely crafted and artistic furnishings for guest rooms. This careful attention to detail cultivates a warm and intimate ambiance, ideal for cocooning during chilly winter days.

The Wythe Hotel is a coveted choice for couples seeking a romantic winter wedding experience. It offers discounted wedding packages in January and February, complete with catering services provided by its esteemed restaurant, Le Crocodile. The restaurant is a welcoming haven perfect for warming up after exploring the neighborhood shops in Williamsburg or trying out the ice skating rink in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The restaurant sources ingredients locally from responsible producers, curating seasonal and inventive menus while actively minimizing food waste. The dining experience at Le Crocodile complements the overall charm of The Wythe Hotel, making it a perfect place to spend a winter weekend.

2. Explore the Atlas Mountains at Kasbah du Toubkal

Just a brief 40-minute drive from the vibrant city of Marrakech lies the peaceful haven of Kasbah du Toubkal. It is located in the Toubkal National Park in Moroccan Berber country’s heart and the majestic Atlas Mountains. Above all, Toubkal Mountain stands at an impressive 4,167 meters—North Africa’s and the Arab world’s highest peak. The mountains make the area popular among climbers, hikers, and other adventurers eager to explore the region filled with ancient history. The area even has a ski resort called Oukaimeden, only 64 km away. 

For those embarking on mountain explorations, the Azzaden Trekking Lodge awaits. It is located in a village accessible only by mule or a narrow dirt road. After a day of exhilarating adventures, tired muscles can recover in the embrace of a traditional hammam, where wood-fired steam and warm mountain water work their magic. 

Kasbah du Toubkal offers several itineraries that can be personalized. To name a few, you can find inner peace with a 7-night all-inclusive mountain yoga retreat or do a “trekking in style,” a five-night adventure allowing you to explore the mountainous area with your own personal mountain guide. 

As you visit, you’re also contributing to the charity Education for All, founded by Kasbah du Toubkal, providing local girls with boarding houses and materials enabling them to get an education.

3. Dog Sledding, Skiing and “Hygge” in Winter Wonderland at Skåbu Fjellhotell

In the enchanting landscapes of Norway, where the seasonal transitions are nothing short of dramatic, Skåbu Fjellhotel embraces the best of both worlds and offers a unique experience for its guests. This charming hotel, managed by husband-and-wife duo, Jannike and Henrik, has 12 double rooms, two mountain suites, and three cozy apartments. Occupying what was once a local store and gathering point for the village, the property now exudes boutique hotel charm, bringing back its history as a local meeting spot.

Adding to the experience is a mountain farm integrated into the hotel, creating a cohesive retreat experience. The ambiance at Skåbu epitomizes “hygge,” the Scandinavian term that gained popularity a few years ago, encapsulating warmth, tradition, and coziness. Outdoor enthusiasts will find many activities to choose from, including dog sledding and cross-country skiing amidst snow-covered mountains and crisp, cold air. For those seeking a change of scenery for work, Skåbu offers “workactions” from September to May, allowing individuals to relocate their workspace to the serene mountains, promising a boost of creativity, inspiration, and motivation.

The crisp winter air will awaken your hunger, and one of the main focuses at Skåbu is their food. This region has old food traditions, and Restaurant Skadir honors these traditions with a modern twist. Ingredients are local and fresh, like trout from the river or meat from the mountain-gracing animals. Skåbu collaborates with family-run Norwegian natural wine supplier Sønnavin to compliment your meal, sourcing their wine from the Spanish high mountains, adding a lovely touch to the experience.

4. Disconnect and Rejuvenate at Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge

A winter adventure that seamlessly blends tranquility and adventure is what awaits you at Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge. 1,000 feet above the picturesque Pokhara Valley in Nepal, this lodge is not just a destination but the pioneer in Nepal’s regenerative tourism.

This haven offers a perfect winter escape, featuring an award-winning infinity pool that seems to float amidst the reflections of the snow-capped Himalayan mountains. The climate here is sub-tropical, meaning it never gets too cold in the winter or hot in the summer. While Pokhara is renowned as the adventure capital of Nepal, Tiger Mountain provides a serene sanctuary away from the urban hustle, serving as a gateway to exceptional adventures in the breathtaking natural surroundings. Guided hikes and walks of various levels are available, providing guests with immersive experiences led by knowledgeable local guides.

After a day of exploration, Tiger Mountain invites guests to unwind with various rejuvenating activities, including massage and sound therapy, meditation, and yoga. The lodge encourages a genuine disconnection, urging guests to leave their phones in their rooms and truly savor the present moment.

Tiger Mountain’s culinary offerings are a part of the holistic experience. Authentic Nepali cuisine takes center stage, prepared with locally sourced ingredients that capture the region’s essence. In every aspect, Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge invites guests not just to visit but to fully immerse themselves in a revitalizing journey that harmonizes adventure, relaxation, and the natural beauty of Nepal.

5. From Spiritual Treks to Mount Everest Adventures with Himalayan Dreams

Another way to responsibly explore the winter wonders of the majestic Himalayan Mountains is through Himalayan Dreams. They have been offering a comprehensive list of customizable tours and treks based on extensive research in the Himalayas for over a decade, planning trips to Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, and India.

All trips are customizable to your personal preference and level. Whether Mount Everest is calling your name or a spiritual trek through Annapurna is what you desire, you will experience the warm and generous Himalayan hospitality, excellent food, and comfortable accommodations introduced to you by experienced guides.

All excursions are crafted with the utmost focus on caring for the environment, the wildlife, and the local communities. Himalayan Dreams are working to empower the diverse communities of Nepal and have environmentally friendly practices in place, like responsible waste management and clean-ups.

6. Explore Among Polar Bears and Penguins with Unwild Planet

Rohan Prakash is a Regenerative Travel Change Maker, explorer, and co-founder of Unwild Planet, a travel agency specializing in adventure travel. He founded the company to share his love for the outdoors and everything it offers, creating itineraries with conservation at its core. If you dream about seeing penguins in Antarctica, polar bears in the Norwegian Arctic, or the northern lights in Greenland, to name a few, Unwild Planet can tailor just the right adventure for you. One of Unwild Planet’s trips in Greenland involves hiking ancient glaciers, kayaking among icebergs, and possibly catching the northern lights dancing across the sky.

Unwild Planet avoids air travel whenever possible and focuses on creating itineraries around one region. You can rest assured knowing that the carbon emitted by their trips is offset and that the company collaborates with small projects in the areas they visit to contribute to the local economies. 

7. A Canadian Wildlife Adventure with Purpose by Landsby

Landsby (the Nordic word for village) is a Canadian-based travel company founded by Jason Sarracini. Jason, along with Aurélie Gilles and Aubrey Reine, are all Regenerative Founding Agents of Change and ready to plan your Canadian adventure. They create unique and immersive experiences, working with local partners and providing travelers with purposeful and enriching trips while positively impacting the communities in the area. They are passionate about Canadian culture, land, and community, encouraging their visitors to create meaningful connections. An ice hotel, northern lights watching, or exploring Canada by boat or train are only a few of the activities Landsby offers.

As an example, a 3-7 day trip exploring the scenic Wildhorse area will give you a chance to see the Aurora Borealis light up the sky at night. During the day, you will visit the Yukon Wildlife Reserve to view and photograph wildlife such as elk, moose, and bison in their natural habitat before taking a break and a dip in a nearby hot spring.

8. A Journey through Unique Winter Seasons at Fogo Island Inn

On an island in Newfoundland, overlooking the Labrador Sea, Fogo Island Inn sees seasons differently. Unlike the conventional four seasons, Fogo Island Inn recognizes seven distinct seasons: Spring, Trap Berth, Summer, Berry, Late Fall, Winter, and Pack Ice. As these seasons change, so do their activities. Winter, running from the beginning of December until the end of February, brings winter excursions into the area’s interior, mirroring local traditions. Days will be filled with exhilarating activities such as snowmobiling, ice-skating, snowshoeing, and tobogganing, capped off by cozy bonfires, all with a promise to bring out the child in us. 

When the sun has set, guests retreat to the inn, constructed with the utmost commitment to sustainability and responsible practices. Here you can enjoy evenings indoors with board games and seasonal cuisine crafted from locally sourced ingredients. 

Fogo Island Inn introduces its next chapter, named “Pack Ice,” when ice carried by the Labrador Current comes with longer, sunnier days. This season is a photographer’s paradise, capturing seals enjoying the sun atop glimmering ice, while birds gracefully circle above. The New Ocean Ethic, part of the initiatives by Shorefast (Fogo Island’s charity), showcases their dedication to a healthy ocean and the inn’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

As the winter cold takes hold, these escapes aren’t just escapes from the chill but meaningful journeys that positively impact the world. Embrace the winter wonderlands with a sense of purpose, knowing every step you take contributes to a more regenerative and interconnected world. 

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