Whitepod, Switzerland

Winter’s almost coming to an end, or is it? With this recent bout of snow it almost feels like we should be celebrating Christmas again. So for those of you who still haven’t had their fill of winter activities and holidays, here are our favourite boltholes that you can dash to for a cosy and unique getaway.

The Master Builder's, England

The Master Builders roomStay in a room filled with Rajasthani treasures
The Master Builder's
Best for: Pet owners, families, furniture buffs, activities.

What makes The Master Builder's hotel unique is the inspiration behind the rooms. They start with the name of a ship and then let their imagination wander, incorporating designs from Rajasthan, India along the way. The interiors are decorated with authentic Rajasthani furniture pieces and paintings, with rooms bearing quirky names such as Pandora, Agamemnon and Romulus. They also have pet-friendly rooms so it's great for animal-lovers.

The hotel sits on the banks of the Beaulieu River and has a fascinating history that dates all the way back to the 1700s. Being part of the Beaulieu Estate, there are a whole host of attractions such as the Beaulieu Palace House and The Victorian Garden, so you won’t be stuck for things to do. Double rooms start at £130 per room.

The Drawing Room, Wales

The Drawing Room The cooking is excellent at this 'restaurant with rooms'
The Drawing Room
Best for: Couples, quiet time, foodies.

‘Restaurant with Rooms’ is what their website says and that makes this cosy retreat a great one for culinary buffs. The Dawsons' (the husband and wife team who run the establishment) philosophy is ‘quality food, cooked simply with the freshest of local ingredients’. The menu of course is seasonal and is a delicious blend of traditional and modern flavours. Age-old antiques, fireplaces and comfy slippers give the place its own distinctive personality.

With only four rooms, the Drawing Room is tiny but that’s what makes it perfect for a quiet and private weekend getaway. That said, the rooms are in no way mere afterthoughts. Each of them is individually designed with luxurious Laura Ashley beds, roll-top Fired Earth baths big enough for two and snug Mitre bathrobes. Dinner, bed and breakfast from £75 per person.

Storfjord Hotel, Norway

The Storfjord HotelFor real isolation, the Storfjord hotel is hard to beat
The Storfjord Hotel
Best for: Outdoor sports, nature-lovers, families.

Situated amidst thousands of acres of protected forests, this stunning property lies between three mountains and a lake, overlooking the Sunnmøre Alps. Built using traditional Norwegian Lafta methods (cross logging with whole timbers), this is the place to go for anyone who wants an outdoorsy and active getaway. The activities include hiking, fishing, kayaking and cycling (the hotel rents out rods, bikes and kayaks and also has its own personal jetty).

It’s only a 40-minute drive away from one of the best ski resorts on the west coast. The Storfjord hotel is not a very large property and has 12 rooms furnished with luxurious bathroom suites and large balconies or garden access. Some rooms even have classic four-poster beds. Doubles start from £185 per room.

Hotel Glymur, Iceland

Glymur villaVilla guests can enjoy a stunning view over Whale fjord
Hotel Glymur
Best for: Friends, families, outdoors.

The 22 executive rooms and suites at Hotel Glymur are certainly lovely, but it was the six distinctive villas that caught our attention. Suitable for parties of four to six and equipped with a hot tub, each has its own theme – everything from Villa Creativity to Villa Family. Maybe you’d like to try Villa Couture with its movable kitchen?

There are lots of great hiking options in the area and the hotel is more than happy to provide details of trails that will suit all needs and preferences. Another plus – only a 45-minute drive away from Reykjavik, it’s perfectly situated for those who want to combine the peace and quiet of the countryside with the cosmopolitan style of a city break. Doubles start from £250 per villa.

Whitepod, Switzerland

Whitepod interiorEcotourism just got cool. Cosy up in Whitepod's snug interior
Best for: Friends, ecotourism, couples.

Ecotourism is the key word here, with considerable importance given to minimising waste and conserving natural resources. This unique resort provides an alternative means to explore the Swiss Alps. There are 15 pods (dome-shaped tents) pitched on wooden platforms and a pod house (which includes the breakfast area, relaxation rooms and bar). Most pods have large double beds, but for families there are five pods equipped with mezzanines that can hold two extra beds.

Lots of the focus at Whitepod is on wellness and relaxation with the inclusion of a Finnish sauna, a Japanese bath along with massage rooms. For those on a budget there is the Alpage de Chindonn, an authentic mountain lodge with dorms and cheaper rooms which is also part of the same resort. Pods from £273; lodge doubles from £63 per room, dormitories from £21 per person.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.