A wintry chill is setting in, and you’re thinking of flying to Mexico, aren’t you? Hold on just a moment, because these inns prove you don’t have to flee to the tropics to escape the winter blues. Instead, hunker down for a night with handmade hot cocoa or spend your days sweating it out in an on-site sauna. No matter which cozy B&B you choose, you’ll be sure to find warm hospitality and a soul-restoring getaway that just might make you fall in love with the coldest season of the year.
Soak in a jetted tub at the Rabbit Hill Inn
Not all Jacuzzi tubs were created equal. This point is well-proven at the Rabbit Hill Inn, a bed and breakfast tucked among northern Vermont’s covered bridges and forested hills. Here, in one of the inn’s luxury rooms, guests can run a bubble bath for two in an oversized whirlpool. In fact, the tub in the Jonathan Cummings Suite has a whopping 44 jets that massage muscles tired from long days spent cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Bring a glass of wine (or two) and plan for a cozy night in.
Steam in the sauna at the Fireside Lodge
Tahoe is a winter lover’s oasis, with skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and other icy activities available throughout the season. On the southern edge of the lake, Fireside Lodge is an oasis-within-an-oasis—a newly updated log cabin packed to the brim with vintage Tahoe style and plenty of warming amenities. Complimentary marshmallow roasts each night around the fire pit may win plaudits, but it’s the on-site Hibernation and Relaxation Room and its steamy sauna that will surely chase the chill away.
Enjoy a hot stone massage at Gaige House
Gaige House is equal parts modern and elegant, awash in relaxing earth tones and natural light. It’s the perfect place for rejuvenation, especially when winter comes to its Sonoma County locale. Book a hot stone massage for yourself (or you and a friend) and experience the soothing rhythms of heated stones working out knotted, tired muscles. Emerge from the inn’s spa loft and treat yourself to a glass of top-notch port in the fireside Club Room as you mingle with other guests.
Make a gourmet meal at Lakeside Inn
You know what they say about heat and kitchens? Put the old aphorism to the test at the Lookout Point Lakeside Inn, a Hot Springs, Arkansas, guesthouse with real culinary appeal. Its on-site cooking school welcomes guests all year, with chef-led hands-on instruction on everything from baking breads to perfecting pasta sauce. After a fun four-hour day spent over the stove, relax in your suite’s whirlpool tub or by the fireplace in your airy living room overlooking Lake Hamilton. Who said cooking has to be a chore?
Explore tropical flowers at 1889 White Gate Inn & Cottage
Asheville’s 1889 White Gate Inn & Cottage is a AAA Four Diamond B&B known for its ultra-romantic gardens and warm hospitality from hosts Ralph and Frank. But it’s the gardens where you’ll find the most heat: The on-site greenhouse holds a collection of some 1500 orchids and tropical flowers in an explosive array of colors. Take a romantic stroll through the indoor gardens (a top place to propose, hint hint) or grab a book and sit amongst the blooms for a quiet afternoon of reading and listening to the burbling fountains.
Play fireside chess at The Garden Gables Inn
It’s not hard to find a bed and breakfast with a fireplace (that’s one of the reasons we love them, after all), so picking a favorite can be difficult. But The Garden Gables Inn in Lenox tops the list. This historical inn and its 1780 cottage are perfectly romantic on snowy New England nights, and the Sherry Room’s fireplace is optimal for a round of fireside chess and a complimentary aperitif, befitting the name. The inn owners also operate a nearby winery; ask for a sample for a cozy nightcap before heading to bed in one of the inn’s massive suites.