WHERE TO STAY

The Dan­ish word hygge – trans­lat­ing to a spe­cial feel­ing of cosi­ness – has be­come a hot hos­pi­tal­ity life­style trend, in and out of Scan­di­navia. Here, our se­lec­tion of ho­tels around the world that are made for snug­gling

Condé Nast Traveller Middle East - - Contents -

Ho­tels fol­low­ing the cosy Dan­ish hygge trend, both in and out of Scan­di­navia; ac­tress An­to­nia Thomas shares her favourite stays

BENIYA MUKAYU, JA­PAN

Ev­ery­thing about this spot in hot-spring town Kaga On­sen ex­udes af­fec­tion and care, from the re­gional cui­sine served in lo­cal pot­tery and lac­quer­ware to the cof­fee and bath prod­ucts cre­ated es­pe­cially for the ho­tel. Ryokan in style, its wabi-sabi phi­los­o­phy (an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of im­per­fect beauty) is a good match for the hygge life­style, and though the look is de­cid­edly Ja­panese min­i­mal­ist, com­fort abounds in the soft yukatas (ca­sual ki­monos), cloud-like futons, four types of slip­pers and three pil­low va­ri­eties (rice, feather or sponge). But back to those hot springs. Each of the 16 rooms in­cludes an open-air on­sen bath, per­fect for eas­ing into each morn­ing to the tune of bird­song as the sky lights up in the Land of the Ris­ing Sun.

Dou­bles from AED 2,210; 0081-761-77 1340, mukayu.com

DER­WENT HOUSE, SOUTH AFRICA

Se­creted away in a quiet res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hood at the foot of Ta­ble Moun­tain in Cape Town, you’ll get a taste of the coun­try – lit­er­ally – with a menu of lo­cal grape and hops. The at­mos­phere in the charm­ing house is con­vivial (ex­pect to get lots of in­sider tips from the staff), and the warmth ex­tends to other touches, like a so­lar-heated pool and a lounge with a wood-burn­ing stove that is a wel­come treat on a chilly win­ter’s eve. It’s as colour­ful as it is cosy, with lots of vi­brant art­work and hand­i­crafts by South African artists and ar­ti­sans – Joanna Orr’s kudu “tro­phy head” pa­per sculp­tures are par­tic­u­larly whim­si­cal. Each of the 10 rooms is packed with pretty tex­tiles, throws and cush­ions, and the suite be­d­rooms also in­clude views of Ta­ble Moun­tain.

Dou­bles from AED 755; 0027-21-422 2763, der­wen­t­house.co.za

“COM­FORT ABOUNDS IN SOFT YUKATAS, CLOUD-LIKE FUTONS, FOUR TYPES OF SLIP­PERS

AND THREE PIL­LOW VA­RI­ETIES”

ETT HEM, SWE­DEN

Stock­holm may be where the hygge ho­tel trend got its start: at a sto­rybook-ish Arts and Crafts-style town­house, red-bricked with cop­per awn­ings gone patina-green, set on a res­i­den­tial street cor­ner op­po­site a park. De­signed by Ilse Craw­ford, known for her “lived in” aes­thetic, the look is a per­fect fit for a ho­tel whose name means “at home”. The at­mos­phere is warm and invit­ing (a sig­na­ture woody fra­grance helps), and while nos­ing around the bou­tique 12-room prop­erty you’ll find ob­jets d’art, a glazed con­ser­va­tory (great for a fika, or “cof­fee break”) and fur­nish­ings by Scan­di­na­vian de­sign­ers. A li­brary is an in­her­ently cosy room in any house, but here that’s am­pli­fied with sheepskin rugs, chaise longues and fire­places. Guest rooms are ef­fort­lessly cos­set­ing with cast-iron stoves, mar­ble-clad bath­rooms and sit­ting ar­eas made for sink­ing in to.

Dou­bles from AED 1,585; 0046-8-20 0590, et­them.se

THE KHY­BER HI­MALAYAN RE­SORT & SPA, IN­DIA

Wrap your­self in cash­mere wool and silks at this moun­tain re­sort, where you’ll drink in a snow­capped panorama from warm-hued rooms done in lo­cal pine and slate. Take a cov­ered walk­way to one of the pri­vate cot­tages, com­plete with a sunken bath­tub and wall-length win­dow – a spoil­ing en­clave that re­ally makes it feel as if the moun­tain is all your own. Lo­cated 2,690m above sea level in Gul­marg, Kash­mir, and just a short walk from one of the world’s high­est ski lifts, af­ter a day out­doors re­treat to The Den, which can be pri­vately re­served to watch a movie, or par­take in some friendly com­pe­ti­tion in the el­e­gant Games Room be­fore re­lax­ing with a hot­stone mas­sage in The Khy­ber Spa by L’Oc­c­i­tane. Dou­bles from AED 1,300; 0091-990-660 3272, khy­ber­ho­tels.com

LAKE HOUSE, AUS­TRALIA

Sit­ting on the shores of Lake Dayles­ford in Vic­to­ria, this 34-room ru­ral lodge is beau­ti­ful in­side and out. A leisurely stroll re­veals coun­try gar­dens pep­pered with re­gion­ally cre­ated art­work and sculp­tures set amid lilacs, quince and plum trees – all of which at­tracts birdlife such as par­rots and kook­aburra, so grab a pair of binoc­u­lars for a low-key morn­ing of bird­ing. Laid-back and com­fort­able is the theme here, no mat­ter how you de­cide to spend your time, but a meal at the award-win­ning restau­rant serv­ing modern, re­gion­ally sourced dishes by co-owner and chef Alla Wolf-Tasker is a must. Set­tle in to a vel­vet arm­chair for af­ter­noon aperitivi or for a nightcap with some­one tick­ling the keys of a grand pi­ano. At the Scandi-in­spired Salus Spa, treat­ments use in­gre­di­ents grown in the house gar­den and hot min­eral-wa­ter baths over­look the lake.

Dou­bles from AED 1,710; 0061-3-5348 3329, lake­house.com.au

SCRIB­NER’S CATSKILL LODGE, USA

Co­cooned in the moun­tains in up­state New York, with ski slopes in sight, this Six­ties-era lodge un­der­went a Nordic-in­spired facelift in 2016. Blonde wood pan­els, bright white walls and sky lights keep the spa­ces bright and airy even in over­cast weather. Not that you’ll be pay­ing much mind to that, with 38 guest rooms, most unique, that fea­ture sunken seat­ing ar­eas, loft beds, wood-burn­ing stoves and a bun­dle of all the in­gre­di­ents needed (gra­ham crack­ers, choco­late and marsh­mal­lows) to make your own s’mores at the nightly bon­fire. A pet­friendly ho­tel, ex­pect to see lots of happy tails wag­ging in front of warm fire­places set against floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows. At Prospect restau­rant, of­fer­ings from the Hud­son Val­ley are hale and hearty, like steel­head trout with po­ta­toes and sauer­kraut, ideal for warm­ing up and re­fu­elling in this moun­tain hide­away.

Dou­bles from AED 735; 001-518-628 5130, scrib­n­er­slodge.com

“SET­TLE IN TO A VEL­VET ARM­CHAIR FOR AF­TER­NOON APERITIVI OR FOR A NIGHTCAP WITH SOME­ONE TICK­LING THE KEYS OF A GRAND PI­ANO”

Get com­fort­able in the lounge at Cape Town’s Der­went House. Op­po­site: Sun­ning with a win­try view at The Khy­ber Hi­malayanRe­sort & Spa

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