5 Winter Wonderlands to tick-off your bucket list
Have you set any exciting goals for this new year? LunaJets can help you start travel planning. Whether you’re after adrenaline rushes, relaxation or adventures that fuel your wanderlust, here are five snowy places to add to your bucket list. Charter private jets with LunaJets and get ticking off in 2019.
1 | Icehotel, Sweden
Time Magazine published its first annual list of the 100 most amazing places on earth and ICEHOTEL, in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden is on it. This mesmerising palace made of ice, situated 200 kilometres above the Arctic Circle has a permanent part counting 20 rooms available year-round, but most of the hotel is rebuilt every year. The seasonal part is an ephemeral exhibition of ever-shifting art pieces entirely made of ice and snow, with unique art suites imagined and sculpted by selected artists. Newly created every winter from Sweden’s last untouched waters running in Torne River, the seasonal part of the hotel melts back into the river when spring arrives.
The temperature stays at -5 °C year-round, and the permanent part is kept from melting during the summer thanks to a cooling system powered by solar energy.
After a day spent on the white splendour with a pack of huskies, relax in a hot sauna, enjoy arctic-inspired cocktails at the ice bar and savour the restaurant’s five-course menu served on plates made of… ice, of course.
How to get there?
Charter a private jet to Kiruna Airport (KRN), located about a 12-minute drive from Jukkarsjärvi’s ICEHOTEL.
2 | Onsen & Ryokan, Japan
Ever heard of the rejuvenating, sulphur-scented natural hot springs called onsen?
Onsen represent a quintessentially Japanese experience, known for its therapeutic effects. Basins of various shapes and colours, found in magical outdoor or indoor settings, pump fresh spring water from underground for visitors’ delight.
Picture yourself breathing in the stillness of your surroundings while new snowflakes gently touch the white ground and unwinding in the soothing mineral-rich hot waters of your ryokan. Ryokans are traditional inns with an undeniable authentic feel, tranquil atmosphere and impeccable hospitality. Besides numerous communal bathing facilities you can discover luxurious ryokans like the mesmerising Zaborin in Hokkaido, the chic Amanemu in Mie Prefecture, or the famous Gora Kadan in the highly regarded hot spring resort town Hakone. These ryokans resemble serene oasis where each suite or villa boasts a hot spring-fed indoor bathtub and a private terrace with a bubbling pool. Following a day on the slopes, imagine the pleasure of dipping your tired muscles into the smoking water while enjoying spectacular views of iconic Japanese mountain tips covered in snow.
Japan awaits you for an incredibly restorative treat.
How to get there by private jet?
Charter a private jet:
- Zaborin à Hokkaido: fly to New Chitose Airport (CTS), located a 2-hour drive from the ryokan
- Amanemu in Mie Prefecture: book a private flight to Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO), followed by a 2.5-hour drive or a 25-minute helicopter transfer
- Gora Kadan in Hakone: reach Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND), and after a 1.5-hour drive you will arrive at your destination.
3 | Whitepod, Valais, Switzerland
With a traditional Japanese bed in the heart of its stunning, brand new Zen Pod Suite, this Swiss eco-luxury hotel is worth adding to your bucket list. Nestled in the village of Les Cerniers, in the foothills of the Dents-du-Midi mountains, Whitepod combines ultimate luxury with ecology and nature tourism. It lies across from the famous ski resort Villars, a 45-minute drive from Montreux, and the closest train station is in Monthey.
This original form of accommodation consists of 15 high-tech individual domes called ‘pods’: spherical structures designed to perfectly blend into the surrounding landscape. Each room is enhanced by a private terrace with endless panoramic views of the snowy mountains and Lake Geneva. Warm and cosy, they are lit by lanterns, heated with a pellet stove and present gorgeous interior designs. Besides the Cosy, Deluxe and Family pods, four new suites carry inviting names: The Swiss, The Forest, The 007 Pod and the already mentioned Zen Pod. All possessing a private sauna to unwrap in while it is snowing outside, along with a room service menu featuring breakfast in bed, tea-time and personalised massages. A short walk in the immaculate silence of the forest will bring you to the central chalet, where you can find the wellness area and delicious locally sourced dining options.
These energy-efficient capsules sit in the Swiss Alps, where daily adventures can include paragliding, snowshoe hiking, mountain bike tours; and Whitepod guests have access to a private ski run with three lifts and seven kilometres of untouched pistes.
Ready to tick ‘exclusive alpine experience’ off your list?
How to get there?
4 | Snow Safari & Wolf Lodge, Norway
Ever wondered how wildlife survives the winter? Well, a Norwegian snow safari can show you the answer, gratify your travel fever and get the adrenaline pumping.
Embrace the challenge to learn how to dog sled like a pro and experience life in the Arctic. You’ll choose your husky pack just as it’ll choose you, and perhaps discover a hidden talent for mushing through the snow. Nothing feels quite like being in control of your own dogsled and trusting your team. Norway’s magical white landscapes, frozen lakes and colossal snowy valleys push this truly special experience to the limits of surrealism.
After a tiring day of dog sledding and earning your pack’s friendship, look up to marvel at the spectacular natural display of fluorescent streams of light dancing in the dark, accompanied by the chorus of your huskies howling at the night sky. The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are on most travellers’ wish list, and guests staying at the super-exclusive Wolf Lodge, get to cross both unbelievable experiences off their list. Located inside Polar Park, the northernmost wildlife sanctuary on the planet, it is the only luxury accommodation set within a wolf enclosure and it can only be rented privately. Pulse-quickening face-to-muzzle encounters with the wolves are part of the deal.
The ultimate off-the-beaten-track luxe-style adventure awaits your arrival, and so do the wolves.
How to get there?
Hire a private jet to Bardufoss Airport (BDU), then reach the Wolf Lodge with a drive of circa 50 minutes.
5 | Northern Lights & Heli-adventures, Iceland
The Northern Lights can also be experienced in Iceland, where photographers hope to capture the perfect shot of Mother Nature’s elusive phenomenon near the iceberg-filled waters of the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. The reflected images on the surface of the glacial lake add a little extra magic to the natural light show.
To augment your chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis, stay a little longer, which shouldn’t be a problem for guests lodging at The Retreat, Iceland's first (and only) five-star hotel which opened its doors in 2018. Built into the lava rock and featuring a blissfully empty private section of the famous Blue Lagoon, a stay at this 62-suite next-level luxury spa hotel might also end up on your bucket list… Not only for The Retreat itself, though the gorgeous design and signature in-water treatments are totally worth it, but also for the incredible helicopter-based adventures Iceland has to offer.
Experience heli-skiing and heli-surfing and slide down to the ocean on untouched powdery snow slopes or conquer its waves in the rays of the midnight sun. With ideal snow conditions and exceptionally dramatic terrain, Iceland’s Troll peninsula represents a world-class destination for heli-skiing; and the sub-zero waters of the North Atlantic don’t just serve incredible surfing, they also might surprise their brave visitors with the super-exciting sight of orcas or whales passing in the distance.
Iceland is definitely on the radar of hungry adventurers feeling brave and looking for the next man-versus-nature kind of thrill.
How to get there?
Charter a private jet to Keflavik Airport (KEF), located about 22km, or a 20-minute drive from The Retreat.
The good news is, all you have to do is call LunaJets, our expert private aviation team is on hand 24/7 to help you organise your next trip.