Five unforgettable retreats to soothe your soul this winter


These getaways combine exceptional hospitality with stunning natural beauty.


This article is part of a lifestyle series brought to you by RBC Echelon, a suite of private wealth management services for ultra-high-net-worth clients. Each article will explore different topics of interest for ultra-high-net-worth families, including design, travel and more.

Colder weather and shorter days are enough to give anyone the winter blues—but a vacation to a serene, natural setting can offer an opportunity to reset and experience the bright side of the season. We’ve picked five winter getaways to award-winning retreats that marry some of the most spectacular surroundings in the U.S. with premium hospitality. From a spa experience set amidst Utah’s sandstone canyons to a tech-free sojourn on Big Sur’s majestic coastline, extraordinary landscapes and impeccable comfort are waiting to welcome you.

1. Western adventures at Paws Up

Boasting breathtaking Big Sky scenery, the Resort at Paws Up is nestled in a wonderland of pristine backcountry shared only with the wildlife that roams this corner of Montana. This Western playground welcomes guests with 100 miles of trails through seemingly endless forests and along the meandering Blackfoot River.

Photo of people riding in a sleigh at Paws Up

Crisp, snowy days unlock a host of activities, including gliding past frosted fir trees on a snowmobile tour and taking in glistening landscapes from a horse-drawn sleigh. Cap off each day’s adventures with a hearty meal served fireside in Pomp, the resort’s rustic fine-dining restaurant.

Inside the family-friendly resort is an adults-only area known as The Green O, where secluded accommodations, including a two-story treehouse, offer serene stays. With floor-to-ceiling windows, guests can feel at one with nature, even when indoors ensconced beside a roaring fireplace.

2. 1001 reasons to visit Aspen’s Cuvée

There’s no shortage of luxury hospitality in Aspen, Colo., a world-class destination synonymous with challenging peaks and elegant après-ski, but slicing into fresh powder from the privacy of a mountainside mansion will take your experience to a whole new level.

Photo of 1001, Cuvée's Aspen villa

Cuvée’s Aspen villa, 1001, features a state-of-the-art design that will impress at every turn, from the rotating breakfast nook to the serene, two-story interior waterfall. This palatial limestone dwelling backs onto Aspen Mountain, rewarding guests with views of majestic snow-capped peaks and ski-in access.

The villa’s seven bedrooms sleep up to 20 guests comfortably, while the communal living areas offer a host of entertaining options, including a bowling alley and movie theater for when your crew needs a break from the frosty slopes right outside the door.

3. Outdoor experiences await at Nemacolin

You’ll find magic in the air at this AAA five-diamond resort, where the great outdoors beckons with exhilarating ski runs, family-friendly snow tube slides and the thrilling experience of mushing with the resort’s own sled dog team.

Photo of Nemacolin Resport

Stretching 2,200 acres across Pennsylvania’s densely wooded Laurel Highlands, Nemacolin will immerse you in tranquil surroundings fit for a holiday card, whether snowshoeing the hills, curling up by a crackling fireplace in the property’s holistic spa or indulging in dinner at Lautrec, the resort’s sumptuous premier restaurant.

Five types of luxury accommodation are available, ranging from the grandeur of the chateau-style hotel to private, Tudor-style lodges. For a family escape brimming with mid-century charm, look no further than the Mallard’s Landing estate, a lakeside retreat offering beds for up to 14 guests with a fully equipped, high-end kitchen and a game room complete with a wet bar.

4. Finding your Zen in the southwest

Home to five national parks, Utah is a dream come true for outdoor enthusiasts. Located on the Golden Circle, a popular route looping around the region’s top sights, the Amangiri is flawlessly integrated with its stunning sandstone cliff setting—so much so that its year-round pool is wrapped around a 165-million-year-old rock.

Photo of the desert from a room at Amangiri Resort

The healing powers of this desert spa have been touted by A-list celebrities, who regularly retreat to its secluded vistas. As the winter months bring cooler temperatures, the resort’s calming hot tubs, strategically placed fire pits, and heated yoga pavilion become especially comforting.

For a truly special glamping experience, Amangiri Camp Sarika’s tented guestrooms serve nature-steeped stays on a silver platter. Each of the 10 plush accommodations, sequestered in rock-filled valleys, are packed with spa-like amenities such as private plunge pools and outdoor rain showers.

5. Peaceful tranquility in Big Sur

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean from atop the rugged cliffs of Big Sur, Calif., Post Ranch Inn is the antidote to a tech-focused existence. This eco-friendly resort is devoid of screens, replacing oversized TVs with panoramic windows and alarm clocks with circadian rhythms, allowing guests to be fully present in the moment.

Photo of an ocean view from a room at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur

Forty-one private guesthouses feature striking views of the coastline, as well as wood-burning fireplaces and soaking tubs that invite you to find bliss in simply being.

Here, you’ll have a chance to forest bathe and take part in guided yoga sessions, or head to the nature-based wellness center for a soul-nourishing spa treatment. Dining at the inn’s Sierra Mar is a destination experience all its own, with a fresh, daily spin on coastal cuisine and alluring views of the ocean.

Five-star hospitality and majestic natural beauty mean there’s no reason to battle seasonal boredom this year. Whether you’re traveling solo or planning a trip with family or friends, each of these unique experiences is certain to revitalize and soothe your soul, reminding you that winter is what you make of it.

RBC Wealth Management, a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC, registered investment adviser and Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC.

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