Top spots to get warm this winter
With most of the country bracing itself for the cold snap on it's way, there's no better time than now to plan a small winter warmer getaway. Cosying up to wood fire with a good book, a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate sounds perfect just now.
Whether it's in your room, the lobby, the restaurant or outside, hotels with fireplaces have a charm of their own. And best of all, you don't need to chop any wood.
With this in mind, travel website Expedia has put together their bucket list of the best locations to warm up by a fireplace in New Zealand and across the ditch.
Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat, Hepburn Springs
Located just an hour and a half from Melbourne but a world away from the rat race, the small community of Hepburn Springs has plenty of charm and the benefit of bubbling natural mineral springs.
Not only can you curl up in an armchair by the big fireplace in the main lobby of the country chic Peppers Retreat; but you can take a dip in one of the resort's spas or book into the Gatsby Room to soak up the heat in a seriously luxe tub.
Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa, Queenstown
A trip to the ski fields isn't complete without some time by a fire. At the Hilton, the best spot for apres drinks is by the big fire pits outside the Wakatipu Grill.
Looking straight out at the lake, with circular lounge seating, the fire pit is always popular after a long day on the slopes. There's also a fireplace outside of the hotel's Stacks Pub, if you don't manage to snag a seat at the fire pit.
Thredbo Alpine Hotel, Thredbo
During the New South Wales ski season, Thredbo's small community swells to a bustling village. The restaurants are open late, the bars are pumping and there's plenty of festivals and events to keep everyone occupied on and off the slopes.
The Thredbo Alpine Hotel becomes a hub for live music, pop-up bars and cocktail parties. If you're keen to snuggle up indoors, the Lounge Bar's electric fire throws off some heat, but a spot by the fire pits outside is part of the alpine fun.
Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains, Blue Mountains
Once the leaves change colour and the temperature drops just a few degrees, the charm of the Blue Mountains increases tenfold. A winter weekend in the mountains is a chance to rug up in scarves, beanies and coats, peruse the vintage clothing stores and stop for coffees in little cafes.
The Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains reopened in 2012 after a multi-million dollar renovation, with a "rustic country club" vibe that makes you want to don your wellingtons and stroll about the grounds.
Or, you could book in for dinner at Embers Restaurant. Request a spot by the big stone fireplace and settle in for the night. You can also snuggle up fireside in the Sublime Lounge, Luxury Suite Rooms or The Club Room.
Hotel DeBrett, Auckland
Technically the fireplace at Hotel DeBrett is only electric, but it still brings plenty of atmosphere and warmth to the DeBretts Kitchen. The hotel's award winning restaurant showcases modern Kiwi fare in a space that's cosy and cool at the same time.
Have a pre-dinner drink on the lounges strategically placed in front of the long fireplace; underneath the boutique hotel's unique exposed brick walls, beautiful glass atrium and funky design lighting.
Park Hyatt Melbourne, Melbourne
Five star style is what the Park Hyatt Melbourne delivers and that extends to its fireplaces. With a fireplace in the lobby and another in The Library, the Park Hyatt knows how to ensure the hotel stays warm and cosy.
Sofitel Queenstown Resort Hotel & Spa, Queenstown
Another great spot to settle in for the evening after a long day on the slopes. This beautiful hotel has three fireplaces - one in the reception, one in Nue Bar and one just for the Penthouse living area.
If you're not booking out the Penthouse, don't worry, the reception area's chic lounge area is still cosy.
Novotel Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa, Jindabyne
Once you're off the ski slopes and out of the hustle and bustle of the ski villages, the Novotel has plenty of spots for you to stretch out and warm up.
The reception's fireplace is practically a work of art and what better excuse to book in for a massage than to cosy up at the Spa & Wellness Centre's fireside. There are also fireplaces in the Alpine Larder Café and the resort's cuisine restaurant.
Mercure Canberra, Canberra
Everyone knows that Canberra can get cold, we mean really cold. There's not usually any snow, so you can't justify rugging up in your mittens and puffy jackets. Instead, settle for a nice warm fire.
The Mercure's historic building has a high charm factor and the big, wing backed chairs in the lounge are perfect in front of a roaring fire.
Do you agree with these winter warmer spots? What's your favourite spot with a fireplace? Leave a comment.