Waking up in a geodesic dome with a crackling wood burning stove and panoramic views of the frosted Chablais Alps is the stuff of winter dreams. A little over an hour’s drive from Geneva, Whitepod is a real departure from the typical bustling ski resort, which is what makes it so appealing.
Architect Matteo Thun’s “Eco, not Ego” philosophy is felt in every element of the five-star 41-room property, which fuses wood and glass so seamlessly that it seems to bring the natural world indoors. The result of this deep connection to the environment—the woods, the Dolomites, the larch tree-scented air—is intended to remind guests that “nature and not man is understood as the ‘creator.’”
Built by INC Architecture & Design’s Adam Rolston, who owns the home with his partner Martin McElhiney, the 1,350-square-foot Cabin in the Woods is filled with intimate little discoveries that succeed in drawing you in to the story of the place.
Whether you book a stay at Stratton Brook, the newest hut offering access to the Appalachian Trail in Bigelow Preserve, or opt for the Flagstaff Lake locale, the nonprofit’s off-the-grid lodges in Western Maine are affordable, uber-green—with composting toilets, radiant heat and lighting, and photovoltaic panels—and easily accessible by train, bus or 2.5 hour drive from Portland.
Taking cues from its new home in Boston’s Seaport Innovation District, where technology and a sustainable ethos reign, the 138-room property doesn’t hide the fact that it’s millennial-focused, proudly displaying cool factors like flat-screen TVs mounted on bicycles, local art pieces crafted out of re-purposed VHS tapes, light bulbs and books, a lobby chandelier adorned with old phone cords, and a general aesthetic that wants the world to know the interior has plenty of reclaimed elements.
Guests seeking cozy modern digs inspired by the Green Mountain State along with hot tubs, fireplaces, and a fresh take on the best local adventures will discover they’ve come to the right place. Designed as a base camp for exploration in the great outdoors—from ski slopes to hiking trails—Field Guide’s intrinsic eco sensibilities represent a mindful renovation of Ye Olde England Inn.
The Little Nell is full of cozy nooks, like the outdoor heated pool, plush suites with fireplaces and patios, and the après ski lounge Chair 9. The hotel’s myriad eco initiatives will impart warm fuzzies, too.
The trip might seem long for a weekend jaunt, but The Scarlet is the kind of place that’s worth flying half way around the world to reach. No matter how you spend your days here—doing yoga or soaking in the wood-fired hot tub where the bluff meets the sea—this is one of those rare retreats that won’t get lost in the blurred vortex of vacations.