Fireplaces have been adding flare — literally and figuratively — to rooms since they first appeared in the castles, taverns and inns during medieval times. And while the fiery features are no longer the only available option when it comes to preparing feasts or keeping spaces warm, many of today’s properties, especially those welcoming guests in winter wonderlands, still employ luminous design details to ignite glowing reviews and make travelers feel more at home. From historic to haute, these hotel hearths light our fire.
This secluded 317-acre Auberge Resorts Collection member relies heavily on kivas, a built-in chimenea of sorts inspired by pueblo architecture, to achieve its southwestern desert sense of place. The 83 guest rooms have adobe versions on the patios but we’re particularly fond of the Chapel House’s stark white tower with skull adornment.
This brand new sustainably built micro-resort is lousy with statement fire features from poolside pits and contemporary single-flame vertical numbers to a mid-century modern cone in the living room of the Granite Suite and the lobby fireplace that greets newcomers with its olive-green front. Then, there’s the Townhomes’ double-sided indoor-outdoor hotboxes that can be enjoyed from under the covers in the bedroom or while soaking in the deep balcony tub.
One of a pair of down-under luxury lodges, Dune House’s wood-burning stove is encircled by a crescent of couches and provides a perfect viewing spot should a resident wallaby or koala wander onto the deck. The small scale of the black box atop a plain platform creates a visual contrast to the tall ceilings, oversized windows, and even bigger panorama of Emu Bay.
After a long day wrangling cattle, riding horses, and casting flies at this adults-only forest sanctuary, guests recharge with a refined yet playful multi-course tasting menu at the Social Haus, the resort’s restaurant. Its modern-mountain style is rounded out by a dramatic metal and glass cylindrical centerpiece that casts the room and its diners in a gorgeous orange hue.
Guests descend on this sumptuous camp’s open-air great room, with its organic materials, undulating roof, long bar and roaring egg-like fireplace, to peer out at the fig tree-dotted delta that borders the Moremi Game Reserve. The 12 accommodations also have personal fireplaces and plunges.
Within the grand two-story library featuring more than 2,700 author-signed tomes, chandeliers and quirky art, you’ll find a functioning fireplace with a simple mantle and mirror topper juxtaposed with ornate monogrammed doors. It is often used as the backdrop to concerts by visiting musicians.
Be sure to grab a bottle or two or 10 (no judgment!) from some of the up-and-coming wineries and cideries you’ll pass as you make your way through the bucolic splendor of Okanagan wine country to the 114-year-old lakeside hotel, recently revived by a quartet of eager new owners. There are plenty of places to peacefully partake including the veranda or from the Innkeeper’s Suite’s velvety pale pink chairs parked in front of the chic mission-esque black brick unit, which matches the lobby fireplace on the other side of the wall minus the gilded peacock screen.
The Sooner State’s second city is a treasure trove of art deco gems including this Bruce Goff-designed high-rise that was reopened part of the Curio Collection by Hilton in 2019. The remodel returned the tower to its former gilded glory with period-appropriate moldings, mirrors, metallic embellishments and by polishing up a spectacular original mosaic fireplace in the King Petite Lounge Suite.
Sure, the en-suite cast-iron fireplaces at this Adirondack hideaway are lit but their wow factor pales in comparison to that generated by the towering granite monsters that hold near bonfires in their bellies and bookend Kanu’s dining room. The dueling behemoths are dressed in taxidermy, foliage and antique winter sports equipment.
All four elements are represented in the courtyard of this urban boutique, once the mayor’s casa, thanks to a water fountain, lush landscaping and the stunning blue tile fireplace that climbs two stories to reach up and kiss the sky. The colorful vignette is befitting the colonial city turned vibrant artists’ community it is nestled within and is an ideal spot to enjoy your morning caffeine from the on-site gourmet coffee bar.
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