Above: A terrace at Terelj Hotel in summer.
Skiing in Mongolia: Gorkhi-Terelj National Park
** Where: Eastern Mongolia.
** Why: Summer may be peak season for tours of the Mongolian steppes, but winter in Gorkhi-Terelj, a preserve of alpine woodlands and glacial lakes within easy reach of Ulaanbaatar has a magic of its own.
** Stay: Unrecognizable from its former incarnation as a Russian holiday camp, the three-year-old Terelj Hotel (976/9999-2233; doubles from US$200) offers Mongolia’s most luxurious lodgings. Top-notch heating systems, cashmere blankets, and plenty of mulled wine and hot chocolate are guaranteed to keep guests cozy; those wishing to stray outside can try ice-skating or sleigh rides.
** Getting There: Well-paved roads connect the 52-room Terelj Hotel to Ulaanbaatar, a 90-minute drive.
** When: Snow usually falls in eastern Mongolia between November and April; the coldest months, January and February, can see temperatures drop to -30°C, and are perhaps best avoided by all but the most diehard winter enthusiasts. –-Lauren Kelana