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Lace Up Your Skates: The World's Coolest Ice-Skating Rinks

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Enjoying the great outdoors during the winter doesn't always have to include ski slopes and snow covered enchanted forests. Sometimes all you need are a few friends, a pair of sharp skates and a little time to spend gliding across an ice rink.

To help you achieve this winter goal, we've put together the best destinations across the globe for travellers to sharpen their skating skills or just enjoy a cup of hot cocoa while watching from the side lines. So, pack a bag and head out to one of these five destinations for the ultimate winter ice skating vacay.

Ottawa, Canada

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Known as the largest skating rink in the world, the scenic Rideau Canal is an ideal place to practice your jumps and twirls during the winter period. The canal is almost eight kilometres long and the access to the rink is free.After spending the day gliding on ice, warm up by checking into the nearby Sheraton Ottawa Hotel in downtown Ottawa, which is also close to attractions such as Parliament Hill and ByWard Market.

Paris, France

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Situated on the prestigious Avenue Montaigne, the elegant Hotel Plaza Athenee Paris features a Dior Institute spa, five restaurants, a cocktail bar and its very own an ice-skating rink. After experiencing a perfect winter day in Paris, guests can relax at the spa, while the ice-skating enthusiasts of all ages can have a memorable experience on a winter's day or night.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Travellers visiting the Dutch capital, should not miss the unique ice-skating rink on Amsterdam's Museumplein during the winter months. The rink is open until the beginning of February and occupies the pond in front of the iconic Rijksmuseum. The Conservatorium Hotel is only 200 metres away from the Museumplein and offers its guests design accommodation and extensive wellness facilities.

Vail, USA

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From skiing to snowboarding and snowshoeing to ice skating, there is no shortage of winter activities in Vail, Colorado. Located only five minutes from the Eagle Bahn Gondola, the luxurious Arrabelle at Vail Square, a RockResort has its own outdoor ice-skating rink during the winter months. Travellers who don't want to practice their skating moves can enjoy a cup of hot cocoa by the outdoor fire pit or an après-ski cocktail on the terrace.

London, United Kingdom

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The beautiful English capital hosts several ice-skating rinks throughout the city. The rink at Somerset House is a fan favourite thanks to its unique location and magical atmosphere. Situated only 100 metres away from Somerset House, The Private Apartments - The Strand - Covent Garden offers luxurious, fully-equipped apartments overlooking The Royal Courts of Justice.

Chicago, USA

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Take your skates to the Windy City and immerse yourself in a unique, rooftop winter wonderland with stunning views. Situated along The Magnificent Mile, the stylish The Peninsula Chicago is home to the beautiful rooftop ice-skating rink - the Peninsula Sky Rink. Nestled between Chicago's stunning skyscrapers, the hotel's beautiful ice rink donates all of its proceeds to children charities in Chicago.

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