Much like our summer holiday plans, COVID-19 significantly disrupted winter ski on both sides of the Atlantic, disappointing serious slope-skimmers and winter wonderland wanderers for the past two seasons. So, it’s hardly surprising that time away from the slopes means there’s a stronger than expected demand for ski holidays this year. Plus, we've started to see a growing trend for luxury skiers seeking out calmer and quieter slopes away from the crowds.
To lend a helping hand, we've picked out the places to stay and ski this coming winter.
Luxury knows no bounds in ultra-fashionable Lech, from high speed heated chair lifts to a well-respected gourmet dining scene. Often regarded as one of the Alps’ most exclusive and top spots for a snow-sure escape, its authentic village charm attracts well healed skiers of all levels to well-groomed blue, red and black runs which are limited in busy times to prevent overcrowding.
Where to stay: Hotel Kristiania
What already feels more like staying at a friend’s residence than a hotel, for this winter season this member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World – established by Olympic ski medallist Othmar Schneider – will be operating a private house concept, with no more than 35 guests at any one time and no access to outside visitors. Taking service to another level, you can be sure Kristiania’s unique signature butler services remain, guaranteeing every minute here is pure bliss.
A ski connoisseur’s paradise boasting doorstep access to 225km of intermediate-friendly skiing connecting with nearby Lenzerheide. At a lofty height of 1,800m, beginners have easy snow-sure slopes to learn on and a good snow kindergarten, while experienced intermediates can explore the sizeable network of blue and red runs that comprise 88% of the ski area. Aside from scores of winter sports and laid-back après-ski, the village’s gastronomic scene is top class, from inviting stuben to steakhouses.
Where to stay: Tschuggen Grand Hotel
This Member of the Leading Hotels of the World prides itself on high levels of personal service and varied dining options encompassing five venues, including the Michelin-starred La Vetta. When it’s time to hit the slopes, a touch of a button hails the hotel’s unique private mountain railway car – The Tschuggen Express. Marvel at the breathtaking panoramas from plush leather seats inside the two circular cabins as it propels skiers pistewards in less than four minutes.
Endless piste and off-piste skiing adventures across seven world-class ski resorts lie within a 30-minute Mercedes transfer of Chalet Pelerin. This top-end five bedroom retreat with the authentic simplicity of alpine living is set on the quiet slopes of Le Miroir, close to the French village of Sainte Foy.
In addition to the services of an award-winning chef and extensive wine cellar, unparalleled inclusions range from ski passes, use of Wagner Custom skis, a professional photographer and certified guides to arrange skiing and mountain adventures. Ski a different resort every day from the vast terrains of Val d’Isère, Tignes, Les Arcs and La Plagne and over the French Italian border to pocket sized La Thuile.TAKE ME THERE
For a thrilling snow adventure, head to the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Banff National Park. Here, the world-renowned ski destination Lake Louise Ski Resort offers an endless combination of winter activities welcoming both skiers and non-skiers alike. A serene haven with 4,200 acres of wintry wilderness allows unlimited exploration for all abilities and ages to ski and board together with beginner, intermediate and expert runs from every chair.
Where to stay: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Encircled by the majestic Victoria Glacier, soaring snow-capped Rocky Mountains and mesmerising views of the infamous Lake Louise, this iconic resort nestled in a quaint hamlet is a mere 10-minute shuttle service from the slopes. The Fairmont Gold accommodation comes with many exclusive benefits and a dedicated concierge, while the Lake View Lounge proffers an unforgettable lobby lounge experience – one of the most celebrated in the Canadian Rockies.
A glamourous hub spruced to perfection with a reputation of a winter playground to America’s glitterati. This ex-silver mining town steeped in history is brimming with vibes of the Wild West and 5,500 acres of America’s best skiing regions thanks to its four magnificent mountains (Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass) all linked by an efficient complimentary shuttle. There are plenty of runs through the trees on Aspen Highlands, challenging black runs on the Hanging Valley area of Snowmass and Aspen Mountain, while Buttermilk is aimed at beginners with nursery slopes and long, easy runs.
Where to stay: The Little Nell
The place to be and the place to be seen. Standing at the base of Aspen Mountain next to the Silver Queen Gondola and just steps from swish café bars and designer boutiques, this Relais & Chateâux hotel is the only ski-in, ski-out hotel in Aspen. Intermediate and advanced skiers can be first down the mountain on freshly groomed corduroy top-to-bottom runs before it officially opens to the public courtesy of the exclusive First Tracks experience arranged by the hotel's Ski Concierge.
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