10 of the Best Luxury Ski Destinations
Val d’Isere, France
If this is not a luxury ski holiday then I don’t know what is! The chalet to beat all chalets - the Marco Polo in Val d’Isere is something to truly behold. Constructed and decorated with a mixture of contemporary and traditional materials, this six bedroom property (all en-suite) has everything. There is a huge open plan lounge with a bar of your own, and it even has a drop down screen for all to sit and watch a film in the evening. Balconies stretch around the property giving panoramic views of the town, and each bedroom even has its own private section. Dive further into the chalet by going for a swim in your own indoor heated pool and whilst you’re there jump into the hot tub or pop into the steam room. For the ultra healthy you can even go for a workout in the state of the art gym.
Did I forget to mention the games room, complete with dart board and pool table. And if you head downstairs to the cellar you will find a wine and cheese tasting room. This unbelievable chalet can sleep up to 14 people so you can spread the cost quite reasonably across as many of you as want to go. Without even mentioning the skiing you will surely want to sample this chalet, but just in case you need a little more convincing, it has the longest ski season in France and 100 different runs spread across the resort. For après there are over 50 restaurants and the Dicks Tee Bar night club is open till 5am.
Zermatt/Andermatt/St. Moritz, Switzerland
The easiest and most beautiful way to see the best of what Switzerland’s ski resorts have to offer is to experience the crème de la crème all in one amazing train journey through the Swiss Alps. The Glacier Express will take you on an amazing ride stopping at Zermatt, Andermatt and St. Moritz for you to experience these fantastic ski resorts whilst staying in some of the finest hotels Switzerland has to offer.
The train passes through the Rhine Gorge - known as the Swiss Grand Canyon, with ancient villages and will reach a highest point of 2033m across the Oberalp pass. They say the journey is more important than the destination and that is no truer than here. The Zermatterhof, the Chedi Andermatt and Badrutt’s Palace are three breath-taking hotels all as equally amazing as each other. On this seven day adventure you will experience Switzerland like you never have before.
Now this is where some people’s definitions of luxury may clash. A ten hour flight from London to Vancouver is followed by a two hour connecting flight to Smithers before a four hour drive to Ripley, located on the Canadian/Alaskan boarder. But my word is it all worth it. You can go up by helicopter to the highest peaks and then ski down in the most perfect untouched powder you could imagine; 14,375 vertical feet of heli-skiing with your own personal helicopter following you down.
After you have conquered the British Columbian terrain you will be taken back down to your base camp, a small clique of wooden cabins with comfy beds and a warm fire. This unforgettable experience comes at a cost and it is far from simple to get there but for some this is the ultimate luxury holiday.
The Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa, at 1535m in the Alta Badia valley in the Dolomites, is a beautiful family run hotel, famous for its hospitality and incredible cuisine. The quaint and unspoilt village of San Cassiano really is one of Italy’s skiing gems. St Hubertus is the hotel’s dual Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant and the Wine Bar & Grill is a stylish restaurant that specialises in homemade authentic pasta dishes and pizzas.
Situated in the Dolomites the hotel offers a spectacular view of the mountain range, not to mention the ski slopes that come with being in the heart of the mountains. The hotel is only 300m away from the slopes and with the mountains being so high you can even try heli-skiing there just to top off the experience.
‘The most luxurious hotel in Austria’ - the statement speaks for itself. The Sporthotel Lorϋnser always makes it’s guests feel at home, as this family hotel provides unbeatable quality service and exceptional cuisine, with a hot and cold breakfast buffet, a 3 course lunch and 5 course gourmet dinner.
A destination good enough for the royals, Lech famously hosted Princess Diana and also welcomed the Dutch royal family. The town underwent significant renovation and now is a modern Austrian village but its traditional roots remain firmly in place. The resort receives twice the amount of snow as many of it’s French counterparts at only 1400m and with great après-ski there is nothing to find fault with.
It may be a very small country but Andorra is home to some great ski terrain and few resorts are better than the Grandvalira ski area which boasts 210km of runs. It may not be as picturesque as the French Alps but it makes up for it with massive amounts of snow and fantastic après-ski. For a hint of luxury, look no further than the Sport Hermitage and Spa Hotel. This five star hotel, situated 1850m above sea level, offers everything from an activity centre loaded with equipment to massaging baths in the bathrooms.
The town of Soldeu lights up at night to create a beautiful setting and there is always a great choice of live music in the lively bars. Being so high up there is guaranteed snow even in the poorest of winter seasons, and with mostly blue and red runs this resort is perfect for beginners and intermediates alike. The chance to learn how to ski while living a life of luxury.
Jacksons Hole, USA
America has plenty to say on all things luxury and none more than the ski resort of Jackson Hole in Wyoming. A 600-square-mile valley is surrounded by mountain scenery, ranches, national parks and all importantly fantastic ski slopes. Nestling in this giant valley is the Four Seasons Resort, a laid-back western style hotel set amongst the natural beauty of the Teton Mountains.
Reward yourself after a day of skiing or fly-fishing with a meal at the cosy Westbank Grill, where local specialties such as Elk, Osso, Buco and Utah lamb fill the menu. The hotel is selected by Forbes’ travel guide as a must go and you would be foolish to miss out on one of America’s fly-over states that you really should be flying directly to.
Zell am See, Austria
It’s a fairy-tale world in Zell am See; 19th century architecture, a scenic frozen lake, snow covered mountain tops - you won’t be struggling to find the perfect picture. Add to that the glacial skiing, a buzzing atmosphere in the town, and the truly stunning Grand Hotel and you have yourself the perfect ski holiday. The four star hotel (should be five in our opinion) is situated right on the lake and only minutes away from the nearest gondola but there are free shuttle buses to save your legs.
Austria is highly regarded, moreso for the skiing rather than it’s luxury hotels, but in Zell am See you get both. As well as the usual slopes with quality snow you can carve your edges into the glacier, a bit more challenging than your average ski slope. The town itself offers a host of activities, and you can even walk across the lake. After a day out in the cold, warm up in the hotel’s roman style pool or sit in the cosy bar next to an open fire.
Wanaka, New Zealand
It may be a bit further afield for some, but New Zealand’s south island has some fantastic ski slopes and there are few better than Treble Cone in Wanaka. With runs up to 4km long your legs will surely be aching and there is plenty to get knee deep in, as Wanaka offers some of the finest off piste conditions.
So after a hard days skiing you will need a bit of a break; might we recommend one of the handful of great stop houses and restaurants on the mountain. The Cheeky Kea Burger Bar & Café will put a smile on your face when you see the burger placed before you. If a ski trip to New Zealand is not luxurious enough for you then you best make sure you’re staying at the Mercure Oakridge Resort. This open plan style hotel has self-catering apartments or stunning rooms with staff ready to wait upon your every need.
The Chalet Poudreuse quite literally allows you to ski into your accommodation, as the reborn 16th century barn is planted right on a ski slope in Avoriaz. It can sleep up to 14 guests, with six bedrooms available in the giant chalet. Now being located on a ski slope does come with it’s challenges, you and your luggage are taken up by snow cat and you can’t exactly pop to the shop for some milk. But luckily it just so happens that you have VIP chalet catering on hand.
It is also fitted with a sauna and all modern technologies, so there are no concerns about you not feeling at home. Skiing doesn't get much better than living piste-side! Should you be booking a ski instructor as a group, they will be outside waiting for you at your convenience. In this unique experience you get the hotel facilities but without being squashed into a hotel room. The chalet is staggering distance from the Yeti bar and should you choose to walk into the town, it's not that far away!