We take a look at 10 of the best luxury ski destinations and resorts from around the world.
Arranging luxury skiing holidays is a great way to take a break in the winter months and do something different with friends and family members. A large number of impressive luxury ski destinations and resorts can be found all over the world and offer first rate facilities in the form of accommodation options, shops, restaurants and nightlife as well as stunning pistes to practice a wide a range of winter sports on. Here are some of the best luxury ski resorts in the world that are just waiting to be enjoyed.
Tignes in France
This leading luxury ski resort is possibly the world’s greatest year round ski centre. Unlike many summer ski resorts, the vertical drop in Tignes remains big throughout the year, up to 1,000m, even in the summer. In winter, that figure almost doubles to give one of the world’s biggest verticals. Additionally, the bottom of it is high enough so that the full vertical is skiable most of the season; other European resorts with huge verticals often lack altitude at the base, so the snow melts sooner. Tignes offers a large number of stunning luxury hotels that come complete with spas such as the five star Hotel Village Montana, while lovers of fine dining should check out Chalet Chardons, which comes with services chalets, private hot tubs and saunas and gourmet cuisine.
Les Arcs in France
This has long been one of the most celebrated luxury skiing resorts in Europe and with dependable snowfall, varied terrain and a spectacular cable car ride to La Plagne, Les Arcs has become part of one of the biggest ski areas in the world, known as Paradiski. One of the longest black runs in Europe, plus staggering architecture by renowned architects, makes Les Arcs an impressive choice and breathtaking experience. Les Arcs is linked to the resort of La Plagne, making it part of one of the biggest ski areas in the world. A stunning cable car ride will take you to 132 pistes, with a total of 225 kilometres of slopes. Hotel Le Golf boasts stunning luxurious rooms with spas and this is also a great place to enjoy fine dining.
Crans-Montana in Switzerland
People who are looking for an unforgettable luxury ski experience should head to Switzerland where the majestic peaks of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc create a stunning backdrop for the resort of Crans–Montana, which is located near Lake Geneva, in the north of the Valais canton. Perfect for families, the resort offers quieter evenings and is a wonderful sun-soaked ski destination set on a high plateau. There are varied and exciting off-piste opportunities, while beginners and intermediates get the majority of the on-piste skiing at the resort. Top-rate facilities, plus a range of non-skiing alternatives, feature at the two side-by-side villages which make up the modern luxury resort of Crans–Montana. Lovers of gourmet Italian cuisine should book a table at Ristorante Giardino & Terrace, while Guarda Golf Hotel Crans Montana offers three excellent restaurants, a spa and a large golf course for guests to make use of.
Kitzbuhel in Austria
Kitzbuhel is a world-renowned ski resort situated 86 kilometres east of Innsbruck, in the province of Tyrol. The resort is famous for its fabulous intermediate slopes and its wild nightlife, and is widely known as the country’s winter entertainment capital, with an enormous range of après-ski venues on offer. Kitzbuhel town is a picturesque Tyrolean village, complete with cobbled streets and attractive architectural façades. The central area of town is partially surrounded by a 12th century stone wall, evidence of Kitzbuhel’s ancient legacy. The former hunting lodge of Schloss Lebenberg is set above the ski resort and offers stunning views as well as luxury accommodation in refurbished elegant castle rooms, while facilities include a rooftop pool and an award winning restaurant.
Courmayeur in Italy
Sitting on the Italian side of Mont Blanc and surrounded by 14 other peaks above the 4,000-metre mark, the legendary Courmayeur resort is set in the internationally famous Aosta Valley and features some fantastic ski runs, including a 20-kilometre run descending into Chamonix across the border. Courmayeur is a world famous ski and climbing resort set among some of the largest mountains in Europe, with a natural ambience and an atmosphere rich in tradition. The village has an air of charm as its ancient buildings sit huddled together along cobbled streets. The car-free centre and range of eateries gives this typically Alpine village an Italian twist, setting it apart from Chamonix, its nearest neighbour. Choose from swimming, ice-skating, bowling, paragliding or any number of walking trails around the resort, or simply sample some fine Italian cuisine at one of the restaurants both on and off the mountain. Hotel Bouton d’Or is the perfect place for lovers of luxury to stay as it boasts spacious alpine themed bedrooms and a stylish sauna with gourmet meals provided in the elegant restaurant and served in guest’s rooms.
Davos in Switzerland
The largest, and one of the best ski resorts in the whole of Switzerland, Davos is known worldwide among skiers for the length and quality of its runs. The resort, which is located in the south-eastern corner of Switzerland, offers great beginner and intermediate slopes, superb off-piste for experts and varied skiing over five different areas. The highest city in Europe, Davos is set in a beautiful valley and is dwarfed by mountains on both sides. The facilities here are excellent and include great shopping, banks, museums and even an animal park/zoo. The resort is split between Dorf and Platz and has a population of 13,000 that easily doubles during the season. There are 325 kilometres of prepared downhill runs between the Davos and Klosters luxury skiing resorts, with a longest run of 12 kilometres. With more than 90 staff members to take care of the guests, people who book a room at the Rixos Flüela Davos can be sure that they will receive a first rate service and this five star hotel offers decadent five course dinners as well as luxurious facilities.
Megeve in France
Megeve is an upmarket ski resort that forms part of the Evasion Mont Blanc region in Savoie, France. It offers extensive slopes in superb surroundings of Alpine pastures and conifer forests, and provides a plethora of off-slope activities. The ski area at Megeve is enormous, offering 226 kilometres of groomed, scenic slopes, the longest of which is just under four kilometres. The resort is a delight for beginners and intermediates, with 43 per cent and 34 per cent of the pistes, respectively, geared towards these levels. Advanced and expert skiers need to search a little harder for challenging slopes, with only 23 per cent of the total piste area devoted cumulatively to the upper levels. Access to the slopes is gained via a system of 79 lifts. In terms of luxury, Indigo Lodges offers nothing but the best and guests are provided with their own personal chefs as well as butler services and first rate facilities.
Les Trois Vallees in France
Les Trois Vallees is situated approximately 160 kilometres from Geneva, in the famed Savoie region of the French Alps. It is one of the world’s largest ski areas, comprising seven resorts: Courcheval, Meribel, Les Menuires, La Tania, Orelle, Val Thorens and Brides-les-Bains. Each of the villages is different, and visitors should select the resort of their choice according to their needs. Meribel is the prettiest of the ski resorts in Les Trois Vallées, with traditional, Savoyard chalets made from wood and stone. Les Menuires is less attractive but the most cost effective. There are plenty of luxurious hotels and amenities to be found at Val Thorens and après ski activities include watching a show in a glamorous theatre while sipping cool cocktails.
Klosters in Switzerland
Nestled in a romantic landscape, the ski resort of Klosters shares an expansive snow covered arena, Parsenn, with nearby Davos. The resort is situated in the heart of the Graubünden region, southeast of Zürich. The rich and famous are regulars at Klosters and lovers of luxury skiing holidays will have the chance to rub shoulders with the stars, which, along with slopes for beginners as well as the most advanced skier, boasts some of the finest downhill skiing in the world. Speciality shops permeate the resort of Klosters, a small traditional village. Lovers of luxury can reserve a suite in the Walserhof hotel, which is one of the best hotels in the whole of Switzerland and is regularly booked by Prince Charles, while Chesa Bar is another famous royal hangout and boast a very stylish setting and fine cuisine.
Cortina in Italy
Set in a natural amphitheatre and referred to as the heart of the Ampezzo Valley, Cortina d’Ampezzo is nestled romantically among the most beautiful of the eastern Dolomites. In 1956, the seventh Olympic Winter Games were held here; they were the first ever to be televised and the last at which the figure skating competitions were held outdoors. Cortina d’ Ampezzo has several cross-country ski tracks, adding up to 73 kilometres, as well as 140 kilometres of pistes for Alpine skiing. In addition to offering luxurious hotels and chalets like the award winning Hotel Cristallo Cortina, this part of Italy also boasts Michelin star restaurants where visitors can sample some of the finest cuisine in the whole of Italy.