Are after a winter sports break with lashings of snow and style? If so then check out these
top 10 luxury skiing destinations from around the world. Whether you’re a beginner or an adrenaline seeking off-piste professional, here is our lowdown on the perfect locations to serve your appetite.
Verbier: In the heart of the Swiss Alps, Verbier lies at the gateway to one of Europe’s top skiing spots Les 4 Vallées, where over 400km of runs await you. Verbier is best known for its free riding and the resort is ideal for those looking for a serious skiing challenge. Adrenaline levels reach new heights as you ski off-piste in deep powder snow, down impossibly steep ravines or heli-ski from the highest peaks.
Where to stay: Luxury also scales new heights at this large chalet (sleeps up to 12) complete with indoor pool and extensive spa facilities, perfect for relaxing after a hard day on the slopes.
Natural Slopes and Spa
Nozawa Onsen: Situated on Japan’s largest island, Honshu, Nozawa Onsen ranks as the most popular of more than 500 skiing resorts in the area. It’s easy to see why with great skiing, picture-perfect scenery, typical local culture and traditions, and 30 natural hot springs. The slopes are best for both beginners and advanced skiers who relish an off-piste challenge. After dark, peace and quiet descends on the resort as visitors soak off the days’ rigours in the bubbling springs.
Where to stay: With room for up to 30, this modern mountain chalet is one of few with ski-in ski-out access. Combining traditional Japanese touches with modern luxuries, it enjoys panoramic views.
Megève: This well-known resort in the French Alps was established by the Rothschilds in the 1920s to rival Saint Moritz – since then it has become a firm favourite with Europe’s jetset. The 445km of runs are ideal for all levels of skiers, but Megève is probably best known for its après-ski activities. Choose from polo or golf in the snow, the casino and the many exclusive restaurants and clubs.
Where to stay: This traditional mountain chalet has a privileged south-facing spot, with views to Mont Blanc. It offers a long list of luxury features including hot tub, helipad and butler services.
Salla: Tucked away in Lapland in north-east Finland, Salla offers snowy surroundings perfect for skiing enthusiasts. Known as the cradle of Finnish winter sports, Salla is famous for its cross-country trails and slalom descents, several of which are used in world skiing events. But there’s a choice of easier slopes too making this a resort for skiers of all levels, including beginners. Off-piste activities include reindeer-sleigh rides, husky safaris and viewing the Northern Lights.
Where to stay: This modern cabin offers a peaceful retreat and easy access to the slopes and amenities. Inside, the open-plan luxury includes under-floor heating and your own sauna.
Zell am See: Up high in south-west corner of Austria near Saltzburg sits the picturesque resort of Zell am See, where the best of mountain scenery comes together. The magnificent Lake Zell takes centre stage with the pretty village of Zell am See on its shores, while lofty peaks form a dramatic backdrop with excellent skiing conditions. The good choice of slopes offers a variety of challenges for skiers of all abilities, plus over 200km of cross-country pistes.
Where to stay: In keeping with the stunning surroundings, this luxury penthouse comes with designer fittings. Airy and spacious, its large outside terrace faces south to the sun.
Best for Beginners
Falls Creek: Australia’s best-known ski resort and one of the country’s most popular, Fall’s Creek is a great family ski destination. Geared for fun in the snow, slopes cater for all abilities, but it’s the beginners who are spoilt for choice here with a variety of runs including the 2.2km long Wombat’s Ramble. Off-piste activities come into their own here with a large snowplay park, snowshoeing and tobogganing.
Where to stay: Perfect for large parties, this modern chalet has ski-in ski-out access to the resort and pistes. Picture windows flood the open-plan living area and terraces offer panoramic views.
Chamonix: France’s oldest ski resort sits in the Alps under the shadow of the great Mont Blanc. Chamonix hosted the first Winter Olympics in 1924 and since then has established itself as one of the world’s great ski destinations. Here you can descend the highest gradients via the longest slopes, challenge yourself free riding off-piste or learn what it’s all about on the beginners’ runs. All in some of the most stunning scenery on offer in Europe’s peaks.
Where to stay: Match the height of luxury with magnificent views at this fully-serviced chalet sleeping up to ten. Here, you can pamper your every need before and après ski, in the stylish surroundings.
Aspen: The Colorado peaks at Aspen boast some of the best skiing in the US. It’s the country’s most popular resort, but its size and number of runs means it’s easy to escape the crowds. A paradise for expert skiers, Aspen has a great range of black-diamond slopes (double in some cases) plus plenty of off-piste challenges. Snowboarders and beginners are also more than well catered for making this a resort with something for everyone.
Where to stay: Panoramic views stretch before you in this chalet where home comforts are the major feature. A highlight is the outdoor hot tub, perfect for relaxation after a hard day’s skiing on the slopes.
Whistler: Widely considered to be the best on offer in North America, Whistler also comes in as the biggest and busiest ski resort on the continent. In British Columbia, not far from Vancouver, it also boasts the longest runs and probably the best variety of terrains with great open bowls and picturesque forest descents. Expert skiers are spoilt for choice and challenges, and those at intermediate level will also find plenty to keep them busy on the slopes.
Where to stay: Cosy fireplaces, a relaxing hot tub and all the mod cons make this ‘alpine’ chalet an ideal spot to come home to after exploring the exciting Whistler runs. In the heart of Whistler Village, easy access to skiing and amenities is guaranteed.
Zermatt: Switzerland’s mountain scenery is seen at its very best in Zermatt, where views are dominated by the magnificent Matterhorn peak and its stunning glaciers. Some of Europe’s highest slopes are found here. With runs that are neither easy or challenging, it’s best suited to intermediate skiers who will find nothing short of paradise in the variety of descents. Attracting affluent clientele, the resort offers nightlife for all ages, high-end restaurants and smart boutiques.
Where to stay: Marvel at the scenery from luxurious surroundings as you gaze out of the glass windows and ceiling. The penthouse features unique design in both its architecture and fittings and the snow and Zermatt itself are just a short walk away.