What are the Top Five Luxury Ski Destinations Worth Saving For?
Dreaming of the perfect ski trip? Here, Robbie Fowle, from travel money provider H&T, shares five luxury ski destinations that are worth saving for. He has picked five luxury ski resorts that are renowned for their luxurious accommodation, great après-ski scene, and, of course, excellent skiing.
Best for: Luxury
Courchevel is the largest and most luxurious ski resort in the Trois Vallées, composed of six distinct ski villages, all with their own unique character. Courchevel 1850 — the largest and most popular village — offers unrivalled luxury accommodation and an incredible après-ski scene, while the others have a more traditional, family-oriented feel. Whether it’s your first or your fiftieth ski trip, there really is something for everyone in Courchevel.
It’s a must-visit destination for skiers with an appetite for fine dining, with a remarkable eight Michelin-starred restaurants. Plus, with lots of north-facing slopes, the snow is incredibly reliable throughout the season, and there are over 150km of fantastic runs to suit all abilities.
Best for: Challenging skiing
Experienced skiers looking for a challenge will love Val d’Isère. There are over 300km of pistes to explore and 24,710 acres of thrilling off-piste backcountry. The terrain is varied, with plenty of high and steep slopes and lots of opportunities for exciting off-piste adventures (with a guide, of course). In a nutshell: all ski enthusiasts should ski Val d’Isère at least once.
When you’re not enjoying some first-rate skiing, there’s plenty of wining and dining on offer, with a number of great restaurants both on and off the mountain. If you still have enough energy left after dinner, you can go for a nightcap in a refined wine bar or party the night away in a lively club.
Best for: Après-ski partying
The Austrians really know how to party, and the après-ski scene in St. Anton is second to none. You can expect to find all sorts of lively pubs, bars, and clubs that stay open until the early hours, including legendary nightspots like The MooserWirt and Krazy Kanguruh. Both have been hosting wild après-ski parties since the 60s, and you can expect beer-fuelled dancing on tables from the late afternoon onwards.
There’s also plenty to keep adventurous skiers busy during the day, with a challenging terrain and extensive back country that offers plenty of opportunities for off-piste thrills. But it’s not all vertiginous black runs: there are plenty of intermediate slopes for those looking to build their confidence, too. Beginners, however, may want to look elsewhere.
Best for: Families and beginners
Méribel is pretty as a postcard, with densely forested slopes, quaint chalets, and a friendly atmosphere. It’s home to a few different villages, each with its own feel: Mottaret tends to be best for hardcore skiers, lower Méribel centre is best for après-ski partiers, while Méribel Village has a relaxed vibe. It’s also a great place for families, with no shortage of beginner and intermediate runs, excellent ski schools, and plenty of ‘zones débutants’ for young skiers.
There are also two terrain parks up above Méribel. Area 43 provides big thrills in the form of huge ramps and halfpipes, while Moon Park caters to riders and skiers of all abilities. There’s even a mini-park, the P’tit Moon, especially for youngsters looking to learn some tricks.
Best for: Breathtaking views
The town of Zermatt embodies the quintessential Swiss ski town, with winding streets lined with quaint chalets and cosmopolitan shops and bars. There are plenty of excellent restaurants — both on and off the mountain — so it’s a great destination for foodies. Plus, on clear days, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the majestic Matterhorn, the most famous mountain in all the Swiss Alps and possibly the most photogenic mountain in the world.
Zermatt has 200km of blue, red, black, and yellow runs, all of which promise fantastic skiing, so it’s a good destination for skiers of all abilities. Advanced skiers will want to visit from February onwards when the more challenging off-piste Stockhorn runs open.
If you’re looking for the perfect ski destination for your next holiday, one of these locations is sure to tick all the right boxes.