Don’t worry, gents — you can stop pretending. Summer’s not going to make some late, warmly-welcomed appearance. We’re now firmly on the icy, slippery slope to winter, so there’s no need to keep dressing for a summer that underdelivered, or ordering Aperol Spritzes in a misguided attempt to recapture that summery feeling.
But that’s okay. Because now, by embracing the frosty weather, we can embrace the skiing season in all its snow-dusted glory. And, when deciding where to ski, there’s only one non-negotiable that should be on your travel checklist; ski-in, ski-out facilities.
Because there’s no fun to be had in setting off from your hotel — fired up with anticipation — only to end up trudging through the snow for what feels like hours. And, even if you have a triumphant day on the slopes, nothing puts a dampener on apres-ski celebrations like trudging back uphill, in the cold. So, to save you from sub-par accommodation this season, we’ve rounded up the best hotel options around the world. Happy skiing.
Hotel L’Apogée, Courchevel
This world-famous hotel is set to reopen on 17th December 2021; and you’ll want to be the first one there. Trust us. With ski in-ski out facilities opening right onto those renowned Courchevel slopes, it’s an alpine retreat of the finest order: it’s achieved the hallmark of Palace Distinction, and it maintains a splendid residence above a historic ski jump.
With multiple chalets on offer, this is no rustic ski experience of the ‘roughing it’ variety; it’s opulent, luxurious and glamorous to the last degree. So luxurious, in fact, that guests can opt to either hunker down in one of the aforementioned chalets or take up residence in the Penthouse, if the party comprises up to nine guests. With a butler and private chef ready to care for your every need on request, this is a hotel sure to stay in your memory for a long, long time.
Hotel Arlberg, Lech
Credit: Mike Rabensteiner
When a hotel’s been family-run since 1956, you know it’ll be a bit different; it’ll have its unique quirks, it’s unmatchable qualities and it’s little trademarks that give it character, personality and charm. All this is true of Hotel Arlberg; and the walls are positively soaked with history, too.
The hotel doesn’t sit squarely on the road, so you’ve got the discretion and serenity you’ll no doubt be craving from your ski trip — but it also manages to sit squarely opposite the ski lifts that’ll see you soaring into those mountaintops, ready for a day on the slopes. The local ski school couldn’t be closer if it tried; and the hotel’s ski and boot room is directly connected to the town’s ski and rental shop. As far as ski facilities go, you couldn’t hope for better: and the Arlberg Spa will be ready and waiting, once you’re done.
Suvretta House, St. Moritz
We’ll hazard a guess you’ve never seen a hotel quite as classical in your gentlemanly life. And for good reason; the hotel is over 100 years old, and those views of the Upper Engadine are second to none. The hotel is perched on an elevated plateau, over 1850 metres above sea level; cue plunging views of valleys, lakes and those tantalisingly tempting ski slopes.
If there’s one thing you can be sure of at Suvretta House, it’s the sheer quality of the hospitality. Impeccable hospitality is the hotel’s pride and joy; the cordiality with which guests are received has the power to make you feel as though you’re a veritable member of the royal family, and guests will be shrouded in five star, luxury comfort from the moment they walk (or should that be ski?) through those doors. The ski in-ski out facilities are excellent, naturally; and with numerous ski passes on offer, this is a hotel that should be making an appearance during your winter season.
Portetta Hotel, Courchevel
Credit: Amy Murrell
Open log fires? Panoramic views over Courchevel Moriand? Rich oak interiors? An après ski terrace serving up wood-fired pizza, complete with fire and flame heaters and ice shots doing the rounds? We’re sold; and you should be, too.
The Portetta Hotel is one of the most relaxing hotels around; and with those ski in-ski out facilities, it’s one of the most rejuvenating, too. 38 immaculately cosy rooms are topped only by the six duplex lofts (complete with balconies), which take over the hotel’s two top floors. Throw in the Cucina Angelina restaurant, with its nods to local Savoyard cuisine, and the Portetta Spa: and you’ve got yourself a hotel that’ll guarantee you don’t do any actual skiing; it’ll be that hard to leave.
Alpaga Hotel & Chalets, Megève
Credit: Charlotte Lindet
With Mont Blanc quite literally sitting squarely on your doorstop, you’ll be skiing in and skiing out before you’ve even had time to take in your historic surroundings. And historic they are, too; the hotel lies at the foot of the first French winter sports resort in history, and the eight chalets imbue all the tradition of this classic setting while simultaneously boasting the up-to-the-minute comfort and quality.
The bedrooms evoke soft, relaxing interiors with their emphasis on velvet, wood and wool; and guests will be privy to myriad log fires and enough fresh mountain air, inhaled from your balcony, than you could shake your skis at. The hotel brings wellness to the fore, with two sumptuous restaurants and a breathtaking spa; so if you arrive with all your urban stresses weighing down on your shoulders, you can rest assured they’ll be swept clean away.
Hotel Koh-I Nor, Val Thorens
The hotel takes up a splendid residence in the world’s largest ski resort (we’re sure you don’t need any reminders there, but for the uninitiated: that would be 3 Vallées); and with those panoramic views over Val Thorens, you’ll struggle to put your phone camera away for long enough to do any actual skiing.
Assuming you do manage to stop Instagramming the view, the first thing you’ll notice about the hotel is the staggering amount of natural light. Thanks to the diamond-shaped glass structure, the hotel is flooded with light left, right and centre; leaving guests with an inimitable feeling of buoyant warmth. 63 rooms and 35 apartments leave ample choice when it comes to accommodation; and with the hotel’s three restaurants, two pools and elegant lounge bar, you won’t be short of any post-skiing indulgence.
Hotel Altapura, Val Thorens
It’s hardly surprising that the world’s biggest ski resort, 3 Vallées, would be home to more than one exceptional hotel: and Hotel Altapura is just one such other example of the resort’s impeccable, inviting hospitality.
With direct access to the Plein Sud chairlift, among others, this is a ski in-ski out hotel of the finest variety. But once you’re done skiing in and out of those slopes, you’ll want to make the most of what this cosy, luxurious hotel has to offer: rooms exuding effortless (yet effective) Alpine chic; La Laiterie restaurant, with its plethora of cheese-based Alpine delicacies (fondue, raclette; you name it) and a Nordic interior decoration reminiscent of a golden era of Après ski parties past.
The Chedi Andermatt, Switzerland
Every hotel is unusual, with individual distinguishing features: but we mean it when we say that the Chedi Andermatt is truly unique. It merges Alpine chic with Asian expression; and in so doing, it creates a hotel the likes of which will rarely be found elsewhere.
It nestles snugly right in the heart of the Swiss Alps; and with a total of 123 rooms and suites, there’s sure to be something for everyone at this markedly unusual, elegantly luxurious hotel. There are approximately 180 kilometres of slopes available, so you can ski to your heart’s content; but if you’re feeling all skied out, there’s also a 007 offer available, among the other plentiful activities. Spend three days living the life of Britain’s most famous spy, with a helicopter, chauffeur, a gourmet dinner and a deluxe suite. Who’d say no?
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