Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season

Before you scoop up your ski poles, here's what to expect from the Alps this winter...

There is something about the Alps. Whether you’re looking to hit some of the world’s best ski runs, rejuvenate in soul-restoring hotel spas — or sample such culinary delights as a traditional mountain rösti — there’s a lot to love about the Alpine life.

With the season of high altitude and après-ski well and truly upon us, we asked Bella Seel, the founder of ALS Ski, and the go-to off-piste insider to give us her top recommendations on where we should be pointing our skies this season.

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season
Bella Seel, Founder of ALS Ski

We also called on the luxury chalet company, Bramble Ski to tell us their top picks for the chalets you could be calling home this winter.

Courchevel

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season

Sitting (very) prettily at 1,747 metres, Courchevel is a part of Les Trois Vallées — the largest link of skiing areas in the world.

With a host of north-facing slopes, the snow in the Courchevel valley can usually be relied upon as some of the best in the area — there’s also a terrain to suit everyone from beginner to expert.

Bella says:

“We love Courchevel because it is where all the glitz & glamour happens. If you want to be surrounded by the ‘billionaire’ lifestyle, this is the place for you!”

What’s new this season?

Courchevel are promising “more snow than any other ski area” by doubling their snow-making capacity this year. Thanks to 115 new snow cannons, there is now a grand total of 700 cannons across the valley — promising you perfect powder on every run.

Courchevel has also seen a number of exciting hotel renovations taking place over the year — now completed and ready to welcome guests seeking elegant, cosy lodgings after their day on the slopes.

Bella’s favourite is La Sivoliere, which offers ski-in, ski-out access, and provides the chance to warm up by the fireplace, taste the gourmet cuisine of the restaurant Le 1850, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of downtown Courchevel.

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season
La Petite Bergerie

Where to invest:

Whilst it may not be on the market to make your own entirely, you can make La Petite Bergerie home for the season. This ski in/ski out three bedroom apartment is spread out over two levels and has its own entrance and a beautiful terrace overlooking the slopes.

Perfect for bringing the whole family together, this chalet sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms.

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season

La Petite Bergerie with ALS Ski

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Méribel

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season
Méribel

There are plenty of reasons to love Méribel, and not all of them include its prime position within the Trois Vallées ski area. Looking picture perfect, the slopes are dotted with classic chalet-style architecture, wooded surroundings and it is a region famed for its friendly, village atmosphere.

Bella says:

“We love Meribel because it is a charming, friendly resort located in the heart of the 3 valleys, providing enormous amounts of terrain to suit all levels of skier.”

What’s new this season?

Cherferie and Roc de Fer, a beautiful and less-frequented part of the Méribel’s ski area, is undergoing a two-year reconstruction which has cost upwards of €15 million.

Amongst the improvements you will see this winter, are two new high-speed six-seat chairlifts providing faster access to the pistes and a quicker link to Les Menuires.

The Plan de l’homme chairlift from la Chaudanne has also been replaced by ta faster, higher-capacity lift with an increased capacity (3,600 people per hour) — reducing any queueing in busy periods.

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season
Chalet L’Arpege

Where to invest:

For the ultimate party house in the Alps, the Chalet L’Arpege is a stunning, newly built ski in/ski out chalet situated at the bottom of the Hulotte piste, next to the Morel chairlift at 1600m in Méribel.  

Renting this chalet will grant you a dedicated team which includes a Chalet Manager, Private Chef and Chalet Host to look after you and up to 12 very lucky guests throughout your stay.

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season

Chalet L’Arpege with ALS Ski

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Val d'Isère

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season
Val d'Isere

More Britons get their winter sports fix in Val d’Isère every year than anywhere else in the world – and it is not hard to see why.

Handily connected to neighbouring Tignes to form a ski area of 300km of pistes and 78 lifts, Val d’Isère offers high quality, snow-sure slopes for skiers of all abilities.

Bella says:

We love Val d’Isère because it is snow-sure, with the glacier on its doorstep — as well as being a real hub for fun! It is a ski resort that is surrounded by passionate, happy skiers who love to live in the mountains. The terrain is pretty mega too!”

What’s new this season?

From this December, a brand new 10-person Poma gondola will bring skiers from La Daille up to the Folie Douce. The new lift, with 51 cabins and heated seats, replaces the old four-person télécabine that first opened in 1966.

Now under construction to open in December 2019, is France’s highest hotel, sat on the mountainside way above Val d’Isère.

At a heady altitude of 2551m, France’s oldest cable car station has been transformed into Le Refuge de Solaise, in a partnership project between local restaurateur Jean-Claude Borel and local architect Jean-Charles Covarel.

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season
Chalet Inoko

Where to invest:

This year, Bramble Ski, The Alps’ Largest Luxury chalet operator have expanded their portfolio into Val d’Isere and have released three sumptuous new chalets, Chalet Inoko, Chalet du Crêt and Chalet Barmettes.

The brand-new residences are nothing short of spectacular with unrivalled service including dedicated chauffeurs, world-class chefs and concierges who can arrange in-chalet ski and boot fittings, VIP experiences and reservations.

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season

Chalet Inoko with Bramble Ski

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Chamonix

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season
Chamonix

Chamonix has been at the cutting edge of Alpine adventure since 1760, when a Genevois scientist offered a prize for the first ascent of its famous local mountain – Mont Blanc, 4,807m, the highest in Europe.

The resort hosted the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924 and continues to draw swathes of the world’s most discerning skiers every year.

Bella says:

Chamonix is a real mountain resort, and you can make the most of what the region has to offer by hiring a guide for the day who can show you all the best places.

The Vallée Blanche is deservedly well known, but there are lots of other fabulous off-piste runs in Chamonix to discover.”

What’s new this season?

The Compagnie du Mont-Blanc have invested heavily in Les Grands Montets this summer. The Chamonix Valley’s most challenging ski area will now welcome beginners – with a new debutants’ area being built at the Lognan mid-station.

It will include two drag lifts, a beginner’s lift and additional snow cannons that will allow it to open from early December to early May.

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season
Chalet Mont Blanc

Where to invest:

Introducing the biggest chalet in all of Chamonix, Le Chalet Mont Blanc. This premium home has no less than 12 ensuite bedrooms, and an enviable array of amenities — including an indoor swimming pool, gym, sauna and home cinema.

You can keep your guests well cared for too, with a wine cellar and champagne station by Ruinart.

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season

Chalet Mont Blanc with ALS Ski

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Gstaad

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season
Gstaad

Gstaad in the Bernese Oberland attracts a charming mix of visitors: while the chalet village of Gstaad welcomes famous guests, the smaller neighbouring villages offer attractive options for families with children.

In recent years, the centre of Gstaad has also developed into the most popular and shortest “shopping mile” in Switzerland.

Bella says:

Gstaad’s motto ‘come up, slow down’ is the perfect way to describe this cosy Swiss village. With its host of traditional restaurants and beautiful ski runs, Gstaad is the ideal place to unwind and relax.”

What’s new this season?

A new gondola is commencing operations in Gstaad this winter, and will transport skiers and boarders to the ski area and the Saanersloch ridge.

This is a ‘D-line’ gondola made by Swiss manufacturer Garaventa-Doppelmayr, and is surrounded by glass, giving passengers amazing views of the Swiss Alps.

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season
Park Gstaad Hotel

Where to stay:

According to the team at Als Ski, there is only one place to stay for the season in Gstaad: the Park Gstaad Hotel.

Thanks to a recent refurbishment at the hotel, guests can now make use of the extensive, luxurious new spa, which is nestled within the beautiful Alpine landscape and surrounded by pure mountain air.

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season

Park Gstaad Hotel

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St. Moritz

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season
St. Moritz

St Moritz was the first all-round winter-sports resort in the world and, 150 years since its birth as a tourist destination, still boasts a myriad of on and off-snow activities from skating and bobsleigh to ice cricket.

It is also the world capital of winter glitz. Walking down the St Moritz streets in high season, it would seem that the designer label attached to your ski wear is as important as the function it serves.

Bella says:

“Known as the Bond Street of the Alps, this is the place for shopping, snow polo, horse racing on ice and the infamous Cresta Run! It is a true winter resort where skiing is just a part of it with the exclusive Corviglia club. Spend your nights at Dracs and you will brush shoulders with the rich and famous. If you are not dressed  head to toe in fur, you will look out of place!”

What’s new this season?

St. Moritz is home to the world-famous Cresta Run, a natural ice run built from scratch every year. There are over thirty highly competitive races and rides taking place every day of the season other than Christmas Day, this year and you can find the full event list here.

In exciting news this year, The Cresta Run is now allowing women to race, too.

For those more inclined to consume their calories than burn them off on the tracks, St. Moritz will play host to The Gourmet Food Festival from 11 – 19th January 2019.

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season
Chesetta Chalet

Where to stay:

Located minutes from bustling St Moritz in neighbouring Silvaplana, Chesetta Chalet is a haven of tranquility and magnificence. With room for up to 12 guests, the house also comes with a tailored and distinguished service.

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season

Chesetta Chalet

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Verbier

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season
Verbier

With it’s chocolate-box chalets, glorious mountain views, fantastic ski terrain and infamous nightlife, Verbier has developed into a glamorous winter playground for anyone who can afford to enjoy it (which, are a select few). There is no doubt it’s an expensive resort, but with it’s international clientele, high quality accommodation and superb bars & restaurants, it’s almost certainly worth it.

Bella says:

“We love Verbier because it offers everything for the hard core skiers and hard core party goers alike (I lived there for 10 years so that must say something!) It’s a true home from home, since it attracts such a fun, young crowd”

What’s new this season?

Having been voted the best Swiss ski resort of 2018, Verbier hosts some of the best and biggest free events throughout the season and the region will not disappoint this winter. After last year’s record breaking snow levels, Verbier is opened this month with similar hopes for a brilliant forecast.

If you still haven’t made your plans for NYE, bringing in the new year in Verbier is like nothing else. Thousands of people swarm the streets of Place Centrale to count down the clock with fireworks, flares, and champagne flying everywhere.

Following the famed street party, the vast array of Verbier clubs keep the night well and truly going, though book ahead for the after parties, as they’re extremely popular and sell out fast.

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season
Experimental Chalet

Where to stay:

Combining both traditional and modern, The Experimental Chalet is ideal for those wanting a chic yet comfortable stay. Following a contemporary renovation, this traditional chalet offers the best of both worlds for a luxury ski holiday. Situated in the heart of Verbier, the luxurious chalet offers 39 modern rooms and suites all furnished with king-size beds.

Look no further for a place to stay warm and comfortable after their time on the slopes — but there’s also the famous late-night “farm club” for those wanting to carry on after aprés.

Here’s what’s new in the Alps this season

Experimental Chalet

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Now that you’ve got your ski season planned, here’s how to dress for the slopes… 

 

Further Reading