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A guide to 5 ski resorts

Zermatt | Lech | Gstaad | Courchevel | Vail

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Zermatt 

zermatt ski

 

Key Facts

Altitude 1620m
350km of pistes
Home to the highest altitude station accessible by cable car in Europe – the Matterhorn glacier at 3883m
Extensive off piste skiing
Cosmopolitan and lively town with outstanding restaurants

Best time to go

February - when the sun comes out and the challenging Stockhorn slopes open. If you're after ideal heliskiing conditions, March and April are best when the crevasses are well filled on the glaciers. 

The must-ski piste

Rothorn or Stockhorn

Where to stay

A true home away from home, at Mont Cervin Palace guests will be greeted in a red covered horse-drawn carriage and delivered to the charming and quaint hotel. From rustic Alpine to contemporary luxury, the interior design of the hotel spans everyone's taste. The views and location, at the foot of the Matterhorn, are truly spectacular, particularly from the outdoor pool of the 1700 square meter Wellness & Spa. The hotel's Michelin-starred Ristorante Capri serves sumptuous Mediterranean cuisine.

Where to dine 

For lunch with a view, Chez Vrony provides not only outstanding cuisine, but also exceptional mountain views. Surrounded by a sea of Moncler jackets, you can warm up with a drink on the terrace or stop for a longer lunch from their exquisite menu. One of the most popular mountain hangouts for good reason -advance booking is recommended!

Where to après ski

After a hard day on the slopes, enjoying a lively apres ski party is an essential part of any ski holiday. Snowboat in Zermatt offers a lively atmosphere and exquisite cocktails made with fresh ingredients and premium spirits in a boat-shaped building by the river. If you're partial to a glass of fizz, the Champagner Bar is ready to greet you as you weave you way down from Sunnegga. Their friendly service and flutes of champagne will always go down well after a busy day of skiing.

Where to party

For those who want to continue the party after dark, visit one of the most legendary nightclubs in the Alp – Broken Bar Disco at the Hotel Post. With the dark, cosy atmosphere of a wine cellar and the iconic wine barrel that is use as a dancefloor, you'll be entertained until dawn.

Where to unwind

Make a visit to the Alpine Spa at the Grand Hotel to sooth those aching muscles. Featuring a pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam bath, and alpine and an ice grotto as well as a private spa area for couples and a number of treatments, the spa offers everything you'll need to relax and unwind.

How to get there

Fly into Sion airport and then its just over an hour's transfer to the resort by car. 

In association with Quintessentially Travel 

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Lech

gstaad ski

Key Facts 

Altitude 1450m
180km of pistes
Home to a number of world and Olympic ski champions and one of the world's premier ski destinations. 

Best time to go

Often receiving up to double the amount of snow compared to its French rival and to be the first to cap the number of passes issued at peak holiday times, recommend anytime from December to March.

The must-ski piste

Ski or snowboard the clockwise circuit of The White Ring – perfect for intermediate level.

Where to stay

Host to Princess Diana when she skied in Lech, the five starred Hotel Almhof Schneider has changed tack to a more contemporary feel that appeals to the younger clientele.

Where to dine

Dine at The Fenice at Hotel Arlberg for a menu of Mediterranean gourmet delicacies, created by two chefs de cuisine. Infusing regional products with Mediterranean flair, creativity and taste, both the service and food regularly impress.

Where to apres ski

Try the Burg Ice Bar for a refreshing drink at the end of the day, one the après ski hotspots in Lech. 

Where to party

The atmosphere of Fux Jazz Bar continues until dawn. With a laid-back lounge bar and a menu of 60 different malt whiskies served with a choice of cigars beside a log fire you will quickly settle in for the night. 

Where to unwind

The Spa at the Aurelio is an extensively equipped Thermal Suite, featuring sauna cabins, aroma salt steam rooms, herbal baths, vital sensory showers, cooling down experiences, a snow atrium and a fitness suite.

How to get there

Fly into Innsbruck airport and then a 90 minute transfer by car to the resort. 

In association with Quintessentially Travel 

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Gstaad 

gstaad ski

Key facts

Altitude 1060m
250km of pistes
Traditional alpine village without the cosmopolitan feel of other fashionable Swiss resorts

Best time to go

You are more likely to have, and often guaranteed, good snowfall in January and February

The must-ski piste

The Hornberg area is great to ski with families, offering gentle blue and red runs

Where to stay

The captivating Gstaad Palace is renowned for its family-run authenticity, warm & welcoming service and glamorous history. It has sumptuous rooms, five restaurants, a lobby bar that is known as 'the cross-roads of Gstaad', and an incredible spa with unparalleled mountain views, pampering treatments and heated indoor & outdoor pools.

Where to dine

For a friendly atmosphere dine for either lunch or dinner at Le Grand Bellevue's one Michelin starred restaurant Leonard's. Delivering seasonal cuisine it offers cut-above bistro cuisine.

Where to apres ski

Stop off on your final descent at the Euter Bar or Horny Bar for raclette cheese and a glass of fizz amidst breath-taking mountain views.

Where to party

For somewhere unpretentious with a local feel to it, the Chesery Club provides everything from live DJ's, a fumoir, billiards and two cosy bars.

Where to unwind

The Six Senses Spa at The Alpina combines the local Alpine surroundings with an Eastern influence, creating a warm and secluded ambience. From wellness therapies, body treatments to collagen facial the treatments on offer by their spa experts are numerous. The spa facilities include a salt room, indoor and outdoor swimming pool, relaxation rooms, hot and cold plunge pools, steam room and sauna.

How to get there

Fly into Bern airport and then its just an hour's drive from the airport to Gstaad. 

In association with Quintessentially Travel 

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Courchevel 

 courchevel ski

Key facts

Altitude 1747m
150km of pistes
A winter playground for the rich and famous, Courchevel is known as the luxury resort of the Alps.

Best time to go

With much quieter slopes and likely to have had a few good snowfalls, January is a great time to go to Courchevel.

The must-ski piste

The Grand Couloir

Where to stay

The Cheval Blanc offers a contemporary feel throughout its 37 rooms and is home to the only restaurant in Courchevel with 3 Michelin stars, where cuisine is fused with art. The Ski Service team will add the small details that make your time memorable – from preparing your equipment and readying it on the slopes for you to providing a sweet treat to keep you going on the slopes.

Where to dine

The Michelin starred restaurant Le Farcon cannot be missed if you're staying in Tania-Courchevel. Head chef Julien Machet will take you on a culinary adventure with a new menu every lunch time and evening.

Where to apres ski

Complete with a vodka bar, Ku De Ta is a popular apres ski venue where you can party from about 4pm. From live music to crepes and tapas to accompany your vin chaud you'll find everything you could want from an apres ski venue.

Where to party

Try the Mangeoire piano bar in Courchevel 1850 that offers an extensive wine list and a disco that continues until 5am.

Where to unwind

The Cha'Banya spa Le Chabichou Courchevel 1850 has a subterranean wellness centre under the ski slope that specialises in an array of multi-sensory experiences. From a tropical-rain trail to a Dead Sea pool, Russian sauna, hammam, Polar bath, ice fountain, saline cave and a musical pool. You can intertwine your wellness experience and skiing with their treatment programmes, including daily apres ski massages and facials.

How to get there

Fly to Chambery airport and then its an hour's drive from the airport to the resort. 

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Vail 

vail ski

Key facts

Altitude 2445m
234km of pistes
Guaranteed to be a ski experience like no other, Vail is home to great terrain options, an excellent choice of shops and restaurants and 5289 acres to explore.

Best time to go

Anytime between December and March, but the deeper snow will fall in February making it the best time to catch the powder.

The must-ski piste

Riva, the mountain's longest run

Where to stay

The Ritz-Carlton combines the comfort of a luxury hotel and the mountain traditions. With its pointed turrets, the Bavarian inspired building looks majestic amidst the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. The hotel's amenities are stylish and sophisticated with luxurious multi-bedroom club residences, elegant furnishing and striking views.

Where to dine

Chef Paul Ferzacca heads up the kitchen at La Tour in the heart of Vail Village. Known as the place where chefs eat, it offers modern French-American cuisine and a distinguished wine list.

Where to apres ski

Tavern on the Square at The Arrabelle transforms into the perfect place to kick back and enjoy a cocktail or two.

Where to party

A funky and energetic bar, Shakedown offers the best spot for live music and nightlife. It assembles some of the best artists from all over Colorado in an intimate and lively setting.

Where to unwind

The Spa at the Four Seasons is certainly worth a visit, having been awarded five stars by Forbes. A vast array of spa and beauty therapies as well as healing whirlpools and steam rooms, the spa offers you the opportunity to relax, renew and restore well-being after a long day on the slopes.

How to get there

Fly to Eagle County airport. The transfer to the resort will take approximately 40 mins. 

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- Access the smaller airports & get closer to your destination 

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