Ski Resorts to Escape to This Winter
We've picked out the very best ski resorts to escape to this winter
In the southwest of France, Les Deux Alps is internationally renowned as a great place to let loose and hit the slopes. With flights that can get you to Grenoble airport in under three hours, this is the perfect spot for a last-minute, impulsive winter getaway.
This is the perfect resort if you’re all about the après and want the chance to party your winter away. The large resort in the Grand Rousses mountain range is a great choice for a budget-friendly getaway and boasts one of the highest skiable peaks in the Alps, with a vertical drop approaching 2,300m from the glacier at the top to the village of Mont de Lans at the base. Speaking of the glacier, this means that you are pretty much guaranteed natural snow for the entire ski season. Divided into seven different sectors, the resort accommodates all skill levels and has 410 hectares of marked runs to choose from. For absolute beginners there are five free lifts at the bottom of the ski area, perfect for your first run.
Away from the slopes, there’s plenty to keep everyone happy. Why not give the bowling alley a try or stop by the sports hall to set up a game of volleyball? If you want to lose yourself for a few hours we recommend the cinema which has daily screenings in case skiers are caught out by bad weather.
When you’ve had your fill of skiing for the day head to one of the resort’s many bars including the famous Pano Bar on the slopes where you’ll find live music and a party atmosphere. A particular highlight is La Rhumerie, a bar dedicated to flavoured rums. For food, we recommend trying out The Secret, a relaxed restaurant serving decent pizza with live music, or the Windsor Pub for a classic pub meal. If you’re still looking for more, take your pick from Les Deux Alpes’ eight nightclubs to dance the night away.
Where to Stay
Hotel Chalet Mounier
Overlooking Les Ecru’s national park, this cosy boutique hotel is the perfect sanctuary. Conveniently close to the slopes, this welcoming hotel has a bar, a gourmet restaurant, and (best of all) the hotel boasts a luxury spa, perfect for easing the aches, pains and strains of the day.
Hotel Les Lutins
Lively and homely, this family-owned hotel is the perfect choice for a relaxed break. The hotel is a short distance away from the main cable car which takes you to the very top of the ski area, and all the rooms are decorated in a natural style to highlight the stunning views of the mountains from the windows.
Hôtel Les Mélèzes
With fantastic access to the slopes, this is a great hotel if you want to just get up and go in the mornings. The hotel also boasts a wellness centre which includes a sauna, massage shower and massage room, ideal for soothing the aches and pains of a day on the slopes. For lunch, the Brasserie des Mélèzes is the place to be with delicious food, a south-facing terrace and fantastic views of the pistes.
Finding holidays that the whole family enjoy can be exhausting, especially when travelling abroad. Never fear! This is a fantastic option to keep the tribe entertained. Although the flight to beautiful British Columbia may be a long one, we’re sure the whole family will thank you for it.
With so much to offer, Whistler Blackcomb is where you want to be this winter. Boasting 8,171 acres of land and more than 200 marked runs, this is the largest ski resort in North America. The resort is built around two adjacent mountains and receives a whopping 465 inches of snow every year, so your ski season can last as long as you like. With so much space, the resort has a perfect split between beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain that is serviced by an outstanding lift-system, so there is no need for crowding either. For the more adventurous, why not try back country skiing or a helicopter assisted ski tour? Advanced skiers should also explore the Highest Level Terrain Park and its enormous jumps, rails and jib bars. The size of the resort means that off-piste options are practically limitless and we recommend taking a guide to the popular Cowboy Ridge, a convenient distance away from the resort that feels peaceful and untouched, yet still connected at the same time. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola is another marvel of the resort, offering unparalleled views of the landscape as it takes you from one mountain to another.
Whistler’s culinary scene is constantly evolving to ensure it is delivering the best experience for guests, and with more than 170 dining options to choose from, you won’t know where to begin. Consistently rated as one of Whistler’s best places to dine, we recommend Rimrock Café, a relaxed restaurant run by local outdoor enthusiasts who are committed to serving top-quality cuisine. For breakfast, visit the Wildflower where kids eat free and the food is inspired by local classics.
For family activities, the resort has specially designed family zones for everyone to enjoy as well as the Whistler Kids Snow School to help even the youngest children have fun. If the kids are done with skiing for the day, they can check out the Tree Fort and Magic Castle that can be found onsite. Want to take a bit of time for yourself? Take advantage of the Teddy Bear Daycare in Whistler village.
Where to Stay
Fairmont Chateau Whistler
A hotel name that is synonymous with luxury, the Fairmont Chateau in Whistler looks like it came straight out of a film and is the perfect choice if you’re looking for something a bit special this winter. After a long day on the slopes why not take advantage of the facilities and relax in the spa or try one of the many treatments offered by the health club? The rooms themselves are rustic and welcoming, with stunning views across the mountains.
For a quirky, boutique experience, head to Summit Lodge. Found on a quiet edge of Whistler village, this pet-friendly hotel is the perfect change of pace from the ski resort. With bold and colourful decor, it is a departure from the standard wood accents of most ski resort hotels. The restaurant too is a delightful surprise, offering sushi that the locals rave about.
The Sundial Hotel
For a practical, convenient place to stay, you can’t go far wrong with the Sundial Hotel. If you decide not to eat at one of the three restaurants in the hotel then shopping and dining options in Whistler village are only a few minutes walk away. Perfectly situated in the village to make sure you are at the heart of everything, there’s no need to travel far. If you do choose to have a quiet night in, why not try the hot tub or relax by the fireside?
Everyone wants to know that they’re doing their part for the environment. From the clothes we buy to the food we eat, it’s good to know you’re making the responsible choice, and the same goes for holiday destinations. Just a short two-hour flight away, this resort is ideal for an eco-friendly getaway.
Found in western Austria’s Paznaun Valley, just north of the Swiss border, the resort is based around the compact and traditionally styled Ischgl village. Movement around the resort is made particularly easy by the moving walkways and pedestrian tunnels throughout. The slopes are best suited to intermediate skiers and the resort boasts one of the best lift systems in the Alps. A combination of north-facing slopes and a high altitude means the resort is snow sure and runs remain intact late into the day. The nursery slopes are also at a high altitude, so learning can happen on high-quality snow. Ischgl also has one of the largest off-piste areas in Austria with plenty of steep descents and cliff-drops – make sure to take a guide with you to point out all the hidden gems.
Besides skiing, Ischgl has plenty to offer. For a day of culture, take your pick from the three museums that explore the history of the local area. If you need a day to wind down, head over to the Silvretta Theme, a luxury spa with an enormous pool, sauna and stunning views. For dinner there’s no shortage of options, from the experimental to the more traditional, the restaurants here cater to everyone. A particular favourite among guests is Star, a restaurant that celebrates the flavours of South East Asia.
Ischgl is serious about its eco responsibilities and wants you to be too. Over the years, the resort has put in measures to make it as sustainable a place to ski as possible without compromising the comfort of guests, from serving locally-sourced produce in the gourmet restaurants to its geothermic heating which warms the chairlifts and gondolas. The resort is car-free to cut down on emissions, but don’t worry, there is an excellent shuttle service in place to get you where you need to be. Best of all, Ischgl has a tree-planting programme which has planted more than 35,000 trees since 2020.
Where to Stay
Hotel Alpvita Piz Tacna
Relax in style in this luxury hotel, only a 10-minute walk from the centre of Ischgl. Spend time taking advantage of the hotel’s wellness options including the spa, swimming pool and fragranced steam rooms to ease the aches of your time spent on the slopes. No need to rush to the lifts either as ski passes and services can be booked at the hotel for you. With stunning views of the mountains around you, this is truly an indulgent place to spend your getaway.
This quiet, family-run hotel is the perfect place to hide away at the end of a long day of skiing. The rooms are bight, airy and relaxed with many having balconies overlooking the stunning natural beauty of the area. This is a fantastic family option as the hotel offers family apartments too, with additional services for babies available. Don’t want to go looking for restaurants? Stay in and dine at the hotel restaurant which offers a daily menu of five to seven courses for guests.
Found at the very heart of Ischgl, this stylish hotel is constantly being updated so it can stay ahead of all your holiday needs. The hotel boasts some of the best wellness facilities we’ve seen with a Finnish sauna, bio sauna, brine steam bath, herbal steam bath, ice room and more. If you can bring yourself to leave the hotel, there are more than 40 restaurants within easy walking distance and the nearby ski run ends right at the rear of the hotel.
When it comes to a getaway, sometimes all you want is that little extra touch of luxury to feel really refreshed. With flights to Geneva taking just under two hours, we’ve found the ideal spot for an indulgent stay only a short trip away.
One of the most famous ski resorts in Europe, Courchevel is as enormous as it is luxurious and is part of the Three Valleys, the world’s largest ski area, with more than 600km of space and 497 marked runs to choose from. With scale like that there is something for all, whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced skier. The resort is also known for excellent snow conditions due to its high altitude. Take a guide with you and explore the off-piste options just a short distance away, or, for beginners, we recommend Mickey’s beginner slope in Moriond. With a free ski lift away from the crowds, this is a great option for those just finding their feet (or skis).
There are plenty of activities to enjoy at Courchevel away from the slopes. Courchevel Adventure offers a wide range of exciting experiences including dog sledding, snowmobile tours and even sky diving if you’re brave enough. For a quieter day, try out the enormously popular Aquamotion, a state of the art swimming facility. There are also massage treatments, a salt pool and a sauna so you can make it a full day of relaxation.
With more than a few Michelin-starred restaurants in the resort, you will have no shortage of excellent places to stop for a bite to eat. We recommend the two-Michelin-star restaurant Les Airelles. The menu here is meticulously prepared by chef Pierre Gagnaire, who uses innovative techniques to create a refined and elegant experience. For something more laidback, visit the cosy Bistrot du Praz in Courchevel’s lower village.
Where to Stay
Hotel Barriere Les Neiges
Reflecting the cosy wood tones of a traditional mountain chalet, this hotel is a great choice for a calm and relaxing stay. With a private cinema, a spa with six treatment rooms and a pool, we wouldn’t blame you if you never made it to the slopes. Ski access is very convenient for those who do, with a ski-in ski-out location offering direct access to the slopes. With a wide variety of accommodation, this hotel is ideal whether you’re travelling solo or have the whole family with you.
Built and still owned by the Pinturault family, this hotel is a great choice for families holidaying together. The hotel offers a brilliant children’s club and play room with a variety of activities and workshops to keep the little ones entertained. With a team of youth leaders on site, you can rest at ease knowing the kids are kept happy for the whole holiday. There is also a games room and cinema for older kids. Being the highest hotel in Courchevel has its perks, with breathtaking views across the Alps.
For a self-catered option at the heart of Courchevel, we would recommend the Mammoth Lodge. Just 50 metres from the centre of the village and only 100 metres from the ski lifts, the lodge can accommodate up to 16 guests and is spread over four floors with a private elevator. This is ideal if you’re travelling with a group of friends and want a relaxed, private space to unwind.