Skiing may be a sport for people who love thrilling pastimes and don’t mind getting a bit rough and ready, but that’s not to say these very same people don’t enjoy the very best in standards of accommodation, amenities and – of course – piste conditions.
I for one couldn’t bear to spend my time away from the slopes in a dowdy apartment set in a village miles from any restaurants or spa facilities, and, for me, it’s worth spending a little extra to ensure I get the atmosphere, facilities and conditions I want.
Not sure where to go for a luxury inclusive ski holiday? Read my guide to find out more about three of the top spots for this sort of getaway.
The resort of Courchevel in France comprises a number of villages, the highest of which is Courchevel 1850 – one of the most exclusive winter sports destinations in the world. The skiing here is varied, so whether you’re a complete novice or a seasoned expert you can be certain of slopes suitable for your ability level.
You’ll find 150 km of trails just waiting to be explored, along with a dedicated snowboard park if you feel like trying something new. In fact, there is plenty to do here besides skiing – several paragliding schools are based in Courchevel, there’s a climbing wall, and facilities for ice karting, snowshoeing and snowmobiling are all within easy reach. If you want a truly memorable escape, you can even book a scenic helicopter flight over the resort.
In terms of the apres ski scene, expect to choose from dozens of chic bars, a few nightclubs, a wide range of indoor swimming pools and saunas, along with a sports centre and indoor ice skating rink.
Located in the Graubunden region of Switzerland, St Moritz is a chic resort regarded by many as the birthplace of winter sports. Known for its ‘champagne’ climate – which is dry and sunny – St Moritz is snow-sure and boasts an average 322 days of sunshine each year.
There are more than 350 km of slopes here, including the glacial ski area of Diavolezza, while off-piste skiing is also particularly popular too. Away from the slopes, you can get involved in activities like curling, golf, cricket and horse-racing on a frozen lake, or arrange a trip to the opera, visit the local art galleries or explore the Swiss National Park.
The Austrian resort of St Anton is among the best-known in the world, offering unrivalled scenery and reliable snowfall. There are 134 runs to choose from, with the majority catering for intermediate skiers, although there are plenty for beginners and experts too.
St Anton is as famous for its vibrant and sophisticated apres ski scene as it is for its excellent skiing conditions, and the partying goes on well into the wee hours at the many bars and nightclubs to be found in the resort.
The pedestrianised village centre also offers opportunities to get involved in a range of activities, such as tobogganing, ice skating and bowling, and there’s a leisure complex if you want to get your adrenalin going indoors rather than outside. A luxurious spa with a sauna, solarium and steam room add to the opulent amenities on offer at this chic resort.