Luxury ski trips to Austria, Switzerland, France and Spain
Snowy mountain vistas. Cosy wooden chalets. Steaming cups of post-piste hot chocolate or mulled wine. These are a few classic ingredients you’ll find on most European ski holidays. However, there are more than a few ways to make a winter wonderland that’s entirely your own. From luxury ski resorts made for romance to fun-filled escapes for families, here’s our pick of sublime ski experiences.
With gentle slopes, Obergurgl is ideal for family ski trips, particularly if you have younger children. The traditional Austrian buildings lend the resort a rustic charm, and the powder-soft snow is perfect for first lessons (or snowman building).
Stay at: Art & Relax Hotel Bergwelt, which has the highest heated pool in the Alps.
On a high plain in the Jungfrau region, Wengen pairs laid-back slopes with plenty of extra activities to pack out a family holiday. When not finding their snow-legs on the nursery slopes, children can whizz around the ice rink. Travelling to Wengen is all part of the adventure, too – it’s reached by a cog railway that climbs up through mountain tunnels. At the top, you’ll have magical views of the Aletsch glacier to enjoy.
Stay at: Hotel Caprice, a traditional lodge in an enchanting valley.
Lech am Arlberg, Austria
Choose an up-to-the-minute take on the mountain chalet, at Severin’s - The Alpine Retreat. With just a handful of exclusive suites to choose from, it feels like your personal alpine playground. Experience true hygge in your suite with high-end furnishings and state of art gadgets. Spend a cosy night in front of a log fireplace watching a movie or listening to music. You're in a prime position to take on the world-class pistes of Lech and St Anton as the hotel is just a short ski-lift ride away.
The resort of choice for deep-pocketed Parisians, Megève still has the feel of a well-kept secret. Despite its small size, the quaint streets are packed with over 80 restaurants, including a constellation of Michelin-starred eateries. For something a little different, read about visiting Domaine de la Sasse, a private restaurant where you’ll work up an appetite just getting there.
Stay at: Le M de Megève, a contemporary chalet with an unforgettable spa that includes an atmospheric hammam carved out of the rock.
By day: A mix of easier and more challenging slopes, thrilling off-piste routes, and snowparks for watching the freestylers at work – or catching some air yourself. Verbier covers a large area with plenty of variety, making it a great choice for getaways with a group of friends.
By night: Verbier’s dizzying slopes are matched by a dedication to serious partying. Start with a drink at Les Ruinettes (though remember, you’ll still have to ski back down to the village). Then grab beers and sharing platters at Pub Mont Ford and catch live music at Hotel Farinet. If you’re happy to splash out, cocktails at Savoleyres await.
Stay at: Cordée des Alpes, a sleek chalet that’s perfect for relaxing once the party’s over.
St Anton, Austria
If you’re a seasoned skier in search of new thrills, few luxury resorts can match St Anton for steep downhill routes and off-piste adventures. The birthplace of Austrian skiing still feels like a free-spirited place that attracts those seeking to carve new paths on untouched snow. Hire a mountain guide, hop on a cable car up to the Valluga bowl, and explore.
Stay at: Hotel Tannenhof, a local landmark that’s attracted the social elite since the 1920s. There’s also a stunning spa featuring private Finnish sauna cabins in the woods.
Something a little different...
Most of us may associate Andalucia with sun-soaked days and sultry nights. But in winter, the Sierra Nevada mountains offer a slightly more off-the-beaten-path ski experience than its northerly neighbours. Pradollano is the only resort in the mountains, and mostly attracts a local Spanish crowd. And, at the end of the trip, you can drop into Granada and visit the awe-inspiring Alhambra Palace – without the summer crowds.
Stay at: El Lodge Ski and Spa, which has wide terraces, hot tubs and an open air heated pool for soaking up the Sierra Nevada views.