Lech Zürs, Austria
Located in the snowy heart of the Vorarlberg, Lech Zürs am Arlberg is one of Austria's finest and most exclusive ski resorts. We'll put it this way: the chair lifts have weather protectors and seat heaters, while there are multiple champagne bars waiting for you at the bottom of the main slope. This is not your average ski resort. However, thanks to the Flexenbahn gondola, alongside the new and improved Madlochbahn and Zugerbergbahn gondolas, it's also part of Ski Arlberg: the largest ski area in the country and the fifth largest on the planet, boasting 303km of linked pistes and a further 200km of ungroomed ski routes in total. Known for having some of the Alps’ best snow records, too, it offers great ski conditions right into April.
Lech offers much more than access to phenomenal slopes. The village itself is very charming indeed thanks to the backdrop of neighbouring peaks Omeshorn, Rüfikopf and Kriegerhorn, the river Lech gently burbling through the centre of town, and its collection of quaint chalet-style buildings. Better still, there's a fine blend of family-friendly luxury hotels, glamorous shops, as well as a ample bars and restaurants serving classic Austrian fare.
Accommodation: Hotel Aurelio
For those looking for the height of luxury, there are few better options in the whole of Europe that can beat the five-star plus Hotel Aurelio. Voted the best boutique ski hotel in the 2021 World Ski Awards, this stylish 18-room hotel offers its handful of guests unparalleled hospitality, a superb spa, and excellent on-site dining. It really doesn't get much better than this.
Sandwiched between the Hahnenkamm and Kitzbüheler Horn mountains, Kitzbühel is one of the most cosmopolitan Alpine resorts. An imposing Gothic church and brightly-coloured medieval buildings dot the high street - housing traditional hotels, sophisticated shopping, buzzing après and an atmospheric nightlife. Add to that the scenery, a diverse ski area - with 170km of piste - and it’s easy to understand Kitzbühel's popularity. It’s also home to the Hahnenkamm Streif, the Ski World Cup’s most notorious downhill race - which draws crowds of thousands to the biggest annual ski party.
Accommodation: Hotel Schwarzer Adler
With 150 years of history, the Schwarzer Adler has developed into a stylish and modern boutique hotel - whilst respecting its traditional Alpine architecture. The rooftop outdoor pool gives amazing views of the area.
High in the Paznaun valley, Ischgl has developed from a farming village into a bustling resort with a buzzing nightlife. The village retains its traditional charm but around each corner you'll find boutique shops, top-class restaurants and glitzy bars and clubs. The Silvretta area lift pass gives access to Ischgl and Galtür (a 10-minute free ski bus away), 330 km of pistes, amazing off-piste and some of the best snowboarding in the Alps. The area also enjoys excellent snow records until late into the season.
This winter, why don't you step out your comfort zone and try out Ischgl's 'Sky Fly' - an exhilarating 2km-long zip wire that runs from the Silvrettabahn mid-station to the Pardatschgratbahn valley station. Two parallel wires mean that two people can race down into the valley together, taking in all the fabulous views on the way.
Accommodation: Hotel Trofana Royal
Trofana Royal is a beautiful hotel in the very centre of Ischgl, with a five-star spa and its very own Gault Millau-awarded chef. It boasts both luxurious indoor and outdoor pools and a 2,500m² spa area with sauna, steam room and more.
The Val Gardena resorts of Selva, Ortisei and Santa Cristina have direct access to the extensive Dolomiti Superski area – the largest ski area in Europe. It’s home to the UNESCO-protected Sella Massif – arguably the most beautiful mountain range in Europe – whose pink and jagged peaks created the Dolomites’ famous ski circuit, the Sella Ronda. Selva is ideal for intermediate skiers, who are spoilt for choice by the range of open and wooded red runs. And just 5km away are the sunny, open bowls of Ortisei – great for beginners and less confident intermediates.
Accommodation: Tyrol Hotel
The opulent Hotel Tyrol offers 4.5-star comfort just metres from the lifts. With a comprehensive spa and wellness centre - complete with pool and indoor and outdoor hot tubs - it blends traditional chalet styling with a little added luxury.
Val d’Isère, France
One of the world's premier ski resorts, Val d'Isère combines some of France’s best skiing conditions with an exciting après scene. The resort links to Tignes to form the Espace Killy, one of the most varied ski areas in Europe - so no wonder it won several awards at the World Snow Awards in 2016, including Ski Resort of the Year. It’s a true skier’s paradise that offers something for every ability level, from absolute beginner up to advanced skiers. Off the slopes the nightlife is hard to beat, with lively pubs to enjoy the famous après scene, chic bars for a cocktail and a couple of nightclubs where you can get your groove on.
Accommodation: Avenue Lodge Hotel
The Avenue Lodge Hotel has an enviable position just 5 minutes' walk to the Solaise and Bellevarde ski lifts. The cosy lounge bar is an ideal spot to enjoy an après-ski cocktail or delightful afternoon tea.
Amazing scenery, a huge 360km of skiing and a beautiful resort centre – Zermatt has everything. With the iconic Matterhorn as your backdrop you can start the day in Switzerland, ski in Italy and lunch on authentic Italian food in Cervinia and be back in time for dinner in this stunning resort. Its world-class ski area is known for the high-altitude and advanced skiing, but it also has beginner areas closer to the town. The resort centre is bustling in the evenings with buzzing nightlife and a range of fantastic restaurants to try out. You’ll find a great après environment with plenty of bars to suit any budget. There are over 100 restaurants, from fancy bistros to typically Swiss specialities.
Accommodation: Hotel Monte Rosa
Located close to the shops and bars, the Hotel Monte Rosa is a historic alpine hotel and offers the additional benefit where evening meals can be taken in any of the 11 Seiler sister hotel restaurants. The fabulous newly renovated health spa at the neighbouring Hotel Mont Cervin (150 metres) is free to all guests.
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