The first snowfall is one of the most anticipated moments of the year for winter lovers. After patiently and eagerly waiting, blankets of snow have now settled on mountain caps
Inspiring Ski Resorts
The first snowfall is one of the most anticipated moments of the year for winter lovers. After patiently and eagerly waiting, blankets of snow have now settled on mountain caps, which only means one thing: it’s the beginning of the ski season, and we’re as excited as you are! Dust off those ski gears, suit up, and race down the slopes of the 10 best luxury ski resorts in the world.
ITALY • When a ski resort is near the Dolomites, it is almost a guarantee that its slopes will be world class. San Cassiano, a quaint mountain village at the foot of the Dolomite peaks of La Varela and Conturines in northeast Italy, is one of the most incredible ski destinations in the world with pistes perfect for beginners up to the most seasoned skiers. Don’t miss the 7.2-kilometre long Foram toboggan run that starts from Lagazuoi Mountain all the way to San Cassiano and the cross-country skiing experience in Armentarola, a part of the world-famous Dolomiti Nordic ski. The Sella Ronda ski circuit is a holy grail to winter sports enthusiast. The 40-kilometre adventure spans four Ladin Valleys (yes, it’s that big), encircle the entire Serra massif, and is better suited for blue runners. WINTER ABODE For those who want the whole nine yards in luxury, check in at Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa, a 5-star intimate boutique hotel with 52 richly-decorated rooms. Its most opulent Chalet Zeno hosts seven to eight guests in its master suite and one deluxe double room, while its marble bathrooms boast of hammam showers. Rosa Alpina is also home to restaurant St. Hubertus, a 2-star Michelin restaurant. Speaking of dining… STANDOUTS For the gourmands, San Cassiano has three Michelin-starred restaurants. Aside from St. Hubertus, another 2-star restaurant La Siriola is based in Hotel Ciasa Salares helmed by Chef Matteo Metullio, one of Italy’s youngest Michelin-starred chefs. Come hungry, as La Siriola is famous for its ten-course menu. Hotel La Perla’s La Stua de Michil, a 1-star Michelin restaurant, will make you fall in love with its intimate setting of soft lights and charming centrepieces. www.rosalpina.it
FRANCE • Never come to Chamonix Mont-Blanc unprepared as its slew of winter sports suit adrenaline junkies from the world over. Snow exposure is guaranteed with more than 90 per cent of its ski areas at an altitude of over 2,000 metres. This ski resort in France was the location of the first Winter Games in history in 1924, and since then has been a regular port-of-call for skiers. La Verte, Chamonix’ iconic piste and one of the most wonderful descents in the world, features several technical passages and jumps at a vertical drop of 870 metres. A spectacular view of the Mer de Glace glacier and the mountain peaks of the Drus, the Aiguille Verte, and Grandes Jorasses can be seen at La Floria piste, while it will take a bit more to accomplish the 23-kilometre Valle Blanche off-piste route, the longest descent in Europe at 2,700 metres. WINTER ABODE Run by the Maillet-Carrier family since the early 1900s, Hotel Hameau Albert 1er has been warmly welcoming visitors to its resplendent accommodations. Cosy up by the fireplace in your personalised rooms and take a dip in the indoor-outdoor swimming pool. Its 2-star Michelin restaurant Albert 1er serves Alpine cuisines with an excellent wine list to boot. STANDOUTS Chamonix Mont- Blanc will play host to a number of music festivals in early 2018. The Chamonix Unlimited Festival will bring an international line-up of musicians and DJs on the electro and contemporary music scene in April 2018; Musical Mont Blanc is a three day music festival for lovers of pop-rock. www.hameaualbert.fr
Including: Baqueira Beret (Spain), Courchevel 1850 (France), Whistler Blackcomb (Canada), Cortina D’Ampezzo (Italy), Gstaad (Switzerland), Sierra Nevada Resort (Spain), Alpensia Pyeongchang (South Korea) & Megeve (France).
© This article was first published in Dec-Jan 2018 edition of World Travel Magazine.