Escaping into a wintery landscape where you can lose the sense of time and sink into a hot tub after a long day on the slopes is arguably the best medicine for stress and all the anxieties that 2021 brought with it.
While Europe is renowned for its breathtaking ski destinations and has a long tradition of attracting the rich and famous, luxury ski resorts in other parts of the world also offer equally enticing opportunities for world-class skiing and indulgence.
The Oxford Ski Company has ranked the world’s top luxury chalets based on where skiers and snowboarders are spending the most time and money. Whether you’re an avid skier or a novice on the slopes there’s something for everyone in these opulent mountain resorts.
Courchevel 1850, France
Easily considered one of the most attractive ski resorts in the French Alps, Courchevel 1850 is set in the centre of the Three Valleys in the resort region of Courchevel, which consists of four ski towns as well as exclusive hotels, Michelin restaurants and designer boutiques.
Located just two minutes from Courchevel 1850, Chalet Edelweiss is equipped with the latest furnishings and facilities to enjoy the ultimate ski experience in style. Highlights include a private cinema, open fireplace, indoor hot tub and ‘ski in, ski out’ access. Edelweiss is a new chalet with traditional and charming interiors that are married with impeccable five-star service.
Val d’lsere, France
Conveniently located in the serene La Mourra mountain hamlet, close to all the local amenities from the Val d’lsere village and, importantly, the slopes, Chalet Chene accommodates up to 16 guests. Spread across four levels featuring reclaimed wood, a cosy floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace and warm fabrics, the luxury chalet also boasts ambient lighting coupled with ceiling-high curtains that separate the main areas from one another. The chalet includes an impressive cinema room coupled with an array of spa features on the ground level. While stairs connect each level, taking the lift is also an option.
Chalet: The Lodge
Verbier’s highly sought-after nine-bedroom luxury accommodation once served as a place of refuge for Sir Richard Branson and those within his inner circle. Today the alpine chalet is ideally situated close to the slopes with some impressive features that would be difficult to find in even the most luxurious ski lodges. Designed to be enjoyed throughout the summer and winter months, the chalet has both outdoor and indoor jacuzzis in addition to some more unusual options for exercise including an ice rink, party room, squash and tennis facilities alongside various entertainment options to keep you engaged in the gym.
At the Virgin Limited property traces of Branson can be found in the form of rubber duckies in the hot tub, hand-crafted snow sleighs, an extensive wine cellar and St Bernard stuffed animals.
Chalet: Lapin Blanc
Famous for its quaint wooden chalets Méribel is one of the largest and most popular skiing destinations in France, with Chalet Lapin Blanc representing the pinnacle of luxury in Méribel. Guests can enjoy unlimited champagne and gourmet four-course meals and, for the ultimate comfort, luxury dressing gowns and slippers are also available. The chalet itself is built from local wood and stone and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains from the balconies. Combined with professional in-house masseuses and one staff member to every two guests, this exclusive chalet is the perfect retreat after a day in the ski fields.
Chalet: Les Agnes
Zermatt is set in the heart of an extensive hiking and ski region in Switzerland, which includes 54 mountain railways and 360 kilometres of pistes. Often referred to as the ‘Home of Winter’, Zermatt is a key winter tourist destination with plenty of hours of sunshine coupled with a wide range of slopes and exceptional hospitality.
Designed with high ceilings and large windows that appear to invite the outdoors in, Les Anges is a contemporary chalet with a warm and cosy atmosphere reflecting the work of international lighting consultants. Those who appreciate a more natural look and feel will enjoy the highest quality natural fabrics and bed linen accompanied by a relaxation area featuring a luxurious Italian marble pond and water fountain.
Chalet: Chalet M
A popular destination for the wealthy and European royalty, the historic village of Lech has retained its medieval charm with its traditional Bavarian architecture alongside the Lech River.
Chalet M is ideally located within walking distance of the town’s centre and the Schlosskopf chairlift which provides access to a ski area of more than 305 kilometres. The chalet boasts a cinema room that is perfect for entertaining kids, while parents can enjoy a drink over dinner in the open plan living/dining area or explore the wellness facilities including a sauna, steam room and swimming pool.
Whistler, BC, Canada
A bucket list destination for travellers around the world Whistler is a resort town nestled in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, about a two-hour drive from Vancouver. Visited in both summer and winter the location offers access to the well-known Whistler Bike Park, championship golf courses and an array of shopping and dining options within a stunning alpine setting.
Set within a seven-acre estate in the elite neighbourhood of Stonebridge the luxury Helet Chalet offers unprecedented levels of privacy and space with a gated driveway. It can also be accessed via helicopter – it’s one of the only chalets in the world to offer heliski-in/heliski-out capabilities. With its extensive list of facilities, you’d be pressed to find elsewhere better suited to the needs of both adults and children. Highlights include an outdoor heated pool, sauna room, a private library and media, billiards and games rooms.
San Cassiano, Italy
San Cassiano is a small mountain village, close to the Dolomite peaks, that attracts guests from around the world and is home to some excellent restaurants including one which is Michelin-starred.
Part of the Rosa Alpina Hotel, Chalet Zeno offers the services of a five-star hotel with the feeling of a private chalet in a prime location – the heart of the village and close to the Sella Ronda ski area. Not only do guests have access to the hotel’s spa facilities, but the chalet is also equipped with three ensuite bedrooms with their own hammam showers. You’ll also find an open fireplace with comfy sofas – an ideal way to unwind after exploring the surrounding exquisite nature.
Chalet: Four Peaks Estate
A popular ski destination, Aspen, is set in the White River National Forest surrounded by the majestic Elk Mountains which can be viewed from the floor-to-ceiling windows at the Four Peaks Estate. Styled with contemporary American designer furnishings, the sprawling five-bedroom property is ideal for entertaining with its chef-style kitchen and plush seating. It boasts a hot tub that can accommodate up to eight people which is perfectly positioned for you to soak in the breathtaking views of Aspen. The luxurious abode also features a movie theatre room, fireplace and a stylish alfresco dining area on a heated patio.
Niseko is considered to be the home of the world’s best powder snow, which combined with the terrain makes it one of Asia’s most highly sought-after skiing and snowboarding destinations. Each winter 14 metres of this powder snow transforms the landscape into a winter wonderland.
Kiraku, located in Annupuri Village, is ideal for large groups who intend to explore Niseko while enjoying a luxury stay in a contemporary minimalist style chalet that features plenty of natural sunlight and views of Mount Yotei. Kiraku provides a uniquely authentic experience of Japan with deep Japanese bathtubs, a private onsen and a traditional Japanese Tatami room with four futons alongside the usual modern facilities you’d expect from a luxury hotel.