WINTER 2019 / 20
WINTER PREVIEW Ski Solutions’ guide to the mountains, featuring the top alpine experiences, expert knowledge and inspiration for next season.
MIKE TINDALL From rugby to red runs - Mike Tindall shares all about getting back on the piste
SKI THE SELLARONDA
Everything you need to know about skiing this super circuit in the mighty Italian Dolomites
W H AT ' S N E W Exciting new developments happening this winter
A S H O R T B R E A K T O T H E F I V E - S TA R H O T E L L E M A S S I F I N C O U R M AY E U R W O R T H £ 3 , 5 0 0
Exactly the holiday you had in mind, designed and delivered by experts. Ski Solutions is Britain’s original ski holiday provider, founded in 1986. We create tailor-made holidays to the world’s top resorts across Europe and North America. Looking for a chalet to bring in the New Year with friends? Celebrating a special occasion with a loved one? Even if you’re dreaming of skiing backcountry in North America, or want to spend as much time on the piste as possible, we have just the solution for you.
TA I L O R - M A D E
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Editor Arnie Wilson introduces this year’s Preview for Winter 19/20
t’s quite surprising – not to mention flattering – how many people I bump into who ask my advice about where to ski in the coming winter. If only it were that easy.
I have no idea, of course, where the snow will be good or indifferent. But there are so many other elements – no pun intended – to consider. What level of skier are they, for example. What do they regard as ‘good skiing’? Blue groomers? Black runs? Off-piste? Couloirs? Any children involved? If so, how old – and have they skied before? One person’s plunging piste is another’s poison, as it were. My Swedish wife Vivianne and I once took part in a ‘couple’s clinic’ in the USA. It was aimed at taking the stress out of couples with different skills skiing together. Each couple would ski at the level of the weaker skier, without the stronger skier stressing the weaker one out and dominating the proceedings. The idea has a lot to be said for it. There’s always going to be someone who’s a stronger skier than you, and someone who’s not quite so strong. These are the kind of issues that Ski Solutions are so good at dealing with: finding the right ski holiday for their client, no matter what their skiing level. In our interview with the former England rugby star Mike Tindall, Princess Anne’s son-in-law makes a point often voiced by regular skiers: “Everyone has their favourite resorts and everywhere has its own challenges. It’s the people you’re with that’s important. Having fun, that’s the beauty of skiing.” So, where to ski this winter? Don’t let Brexit put you off! You can’t go far wrong on the magnificent Sellaronda circuit around the Sella Massif group of majestic peaks in Italy. Cruise on fairly easy slopes all day, crossing through four Ladin valleys and gentle mountain passes and pause for a delicious lunch. Don’t linger too long over the delectable cuisine... the 26km circuit is divided between the provinces of
South Tyrol, Trentino and Belluno, and can take up to six hours to complete, depending on your ability. Or how about Norway? It’s hard to improve on Trysil, the country’s largest ski resort with four linked areas. Trysil Turistsenter, on the south side of the mountain, is the main gateway to the slopes. There is skiing here for all levels, including a large children’s area, terrain park and family park. Skihytta, on the treeline, has excellent slopes higher up. Høgegga has some of the more aggressive skiing, with 11 of Trysil’s most challenging runs. Trysil Høyfjellssenter in Fageråsen is the place for families to head for, especially those with young children. You could cross the pond and head for Canada. I’ve been lucky enough to ski in both Big White and Marmot Basin, Jasper in recent winters and it’s well worth the journey. As its name suggests, Big White never seems to be short of snow (and I’ve been there a few times). Ditto Marmot Basin, which has recently opened up an exciting new mountain face called Très Hombres. Though I should warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted. Talking of new mountain faces, last winter I was also lucky enough to revisit La Rosière. The French resort links up with La Thuile in Italy, where the mountain face of Mont Valaisan has been added, served by two new six-seat chairs. This extensive and pretty steep section had previously only been accessible to offpiste skiers prepared to hike up to the summit. And how nice it is – when staying in La Rosière – to be able to choose between Italian and French food. Yes, it’s great fun skiing across and down to the village of La Thuile for lunch. So where am I headed this coming winter? One of the joys, or possibly the frustrations, of being a ski writer is that you rarely know much in advance. Given the choice, I’d aim for my favourite resorts beginning with V: Val d’Isère, Verbier or Vail. Or maybe all three... see you there!
After 15 years with the FT, Arnie Wilson edited Ski+board magazine for 13 years. He has skied in 729 resorts, including 40 heli-skiing locations, and all 38 US skiing states.
CONTENTS W H AT ' S N E W
W H Y W E A L L L O V E VA N C O U V E R Find out why a city stopover in Vancouver is a must when heading to Whistler
WHY WE ALL LOVE WHISTLER What makes North America’s largest ski resort so special?
SKI THE SELLARONDA
SKI WEEKENDS Make the most of the weekend with a short break to the mountains
E X P L O R E N O R W AY Combine cities, snow and fjords on a trip to Scandinavia’s Norway
PERFECT POWDER IN BRITISH COLUMBIA We share our favourite resorts in Canada’s westernmost province
W I N A H O L I D AY
INSPIRE A taste of luxury in the mountains
Stay in style Take it up a notch Wine, dine and be happy The difference is in the detail
22 24 26 28
OUR TOP RUNS Rollers, powder and perfect scenery; our experts share four of their favourite runs
BANFF AND LAKE LOUISE Why we love skiing in Canada’s oldest national park
W H AT ' S I N O U R S U I T C A S E ? Our friends at Ellis Brigham share the top gear for Winter 19/20
HOME FROM HOME Ski apartments: why we love the freedom of self-catered holidays
REST YOUR HEAD Our experts share a selection of their favourite properties in the mountains
W E L C O M E T O O U R P L AY G R O U N D
Ski Solutions is part of the Active Travel Group, which brings together the finest activity companies in the UK
6 W H AT ' S N E W Exciting developments for this winter
8 MIKE TINDALL Mike Tindall shares his love of getting back on skis after retiring from professional rugby
Front cover image: Alta Badia in South Tyrol © IDM Südtirol, Alex Filz
12 SKI THE SELLARONDA Head to the Italian Dolomites to ski this famous 26km circuit around the Sella Massif
A H O L I D AY
Enter our competition to win a short break to Hotel Le Massif in Courmayeur
Luxury hotels and experiences 5
ith climate change such a hot topic, it’s great to see ski resorts making the effort to go green and do their bit to protect our winters. Leading the way is Serre Chevalier, who are working towards producing 30% of their own energy in-house by 2021; they’ve recently introduced solar panels and wind turbines. In Italy, Cortina have promised the 2021 Alpine Skiing World Championships will be a green one, focusing on renewable energy and sustainable development. We were also excited to learn that a leading snow groomer manufacturer is beginning tests on the first 100% emission-free electric groomer.
VA L T H O R E N S ’ IGLOO VILLAGE
o you like your coffee or whisky on the rocks? There’s no shortage of ice at Val Thorens’ Igloo Village, which is new for the 2019/20 season. Made up of an ice bar with intricately carved ice sculptures, sit down to dine on pine tree stumps and delve into a pot of melted cheese fondue and other classic Savoyard dishes. There are also three ice-cool bedrooms with quirky interiors and sheepskin blankets that you can cosy up in.
To speak to our experts, please call 020 7471 7765
A N D E R M AT T- S E D R U N JOINS DISENTIS
ver the past 10 years, Andermatt has been heavily investing in one of the biggest ski construction efforts in Switzerland, with a total of £100 million spent. Last season, we saw the official opening of the newly linked 120km AndermattSedrun ski area, with all-singing, alldancing new high-speed lifts, runs renewed and extensive snowmaking added. Work is now underway on a second connection to link AndermattSedrun to neighbouring ski area Disentis ready for winter 19/20, taking the connected ski area up to 180km.
INNSBRUCK’S C I T Y & S K I PA S S
ew for this season, 22 attractions in Innsbruck and 13 of the local yet diverse ski areas in the Stubai Valley fall under one ticket. The pass incorporates 300km of pistes with access to 111 lifts, as well as the ski transfer system and the hop-on hop-off sightseer bus. There’ll be no wasted whiteout or rest days with so many attractions in town, including the lavish Swarovski Crystal World, the Bergisel Ski Jump designed by Zaha Hadid and the 16th-century Renaissance Ambras Castle.
SKI SOLUTIONS INTRODUCES S I E R R A N E VA D A
aunching our first Spanish ski resort this winter, Sierra Nevada is just a 30-minute drive from the Andalusian town of Granada in southern Spain. Sierra Nevada’s highest lift reaches an altitude of 3,398m, making it one of the highest resorts in Europe and guaranteeing good snow coverage from December through to April. Thanks to its southern location, it is also dubbed the sunniest ski resort in Europe, so it’s a perfect choice for fair weather skiers and families. On a clear day you can see the Mediterranean beaches and Morocco’s Atlas Mountains.
FRENCH-SWISS BORDER CROSSING
nder construction this summer, a new lift will connect Avoriaz to the Swiss side of the Portes du Soleil ski area. Replacing the slow, old Léchère lift, the new lift will continue a further 600m, followed by a brand new, high-speed six-seater chairlift called Cases. This chair will cross the border and enable skiers to access runs to Les Crosets. Historically, the options to reach the Swiss village were down the notoriously challenging Swiss Wall, or the unreliable and slow Mossettes chairlift that was often closed due to strong winds. The new lifts will be built in a less exposed area with a windproof design.
To find out more, please visit www.skisolutions.com/blog
THE BIG INTERVIEW 8
To find out more, please visit www.skisolutions.com/blog
MIKE TINDALL TA C K L E S NEW CHALLENGES Interview by Arnie Wilson
t's not every day you get to interview the Queen’s grandson-in-law. I’ve met Prince Charles briefly a couple of times, and Prince Philip too (just the once) but this was a proper interview over lunch all about Mike Tindall’s love of skiing, fulfilled only after he’d stopped playing rugby for England. His Olympic equestrian wife Zara, the Princess Royal’s daughter, is also a keen skier. As is their five-year-old daughter Mia. No doubt it won’t be long before her younger sister Lena joins in too.
out of a cup competition – for example. So, I took up skiing again in 2012-2013.
It must have been tough to give up skiing in case he got injured. But rugby-star Mike didn’t have much choice...
“I loved getting my ski legs back, though at first it was more Bambi on ice. I knew it would become a focus for the family as Zara had skied continuously throughout her life. Mostly, she used to come and watch me playing for England, but she occasionally went off skiing when I couldn’t join her. She’s definitely a better skier than me technically, but not as reckless.
“When I started skiing again after a rugby career, I noticed how different the skis were. If you have strength in your legs and good balance, then you can hold it all together. I think if you have that core training background you know your body and if you go off balance you can figure out why.
“I loved being back on skis… though at first it was more Bambi on ice.”
“Much as I love skiing, I just couldn’t risk getting injured on the slopes during my rugby career” he told me. “I loved skiing at school. When I was in my early teens, I was lucky enough to go every year. I’ve always been a bit crazy and enjoy going fast, whatever the mode of transport! “All of a sudden, when I was 18, I had success in rugby and went professional. I was 20 when I first got called into the England squad, and on my 21st birthday I got called up for the World Cup. But I wasn’t capped until the Six Nations the following year. “That skittled any chance of skiing for some years. The Six Nations was always in the winter months, so you could say I had a 14-year sabbatical from 1997 when I turned pro until 2011 when I finished playing for England. I was still playing for Gloucester but, because I didn't have Six Nations games, the occasional free weeks turned up – when you'd been knocked
year”, he revealed “I was skiing one of those routes that snakes around, and I decided to cut the corner. What I didn’t see was a huge six-foot drop that went past the piste, and then back onto the piste again. I didn’t manage to turn in time and ended up in a blood wagon with a dislocated shoulder. So, you see I was wise not to mix skiing with my rugby career!
“Skiing ticks all the boxes: mentally, physically and socially.”
Mike, a veteran of the TV saga The Jump, is still hoping to improve his off-piste skills. I asked him how he got on in powder. “I just need to get a surf-board-sized ski to get better” he said. “I’ve done some off-piste and I’d like to do more. But I’ve got to figure it out technically. “We did the Vallée Blanche from the Italian side not long ago and enjoyed the fantastic scenery, though it was hard work. I did it with two friends, one of whom owns a place in Villars, Switzerland where Zara and I ski regularly. They are both very good offpiste skiers and looked after me. “I went on my first blood wagon trip last
So, what is it about skiing that inspires you?
“I think it’s everything really” he replied. “I enjoy the whole environment that skiing offers: pushing yourself, pushing your body, living on the edge if you can say that? I also enjoy the flow of the holiday. Socially, skiing trips are really great places to go with friends, and bond with them. “There are challenges too if you want to push yourself every day. Skiing ticks all the boxes: mentally, physically and socially. It’s a sport that offers so much to anyone, including families. “Mia’s five, she has already been skiing for two years and absolutely loves it. She’s a bit rough and tumble and I wish I could get her to turn more. As long as you don’t force your children to ski, if they’re tired and they want to stop then you just stop. “Ideally we ski twice a year, one of which is usually Villars. Everyone has their favourite resorts and everywhere has its own challenges. It’s the people you’re with that’s important. Having fun, that’s the beauty of skiing.”
Mike has been talking with Ski Solutions and other Alps based organisations about his desire to run a charity ski event building on the success of his charity golf day. Watch this space….
WHY WE VANCOUVER Surrounded by temperate rainforest, the Pacific Ocean and mountains, we can see why Vancouver is consistently named among the most liveable cities in the world. Just a two-hour drive from Whistler along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway, combine Vancouver’s highlights with your winter ski trip.
G R E AT OUTDOORS
C U LT U R A L CONNOISSEURS
Popular with outdoorsy Vancouverites and visitors alike, Stanley Park is 1,000 acres of indigenous forest, beaches and lakes. Wander along rainforest trails to the Stanley Park Totem Poles with your eyes peeled for racoons, bald eagles and otters. Cycle the scenic Stanley Park Seawall with its backdrop of the Coast Mountains. Take the Skyride Gondola up Grouse Mountain for views that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Discover the diverse mini districts of Vancouver, from Main Street's independent boutiques and the coffee shops of Commercial Drive, to the restaurants and galleries of Gastown, the city’s oldest neighbourhood. Wander along Water Street past vintage lamp posts to the famous steam clock, then head up the 40-second elevator to Vancouver’s Lookout for panoramic views of the city. Vancouver Art Gallery has more than 11,000 visual artworks, including an Emily Carr collection.
With a rise in organic farms and wineries, as well as the proximity to sustainable and locally caught game and seafood, Vancouver’s cuisine sets a precedent for sustainable dining. Fable, a restaurant that supports the farm-to-table movement, creates dishes with local ingredients that are designed to share. Head to The Belgard Kitchen for lunch before sampling the popular West Coast Pale Ale at Postmark Brewing, or wines at the Vancouver Urban Winery.
To find out more, please visit www.skisolutions.com/vancouver
ALL LOVE... EXTENSIVE SLOPES
Whistler Blackcomb has an expansive ski area that covers a remarkable 200 marked runs, 16 alpine bowls and three glaciers, with suitable terrain for all levels. Unlike European skiing, tree runs, powder bowls and steep couloirs are included within the ski boundary, which means it’s patrolled and avalanchesecured by the resort. Don’t miss the incredible views on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, although those with vertigo may want to avoid the two cabins with glass floors.
Graced with an average snowfall of 12m a year, Whistler catches storms that brew in the Pacific and head inland, dumping copious amounts of fluffy powder. Local backcountry guides can lead you around the wilderness and down legendary routes like the 200m-long DOA couloir, the backside of Flute and the south-east face of Spearhead. Heliskiing unlocks another 173 glaciers and over 400,000 acres, which is 50 times the size of Whistler Blackcomb.
To find out more, please visit www.skisolutions.com/whistler
As the largest ski resort in North America and home to the record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola, keen skiers and snowboarders have over 8,000 acres of incredible and varied terrain to tackle across the two mountains. The pedestrianised village has lively après, a wide variety of fine dining and spas to soothe aching muscles.
EVENING ACTIVITIES Although Whistler’s après isn’t quite as raucous as Europe’s, a few cold ones once the lifts have shut allow you the rest of the evening for off-piste activities. Want to soar through the sky like an eagle, why not try ziplining? Special occasion? Snowmobile to Crystal Hut for a candlelit fondue dinner at 6,000ft. Families may like to dogsled, have a hot chocolate in an igloo or try tubing. Or, your well-used muscles may be yearning for a pamper session at the Scandinave Spa. The best bit – you’re fresh-faced for first lifts.
S E LV A , VA L G A R D E N A Well-known by ski racing fans for hosting the annual FIS World Cup’s Super G and the Men’s Downhill, the valley is also famed for its wood carvings by Ladin craftsmen. Selva, also called Wolkenstein, was part of Austria for many years and retains its Tirolean charm. From the village there are two gondolas: take the Ciampinoi gondola for the anti-clockwise Sellaronda route and the Dantercëpies gondola for the clockwise route.
SELLARONDA ARABBA With some of the steepest ski runs in the Dolomites and spectacular off-piste, Arabba is the best resort in the Sellaronda for experienced skiers. The gondola gives quick access to 3,269-metrehigh Punta Rocca at the top of the Marmolada glacier, which has the best snow in the area. La Bellunese is an impressive 12km red run that drops 1,000m, ending in Malga Ciapela. From the piste, you can often make out the resorts of Cortina and Val Gardena. We recommend skiing La Bellunese in the morning as it can become icy and mogully later in the day. 12
This 26km circuit around the Sella Massif ski area in the Italian Dolomites is incredibly scenic. Suitable for intermediates, it can be skied clockwise or anti-clockwise in a day, allowing time for espresso stops in the surrounding villages that have a blend of Austrian heritage and Italian elegance.
To speak to our experts, please call 020 7471 7765
SAN CASSIANO Skiing past Corvara into the Alta Badia ski area, San Cassiano is well worth a detour from the Sellaronda loop. The village is set in a tree-lined valley, which means the surrounding blue runs are great when there’s poor visibility. The Rosa Alpina hotel was built in 1850 as a small inn, and since 1939 it has been passed down through three generations of the Pizzinini family. Now a five-star hotel with two highly acclaimed restaurants, the threeMichelin-star St. Hubertus is run by the former downhill ski racer Norbert Niederkofler.
Ski Solutions recommend
Advanced skiers can add the Gran Risa giant slalom piste in La Villa and the Saslong downhill piste in Val Gardena.
Did you know...?
C O R VA R A At the foot of Sassongher mountain, this family-friendly village is in a wide valley surrounded by forest and the Dolomites. It’s well located for those wanting to ski the Sellaronda and the Alta Badia area. Take the Col Alto gondola for plenty of leisurely blues in the Alta Badia ski area, while the Col Alto refugio – a cosy, mountain restaurant – serves hearty local cuisine. The Piz Boé Alpine Lounge’s restaurant demonstrates an innovative twist on local Tirolean and Italian dishes. On a clear day, the floor-to-ceiling windows offer superb views of the Dolomites.
The sunsets here are such a colourful phenomenon that they have their own word: enrosadira – meaning alpenglow.
To find out more, please visit www.skisolutions.com/sellaronda
A WEEKEND IN COURMAYEUR How to make the most of the weekend on a short ski break.
THURSDAY Board your flight at 7:30pm. From Geneva, it's only a short 90 minute transfer to Courmayeur. FRIDAY MORNING Collect your pre-booked ski pass and hire; you’re free to enjoy four full days' skiing.
I love escaping to Courmayeur for a wellearned ski weekend. Mornings are spent carving the Chécrouit’s open blue and red runs, followed by a leisurely lunch at slope-side Maison Vieille.”
Skiing: At the foot of Mont Blanc, this charming 17thcentury town has 50km of mostly wide blue and red runs with some challenging blacks. Pistes reach 2,755m and the snow cover tends to be reliable throughout the season. Offpiste from the Cresta d’Arp gives access to steep tree runs, while the Vallée Blanche has an epic 2,700m vertical.
FRIDAY - MONDAY IN COURMAYEUR
G R E AT F O R . . . Buzzing après Warm hospitality Fine dining
A NDY, S KI S OL U T IONS EXPERT
Après: Via Roma comes alive in the evenings, the street is positively buzzing with bars and restaurants offering aperitivo – complimentary bar snacks – with your drinks. Our favourite bars for an Aperol Spritz or a glass of wine from the Aosta Valley are Cafè Roma and Caffè della Posta.
S TAT S Piste: 50km Highest lift: 2,775m Transfer: 90mins (Geneva)
Dining: Book in advance for the popular Cadran Solaire, a restaurant specialising in Aostan cuisine, tuck into an enormous wood-fired pizza at Pizzeria du Tunnel or dine at the stylish Pierre Alexis 1877 restaurant that features in the 2019 Michelin guide and serves delicious dishes using traditional flavours, often with a little surprise.
MONDAY 4.45PM It’s time to head home, your driver will collect you from your hotel. MONDAY 9.25PM Arrive back in the UK – time to start planning your next ski weekend?
To find out more, please visit www.skisolutions.com/ski-weekends or speak to our experts on 020 7471 7765
OTHER TOP WEEKEND RESORTS...
CHAMONIX Chamonix is one of the great Alpine capitals of the world. Perfect for skiers looking for challenging terrain on and off piste, and with lifts reaching 3,840m there’s great snow cover all season. In town, the atmosphere is lively with a variety of restaurants, shops and après bars to sample.
G R E AT F O R . . . High-altitude skiing Lively town Mont Blanc views
S TAT S Piste: 152km Highest lift: 3,840m Transfer: 75mins (Geneva)
Often referred to as the ‘Queen of the Dolomites’ the views here are spectacular. In this stylish Italian resort you can expect to spend your days enjoying long lunches and sipping aperitivos on sunny terraces. Set in the Dolomiti Superski, the skiing opportunities here are endless, with over 1,000km of downhill skiing to explore.
G R E AT F O R . . . Beautiful views Stylish town Great après
S TAT S Piste: 120km Highest lift: 2,924m Transfer: 2hrs (Venice/Innsbruck)
ENGELBERG Keen skiers will love Engelberg; the powder up on the Titlis Glacier is phenomenal and the variety of red runs provide exhilarating descents down. The off-piste here is world-famous; it’s well worth hiring a guide to experience it for yourself. The resort comes to life at the weekend, with happy hours and live music throughout the town.
G R E AT F O R . . . Off-piste skiing Advanced terrain Snowfall record
S TAT S Piste: 82km Highest lift: 3,020m Transfer: 90mins (Zürich)
Innovative architecture, UNESCO fjords and reliable snow cover, combine the culture of Oslo and Bergen with unparalleled skiing and memorable experiences. If you’re fortunate, you may even witness the aurora borealis dancing across the night’s sky.
Celebrating a special occasion?
Overlooking the Arctic Sea and icy fjords, the Lyngen Alps have an untamed landscape. Embark on a four-day ski touring adventure through the backcountry’s flawless powder, with a day sailing around the Arctic Sea. Warm up in the Lyngen Experience Lodge's sauna or hot tub overlooking the unspoilt, isolated setting.
To speak to our experts, please call 020 7471 7765 or visit www.skisolutions.com/norway
MYRKDALEN Inspired by an average snowfall of five metres, Myrkdalen opened in 2003. Just two hours from Bergen, this little-known resort has quick chairlifts, uncrowded beginners’ runs and superb off-piste. Evenings can be filled with sledging, sleigh rides, indoor skydiving and maybe even the northern lights. Combine skiing with a fjord experience; wind along the scenic Flåm railway to Sognefjord, before cruising past snow-covered mountains, inlets and rural villages to Nærøyfjord.
GEILO One of Norway’s oldest ski resorts, Geilo is snow-sure from December to May. Take in the striking views on the train from Oslo, a perfect cultural inclusion to your ski holiday. With a combination of nursery slopes, terrain parks and backcountry powder, Geilo caters for all abilities. Families can forge memories as they drive husky sleds, learn to ice fish or spot arctic foxes, lynx, yak and reindeer at nearby Langedrag Nature Park.
TRYSIL Norway’s largest ski resort has two main villages, Høyfjellssenter and Turistsenter. The wide, open runs have forests either side, and floodlights make it possible to ski at night. Family-orientated, they have created a piste map for children, which includes a section in the snow park. There's plenty to challenge more advanced skiers in the Høgegga area.
BEITOSTØLEN Beitostølen is a charming village with traditional Scandinavian architecture. The slopes are quiet with reliable snow cover, making them well suited to beginner and intermediate skiers. Appealing to visitors for its alternative winter activities, why not try snowmobiling, sliding down the slopes in an inflatable boat or navigating the extensive web of cross-country skiing?
#1 B I G W H I T E One of the most convenient resorts for ski-in ski-out, even Big White’s main street is a designated ski run. A modern, purpose-built resort, it's great for families, intermediates and learning powder in the shelter of the trees. Big White runs three ‘Masters’ Weeks’ for skiers over 50 that include ski guiding and coaching to improve technique, as well as off-piste activities.
#2 W H I S T L E R North America’s number one resort, the linked mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb make up the largest ski area in North America. Over 200 runs cater for all abilities, and great off-piste activities include ziplining, ice cave tours, eagle viewing and a lively après scene. Whistler’s tasting tours are multi-course dinners with each plate provided by a different fine-dining restaurant.
PERFECT POWDER IN
#3 R E V E L S T O K E The newest resort of them all, Revelstoke has transformed from a one-lift wonder into a powder hounds’ playground. Featuring 3,121 acres of slopes, the resort receives around 12m of fresh powder a year and is home to the biggest vertical in North America of 1,713m. Uncover untouched powder chutes and bowls with a local guide either by heli-ski or snowcat.
Canada’s westernmost province is around four times the size of Great Britain and covers ten mountain ranges. If you can’t choose which resort, why not combine a couple of the eight major ski resorts on the Powder Highway? The circular route is home to some of the world’s best backcountry and includes the resorts Fernie, Panorama, Kicking Horse and Revelstoke.
#4 S I L V E R S T A R Resembling a 19th-century mining village, SilverStar is set around a small square and houses are brightly painted. The colourful village has access to four distinct mountain faces that offer slopes for all standards, from easy greens and cruisy blues to double-black diamond runs through the trees and mogul fields.
To speak to our experts, please call 020 7471 7765
#5 S U N P E A K S Take the scenic snow train from Vancouver to Sun Peaks, the second largest ski area in Canada. The mostly ski-in ski-out village is at the base of Mount Morrisey, Sundance and Mount Tod, and has a great network of nursery and blue slopes. With 137 runs across 4,270 acres, it’s a great place to learn or improve your skiing with picturesque blue runs as well as some steep blacks.
#6 P A N O R A M A
Linked by a gondola, the two villages in Panorama are great for families, with good childcare and ski school options. The upper village has an ice rink, swimming pool and Canada's largest slopeside hot pools. With 2,975 acres of skiable terrain, there are a variety of slopes, starting with the Discovery Zone for beginners, followed by two powder bowls and incredible heli-skiing.
#7 F E R N I E A hit with locals thanks to its generous dumping of up to 11m of light, dry powder each year. The deep, steep terrain off five bowls – Currie Bowl and Polar Peak in particular – and the tree lines make for challenging and enjoyable runs. The relaxed old mining town also accommodates off-slope activities like dogsledding, snowshoeing and curling.
#8 K I C K I N G H O R S E
“SUPER, NATURAL BRITISH COLUMBIA” and “SUPER, NATURAL” and all associated logos/ trade-marks of Destination BC Corp. All images are provided by Destination BC.
Once dubbed ‘The Champagne Powder Capital of Canada’ solely for its impressive heli-skiing, Kicking Horse is developing as an all-level resort. There are an incredible 85 chutes and four bowls best enjoyed after one of the frequent heavy snowfalls. There are more challenging blue runs back into resort for adventurous intermediates.
To find out more, please visit www.skisolutions.com/british-columbia
WIN a short ski break to Hotel Le Massif in Courmayeur
This winter, we are offering a fantastic prize for two to visit the Italian resort of Courmayeur. Spend four nights at the luxurious, five-star Hotel Le Massif, complete with three restaurants, a spa and its own ski lodge at 2,000m on the slopes. Brand new last winter, this has fast become one of our favourite hotels and we’d love you to experience it for yourself. You’ll enjoy four full days exploring Courmayeur, with your ski passes and ski hire included.
For your chance to win, please visit www.skisolutions.com/ski-competition
Terms and Conditions: 2 people for 4 nights sharing a double room at Hotel Le Massif with breakfast included. Dinner included for 2 nights at The Chétif (alcohol not included). Ski rental and lift passes included for 2 people for 4 days. Return flights included from London to Geneva. Transfers included. Prize must be redeemed before 30.04.20. Peak date exclusions apply between 27.12.19 to 04.01.20 and 20.02.20 to 25.02.20. Dates available on request. Non-reimbursable. Non-transferable. Valid upon confirmation by Le Massif Travel Team. For hotel cancellations less than 15 days before arrival, prize is still considered redeemed. Subject to availability. Competition closing date 30.11.19.
/nspire A TA S T E O F L U X U R Y I N T H E M O U N TA I N S
Stay in style T H E A L P I N A & G S TA A D SWITZERLAND
Gstaad This world-class ski resort in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland is full of character, traditional chalets and boutique shops. Skiers can explore 200km of slopes with high-altitude skiing on the glacier at 3,000m. We love the sparkling Christmas market that brings a festive feel to the streets in December.
The Alpina Set on the hillside overlooking Gstaad, this beautiful hotel exceeds all expectations. Lose track of time in the award-winning Six Senses Spa, indulge in traditional Swiss and Japanese cuisine in two Michelin-starred restaurants and browse the private art collection throughout the hotel.
HOTEL LE MASSIF & C O U R M AY E U R |
I TA LY
Courmayeur At the foot of Mont Blanc, Courmayeur has wide-open slopes and challenging off-piste terrain with spectacular views over this famous peak. The town is known for its upmarket shops, lively bars and mountain restaurants that serve woodfired Italian pizza, homemade pasta and finedining delights.
Hotel Le Massif Offering an in-house ski concierge and a ski valet service, they don’t miss a trick at Hotel Le Massif. The hotel’s La Loge du Massif, at 2,000m on the mountain, provides a dedicated space for guests to relax, as well as an appetising lunch and apéritif menu. Back at the hotel, an enticing spa with relaxing post-ski treatments awaits.
HOTEL LE BLIZZARD & VA L D ’ I S È R E | F R A N C E
Val d’Isère Val d’Isère shares the extensive Espace Killy area with Tignes and the skiing here is among the world’s best. Snow-sure, varied and welllinked, you’ll find new areas to explore every day. Popular for its après, watch cabaret at La Folie Douce or listen to a pianist with a fine wine at Les Barmes de l’Ours.
Hotel Le Blizzard With wooden beams and roaring open fires, this family-run hotel is a welcoming Alpine retreat. The Lounge Bar is a favourite for its comfortable sofas and cosy feel, perfectly complemented by Savoyard specialities in the restaurant, La Luge. Don't miss the steamy outdoor pool and wooden hot tub.
FA I R M O N T C H ÂT E AU W H I S T L E R & WHISTLER | C A N A DA
Whistler This vast ski area is spread over two mountains and is consistently voted the top ski resort in North America. We love the long blues down from the Horstman Glacier and dipping into the tree line. The pedestrianised village is full of life; you’ll find cuisine from across the globe alongside live music and dancing.
Fairmont Château Whistler Whistler’s iconic Fairmont Château is at the base of Blackcomb mountain. The hotel has a superb location with seamless service and spacious, elegant rooms. Proximity to the slopes means you can ski-in at the end of the day, before unwinding in the outdoor wellness area or by the terrace’s fire pits.
To find out more, please visit www.skisolutions.com/luxury-collection
Take it up a notch Looking for an adventure this winter? We have chosen five unmissable experiences, including a heli-skiing adventure around Revelstoke Mountain, a secluded retreat in a converted gondola station and a scenic train journey to the stunning Norwegian fjords.
1. Dolomites ski safari Journey through the heart of the Dolomites on a ski safari, sleeping in mountain refuges by night and stealing first tracks on freshly groomed pistes each morning. This guided seven-night tour is perfect for first-lift adventurers.
2. Channel your inner 007
Retrace James Bond’s steps around Sölden in Austria where iconic scenes from Spectre were filmed. Immerse yourself in the Bond cinematic installation, take a helicopter ride over the official shooting locations and enjoy lunch at the ice-Q restaurant.
3. Doorstep heli-skiing in Revelstoke Voted the World’s Best Chalet consecutively for four years, Bighorn offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Fly deep into the backcountry around Revelstoke Mountain from your heli-pad before returning for a gourmet dinner hosted by your private chef.
4. Ski Scandinavian style Take yourself somewhere different this year and experience winter in Scandinavia. Discover the pastelcoloured wooden houses of Bergen before heading from city to skis in Myrkdalen. Tie in a day trip on the scenic Flåm railway to the dramatic, snowy fjords.
5. Sleep amongst the clouds Stay at Le Refuge de Solaise above Val d’Isère in the French Alps' highest hotel at 2,551m. Originally a gondola station, the hotel has the ultimate ski-in skiout location. The lift was called Solaise as it enjoys the longest daily sunshine in resort, making the terrace ideal for après.
To find out more, please visit www.skisolutions.com/ski-experiences
Wine, dine and be happy It’s not just about the skiing. It’s about the epic views, enjoying happy times at the après ski bar and indulging in food, glorious food. Here are some of our wining and dining highlights in the snowy mountains.
Sledge to dinner, La Rosière
Ski with a sommelier, Alta Badia
Head out on a night-time adventure under the stars, making your way to dinner either by snowshoe or sledge. Once you’ve made your way through the valley, warm up in a cosy Mongolian tent for a traditional Savoyard dinner with wine. We recommend tasting a hearty cheese fondue, raclette or tartiflette with a dry white wine from the Savoie region.
In the heart of the Italian Dolomites lies Alta Badia; a striking resort on the Sellaronda where gourmet food and drink are one of the main attractions. A must for wine lovers – ‘Sommelier on the Slopes’ offers you the chance to ski between mountain refuges with a sommelier and a ski instructor to enjoy South Tyrolean wine tastings at altitude.
Ski with a sommelier image: © Freddy Planinschek; Annual Gourmet Festival image: © PPR Witwinkel David Hubacher; Le Panoramic image: © Garnomo Studio
Le Panoramic, Tignes
Annual Gourmet Festival, St. Moritz
The Chetzeron, Crans Montana
Situated on the Grande Motte glacier, Le Panoramic in Tignes is one of our favourite lunch stops. As you enter pay a visit to the cloakroom, where clunky ski boots and wet jackets can be swapped for furry slippers, before cosying up against one of the many sheepskin rugs that adorn the chairs. Look out for Igloo, the welcoming resident St. Bernard.
The St. Moritz Gourmet Festival shows just how seriously this Swiss resort takes its food. Taking place from January 31st â€“ February 8th 2020, the festival brings together top chefs from around the world for nine days of skiing, friends and fine cuisine. The varied programme includes Michelinstandard meals, workshops, parties and tastings in glamorous venues around resort.
Enjoy the journey as much as the destination when you dine in the evening at Hotel Chetzeron in Crans Montana. Situated up at 2,112m and overlooking resort, guests are driven up the piste by snowcat to enjoy regional Valais dishes up on the mountain. The hotel is open to guests all winter; stay overnight to take advantage of the high-altitude spa and ski-in ski-out location.
To find out more, please visit www.skisolutions.com/gourmet-experiences
THE DIFFERENCE IS IN THE
Think of us as your dedicated ski concierge. We’re on hand to make your experience as simple as possible and what’s more, this is all part of our service and comes at no extra cost.
P R I VAT E TRANSFERS
SKI HIRE & L I F T PA S S E S
Travel to resort your way. Sit back and enjoy the view in your private car or fly into resort via helicopter. However you travel, you'll be accompanied from door to door. Private transfers give you more flexibility and ensure minimum fuss for those travelling in groups.
We’ll have your equipment and lift pass ready and waiting for collection, so when you arrive in your chosen resort you can acclimatise and start relaxing from the word go. And the next morning you can get on the snow as quickly as possible.
Whether you’re venturing out on snow for the first time or looking to explore off piste with a guide, finding the right instructor is important. We work with the best ski schools in resort and our team will recommend and book the right guide for you.
CHILDCARE Family ski holidays are special and while time together is important, we also know you need some time to yourselves. We can recommend and book in-chalet nannies, crèches and children’s clubs so you can enjoy some well-deserved time on the slopes.
SPECIAL EXPERIENCES It’s not all about the skiing; there are brilliant experiences to be enjoyed off the snow too. From top restaurant reservations to spa days, heli-skiing, dog-sledding adventures and even city add-ons, we’re on hand to make sure this is a holiday to remember.
TOP RUNS We share Ski Solutions experts’ favourite ski runs across the Alps. It transpires we’re all extremely in favour of long, scenic and cruisy runs with rollers and a chance of powder.
Jerusalem, Méribel Starting at the ridge between Méribel-Mottaret and St. Martin, this wide red run tends to be quite empty, so you can pick up some speed and cruise over the fun, natural rollers. Slowing before the corner at the end, you can continue down the Biolley run, which is a blue piste leading into St. Martin at the bottom of the valley. After a good snowfall, there is also fantastic powder either side of the run, without veering too far off the piste. MA RK, S KI S OL U T IONS EXPERT
Vallée Blanche, Chamonix This 24km off-piste run is a route down the glacier from the Aiguille du Midi at 3,842m with a vertical of 2,700m. The views of the Mont Blanc massif are spectacular; pause at the Requin Hut en route for lunch or a drink with a sweeping vista. The area is best explored with a local guide as there are several variations, some with steeper, more difficult terrain. When there is good snow cover you can ski back into Chamonix, otherwise the route ends in ice caves and you can get the funicular back in to town, which drops you at the Chamonix microbrewery. S T EV E, S KI S OL U T IONS EXPERT
Folyères, La Tania Skiing between the snow-covered fir trees, it’s a great first run of the day, especially after a snowfall. Take the La Tania bubble to the top of the ski area, then ski past the Dou des Lanches lift to this rolling blue run. The first section is quite steep on the lefthand side but then evens out, with a wide, winding path through the trees. There are often small natural jumps on the left-hand side that are good fun, and those searching for powder can weave through the trees. The slope then filters into a nursery slope in the centre of resort. S OPHIE, S KI S OL U T IONS EXPERT
Génépy, Tignes Take the funicular from Tignes Val Claret to the Grand Motte glacier; the snow conditions are reliable, and you have a variety of slopes, including Génépy. On a clear day, the views are spectacular as you ski down into Val Claret. The winding piste has natural rollers and is great fun with some speed. If you peel off halfway down you can also tackle the Fridge, an off-piste run that joins the Prariond run into Val Claret. To lengthen the run, you can take the cable car up to the top of Grand Motte and ski the red Glacier run first. EMILY, S KI S OL U T IONS EXPERT
To find out more, please visit www.skisolutions.com/our-top-runs
THIS PLACE IS
Established in 1885, Banff National Park is Canada’s first national park. Ski untamed wilderness in the Canadian Rockies, skate across frozen Lake Louise and spend the evening delving into Banff’s culture and cuisine. Our ski experts share their favourite aspects with us.
T R U E N AT U R E
Covering an expansive 6,641km2 in the majestic Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park encompasses glaciers, dense coniferous forests, ice fields and postcard-perfect glacial lakes. As you explore the wild surroundings, keep your eyes peeled for local caribou, elk and wolves.
Banff is fortunate to have one the longest ski seasons in North America and offers plenty of opportunities to ski untouched powder in the vast backcountry. Receiving nine metres of light, dry snow on average each year, powder hounds love dropping into the chutes and bowls.
Mount Norquay, Banff Sunshine and Lake Louise make up the SkiBig3 area that are under the same lift pass and connected by free shuttles. SkiBig3 is comprised of almost 8,000 acres of world-class skiing, before considering the additional area accessed by cat ski, snowmobile, heliskiing or touring.
Warm up with in-house distilled spirits and campfire-inspired cooking at Park Distillery or locally brewed craft beers at Banff Ave Brewing Co. Restaurants here focus on authentic, sustainable and locally sourced Canadian cuisine from nearby farms, ranches, breweries and wineries.
To find out more, please visit www.skisolutions.com/banff
TA K E T H E F A M O U S DRIVE TO SKI IN NEARBY JASPER E N T E R TA I N M E N T Unlike most ski resorts, Banff has three fascinating museums and eight art galleries. Skate across the scenic frozen Lake Louise, snowshoe under the stars, hike around Johnston Canyon or soothe aching muscles in Banff’s outdoor hot springs that can reach 40°C.
Drive north-west along the incredibly scenic Icefields Parkway to Jasper, following the spine of the Canadian Rockies with turquoise glacial lakes and pine forests at the foot. Stop at the picturesque Peyto lake and the Athabasca Glacier – part of the Columbia Icefield. Stargaze in Jasper, the world’s second-largest Dark Sky Preserve due to its lack of light pollution. Explore frozen waterfalls with spear-like icicles and hidden ice caves on the Maligne Canyon ice walk. 31
ASK THE EXPERTS
WHAT'S IN OUR
Our friends at Ellis Brigham have selected the most soughtafter gear to be seen wearing on the slopes this winter.
1. Atomic Cloud WB skis & FT 11 GW bindings £550 Our Women’s Ski of the Year takes a different angle on the piste category by using a wider body, which gives a flowing feel through the turn, even when the piste starts to chop up. 2. Salomon S/MAX 90 W £340 This is Salomon’s brilliant new take on lightweight performance. The fit is slim, but the excellent Custom Shell HD fitting process is simple and very effective.
3. Eider Danaide Jacket £449.99 A new head-turning style with high impact fashion lines and luxurious cold weather performance. The high loft cowl hood has a removable faux-fur trim. 4. Henri Duvillard Gridin Softshell Pants £219.99 First choice ski trousers for fit and comfort. The super stretch fabric is enhanced with a flattering knitted high waist. 5. Salomon Mirage £215 The convenience of visor helmets explains their rise in popularity. The Mirage comes with two interchangeable lenses for different light conditions. 6. Reusch Nuria RTX Mittens £99.99 One of the warmest ski mitts money can buy. Made with a soft outer fabric, soft leather palm and luxuriously warm down insulation.
To speak to our experts, please call 020 7471 7765 or visit www.skisolutions.com/ellis-brigham
1. K2 Mindbender 90 TI £525 Our Men’s Ski of the Year will take you all over the mountain in all conditions. It’s effortless to ski and great fun. 2. Salomon S/PRO 120 £380 It’s hard to fault the fit of this boot thanks to its brilliant Custom Shell HD which even extends to the cuff this season. Great overall comfort. 3. The North Face Anonym GTX Jacket £399.99 This luxurious ski jacket combines high-end fabrics and an engineered design resulting in a stylish, easy to wear, high-performing jacket. 4. The North Face Chakal Pant £199.99 Reliable all-weather protection and all-day comfort with easy-adjust waist tabs, water resistant zips, leg vents with mesh backing, lower leg reinforcement and inner snow gaiters. 5. Giro Jackson MIPS Helmet £150 Giro perfectly blended safety, style and comfort when they created the Jackson. The liner is fully adjustable allowing for the perfect fit. MIPS technology is used for added safety. 6. Reusch Down Spirit GTX Gloves £129.99 A superb glove rich in Reusch pedigree with Powerflex softshell outer, GORE-TEX waterproof and breathable construction, soft leather palm and reinforcement, soft knuckle protection and warm down insulation.
7. Oakley Fall Line XL Factory Pilot Progression £180 With a large fit and rimless design, Oakley’s brand new goggle offers a huge field of view. Their legendary Prizm technology provides increased clarity and definition.
NIC O L A , S K I S O L U TIO NS E X P E RT
Your holiday is your time, and you can spend it how you like in a self-catered ski apartment. Whether it’s waking early for first lifts or having a leisurely morning; dining in with friends and family or going out to a local restaurant, it’s up to you.”
FROM HOME S K I A PA R T M E N T S
Self-catered holidays are becoming more and more popular amongst groups and families looking for a cost-effective trip to the mountains that offers complete flexibility. There are brilliant options available that offer you all the benefits of a hotel with the freedom to enjoy your own space - and we're seeing many new luxurious apartments opening. So, what exactly are the benefits of choosing a self-catered ski holiday?
#1 F L E X I B I L I T Y
#2 P R I V A C Y
#3 W E L L N E S S
#4 S E R V I C E
Whatever your motivations are for your holiday, there’s no mealtimes to stick to. Treat yourself to a liein, without the worry of missing breakfast, or stay at après without being late for your evening meal. The beauty of an apartment is that you can do what you want, when you want.
Enjoy complete privacy for the week; with no communal dining and dedicated social areas for your friends and family to share, you can do things your way. Whatever your group size, our experts can help choose an apartment with the right living space and bedroom configuration to suit everyone’s needs.
Many luxurious apartments across the Alps have superb facilities, including indoor heated pools with hot tubs and saunas, gyms and treatment rooms. Le Ruitor in Sainte-Foy has a fantastic indoor pool, sauna, spa and bar. Alternatively, enjoy a massage or dip in the pool at the Spa Ô des Cimes at Le Cristal de l’Alpe in Alpe d’Huez.
Apartments with concierges are common across the Alps, so you can expect hotel-standard service without the price tag. Order a bakery delivery with your newspapers in the morning, have your room cleaned while you’re out, and even premium meals delivered for dinner. Le Centaure in Flaine has a welcoming reception with space to relax on sofas by the fire, plus daily newspapers and billiards.
W H E R E T O S TAY
ne of our favourite partners for apartments in the French Alps is CGH Résidences, who offer luxurious accommodation in prime locations. With fantastic facilities – many residences have a wellness centre and pool – these apartments range in size from two people to twelve and are a superb option for a winter break.
Les Granges du Soleil, La Plagne Opposite Mont Blanc in the heart of the Paradiski, Les Granges du Soleil has a central location in Plagne Soleil. Book your skis and pass in advance, picking them up in the residence and then it’s just a short walk to access the slopes. Complete with pool, spa and an on-site restaurant, you’re well looked after.
Les Cimes Blanches, La Rosière At the foot of the slopes in La Rosière, Les Cimes Blanches is a stone’s throw from the Eucherts Express and the ESF meeting point. Within the San Bernardo ski area, you can cross the border into Italy and ski to La Thuile. There is also a shuttle bus stop outside the residence that runs between Les Eucherts and La Rosière.
Le Lodge des Neiges, Tignes New for this season, these luxurious apartments are welllocated in Tignes 1800. From here, you can easily ski down to Tignes-les-Brevières, or take the lift up to Tignes Le Lac. After a day’s skiing, unwind in the residence’s wellness centre, warming up in the hot tub or indulging in a massage.
To speak to our experts, please call 020 7471 7765 or visit www.skisolutions.com/ski-apartments
YOUR HEAD Our expertsâ€™ top picks of the best mountain accommodation; from cosy chalets to boutique hotels and luxury apartments, we can find the perfect accommodation to suit you.
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BEAUSITE PARK HOTEL WENGEN, SWITZERLAND
Run by the Leemann family since 1996, this superior four-star hotel is in the Swiss village of Wengen. Children and beginners can learn on the nursery slopes in front of the hotel, while intermediate and advanced skiers can easily access the Wengen-Männlichen cable car. Wake up to stunning views of the Jungfrau mountains in a comfortable and stylishly designed room. Lunch can be taken on the terrace, and Rondo Bar is perfect for an evening drink while listening to a live pianist. Panorama restaurant serves five-course dinners created by chef Bürgisser, accompanied by an extensive wine list. The hotel has an indoor swimming pool, gym equipment, Jacuzzi, saunas and a treatment room for massages and beauty treatments. The reception team can also organise ski passes and a variety of winter activities in the resort, including the James Bond experience at Piz Gloria in Mürren. Family-run hotel | Live pianist | Great for families and beginners | A week in March from £1,420
TERMINAL NEIGE LE TOTEM FLAINE, FRANCE
One of Flaine Forum’s original hotels, Terminal Neige was designed by Bauhaus master, Marcel Breuer. Focusing on modernity and simplicity, he designed the hotel using exposed concrete. In 2015, the Sibuet family bought and refurbished it, bringing in ethnic patterns and vintage furniture to soften the concrete and create an urban feel. Ski gear can be organised in the hotel’s ski shop, then you can ski out of the hotel into the Grand Massif ski domain, which is the fourth largest ski area in France. Unwind in the Pure Altitude Spa with a soak in the Jacuzzi overlooking the Mont Blanc mountain range or indulge in a relaxing treatment. Rooms and suites are individually styled and many boast exceptional views. The loft is perfect for families, sleeping six, complete with a living room, open fireplace and large dining table. Ski-in ski-out | Urban-design hotel | Log fires A week in January from £1,070
Emily, Ski Solutions Expert
Lowri, Ski Solutions Expert
his well-located hotel has fantastic views and is great for families that have children learning to ski. While the children are learning on the ski slopes, parents can take the cable car and be back in time for lunch.”
Guide prices only.
ith mountain views and a log fire, the lounge area is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine, a good book or the company of fellow skiers."
To find out more, please call our experts on 020 7471 7765
GIARDINO MOUNTAIN S T. M O R I T Z , S W I T Z E R L A N D
Giardino Mountain is made up of seven traditional 18th-century Swiss Engadine houses that were once a girls’ boarding school. The luxurious five-star hotel is situated in the small village of Champfèr, which is a five-minute drive from St. Moritz. Set in the stunning deep-cut Engadine valley in the eastern Swiss Alps, it is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Interiors blend traditional Engadine styles with modern, soft furnishings, and each room has an individual design and private balcony with views over the valley. There is a collection of black and white photographs around the hotel that show the history of skiing in St. Moritz. The hotel's stylish Ecco restaurant is in a former chapel and has white and gold-gilded walls with gods and creatures of the underworld etched into them. Awarded two Michelin stars, the dishes created by chef Rolf Fliegauf combine flavourful seasonal ingredients in distinctive and unexpected plates. The more relaxed Stüva restaurant serves hearty Graubünden specialities, while Hide and Seek’s cuisine is centred around Ayurvedic principles. The Dipiù spa offers total relaxation after a day's skiing, with a swimming pool, sauna and Jacuzzi. Ayurveda by Giardino have therapeutic and non-medical health programmes, cures and treatments to improve well-being.
Mountain views | Two Michelin-star restaurant Open log fire | A week in March from £1,510
Sophia, Ski Solutions Expert
stylish five-star hotel that has fantastic dining options and extremely helpful staff that can organise restaurants, tickets for the snow polo or any other activities.”
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A N D E R M A T T, S W I T Z E R L A N D
A N D E R M A T T, S W I T Z E R L A N D
This sleek hotel in the Swiss Alps has modern architecture and Asian-influenced interiors. Opposite the train station, the hotel has a prime location on the main street. The Nätschen gondola that connects the Andermatt and Sedrun ski areas is just a couple of minutes away too.
New for last winter, the Radisson Blu is the latest addition to Andermatt’s luxurious hotels. Located on the outskirts of Andermatt village, the hotel has wonderful views over the surrounding mountains. There is easy access to the Andermatt-Sedrun ski area, with the main lift just one kilometre from the hotel.
Designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, no expense has been spared; there are lavish crystal lamps, Balinese art and Japanese latticework. There is a fantastic spa, ice rink, living room-style ski room, Cigar Library, and the staff are always on hand to help you. ‘Ski butlers’ will even pre-heat your boots, give you insider tips to the best runs and sell ski passes. The Chedi is home to a Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant, where western cuisine is creatively fused with sushi and sashimi. Try a cocktail made with sake in the cosy bar next to one of the roaring fires. There is also a fondue chalet where you can dine on traditional Swiss cuisine. Excellent service | Michelin-star restaurant Wellness centre | A week in March from £2,755
Rooms are designed in traditional Swiss chalet style and are warm and inviting after a day on the slopes. The hotel has a great spa and wellness centre with fitness facilities, a sauna, steam room and 25m pool with panoramic views. The intimate BärBar has a great wine list to choose from while admiring the views of the mountains and the Spun restaurant offers both local and Italianinspired creations.
Stunning setting | Modern hotel | Great spa A week in December from £1,245
Nicola, Ski Solutions Expert
ne of the most beautiful hotels in the world, let alone the Alps. It has tastefully decorated rooms, a great spa and excellent service.”
Andy, Ski Solutions Expert
his new hotel is a fantastic choice for a break in the quaint village of Andermatt.”
To find out more, please call our experts on 020 7471 7765
TSCHUGGEN GRAND HOTEL AROSA, SWITZERLAND
The contemporary Tschuggen Grand Hotel is a luxurious mountain retreat, only a five-minute drive from Arosa’s town centre. The futuristic Tschuggen Express, the hotel's private mountain railway, transports guests to Arosa’s 220km of slopes in under four minutes. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, expect award-winning cuisine, beautifully designed interiors and top hospitality. Rooms are spacious with abundant natural light and appointed with the finest, designer materials. Each floor of the hotel has a different colour scheme, and is adorned with modern art. The lobby and bar have silver sofas to replicate the snow of winter, Hermes leather for autumn, green silk for spring – and a reindeer for a magical touch. Michelin-starred La Vetta has an innovative tasting menu set in an intimate space. The Grand Restaurant offers more formal dining, with smart dress required. Alternatively, La Collina is perfect for lunch on the sun terrace and The Basement is a fun choice in the evening, complete with its own bowling alley. The 5,000ft2 spa is renowned as one of Switzerland's most exceptional wellness centres. Glass wedges, designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, protrude like sails out of the mountain and fill the space with light. The spa has several swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms, a gym and a meditation room. Treatments range from massages using an aroma oil mixture of mountain pine and rosemary and purifying algae baths to medical consultations. Private mountain railway | Michelin-starred restaurant Incredible spa | A week in December from £1,800
James, Ski Solutions Expert
ot only has the hotel got fantastic spa facilities, the location is fabulous. Step out of the hotel onto the Tschuggen Express that transports you to Arosa’s slopes within a couple of minutes.”
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VA L D ' I S È R E , F R A N C E
TIGNES 1800, FRANCE
These brand new chalet-style apartments by Village Montana are opening in the centre of Val d’Isère for December 2019.
Located in Tignes Les Boisses, these luxurious apartments are a short walk to the Boisses chairlift or the bus stop for the free shuttle that goes up to Tignes Le Lac or down to Tignes-les-Brevières.
Perfectly positioned, the apartments have a fantastic skiin ski-out location; it’s an easy one-minute ski to the main lifts and ski school meeting point each morning. The apartments vary in size with up to four bedrooms and well-equipped kitchens. Interiors are stylish and spacious with large living areas and balconies offering mountain views. The complex has its own wellness area with a swimming pool, sauna, whirlpool and hammam as well as treatment rooms. Family-friendly, there is a children’s pool with aquatic games. The reception team are on-hand to look after you; take advantage of the pastry and bread delivery service in the morning or borrow a fondue set for a cosy evening in.
Ski-in ski-out | Fully equipped kitchen Pool and hot tub | A week in December from £850
The apartments have warmly coloured interiors, a balcony and mountain views. Apartments range in size from two people to eight, and each one has a living area, private bathrooms and kitchen facilities. Guests have access to a shared indoor swimming pool, hot tub and sauna. The fitness centre and massages are also available for an additional charge. There is a concierge service for any queries, and they can help you organise anything from morning breakfast deliveries and restaurant bookings to activities.
Great spa | Quiet location | Helpful concierge A week in January from £820
Mark, Ski Solutions Expert
Amy, Ski Solutions Expert
hese apartments are the perfect place for a relaxing holiday. The kitchen and living area are fully equipped so you have the option to cook and dine in.”
esidence Kalinda is perfect for families, offering a quieter location but with all that Tignes has to offer just minutes away."
To find out more, please call our experts on 020 7471 7765
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In Verbier’s town centre, the W Hotel incorporates traditional Swiss charm with a sleek, contemporary design. Located less than a minute's walk from the Médran ski lift, access to the slopes couldn't be easier and it's only a short walk to the town’s high-end boutiques, restaurants and bars.
New for this season, the slope-side W Aspen is located at the base of Aspen Mountain, offering ski-in ski-out access to one of the world’s most fashionable resorts. Unwind with cocktails on the hotel’s WET Deck, an all-weather rooftop complete with heated pool, hot tub and 360° views of Aspen. Spend your evenings in The Living Room, the culinary centrepiece of W Aspen and an après ski hotspot for locals, pro-athletes and guests.
Rooms are sumptuous with marble floors, quirky lighting, free-standing baths and pine shelves. There’s no shortage of delicious food or drinks, with six restaurants, bars and cafés. Sunbathe on the terrace of Place Blanche, share tapas plates at Eat Hola, try local seasonal Swiss cuisine at W Kitchen or have a nightcap in the Living Room bar. After a day’s skiing, the enticing spa has a sauna, hammam, whirlpool, fitness and treatment rooms that are perfect for some rest and relaxation. Excellent location | Welcoming staff Luxurious spa | A week in January from £2,135
The hotel’s chic 88 rooms and suites come with a dressing area which leads through to a cosy bedroom. Interiors are inspired by local mountain culture, paired with industrial touches and rich fabrics. Alternatively, stay at W Aspen’s Sky Residences. These 11 penthouses offer two and three bedroom configurations with luxurious living spaces, kitchens and a private rooftop lounge with panoramic views over the town and surrounding mountains. Rooftop bar and pool | Convenient ski shop Central location | A week in December from £2,795
Tom, Ski Solutions Expert
his stylish hotel brings contemporary urban design to the glamorous resort of Verbier. Ski back to the doorstep at the end of the day, then either sunbathe on the terrace or unwind in the spa.”
Clare, Ski Solutions Expert
n the heart of Aspen, W Hotel is the place to be seen this winter. With a rooftop hot tub, pool and bar with incredible views and a fantastic selection of dining options, W brings urban design and style to Aspen.”
RESORT HOTEL ALEX Z E R M A T T, S W I T Z E R L A N D
The lavish, sometimes eccentric Hotel Alex was built by mountain guide Alex Perren in 1960. Passed down to the younger generation in 2005, the hotel retains its Alpine and family-run charm. Minutes from the train station and the main street, it has a superb location. The décor of the hotel tends to be one of the main talking points, with ibex heads carved into the wooden bar stools, colourful brocade curtains, brightly coloured velvet cushions and Matterhorn pictures. There is a 25m pool, gym and squash court as well as an indoor tennis court. The spa features a Finnish sauna, tepidarium and samarium. Rooms are traditionally and opulently decorated with king-sized beds and colourful upholstery. Each comes individually designed and in all shapes and sizes, from cosy hideaways to spacious suites with private Jacuzzis and sweeping mountain views. Bodega Bacchus is a quirky wine cellar, with bottles stacked along each wall. Valaisian specialities and seasonal gourmet set menus are perfectly paired with the fine wines by a sommelier. Some of the most delicious plates include beef fillet tartare, Valaisian caviar and grilled rack of local lamb.
Warm welcome | Eccentric interiors Great facilities | A week in February £1,630
Alice, Ski Solutions Expert
he staff are so accommodating, and with such great facilities there is plenty to keep you entertained in the evenings or during a whiteout. Sit back in an armchair in the whisky lounge, swim in the grotto pool or have a game of indoor tennis.”
To find out more, please call our experts on 020 7471 7765
REST YOUR HEAD
Perfectly located in the centre of one of Europe’s most sought-after ski resorts, Hotel Monzabon is a short walk across the piste from the cable car and ski lifts. Interiors are Alpine-themed, with wooden furnishings and artwork inspired by the mountains.
Built in 1903, the Art Nouveau Hotel Terrace has preserved elements of its traditional character. The Belle Epoque restaurant has high ceilings adorned with chandeliers, long draping velvet curtains and wide arches.
Restaurant Jägerstube serves five-course menus featuring local, organic cuisine as well as an à la carte menu, fondue nights and a selection of salads. At breakfast, taste the deliciously sweet honey fresh from a beehive in Wieselburg the hotel sponsors to help preserve local bees. There is a swimming pool, Finnish sauna, organic sauna and steam bath. The hotel also offers sauna honeys which help cleanse the body and alleviate back and joint pain; try applying one before you use the sauna to ease tired ski muscles. The first hotel in Europe to have an indoor iceskating rink, guests can enjoy a casual skate or even take part in an ice hockey game.
Rooms are simply decorated with wooden furnishings, adding to the Alpine character. The hotel has a sauna and steam room, and there is a public swimming pool a five-minute walk from the hotel. As Engelberg is just a 90-minute drive from Zürich, the hotel is popular with ski weekenders, offering great packages for short break stays. There is a complimentary shuttle bus from the hotel to the centre of the village.
Exceptional location | Alpine interiors Indoor ice rink | A week in December from £1,340
Art Nouveau façade | Beautiful mountain views Short transfer | A week in March from £935
James, Ski Solutions Expert
Steve, Ski Solutions Expert
ituated in the centre of Lech as well as being ski-in ski-out, the hotel couldn’t be better placed. I absolutely love the traditional wooden interiors and black-and-white pictures.”
Porticos Bar has more modern features, with comfortable armchairs looking out at the Titlis mountain through floor-to-ceiling windows. Choose from the extensive cocktail list that has a selection of 250 types of gin, making it central Switzerland’s largest gin bar.
he staff really do go the extra mile to make you feel welcome and having such amazing views of the Titlis mountain while enjoying breakfast is a great way to start the morning.”
CLUB MED ALPE D'HUEZ
COURCHEVEL 1650, FRANCE
ALPE D'HUEZ, FRANCE
Chalet Estrella is the epitome of a traditional chalet, made from local wood and stone. Inside, exposed beams, wooden furniture and an open fire are complemented by high-standard, modern facilities. Outside the chalet there is a private hot tub that offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.
A brand new four-trident resort for this season, there will be a gourmet lounge with a wine cellar, a relaxation area and an upgraded family area among other additions. This hotel is ski-in ski-out, offering access to 250km of slopes.
Based on a quiet hillside, just 500m from the central village and 300m from the escalator that transports you to the town’s main ski lift, it’s easy to get straight to the slopes when you’re already in ski gear. The chalet also comes with its own ski room with heated boot dryers.
Rooms are mountain-inspired with Alpine wood, modern colourful décor and king-sized beds. Family-friendly, there are four children’s clubs for ages four months to 17 years old. Les Alpages Gourmet Lounge and Le Pic Blanc restaurant both overlook the mountains and serve a variety of local Alpine and international cuisine. Après can be enjoyed at Le Névé, which also has a sun terrace. The hotel has a large indoor pool and a spa by Payot where you can unwind with a treatment.
Breakfast, afternoon tea and a three-course evening meal with unlimited wine are served by your chalet host on six nights of the week. The chalet sleeps up to 21 people and all rooms include en-suite bathrooms - book out the chalet with a large group or join others for a social week.
Club Med holidays are all-inclusive; everything from your lift pass and ski tuition to childcare is included, making this a great choice for skiers looking for a hassle-free holiday.
Traditional chalet | Catered meals Hot tub | A week in December from £835
All-inclusive | Fantastic facilities for children Superb location | A week in December from £1,585
Ginny, Ski Solutions Expert
Sophie, Ski Solutions Expert
pacious and full of modern comforts, this great catered chalet has an outdoor hot tub – the perfect place to unwind after a day on the slopes.”
he hotel provides childcare for younger children, as well as clubs and activities for teenagers. With 250km of ski slopes on the doorstep, a large swimming pool and spa, there’s plenty to keep the whole family active.”
To find out more, please call our experts on 020 7471 7765
TO OUR PLAYGROUND Ski Solutions is part of The Active Travel Group, bringing together the finest travel companies in the UK. We specialise in tailor-made, human-powered holidays across the globe; from skiing and cycling in Europe and North America, to hiking and sea kayaking in the Scottish Highlands. Our team of experts are united by a passion for activity and adventure travel. Run by brilliant people who love the mountains, with first-hand experience of the great outdoors, we curate and create incredible holidays and operate them with passion and meticulous attention to detail.
To speak to our experts, please call 020 7471 7765
SKI SOLUTIONS The UK's original ski travel agency and tailormade tour operator. We have over 30 yearsâ€™ experience organising ski holidays across Europe and North America. Our team are all skiing experts that have spent much of their time in the mountains and their passion is reflected in the memorable ski holidays they organise for our clients.
BSPOKE TOURS The ultimate collection of European cycling holidays. BSpoke's cycling experts can plan your perfect cycling holiday where you can travel at your own pace or in a group of like-minded individuals. A BSpoke tour is all about being as restful or as adventurous as you desire.
CYCLING FOR SOFTIES Luxury cycling tour operator providing gourmet cycling adventures in France and Italy. Wind through vineyards on these leisurely tours and stay in high-end accommodation where the emphasis is as much on the food and wine as the cycling. Welcome to life in the easy lane.
WILDERNESS SCOTLAND Europeâ€™s No.1 Adventure Travel Company. Wilderness Scotland offers an inspiring range of guided and customised adventure holidays, in the most remote and beautiful regions of Scotland. Their experienced team understand how to create enriching adventure holidays and know the wild places of Scotland better than anyone.
WILDERNESS IRELAND Specialists in offering a range of adventure holidays, tours and incredible wilderness experiences. Wilderness Ireland take their clients to the wild and lesser-known regions of the Emerald Isle, all while staying at the most welcoming accommodations and delivering outstanding customer service.
To find out more, please visit www.activetravelgroup.co.uk
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Our experts' guide to the mountains, featuring inspiration for next winter, from where to ski and where to stay, to the best alpine experien...
Published on Aug 29, 2019
Our experts' guide to the mountains, featuring inspiration for next winter, from where to ski and where to stay, to the best alpine experien...