A Skiers Guide to Piste Paradise
Courchevel in France
This ski resort in the French Alps is of different calibre; as part of Les Trois Vallées, Courchevel belongs to the largest lift-linked ski area in the entire world, spanning six hundred kilometres of slopes and over one hundred and sixty lifts. From beginners to expert skiers, everyone is welcome and can find a slope that suits them best, and with most of them being north facing, the pistes promise perfect snow conditions.
With Courchevel being made up of a collection of distinctly different resort villages, it is important to pick the right one for your stay. Courchevel 1850 has continuously been selected as one of the best, housing the Cheval Blanc Hotel, the ski-in ski-out Maison that offers direct access to the Trois Vallées. It comprises thirty-six contemporary rooms and suites that offer warmth and comfort after an exhilarating day in the snow. Relax in the pool and spa, enjoy shopping or a trip to the salon and round of your day with a fine dining experience at the two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Le 1947.
Courmayeur in Italy
For style and glamour head to Courmayeur, nestled at the foot of Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) at the upper end of the Aosta Valley near the French border. This well-established mountain town retains much of its traditional character and offers a charming blend of old-world style and modern facilities, all in a stunningly beautiful setting. For views of the top of Europe from its highest mountain, ride up the Funivia of the Monte Bianco cable car to the ridgeline, where views seem to stretch endlessly.
Only a short cable car ride away is the Grand Hotel Courmayeur Mont Blanc, offering a world-class service and the finest amenities to make your skiing holiday a comfortable one. The seventy two rooms have classic, alpine interiors that exude tranquility and elegance, ideal for recharging after a long day on the slopes. The indoor pool has a waterfall and adjoins to the turkish baths and spa, La Fourchette restaurant offers spectacular views of the Brenda glacier and there is even a panoramic terrace with a lounge to enjoy an acres-ski nightcap. Additionally, the hotel is only a stone’s throw away from the centre of charming Courmayeur, offering great shopping attractions and more.
Niseko in Japan
As Japan’s officially favourite ski resort, Niseko is a must-visit for skiing fanatics. Located on Hokkaido, Japan’s most northern main island, Niseko ski resort has some of the most picturesque slopes in the world as it is surrounded by natural beauty, including volcanoes and natural hot springs. Comprising four separate but interlinked resorts, there is something on offer for every level of skier, with the possibility of even venturing off-piste. Although Niseko is a newly recognised skiing destination, the perfect, powdery snow conditions have made this resort a popular skiing destination with the locals for decades.
Retreat to the minimally decorated, rustic-chic Kimamaya Boutique Hotel, conveniently located at the centre of the ski resort. This nine-room mountain lodge whose name means ‘be yourself’ offers everything an après-ski relaxation requires. Indulge in a revitalising massage at the in-house spa, enjoy a fresh French-accented meal at The Barn Brasserie and experience an all-round sense of calm in this architecturally Zen-designed haven.
Whistler in Canada
Making it onto this list as one of North Americas largest and most beautiful ski resorts is Whistler. This skiing resort offers two mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb – with the Peak 2 Peak gondola that spans the three different bases across them, for excellent access to Whistler Village, Upper Village as well as Creekside. Offering over eight thousand acres of slopes, including extensive off-piste terrain, 12 alpine bowls and even three glaciers, this ski resort is not one for the faint-hearted and is sure to test your skiing expertise.
For a comfortable and luxurious stay, the Fairmont Chateau is the perfect choice; offering five hundred and fifty classic alpine-style rooms, this all-inclusive resort leaves nothing to be desired. From a tennis court and a golf course, to a fitness centre and spa, and all at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, minutes away from the slopes, the Fairmont Chateau is the perfect place to regroup and unwind after a long day of adrenaline.
August 31st 2017