Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.
Today: Top 10 most luxurious ski hotels & lodges in the Alps
Winter is fast approaching, so it’s time to start planning your next ski getaway. And let’s hope that it will be a much better season than the past two winter seasons, which were marked by immense challenges, as the ski resorts grappled with the ongoing effects of the pandemic and climate change. The best place to spend a ski holiday remains the majestic Alps, which sprawl to almost one thousand miles (1600 km) stretching across five countries – Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. The Alps offer some of the world’s best skiing, plus plenty of après-ski amenities, including Michelin-rated restaurants, over-the-top hotels and soothing spas to match. To help you plan your next winter holiday, I’ve compiled a list of my 10 favorite ski hotels, selected from across the Alps’ finest resorts & villages.
There is more information below the slide show. Think I missed one? Share your favorite European ski hotel in the comments section.
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10. LE CHALET ZANNIER, MEGEVE, FRANCE
Nestled in a beautiful part of the Alps, Le Chalet Zannier is a delightful mountain hotel in France offering a truly luxurious experience. Established over a vast area, the site has three alpine-style chalets, the decoration of which expresses the very essence and sophistication of the project when it was created as an “exceptional place” to stay. The welcome is personal and the accommodation sumptuous – everything you need for an unforgettable time away. All different, each one of the 12 bedrooms evokes style, beauty and taste. The wellness center with its indoor swimming pool, sauna, hammam and two treatment rooms is the perfect place to relax after an enjoyable day on the slopes. From wintertime pursuits for beginners or families to summertime adventures in the French Alps – all activities are tailored for by a dedicated concierge.
- Hotel website: Le Chalet Zannier
- Other accolades: Le Chalet Zannier also features in my top 10 list of the best hotels in France.
9. THE CHEDI ANDERMATT, SWITZERLAND
Surrounded by the spectacular beauty of the Swiss Alps, The Chedi Andermatt Resort nestles elegantly in the idyllic heart of Andermatt, a village of timeless charms in the Urseren Valley, about a two-hour train ride from Zurich. For GHM’s first European property, the Asian brand synonymous with style, service and serenity, chose renowned architect Jean-Michael Gathy to design the 123 spacious guest rooms and suites. Glossy alpine wood, leather sofas, more than 200 fireplaces, and numerous panoramic windows offer a warm and cozy spot to linger awhile. The extensive facilities include fine dining restaurants and cozy lounges, a ski-in living room with sports boutique, and a comprehensive spa and wellness featuring hydrothermal baths and a duo of swimming pools against the stunning outdoor Alpine landscape.
- Hotel website: The Chedi Andermatt
- Other accolades: The Chedi Andermatt also features in my top 10 lists of the best hotels in Switzerland, the best hotel spas in the world, and the world’s most amazing indoor hotel pools.
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast for 2, $100 USD hotel credit, early check-in and late check-out).
- Review: read my review of The Chedi Andermatt here.
8. HOTEL LE K2 PALACE, COURCHEVEL, FRANCE
At 1850 m (6070 ft) facing the majestic Alps, the swank Hotel Le K2 Palace is bijou ski resort and a joy for the senses. Located close to the center of this legendary resort of Courchevel, the stunning hotel comprises its own tiny little hamlet along the Cospillot piste, with 30 Tibetan-influenced rooms in the main building and six stand-alone chalets. Light alpine woods and bronze pieces give the colorful interiors a sepia-toned effect, made all the more dramatic by red velvet accents. Epicurean pleasures include a two Michelin-starred restaurant – the dessert-only Le Sarkara, where pastry chef Sébastien Vauxion takes the art of dessert-making to dizzying new heights. The Goji Spa, named after the miraculous berry from the Himalayas, takes wellness into a dimension where time stands still. Le K’baret nightclub does double duty as a cinema.
- Hotel website: Hotel Le K2 Palace
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).
7. LECRANS HOTEL & SPA, SWITZERLAND
LeCrans is a ski-in, ski-out resort nestled within the lush forests of Crans-Montana in Valais, one of the most exclusive resorts in the Alps. Just a couple of hours drive from Geneva and Zurich, guests at LeCrans discover an Alpine haven of exceptionally refined warmth, restorative tranquillity, and discerning care. All rooms and suites are decked out in a traditional Alpine style, complete with heavy wood planks, but uneven textures and muted colors give a thoroughly modern feel. To enjoy the dazzling mountain scenery, guests can choose to sit with a glass of wine on their private balconies or in the Alp-facing rotunda restaurant, Le Mont Blanc, which serves gourmet French cuisine with a twist and offers an irresistible dessert menu. Le Cinq Mondes spa provides a calming respite after a day on the slopes, with a range of calming treatments plus more astounding views.
- Hotel website: LeCrans Hotel & Spa
6. FOUR SEASONS HOTEL MEGEVE, FRANCE
Set directly on the slopes of Mont d’Arbois with a ski-in & ski-out access and overlooking the 17th hole of the Mont d’Arbois Golf course during summer, this modern retreat welcomes guests with warm French hospitality. Designed as a contemporary refined Alpine chalet, the intimate hotel offers 55 spacious accommodations featuring balconies or terraces with stunning views on the surrounding mountains landscape. Enjoy a delighful cocktail on Bar Edmond’s terrace or a tasting in the 14,000-bottle wine cellar, then head to La Dame de Pic – Le 1920 restaurant headed by Michelin starred Chef, Anne-Sophie Pic. Kaito, the resort’s first Japanese restaurant, offers Asian culinary classics blended with the flavors of local alpine produce. With the region’s largest spa and innovative kids’ programs, the 55-room hotel is ideal for families.
- Hotel website: Four Seasons Hotel Megeve
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit; during summer season, guests will also receive a complimentary round of golf for up to two people, per room, including greens fees and cart rental).
5. GSTAAD PALACE HOTEL, SWITZERLAND
Perhaps best known as the Bernese Oberland’s winter paradise, the legendary Gstaad Palace Hotel is a favorite among active, discerning travelers and those truly in the know. The palace has presided over the exclusive Swiss resort town of Gstaad since 1913, with splendid views of the surrounding mountain peaks and lush valleys. The palatial property features 90 rooms and suites, five restaurants (one rated 15 Gault Millau points), two bars with live music, a renowned nightclub, and a full-service spa. The last is a wonderful spot to rejuvenate with a soak in the hammam or a visit to the private spa suite after a day of skiing or golfing. A squash court, four outdoor tennis courts, and an Olympic-size outdoor pool are available in the summer season.
- Hotel website: Gstaad Palace Hotel
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD spa credit).
- Review: read my review of Gstaad Palace here.
4. AURELIO LECH, AUSTRIA
3. AMAN LE MELEZIN, COURCHEVEL, FRANCE
In the heart of Les Trois Vallées, Aman Le Mélézin offers an exceptional ski experience with all the classic traditions of the finest French châteaux. The only French property of Aman Resorts, one of the world’s most exclusive hotel brand, Le Melezin has taken the minimalist Aman-Asian style and added some alpine warmth. Standing four stories high under a distinctive black slate roof, the hotel provides an après-ski home set in a mesmeric wonderland of groomed slopes – both nursery and couloirs – framed by snow caressed conifer forests under a piercingly blue midday sky. Ideally situated on the Bellecôte ski slope, Aman Le Mélézin is a lively home of glowing warmth, a stroll from the epicenter of one of Europe’s most fashionable and exclusive resorts, Courchevel 1850, with access to some of the most exceptional skiing in Europe … directly from the front door.
- Hotel website: Aman Le Melezin
- Other accolades: Aman Le Melezin also features in my top 10 lists of the best ski hotels in the world and the best hotels in France.
2. FORESTIS DOLOMITES, ITALY
Cool, calm and connected to its stunning setting, Forestis is a sublime ski-in/ski-out, adults-only resort in the Dolomites’ mountainscape, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the heart of the Italian Alps. Forests and snow-dusted peaks stretch out in every direction from the property, every part of which is in tune with the elements. Light streams in through the windows-for-walls, drawing the eye to the stunning views and illuminating the mellow, minimalist spaces. From the suites and ultra-luxe penthouses to the restaurant and spa, Forestis’ interiors echo the mountains: stone basins and white-as-snow tones, crisp fabrics and clean lines. This is a boutique escape designed to immerse guests in the regenerative power of a winter landscape. Outside winter, this remarkable hotel is also the perfect home base for hiking and biking on some of the world’s most picturesque trails, or even a stroll around South Tyrolean vineyards and autumnal forests.
1. AIRELLES COURCHEVEL, LES AIRELLES, FRANCE
In the heart of Jardin Alpin, the most elegant district of Courchevel 1850, Airelles Courchevel, Les Airelles offers a timeless experience. From the outside, this sumptuous hotel looks like an Austro-Hungarian castle in a fairy tale. Inside, the magic remains unbroken, thanks to the elegant materials, otherworldly murals and stained-glass windows that fill the property. This ski-in ski-out, ultra-luxe hotel – the best resort in the Alps – features 32 guestrooms, 15 suites & one appartement, three fine dining restaurants and a sublime wellness facility. It is a wonderland that comes alive each winter and the epitome of French alpine luxury, where every single wish comes true. Whether your mouth is watering for a specific dish, or you want to explore a specific slope, there is a team of 240 employees on hand day and night to anticipate and meet every need.
- Hotel website: Airelles Courchevel, Les Airelles
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).
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I think The Alpina, Gstaad also deserves a spot on this list. I’ve stayed there, plus been to Chedi and Palace and -though the Chedi’s design is unbelievable- I consider Alpina to be a superior property overall in terms of a “true Alpine experience”. Curious why you didn’t consider it.
I consider snow reliability the biggest factor in choosing a resort. While Courcheval has dependable snow in the huge area of the Le 3 Vallees, all your other choices can have very iffy conditions. Why isn’t Zermatt and Val D’Isere on your list? Because they have way better snow.