Top Luxury European Ski Destinations

Punita Malhotra


Skiing holidays in Europe conjure up the vision of mountains blanketed in white, freshly marked trails, cosy fireplaces and mugs of mulled wine. Powderhounds and active, outdoorsy types can spoil themselves silly cruising over freshly carpeted snow in some of the most coveted winter destinations in the European Alps. Bookmark these lavish ski destinations in Switzerland, France, Austria and Italy. Pamper yourself with the creature comforts you deserve when you return flushed with the adrenaline rush of your favourite sport.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Europe's highest ski resort is the favourite arena for skiing enthusiasts from all over the world. Miles of pistes, picture-perfect slopes, sun and snow are the ingredients for a flawless ski holiday in Zermatt. This is one of the few European resorts to feature skiing 365 days a year, so seasons are never a limiting factor. 360km of slopes with intermediate and advanced terrain are up for grabs for newbies as well as experienced skiers. You can pick from four main skiing sectors – Rothorn, Gornergrat, the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and across the Italian border in Cervinia, all of which are connected by a world-class lift system.

Those vying for classical Matterhorn views can fulfil their dreams at the Sunnegga-Rothorn area, home to the wildly beautiful Kumme piste. Expert skiers can challenge their limits on the bumpy slopes of Triftji. Zermatt's largest ski area is the scenic Schwarzsee-Klein Matterhorn. From the top of the Klein Matterhorn (3820 metres), it is a swooping vertical descent of 2200 meters. The town itself is infinitely appealing - the bustling main drag is lined with bars, boutiques and cafes, while a labyrinth of back alleys hides ancient wooden barns and chalets. For the perfect blend of luxury and character, discerning travellers can check into the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof. Glittering chandeliers, oak interiors, three culinary outlets and 77 gorgeous rooms with faultless views. What more can you ask for?

Courchevel, France

Courchevel is a world-class ski resort in the Tarentaise Valle of the pristine French Alps region. As part of the famous Three Valleys ski domain, it is one of the largest in the world. The Courchevel Valley comprises six villages, with a wide range of slopes for everyone from amateur to professional skiers. Surprises keep unfolding on the landscape, from steep forests to open snowfields - piste-skiers especially love the long red runs of Creux and Chapelets. Living life large is easy in Courchevel with uber-luxurious chalets, exclusive hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, chic boutiques and sophisticated nightlife haunts. The impeccably laid out runs and state-of-the-art lift system make it an exceptional ski playground for the well-heeled traveller. There is even an airstrip for private jets for those who want to make a statement entry. Soak in alpine luxury at the thirteen four-bedroom chalets of the glamorous Ultima Courchevel on the Belvédère slopes. Experience five-star services and gaze at unforgettable vistas of snow-covered mountains from your private balcony. 

Lech, Austria

Part of the Arlberg Ski region of Austria, Lech occupies pride of place in one of the snowiest parts of the country. Its location, just two hours east of Zürich, makes it convenient to reach from neighbouring Switzerland as well. The traditional-style Austrian ski hamlet oozes charm with chalet-style buildings, an onion-dome church and a scenic riverside setting. Blessed with high, snow-sure skiing and more than 300 kilometres of runs amid splendid scenery, Lech is a powderhound's dream come true.

Bookmark the Alp's legendary ski circuit, the White Ring, to cruise along 22-kilometre ski runs and 5,500 metres of ascents and descents. Bonus? You get to slip by the villages of Lech, Zürs, Zug, and Oberlech. Lech is also Austria's only resort to offer heli-skiing on two peaks. The glitzy town is cosmopolitan and lively, with sophisticated retail outlets and over 50 restaurants to cater to a variety of taste buds. Claim your right to exclusivity in the 34 uniquely designed rooms of the Kristinia Lech, a stylish luxury family-run boutique hotel. Pamper yourself with butler services and enjoy a wide variety of dining choices. Suites come with their own cosy fireplaces. What will you choose?

Bormio, Italy

This alpine destination is in the Valtellina Valley of Italy and is known not only as a ski destination, but also for its thermal waters. The hot springs have been in use here since Roman times and Leonardo himself even took a dip in these healing waters. In addition to skiing, there is also the option of snowshoeing in the Stelvio National Park – one of the largest nature reserves in Europe and where the snow-covered summits exceed 3,000 metres.

Only three hours from Milan, Bormio is the go-to destination for ski and spa. Don't miss out! 

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