Skiing 2014

These are the best skiing holidays in the world right now - from luxury spas in St Moritz, to partying in the Alps, and Canada's coolest ski school, here's where to book your snow holiday this season

Whether you’re a beginner, a pro, a thrill-seeker or a fair-weather skiier (hello, slope-side spa!), we’ve rounded up the best skiing holidays to book this season. From where to head with the cool crowd, to the best family-friendly resorts or the ultimate off-piste foodie destinations, here’s how to narrow down your search depending on your budget, ski ability or squad goals.

Best skiing holiday for partying

Snowbombing – Mayrhofen, Austria

Why go? Rave in an igloo or party in an enchanted forest, those two things alone make this the skiing holiday for people who like the adrenalin to continue after the ski lifts close. With acts like Chase and Status, Slaves to Roni Size and De La Soul you will find the right beat to suit. Now in it’s 17th year this festival attracts a cool crowd and has managed to stay boutiquey and creative despite its size. It’s still the best skiing holiday for partying on top of the world.

Snowbombing festival

Where to stay:

Quite possibly the best 4* hotel in Mayrhofen Hotel Neue Post attracts a lively, arty crowd in this super central location, right next to the headline venues. A big pull is their 1000m square wellness spa with hot tub, Finnish sauna, steam bath, infrared and light therapy, a “shower temple”, oxygen therapy and waterfall side relaxation room, heated glass covered pool – remember you’re in Austria – there’s a no swimwear spa policy (what?!) towels are however OK.

Sport Hotel Manni is considered the coolest hotel at the festival with the chicest of rooms, award winning restaurant, rooftop Jacuzzi and the finest mountain views. Located right on the main street nestled between all the best festival venues and a few minutes walk from the Penken ski lift.

Both hotels can be included in your Snowbombing package, the cost varies depending on room standard and when you book so get in early for best prices.

Festival ticket and 5 nights accommodation start from £299.

What to know:
650km of unadulterated piste
Europe’s steepest slope
177 cable cars
22% blue runs, 4% red runs, 31% black runs
20km cross country skiing
Check out Vans Penken Snowpark

Best skiing holiday for foodies

Alta Badia, Dolomites, Italy

Why?  Because the gourmet ski safari is second to none. Ski all day between huts to sample slope-side fine dining and a different gourmet dish with wine pairing at each stop. Prepared by local and international chefs the courses are based on regional recipes and local delicacies from each chef’s home country. It’s a beautiful location with incredible views, perfect for exploring the mountain with the finest après ski.

[FOODIE PIC T/C]

Tickets include 5 dishes with wine are €50 and the event takes place in December. If not the time you’re going you can eat the dishes at the 14 huts that take part – some serve a first or second course, some a desert, prices depend on the dish but cost approximately €15-30 including wine.

http://www.altabadia.org/en/italian-alps-dolomites/food-and-drink/gourmet-skisafari.html

Anywhere with 20 Michelin star restaurants is going to be pretty special for food lovers. Great pride is taken in sourcing local produce and creating the exquisite dishes, they vary from local Ladin delicacies to modern European. Everywhere is good with such competition the only way to be in the game is to try to be the best – hurrah to that!

Where to stay

Berghotel Ladinia
This beautiful wooden 1930’s is so charming you can feel the family run business isn’t a run of the mill hotel. With only 13 rooms you get a real personal touch, it feels like you’re staying in a large family home. Rooms are decorated in a simple elegant way, it’s like stepping back in time to a pre-digital age – wooden walls and mountain views, it’s pure relaxation. In line with the gourmet obsessed area the restaurant has had a Michelin star since 2002.

Rooms from €117 per person per night.

http://www.berghotelladinia.it/en-dining?lang=en

Las Vegas Lodge
A modern mountain lodge only accessable by cable car, you can imagine the views are pretty spectacular. It was someones very good idea to position baths in the bedrooms next to the window so you can admire the magnificent scenery. With only 11 room it’s well looked after by owner Ulli, a ski instructor and former ski racer (more than 100 medals and caps). His passion for the Dolomites creates a very welcome stay that keeps guests returning year after year.

Rooms from ???

http://www.lasvegasonline.it/en/welcome.html

Stats
130km in total
70km blue runs (54%)
52km red runs (40%)
8km black runs (6%)
Valley runs available, they lead to all villages of Alta Badia ski resort

Lift pass – from €47 per day

Easy Escapes: Learning to ski in the Dolomites, Italy

Best skiing holiday for families

Winter Park, Colorado, USA

Why? Leaving Denvor at dawn for the two hour train journey to Winter Park is worth the horribly early alarm call. Pink, red and orange skies rise over the huge open plains, soon mountains and canyon in the distance are being travelled through the last tunnel (Moffat Tunnel) is five mins of blackness, then you burst out the other side, it’s like arriving in Narnia. Winter Park itself is a resort great for all ages and levels but what sets it apart is that kids under 12 ski for free. Another genious idea are little red trolleys left all around the resort to load up with your kids and pull to where ever you need to be, you just unload and leave for the next person to pick up – think Boris bikes on ice.

Where to stay
Zephyr Mountain Lodge offers one two and three bedroom units all with incredible mountain views. Queen and King size beds so big you could fit the whole family in no problem. It also has four outdoor hot tubs, a fitness room and on-premise ski and snowboard storage. It’s prime location means only a few minutes walk to ski lifts and all restaurants/bars are even nearer.

Rooms start from ???

http://www.zephyrlodge.com

Stats
38 Green runs
33 blue runs
28 advanced blue runs
53 black runs
7 extreme terrain
Ski pass – from $69 per day

Best for culture – Niseko, Japan

Why? Niseko is Japan’s most popular ski destination with four interconnected resorts provide over 800 skiable hectors. After 10 years of development and the diversity of its visitors there are 130 bars, restaurants and in-house catering options ranging from traditional Japanese to Asian fusion and European. The accommodation mirrors this global influence with wooden ski huts sitting alongside minimal uber cool city like hotels.

Where to stay

Kasara Niseko Townhouse

Located at the base of Mount Niseko Annupuri, Kasara occupies a unique position at the heart of Niseko Village, an all-season destination that has become legendary among the skiing cognoscenti and internationally acclaimed for being one of the premier powder destinations in the world. The eight exclusive townhouses are an ode to Japan’s heritage townhouses accommodating up to six adults. Swimming pool, gym, spa and concierge all on site.

http://www.slh.com/kasara

Loft

Perfectly positioned in the centre of Hirafu Village, a few minutes walk from ski lifts and village life these 4 beautiful apartments are luxury at its best. With interiors by Yoo Design Studios, a Philippe Stark & Hitchcox Company and architecture by Riccardo Tossani, every detail has been considered with “peace and relaxation” in mind. If you thought you might need to lift a finger at any point – no need as there is a 24 hour full concierge service provided.
http://www.loft-niseko.com

Stats
47km of runs
30% beginner
42% intermediate
28% advanced
38 Lifts open 8:30am to 9pm
17 on mountain dining

 

Best skiing holiday on a budget

Arinsal, Andorra, Spain

Why?  Sitting at the end of a valley in the southern part of Anorra, Arinsal is the go to destination for bargain skiing. A great place to build your skiing confidence with plenty of gentle slopes, there’s also a more radical freestyle area for snowboarders. Being the go to place for a bargain brings first timers and student vibes who love the lively atmosphere of the resorts bars and clubs.

Where to stay
Patagonia Atiram Hotel
A short walk from ski lifts and also next to the towns shopping area this country style hotel offers sauna, gym and massage room for all your post mountain recovery or the cozy lounge area has an open fire and cocktails to match. You can start each day with their buffet breakfast while looking out on the glorious mountain views, when returning ski straight into the Atiram and head gym/bar/bed, maybe all three.

http://www.atiramhotels.com/en/hotels/andorra/hotel-patagonia-atiram/

Hostel Micolau
Housed in a 19th Century stone building it’s one of the oldest buildings in Arinsal. It manages to create the atmosphere of old mountain history with the modern comforts of today. The rooms are colourful and pretty basic but you get breakfast thrown in as well as ski/bike lockers. Situated next to ski lifts it’s ideal for your introduction to the world of skiing and boarding.

http://www.hotel-micolau.com

Stats
63km ski area
16 green
20 blue
27 red
6 black

 

 

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