Our Editors Tried The Most Luxurious Ski Hotels & Chalets In The World – This Is Where They’d Stay Again

By Felix Milns

5 months ago

Where to stay, in style

Forget the AirBnB. These are the mountainous getaways, alpine boltholes  and ski chalets plus hotels to book this season, as tried, tested and reviewed by travel editors. 

Tried & Tested Ski Chalets & Hotels To Book For Your Luxury Winter Holiday

The exterior of hotel St Alban, with sign reading its name on light grey stone walls

St Alban, Hotel – La Clusaz, French Alps

Best for: Art Deco-inspired short breaks 

Unlike many purpose-built French resorts, La Clusaz is a delightful year-round mountain village, and the jewel in the Aravis region’s chain. The Aravis resorts are only 90 minutes from Geneva so a great short break destination, and La Clusaz is a perfect setting for the sophisticated art deco glamour of the St Alban. A bijoux hotel in the centre of the village, the comfortable rooms of the St Alban are very much in the style of a natural modern mountain aesthetic, with pine-clad walls and ceilings, modern industrial lighting and tartan wool throws, but it is the communal areas where they have pushed the proverbial boat out.

Indeed the lobby and bar channel ocean liner glamour, with art deco detailing and lettering creating a deeply cool ambience, beautifully styled with vintage boxing gloves, retro video games and library book shelves concealing tan leather seating nooks. The restaurant space is small, so only breakfast and simple bar snacks are served – think platters of mountain meats and cheese, washed down with mean Manhattan cocktails. Too often mountain hotels are so comfortable you never want to leave, so this is a great base to explore the town yet be immediately cocooned on your return.

The Nuxe spa has a clubhouse feel, with half-height wood panelling, rattan hanging egg chairs and duck egg blue walls. Wall to wall art deco cool. Felix Milns

Book it: From €220 (two sharing) on a room-only basis.

The exterior of the Alpaga Hotel with snow covered trees in front

Alpaga, Ski Hotel – Megève, French Alps

Best for: romantic breaks 

High on a south-facing plateau with stunning views of Mont Joly and Mont Blanc, the Alpaga is a wonderfully boutique hotel spread over four interconnecting chalets with shingle roofs, copper gutters and aged pine cladding. Six neighbouring chalets available on exclusive hire make up the hamlet.

Recently taken over by the Beaumier group, the hotel has had a sensitive makeover that ups the mountain charm. Paris design gurus Charles & Co and Saint-Lazare have injected some real soul into the spaces, be that the wall of antique wooden kitchen utensils, herringbone-clad doors or monumental metal fireplace.

A couple of clicks out of town, the setting feels especially remote and exclusive, with its sun-kissed terrace and fire pit for afternoon sundowners a particular gem. Don’t fear though – there is a very reliable shuttle service to head to the slopes or town. 

The bar, restaurant and spa all inhabit separate chalets, thankfully linked above and below ground for snow days, and the outdoor timber hot tub has the best Mont Blanc view in Megeve. Food is paramount here, with a small bistro cheek by jowl with the Michelin-starred Table d’Alpaga. Felix Milns

Book it: From €600(two sharing) on a B&B basis. beaumier.com

Chalet Blackcomb;s exterior - it is three stories tall with balconies on the first and second floor, with stone pillars framing the garage

Chalet Blackcomb, Chalet – Val d’Isère, French Alps

Best for: laid-back privacy and luxurious well-being 

Totally renovated for last year’s winter season, Chalet Blackcomb is one of Val d’Isère’s swankiest catered chalets. Spread across three floors of stunning reclaimed pine and spruce wood, five stylish ensuite bedrooms are awash in calming neutral tones and fine wools, linens and throws. Located in the private Domaine de Cacholet neighbourhood, this is a chic boutique retreat with a difference. It’s one of luxury operator Consensio’s innovative Relaxed Catered Chalets, where service is less formal by design.

The chilled set-up is ideal for families and independently minded groups looking to sample a few local restaurants, via the Consensio driver of course. The Relaxed Catering programme includes breakfast, afternoon tea and, five nights a week, two-course dinners plus cheese, with a particular emphasis on plant-based, healthy dishes (but only when desired). A personal concierge is still reachable 24/7 and, as with every Consensio chalet, Perrier-Jouët runs on tap.

Wellbeing is the name of the game with an entire floor dedicated to an oxygenated fresh-water pool and relaxation area. Repair to the outdoor hot tub under snowflake-speckled skies with fulsome splashes of champagne cheerfully delivered by your hosts. There’s an embarrassment of space for stretching piste-addled limbs: the large open-plan lounge with crackling fireplace has seating for a small army, and the super-size dining table is complemented by a sun-catching balcony and cozy bar area bursting with complimentary wines and spirits. A kitchen snug with fireplace is ideal to observe the chefs in action. Of special interest to families, a clever floor-to-ceiling glass wall acts as a sound-proof barrier between the two zones and there’s a full store of games, books, sledges and toys. Leslie Wolt. 

Book it: From €29,800 for seven-days of exclusive use on a chalet board basis (sleeps ten). consensiochalets.co.uk

Arula Chalets outside

Arula Chalets, Ski Chalet – Lech, Austrian Alps

Best for: a Bond-style bash

Peeking out from the elbow of the Lech valleys are the Arula Chalets. These two sibling lodges ooze 007-appeal – you can easily picture Bond kicking his feet up here after a hard day in sporty pursuit of a nefarious villain (probably down the north face of the nearby Valluga mountain).

Both chalets are decadent options for snowseekers looking to après-ski in style. Classic in style with postcard-idyllic timber cladding, the big sister of the pair is Arula One, which sleeps a whopping 22 people. The swish private bar is complete with shuffleboard table, plush sofas topped with mountainous blankets, and – of course – its very own barman. A drink here could be an expertly twisted negroni, or a bottle chosen from the vast wine cellar. If the party really gets going, the garage, which sits three floors down, can convert into a party barn, DJ included. 

The twin chalet, Arula Two, sleeps a smaller party of eight, and features much of the same in miniature. Both chalets boast steamy spas, generous pools, in-house masseuses, and fantastic concierge teams. Factor in the private chef catering your every passing whim, and you’ll genuinely be reticent to head for the boot room each morning. Tessa Dunthorne

Read the full review here

Book it: From €9,500 on a chalet-board basis. thearulachalets.com

The snowy exterior of the Tennerhof hotel

Tennerhof, Hotel – Kitzbühel, Austrian Alps

Best for: traditional hunting lodge-style luxury 

Dating back to 1271, Kitzbühel is one of the most historic towns in the Alps. It first became prosperous as a mining town in the 17th century, when they built most of the fabulous old buildings in the heart of the pedestrianised cobble streets, paving the way for its prestigious position today. Nowhere encapsulates this better than the Tennerhof, the town’s original five-star hotel.

Located above the town, with unbeatable views of the turrets and spires of the town backdropped by the fearsome descent of the Hahnenkamm downhill, the site was known as the Weather Farmhouse in the 14th century, as the farmer would warn the town about incoming storms from his vaunted locale. 

It is a view that regularly drew Ian Fleming here for writing retreats months at a time, with his favourite room now subtly branded 007. Every room is different, and every wardrobe a unique antique. Many have open fireplaces and/or stuben-style heaters and ornate colourful hand-painted panelling. There’s a different four-course menu every day, with the half-board restaurant sporting two Gault Millau hats and its gourmet restaurant four. Despite sleeping up to 130 guests it has a timeless intimate feel. There are also more contemporary chalet-style apartments in two new buildings for those that want a more private experience. Felix Milns

Book it: From €479 (two sharing) on a B&B basis. tennerhof.com

The Grand Tirolia hotel's exterior lit up at night. It is a multistory, very large building

Grand Tirolia, Hotel – Kitzbühel, Austrian Alps

Best for: space on a North American scale 

Located a short drive from town on its own golf course, the newly refurbished Grand Tirolia is all about space. The rooms are huge, the spa is cavernous, with both indoor and outdoor pools, and there are multiple different restaurants in this sprawling resort-style hotel. And it’s only getting bigger – a new building of 70 family suites and spa is planned for December 2024, and this winter a new jazz club will open, promising live music every night.

Considering its scale, the designers have done a great job of creating cosy spaces. Reeded timber panels undulate across the walls of the main restaurant, from which guests can peek into the open kitchen, clad in striking marine blue crackle-glazed tiles. Walk further towards the bar, and you enter a space with a natural club lounge-feel, with its tan leather seats, earthy suedes, and moody black and white behind-the-scenes shots from Bond movies. 

On the topic of the restaurant: don’t miss dinner in the Gasthaus Eichenheim, the golf clubhouse diner, where chef Manuel Satzinger has been experimenting with fabulous Japanese flavours for the last ten years, alongside more traditional Tyrolean fare. Golfers will also love the indoor golf simulator as an alternate après idea; ski all day then finish with a round at Pebble Beach. Felix Milns

Book it: From €318 (two sharing) on a room only basis. hommage-hotels.com

Chalet V is a timber building set in the snow, here lit up by underlighting

Chalet V, Chalet – La Tzoumaz, Bernese Alps 

Best for: back door designer access to Verbier 

Those in the know love La Tzoumaz for its laid-back family feel and back door access to Verbier. Chalet V is the perfect base here for design-conscious skiers who want a bit more bang for their chalet buck. With its double height vaulted ceilings, to the dining and living space and stunning wraparound south-facing balcony, the chalet combines beautifully rustic aged timbers with contemporary flair. And there’s all manner of mod-cons: from its year-round outdoor heated pool, hot tub and fire pit to its indoor sauna, cinema room, pinball machine and table tennis.

The interiors are true mountain chic with beautiful Bocci rain droplet pendant lights suspended above the oversized dining table. Nico, the in-house chef, serves up gourmet fare from the open-plan Officine Gullo-style kitchen on a different dinner set each evening, celebrating both food and design sur la table.

The charming bedrooms boast glam touches like gold drum bedside tables, and en-suite bathrooms surprise with sky blue accents laden with Tiffany and Hermès toiletry treats. And of course waking up to wonderful south facing views over the Haut de Cry mountain range is a luxury that can never be overstated. Caroline Milns

Book it: from 32,700 CHF per week (exclusive hire) on a Chalet board basis, sleeps 8+4. thechaletedit.com

The Stein Erikson Lodge in daylight

Stein Eriksen Lodge, Hotel – Deer Valley Ski Resort, United States

Best for: American old-world charm 

Deer Valley, Utah, is a high-end ski resort that exudes luxury, and the Stein Lodge is the jewel in its crown. Imagined by Norwegian ski champion Stein Eriksen, who also designed the wider resort, this was the luxury property that started it all, back in the early 1980s. Think huge stone fireplaces, leather sofas, heavy wood and exposed beams, retro ski art and (faux) fur throws, creating a grand yet comfortable lodge with an old-world charm.

It is a skiers-only resort with heated sidewalks and valets on hand to help carry tired skiers’ gear after a day on the slopes. The Lodge has hot tubs on balconies looking out over the Wasatch Mountain range and is home to Utah’s best rated spa, with treatments like the High-Altitude Relief Package helping visitors adjust to the change in elevation. And then there’s the wine cellar, stocked with 20,000 bottles, with its on-site sommelier present to help navigate the list. 

Situated mid-mountain, from the slopes the Lodge looks something like an alpine hamlet with all you need for a gourmet getaway. Complete with its own coffee shop, the Troll Hallen lounge serving up lively après, piste-side Alpenglobes, and the much lauded Glitretind restaurant, one of Utah’s most exciting dining spots. Expect a twist on American classics, such as lobster pot pie and bison ribeye. Eating aside, there’s the 56-seat cinema, the indoor and outdoor pools and jam-packed games room. Katie Bamber

Book it: Luxury King rooms from $1,270, suites from $1,880,