The Best Ski Hotels in Europe
The coolest places to get your Alpine fix...
By | 7 months ago
Looking for the best ski hotels in Europe for all ages and abilities? We’ve got you covered. From laid-back Swiss lodges to glitz and glamour in France, check out our edit of the best ski holidays 2022.
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The Best Ski Holidays 2022: Where To Stay In Europe
- Italy: Hotel Cappella, Colfosco
- France: Le Refuge de Solaise, Val-d’Isère; Airelles Val d’Isère; Le Chalet Zannier, Megève; Bear Lodge, Les Arcs
- Switzerland: Hotel De Verbier, Verbier
- Austria: Forsthofgut, Leogang; Hygna, Alpbach
Italy: Hotel Cappella, Colfosco
Best Ski Holiday For: Dolomite Dreams
Dating back to 1969 and taking pride of piste-side place on the sunny plane of Colfosco, the family-run Capella has undergone a radical five-star facelift, transforming from traditional chintz to contemporary South Tyrolean style. The hotel extended by slicing off the front and rear of the building, extending out and adding new facades and frameless glass balconies to all rooms. Which is perfect as here it is all about the view. Kick back on the Kettal-style furniture and to the south you have a direct view into the Val Mezdì in the heart of the Gruppo Sella massif, one of the most iconic off-piste routes in the Dolomites, while north the dramatic limestone peak of Sasslongher stands sentinel.
Inside it’s all about understated comfort. Well designed and discretely lit rooms have suede headboards and simple large format oak panelling throughout (locally sourced of course), plenty of storage plus a bench and hooks by the door to hang your outerwear. Retained from the previous incarnation are the family matriarch’s impressive art and artefact collection, and a trippy panelled ceiling in the bar that could only come from the tail end of the sixties. A large spa with indoor and outdoor pool also looks out onto the Val Mezdì, and even the family-friendly sauna comes with a view. And the food? This being Italy, you will eat like royalty.
BOOK IT: Doubles from €504 half-board. hotelcappella.com
France: Le Refuge de Solaise, Val-d’Isère
Best Ski Holiday For: Being In The Thick Of It
A whizz up the Solaise mountain, this cable station-turned-cool Alpine retreat is France’s highest place to bed down. It’s also superb for powder hunters who can be first out on the slopes before the gondolas have even moved an inch. The all-round mountain views are exceptional here – but so is everything else. The 16 cosy bedrooms and four chalet-like apartments are a mix of exposed stone and rustic timber, with soaring windows giving way to snowy panoramas. There’s a 14-bed dorm, too, in keeping with the hotel’s ‘refuge’ status.
Roaring wood fires dot every corner, lining the way to restaurant Gigi (which has outposts in St Tropez and Paris). The never-ending breakfast buffet (try the homemade brioche) sets you up for the day. Then there’s lunch and dinner – a hearty feast of nutty cheeses, grilled meats, pasta and traditional Savoyard dishes. The lively bar is perfect for an aperitif beforehand. Just make sure you leave time for the spa with its impressive 25m indoor swimming pool – or book a massage which uses Alpine herbs.
BOOK IT: From €450 per night. lerefuge-valdisere.com
France: Airelles Val d’Isère
Best Ski Holiday For: Slopeside Style
After a muted pre-pandemic debut Airelles Val d’Isère threw open its doors last winter, like a girl finally allowed to go to prom, and has not looked back since. Taking inspiration from the fairytale-like cosiness of the original Airelles hotel in Courchevel, the look here channels a Middle Ages meets Renaissance haute epoque look, but with a refreshingly contemporary twist. Vermeer replicas sit on rough-cast plaster walls and a large fireplace crackles in the stone flagged reception, while staff sport Savoyard chasseur outfits. The vibe continues throughout the large rooms, with vintage furniture, super kingsize beds and large flat screen TVs hidden in ornate gilded mirrors.
Yet the playful pièce de résistance is the main restaurant, the third outpost of Paris’s famed Loulou, where freeze-dried fossilised flowers run all over the Ralph Lauren tartan panelled walls and ceilings to create an enchanted forest feel. By night live dj sets are streamed in from the bar to add to the lifestyle vibe. The modern European menu totally delivers. Don’t miss the scallop
and truffle carpaccio or the raw purple artichokes with aged parmesan. Lunch is served on a spectacular slope-side terrace on the Front de Neiges to a rocking live DJ set and is sure to become a Val d’institution. If you are lucky enough to be staying you can head straight from lunch to the Greco-roman spa.
BOOK IT: Doubles from €1,200 half-board. airelles.com
France: Le Chalet Zannier, Megève
Best Ski Holiday For: Intimate Sophistication
Celebrating its opening a decade ago, Le Chalet does not seem to have aged at all. A small collection of 12 suites spread over several rustic timber-clad chalets, the feel is as timeless yet refreshing as it was on opening. Another revolution of the old-meets-new wheel, the vibe is very pared back, with simply textured walls, exposed beams, roaring log fires, hay-lofty four-poster beds and smart antiques. Each suite has its own living area, fireplace, and balcony with beautiful mountain views, complete with quirky hayloft platforms and secret doors.
Founder Arnaud Zannier is a devout disciple of the Belgian aesthetic inspired by the interiors of Axel Vervoordt, and you can see his influence everywhere. Even in the subterranean spa, the walls, floors and ceilings are all cast in the same russet tone. You can feel the stress slip off you like a bathrobe. The restaurant is nearly as cocooning as the spa, but if you can bear to go out again after the skiing day, it’s only a short ten-minute stroll down into the historic centre, for shopping, horse-sled rides or nightlife.
BOOK IT: Doubles from €765 half-board. zannierhotels.com
France: Bear Lodge, Les Arcs
Best Ski Holiday For: Ski-In Ski-Out Chalet Groups
Rising like a phoenix from the pandemic ashes, Bear Lodge is VIP Ski’s new flagship collection and a pet project of CEO Andy Sturt that’s been ten years in the making. A collection of fully serviced chalet-style apartments in a large building built on the corner of Arc 1950, it’s the ultimate snow-sure ski-in ski-out option, the DNA at the heart of everything VIP Ski. It’s also the first new build in Arc 1950 since its inception 15 years ago, and the only chalet-style offering here. Working with a trusted developer Andy laid out the architectural spaces around where he wanted to put the large communal sofas and essential storage that every good ski holiday chalet needs, optimising the design to suit a modern chalet holiday. Each apartment has either a floating wood or water vapour fire and a simple palette of greys, pine and stone cladding, and what it lacks in flair it more than makes up for in function.
The modern European menu is as good as ever from VIP, with the black-clad chalet hosts on hand with afternoon tea, champagne and canapes. Take a dip in the shared 15m indoor pool and spa, or sink into the sofas at the luxe cinema with nightly screenings for up to 20. There’s also a slope-side sports bar/club-style restaurant and hotel rooms for individual guests, which can also be used to accommodate additional guests who can join apartment guests for meals. Perfect for flexible parties.
BOOK IT: Doubles from £1,339pp per week on a seven-night chalet-board basis, including flights and transfers. vip-chalets.com
Switzerland: Hotel De Verbier, Verbier
Best Ski Holiday For: Boutique Bolthole In Centre Of Town
The oldest hotel in Verbier has undergone a spectacular refurbishment to become one of the most stylish and convenient beds in town. Just off the Place Centrale, what was an old Inghams club hotel has now become a chic boutique retreat. Previously a labyrinth of three disjointed buildings, the hotel has been sympathetically reclad in chalet style timber and completely reimagined internally. Bang in the heart of town it’s super convenient for stepping out, yet triple glazed and fully soundproofed for a great night’s sleep.
Versailles parquet flooring, sheepskin furniture and retro-meets-modern colourful ski shots (all from local photographers) give real warmth to the lobby bar area. The colour scheme is all about earthy colours of the mountain. Think grey polished plaster walls and upholstered headboards in grey, brown and green, with flashes of luxury in the green rainforest marble bathrooms. The attention to detail of the new Swedish husband and wife team is second to none, from the petrified wood coffee tables to the Spirit of Nomad linens and pottery sourced from a small Swedish artisan. The Scandi feel continues with the Amundsen sport clothing uniforms, though the excellent restaurant, La Nonna, run by the restaurant group behind Le Rouge, has more of an Italian feel.
BOOK IT: Doubles from 350CHF/£314 B&B. hoteldeverbier.com
Austria: Forsthofgut, Leogang
Best Ski Holiday For: Family Fantasy
A truly great hotel transcends our notion of what a hotel can be, and the Forsthofgut does just that. While many ski holiday chalets are primarily a base for skiing, here the vast ski area is almost an adjunct. Drawing on Austria’s spa culture and a deep connection with nature and sustainability, the hotel is truly a destination in its own right. Last season saw the opening of a new lake house, complete with split-level contemporary pine suites, onsen-inspired spa and zen Japanese restaurant, as well as a new family spa in the main building, complete with water slide, low temperature kid-friendly sauna and jungle-style splash pool.
Sitting across the piste from the main hotel, the black slatted cladding and clean minimalist lines of the new lake house sit in the middle of a frozen lake, with outdoor onsen pools adjacent to melted sections of the lake, ice-cold bliss for those brave enough to submerge. The apex sauna building has a glass wall looking out onto the striking Steinberg mountain. All in all the new lake house is a wonderful foil to the waldSPA building, with its three stories of adults only spa and 25m outdoor lap pool.
There is a series of intimate interconnected dining spaces in the main restaurant, where you jump in and out of three daily changing menus; alpine, vegan and locally sourced. The food is excellent, with Mizumi, the new Japanese restaurant, already a firm favourite in the exclusive Leogang restaurant scene.
BOOK IT: Doubles from €400 on a half-board basis (minimum five-night stay or €460pn). forsthofgut.at
Austria: Hygna, Alpbach
Best Ski Holiday For: Romantic Retreat
Regular winner of the prettiest village in Austria, Alpbach is well known for its chocolate-box charm and sloped chalet style, so much so that all new buildings have to follow its architectural north star. So it’s no surprise that this new collection of pine-clad bijoux chalets in their own private enclave ooze traditional Tyrolean charm. Developed on an old farm and clustered around a central barn are 11 chalets, all with private terrace, sauna and outdoor hot tub. Perfect for those wanting peace and privacy, a delectable breakfast box of fresh eggs, hams and juices is delivered to your door each morning, and you can pre-book a private chef for evening meals.
Each chalet has a fully functioning kitchen, wood burning stove and comfy day bed downstairs, while upstairs the master suite has a glass wall looking up the wooded flanks of the Reitherkogel peak. The enormous bed can be set to vibrate, allegedly good to soothe those après-ski muscles. Star of the show is a shared pool carved out of the barn in a style reminiscent of Soho Farmhouse. Open to the elements at either end, contemporary sculpted chandeliers hang from the barn rafters over the stainless steel pool. Hire a car as it’s a five minute drive to the Alpbach gondola, or two minutes down to the small satellite area of Reith, well worth visiting for an hour or two’s night skiing on perfectly prepared floodlit groomers.
BOOK IT: Doubles from €522 for two on a half-board basis. hygna.at