Meribel in Les Trois Vallees has upped its style stakes in recent years with a flurry of smart new openings. Ski-in ski-out Le CouCou is one of the finest examples: designed from scratch by architect and designer Pierre Yavanovitch, it packs a colourful, tactile punch and makes a refreshing change from the classic alpine look. For beautiful seclusion, overlooking Meribel, look to Chalet Les Brames. Surrounded by snow capped trees, it boasts seven ensuite bedrooms, a hammam, an outdoor jacuzzi and an ice bath — private chef, yoga and ski instructors can all be organised too.
One of the grandest dames of the Swiss Alps, St Moritz is the last word in timeless elegance. The home of the world-feted Cresta Run, an enchanting lake which freezes over in winter for games of polo and a clutch of truly glamorous hotels. The fairytale Badrutt’s Palace is our first port of call, with its indoor infinity pool overlooking the Engadin Mountain scenery. For a more low-key, almost hidden stay, check into Villa Flor, a seven room beauty with very artful furnishings.
A firm favourite of the British Royal Family and the jetsetters since the 1950s, Klosters has managed to keep a relatively low profile in comparison to some of its ritzy Swiss counterparts. For the 2020/2021 season, it is all about trying to bag a week at Chalet Bear, which has recently been refurbished opulently while retaining its alpine charm. Sleeping eight with various cosy living spaces, it also boasts three fireplaces to snuggle up by with a glass of red after a day on the slopes, which are just five minutes away.
Skiing in the Dolomites is like stepping back to another time, specifically a very glamorous one immortalised by photographer Slim Aarons. Add first class Italian food and wonderful hotels into the mix and you have quite the ski holiday lined up. In Alta Badia’s San Cassiano you will find the Rosa Alpina, now part of the Aman Family, which has contemporary but cosy interiors and a three Michelin-starred restaurant — ask for our favourite, the chalet loft suite. Over in Corvara, within the same UNESCO-rated region, check into the family-run La Perla, with its classic old-world charm and easy access to fashionable Cortina, the ‘queen of the Dolomites’.
In its heyday, Bad Gastein played host to emperors and kings and in post-war times it was seen as the St Moritz of the Salzburg Alps — and now it’s having a revival. Home to Europe’s oldest mountain railway station, it has beautiful Belle Epoque hotels and more than its fair share of Wes Anderson vibes. Our three favourite places to stay include: the altitudinous Haus Hirt, which is a stylishly revamped 1920s spa hotel which nails the ‘home from home’ feeling; the design-conscious Miramonte, which packs a wellness punch with yoga, meditation and hiking sessions; and Das Regina, a boutique hotel in the centre of town for those who like to be closer to the action.
Hinterthal, which sits in the Salzburg Alps, is an under-the-radar magnet for those looking beyond skiing, with winter hiking paths, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and tobogganing all very well catered for. At the foot of the majestic Hochkönig you will find an elegant mountain retreat, the Boutique Hotel Wachtelhof. More private chalet than hotel, its cosy interiors, cocktails by the fire and movie nights are the perfect way to recuperate after a day in the great outdoors. We love the outdoor heated swimming pool and Finnish sauna.
High up in the Rocky Mountains, Aspen is perhaps the most iconic ski town in all of America with the dedicated glitterati following to prove it. With four epic mountains accessible from Aspen, and easy private jet access less than 3 miles from the town center, expert skiers will struggle to get bored. Stay right in the thick of it all at the Jerome, a landmark hotel which has been in business since 1889 and Colorado’s silver rush. Recently given a slick head-to-toe makeover, its Old West feel remains, not least in the legendary J-Bar, which Hunter S. Thompson once frequented for a nightcap and the subterranean hot spot, Bad Harriet. Or if you’re looking for ski-to-door access, it has to The Little Nell — it is the only hotel in Aspen to have it. No typical mountain lodge, The Little Nell is more: design-led contemporary residence with a killer art collection.
Set in the White River National Forest at the bottom of Vail Mountain, Vail has been a ski and snowboarders’ paradise since the early 1960s. In the heart of the village is The Sebastian, which has majestic mountain views, a brilliant spa to soothe any aching muscles and a very well-regarded tapas restaurant. Additionally, Colorado Insider Brandon Perlman of Mr Luxury Ski recommends The Four Seasons Vail, one of the more modern of the brand's mountain properties. Featuring an outdoor heated pool, massive spa, and superb food and beverage program. For more boutique lodging, try the Sonnenalp, which takes its inspiration from a tiny B&B in the German mountains. Family-run for five generations, it even has its on Swiss fondue-style restaurant for those that like to pretend they are in the Alps.
At Eighty Four Rooms, we are all about channeling positive vibes for the upcoming Ski Season, so we have scoured Europe and the US to handpick the chicest spots to put on your radar. Including Alpine Lodges, Grand Hotels and private Chalets, here is our edit to bookmark for the months ahead.