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Team Snow, this is your time! While some are heading for sun and sand, those who love winter sports are heading for the slopes. But what are the best luxury ski vacation destinations this year? Here’s our round-up of the best places for a luxury holiday ski vacation.

where should you go for a luxury winter vacation in the snow?

So much snow, so little time. For those of who love winter, and believe in #Neversummer, we have a precious few weeks to revel in the joys of snow sports.


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For us, the best luxury ski vacation destination has to meet a few simple criteria.

First, there has to be a really good chance of snow (obvious, but important to note). Second, since our family includes both skiers and snowboarders, the mountain has to have a terrain park (or three). Finally, we have a family member who hates cold weather but is a very good sport – so we need a location with options for non-skiers. A place where he can play tennis, go to the gym, have a spa treatment, or just loll by the fire with a stack of books.


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An added plus? Great food and drink options, and perhaps some charming shops and galleries to visit when we’re not on the mountain.

Happily, there are lots of places around the globe that meet all of these criteria perfectly. The toughest call you’ll have to make? Which one will you visit this year?

our picks for the best luxury ski vacation destinations this year

Whatever your pleasure, there’s a luxury resort that perfect for you. For example, looking for great ski instruction for kids? Check out our list of those resorts, here. We’ve also mentioned some on our list below.

Glitz and Glamour.

1. St. Moritz, Switzerland

The oldest winter sports spot in the world is also one of the most glamorous.  Switzerland’s St. Moritz has played host to two Winter Olympics and offers excellent skiing, particularly off-piste. Other winter sports include dog sledging, snowshoeing and the famous Cresta Run.  More exotic winter activities in this tony ski village include polo, horse racing and ice cricket. The alpine town is home to countless chic hotels and gourmet restaurants, all of which attract a steady clientele of A-list guests. Our Style Council says that the top places to stay are Badrutt’s Palace Hotel and the Kempinski Grand Hotel Des Bains.

The Best Luxury Ski Vacation Destinations This Year

The best luxury ski vacation destinations this year: Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, St. Moritz, Switzerland. Courtesy Photo.


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2. Lech-Zürs, Austria

Lech-Zürs in Austria is the combination of two of the world’s most exclusive ski resorts, with 100 five- and four-star hotels between them. Set high in the Arlberg mountains, the picturesque villages draw the rich and famous with opulent hotels and chalets, as well as manicured slopes and extensive off-piste territory. For lodging, consider the stylish boutique Hotel Kristiania (where you can have a gourmet picnic on the snow, bundled up in cozy blankets). Or the Aurelio, where you can test-drive four different Bentley models during your stay. Both are located in Lech.

The best luxury ski vacation destinations this year

The best luxury ski vacation destinations this year: Hotel Kristiania, Lech. Courtesy Photo.

3. Aspen, Colorado

Just the name Aspen conjures up images of fur-clad celebrities, designer boutiques, and all-out winter luxury. And it’s all true – it’s the Hamptons of the winter months. There’s fantastic skiing along with all the glamour – there are four different mountains from which to choose. Plus pop-ups from the team at Eleven Madison Park, among others. Need more to do? How about a two-hour dog sled ride, pulled by huskies through the scenic wilderness? Or a snowmobile adventure to the base of Maroon Bells? Or outdoor skating on the rink in town? Our favorite is The Little Nell. It’s intimate, close to everything, and the staff is exceptional. But our friends swear by the St Regis. There’s also the newly-remodeled Hotel Jerome. You can’t go wrong with any of these properties – they’re all excellent, and right in the center of it all.

The best luxury ski vacation destinations this year:The St. Regis Aspen. Courtesy Photo.

4. Vail, Colorado

Vail is the second-largest ski area in the United States, and among the ritziest, too. Nestled in the foothills of the Gore Valley in the Colorado Rockies, Vail Valley is home to more than 5,500 acres of skiing and snowboarding terrain. Couple that with Vail Village, where fine dining spots with serious culinary cred sit side-by-side with lively après-ski bars, and you have the perfect winter hot spot.  The Four Seasons Resort is one of the best hotel options in town. Others include The Arrabelle and The Sebastian.

The best luxury ski vacation destinations this year

The best luxury ski vacation destinations this year: Vail, Colorado. 


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5. Courchevel 1850, France

The French Alps are stunning, and Les Trois Vallees (the three valleys) comprise the largest ski area in Europe. Eight resorts are linked via a comprehensive network of modern ski lifts. Half of the runs are considered easy (greens and blues) which means that everyone will find terrain that fits their ability level.

Within the region, Courchevel 1850 is the epicenter of glamour. You’ll find an abundance of 5-star hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, and high-end shops. In terms of where to stay, luxury powerhouse LVMH owns the grand dame Cheval Blanc. It’s home to Le 1947, the only restaurant in Courchevel with three Michelin stars. This year for the holiday season, the hotel lobby will be transformed into a winter garden, courtesy of the design team at Louis Vuitton. Aman junkies should consider the ski-in ski-out Aman Le Mélézin – it has only 31 rooms and suites, all of which were renovated just last year.

The best luxury ski vacation destinations this year: Cheval Blanc Courchevel 1850. Courtesy Photo.

6. Chamonix, France

Chamonix in the French Alps is famous as a ski destination – it was the home of the very first Winter Olympic Games in 1924. It also boasts the longest off-piste run in Europe, the Vallee Blanche. One of the joys of skiing here is the panoramic views of the tallest mountain in the Alps, the iconic Mont Blanc. In terms of where to stay, Hôtel Mont Blanc has been the place to hobnob in Chamonix since it opened in 1849. Or take over the Chalet Couttet with a group of up to ten, and experience spectacular views of the Bossons glacier, and meals prepared by a private chef.

The best luxury ski vacation destinations this year: Chamonix in the French Alps.


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Mellow old-school charm.

1. Klosters, Switzerland

During the 1950’s, the little village of Klosters in Switzerland became known as “Hollywood on the Rocks,” thanks to frequent guests like Greta Garbo, Gene Kelly, Paul Newman and Gregory Peck.  The village has now grown larger. But it maintains a traditional feel, despite being beloved by the rich and royal, such as Prince Charles. The best place to stay is Chesa Grischuna, a rustic hotel and restaurant with a cozy piano bar. It’s only a five-minute walk from the Klosters cable car. Or you could opt for Prince Charles’ favorite, Hotel Walserhof which is home to two Michelin-starred restaurants. One note: you might want to avoid being there the week of the World Economic Forum in neighboring Davos – the roads will be clogged, and security will tight.

The best luxury ski vacation destinations this year: Klosters, Switzerland.

2. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Surrounded by the Dolomites, Cortina d’Ampezzo is home to one of the world’s most beautiful backdrops and some of its most dramatic slopes. In town, you’ll find ample opportunities for shopping for antiques and jewelry in addition to watching snow polo matches and drinking champagne. And in the evenings, you can join the locales in their ritual passeggiata (evening stroll) along the Corso Italia. A rumored favorite of Frank Sinatra, Cristallo Hotel is all about old-school glamour, with lavish suites and room service meals delivered on silver salvers.

The best luxury ski vacation destinations this year

The best luxury ski vacation destinations this year: Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomites in Italy.

3. Megève, France

Megève, located in the south-east of France near the Italian and Swiss borders, emerged as a popular ski destination for the rich and famous in the 1920’s. It was then that Baroness Noémie de Rothschild decided that France should have its own version of St. Moritz. Today, the once-tiny Savoyard farming village is a glamorous holiday destination. Yet, it has been able to retain an old-fashioned charm, thanks to its quaint cobble-stone streets and town square. For full-on charm, stay at the four-star Les Fermes de Marie – a collection of restored timber chalets featuring two restaurants and a spa.

The best luxury holiday ski vacation this year: Les Fermes de Marie.

4. Deer Valley, Utah

It doesn’t get much more old-school in the US than Deer Valley, just outside Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s one of only three ski resorts in America that doesn’t allow snowboarding (the other two are Alta in Utah and Mad River Glen in Vermont). Neighboring Park City – Canyons, does, though. We just returned from skiing Deer Valley, and we absolutely love it. The landscape is breathtaking, there’s ample terrain for all ability levels, and the vibe is down-to-earth, friendly and sincere. If Aspen is the winter equivalent of the Hamptons, think of Deer Valley as the winter equivalent of Martha’s Vineyard. We stayed at the Montage, which is a terrific option. The service is terrific, and it’s ski in-ski out. The other two luxury hotels in Deer Valley are the St. Regis and Stein Eriksen Lodge.

The best luxury holiday ski vacation this year

The best luxury holiday ski vacation this year: The Montage Deer Valley. Courtesy Photo.

5. Mont Tremblant, Québec

Our East Coast friends all rave about ski getaways to Mont-Tremblant. It’s nestled within the Laurentian Mountains, northwest of Montréal, making it a 6-7 hour drive from greater New York. The Mont-Tremblant ski resort, on the shores of Lake Tremblant, features a wide array of winter sports,  and a charming pedestrian shopping village. North of town, Mont-Tremblant National Park offers forested hiking trails and other winter activities. The 5-star Fairmont Tremblant is ski-in ski-out, and perfectly situated for a luxurious vacation.

The best luxury holiday ski vacation this year

The best luxury holiday ski vacation this year: Mont Tremblant, Quebec.


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Family Friendly.

1. Verbier, Switzerland

As a long-time favorite retreat to many a royal family (including both the British and Danish), it’s easy to see how Verbier has become known as a family-friendly spot. Here, it’s all about private chalets that provide families with maximum flexibility. You can opt to stay at The Lodge, Richard Branson’s nine-bedroom mountain retreat. It features a convivial atmosphere, with an indoor pool along with indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, Michelin-star trained chefs and spa therapists for in-room treatments. Alternatively, Hotel Vanessa is located in the center of town, with easy access to cafés, markets, skating rinks, climbing walls, swimming pools and the vibrant town square. It also offers easy access to ski schools for kids, from toddlers to teens.

Verbier Switzerland

2. Val d’Isere, France

Once a rustic farming village high in the French Alps, Val d’Isere has evolved into one of the world’s best-known ski resorts. That’s in no small part because it’s very user-friendly and reliably has snow. Because it has long been a favorite spot in the Alps for British skiers, it’s geared to English-speakers, so there’s no language barrier with ski teachers for the little ones. An added benefit is that Val d’Isere is a partner in Vail Resort’s season pass program, the Epic Pass. If you have one already from places like Vail, Beaver Creek, Whistler/Blackcomb, Breckenridge or Stowe, you can ski Val d’Isere for free. Le Yule is located slopeside in the setting of the old Grand Paradis Hotel, where the chairlifts are just a short walk from the front door so that little legs can ski in and ski out, rather than drag their heavy boots too far. Be aware: Val d’Isere-Tignes, while only the third largest ski resort in France, is much larger than any North American resort (for comparison, it’s five times larger than Whistler-Blackcomb).

Val d’Isere Village, France

3. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole is a terrific destination for families, especially if one family member doesn’t ski or ride. The town is adjacent to the stunningly beautiful Grand Teton National Park, and about an hour’s drive away from Yellowstone National Park. That means that there’s lots to do and see, even if you never hit the slopes. But you’ll want to. Jackson Hole valley is home to 3 ski areas: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Mountain Resort and Grand Targhee Resort.

The rustic Town Square features arches made of antlers shed by the denizens of the nearby National Elk Refuge. If you want a taste of culture, the National Museum of Wildlife Art has works by Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keeffe. The two best options for lodging are the 5-star Amangani, which is in a remote and serene mid-mountain location (we stayed there, and loved it). Or the 5-star Four Seasons Jackson Hole, which is ski-in ski-out, and located right at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Either way, you’ll be in the middle of one of the most beautiful spots in America.

The best luxury holiday ski vacation this year: Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

4. Stowe, Vermont

The ski resort at Stowe has invested heavily in recent years to become the ideal East Coast destination for families in search of the perfect snow vacation. Now under the ownership of Vail Resorts, the family focus should become even better, as with the Epic Pass, families can buy a season pass and use it any of the group’s other resorts (which include some of the best in North America). The Lodge at Spruce (formerly the Stowe Mountain Lodge) is ski-in ski-out, and includes an outdoor ice skating rink and lots of dining options. Topnotch at Stowe is a rustic-chic boutique hotel that’s a short drive from the mountain. And the town of Stowe epitomizes Vermont charm – you’ll find a general store, lots of gourmet food shops, and relaxed farm-to-table restaurants throughout the lovely little downtown. And yes, there’s even a covered bridge.

The best luxury holiday ski vacation this year: Stowe, Vermont.

Practically-guaranteed snow

1. Niseko, Japan

Niseko, located on Japan’s northern Hokkaido Island, has long been admired as a sanctuary for skiers in the know. But it wasn’t until the 1990’s that the rest of the world started to catch on. The snow conditions here are unlike anywhere else:  Mount Yotei is home to some of the most pristine powder in the world. In fact, the snow is so plentiful that some experts suggest that first-time visitors wait until March and April to make the trek. There will still be plenty of snow, and the crowds will be far smaller. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, there’s snowmobiling, snowshoeing and Nordic trails. There’s also incredible Japanese cuisine. For luxury accommodations, try the Kasara Niseko Village Townhouses.  They pride themselves on putting a contemporary spin on classic Japanese heritage.

The best luxury holiday ski vacation this year: Niseko Japan.

2. Whistler-Blackcomb, British Columbia

By many measures, Whistler-Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America. Many of our friends name it as their absolute favorite spot for a snowy vacation. That’s largely due to its epic terrain. With 32 square kilometers of mountainside and more than 200 pistes, all of which are covered with a 10-year average snowfall of just under 12 meters, you can be fairly certain that there will be snow when you visit. Opt for one of the townhouses or private residences at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler. Tucked away in the Upper Village, it offers spacious rooms along with luxury amenities and exceptional service, including a ski concierge.  Nita Lake Lodge is another great spot, and is consistently ranked among the best boutique hotels in the country.

The best luxury holiday ski vacation this year

The best luxury holiday ski vacation this year: Whistler-Blackcomb.

3. Zermatt

With its extensive ski piste (200 km across its three connected areas), guaranteed snow coverage year-round and, of course, the majestic Matterhorn as a backdrop, it’s no wonder that Zermatt is one of the grandest and most popular spots for great skiing. This “snow-sure” spot is best between early December and April.  After hitting the slopes, retreat to a stay at Mont Cervin Palace, which features an extensive wellness center. It boasts an indoor pool as well as a heated outdoor pool, where you can relax with views of the Matterhorn. The modern and sleek Omnia is another great pick, with its Finnish sauna and indoor/outdoor pool with sweeping views.

luxury holiday ski vacation

The best luxury holiday ski vacation this year: Zermatt, Switzerland.

That’s it. Our picks for the best luxury ski vacation destinations this year. Think snow!

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter hereAnd see luxury in a new light.

Pamela Thomas-Graham

Pamela Thomas-Graham is the Founder & CEO of Dandelion Chandelier. She serves on the boards of several tech companies, and was previously a senior executive in finance, media and fashion, and a partner at McKinsey & Co.