Sloping towards Normality…Our Top Three Ski Destinations
It is nearing the time of year where we get ready for an exhilarating yet luxurious winter break.
We miss the sound of laughter mixed with a martini at the much-deserved après-ski and long for the comforting warmth a fresh, hot coffee brings on a snow-filled balcony. How does coffee taste so much better in the mountains?
I know many of you will be missing your annual ski trip to France for what may be the second year in a row. Some resorts remain open for lucky locals but for those far away from the peaks and pistes, this article will hopefully get you excited to return either later this year, or next. Things will slowly begin looking up and now is a good time to get planning on some of the trips we have long awaited for; after all, there is nothing more refreshing than a morning glide down some of the most scenic and jaw-dropping landscapes the world has to offer.
Here are our top three ski resorts that we urge you to admire with us, as we wait for normality to be restored…
Japan – Myoko Kogen
Not everyone associates Japan with skiing and granted, it may not be everyone’s first choice, but that is what makes it so special: fewer crowds and more tranquillity. We may be eager to shake hands and hug everyone we meet once the pandemic quiets down but one of the greater pleasures in life is being able to sit back and silently enjoy the snowcapped views. From the popular Hokkaido to the less ventured Asahidake, there are plenty of ski resorts to choose from depending on whether you’re an advanced skier, a lonesome skier or a more sociable skier.
Our top pick:
With an average dump of 18 metres of Japow (Japanese powder) each ski season, the Lotte Arai, Japan is a luxurious ski resort which caters for beginners and the skilled slope master. Perfect for families, the hotel offers zip-lining, rock-climbing and trampolining whilst adults can enjoy a relaxing dip in the Hoshizora natural hot springs, or test their night vision by going night skiing. Known for its friendly hospitality, Japan is famous for her food, drink and singing, and Lotte Arai offers this: you won’t get another après-ski where you can sing your heart out whilst sipping on Sake after divulging in an exquisite dinner of charcoal-grilled Wagyu beef at Arcobaleno.
Austria – Lech
After a year of being cooped up maybe you want to go all out. Nothing better than an indulgent trip to the pistes. With its blue-blooded guest list including Princess Diana, Monaco’s Princess Caroline and the Dutch royal family, Lech boasts a more sophisticated atmosphere.
Our top pick:
Embodying history and familiarity, the Almhof Schneider is a family-run luxury hotel with a high standard of aesthetics, the utmost comfort and unbeatable hospitality. Almhof Schneider offers unspoiled nature, the greatest deep snow away from the slopes and practically endless possibilities which await demanding skiers. There are even opportunities to take off and experience paragliding without the usual restrictions or noisy engines, tobogganing – with the route, being only a few minutes’ walk from the hotel, and for the more adventurous, ice climbing – where frozen waterfalls of the Arlberg offers ideal conditions for climbing enthusiasts and beginners. It is hard to get bored here, but if you want to simply wind down, the resort also has a state of the art spa and a highly recommended restaurant and bar, for those who just want to be spoilt after a day on the slopes.
Colorado – Aspen Snowmass
Aspen has four unique peaks: Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highland and Buttermilk. With each showcasing their own personality, guests have the pleasure of choosing between staying at Snowmass – a resort welcoming families and the gregarious alike-, or Aspen, which hosts, perhaps, the secret city lovers and night owls and those in awe with contemporary art and jazzy music. Although some of the terrain is for experienced skiers, Aspen has some easy areas that are safe for newcomers. There is no denying Aspen’s unique personality; rising from the vibrant heart of downtown Aspen, her journey into skiing began in 1946 with the single-seat Lift 1, which immediately became the longest chairlift in the world, where it slowly began leading the way for backcountry skiing.
Our Top Pick:
At Aspen you can ride through glade-powder stashes and down the same runs that have hosted World Cup finals and an ideal place to stay is a ski-in and ski-out resort. The Little Nell hotel which sits on the piste not only offers that, but also offers an array of things, which will be arranged when concierge call you prior to your trip. From babysitting to a pet menu, groceries or dinner reservations, or a massage or a personal trainer, a bass riff or a boardroom, The Little Nell will make your winter dreams come true. This extends to any of your skiing needs: whether that’s a sneaky ski on the mountain before it opens, or learning to drive a snowcat, and sweeping the mountain at day’s end with Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol.
All photos have been taken from the respective website. Please check with your local government and the above locations and destinations about travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.