Have skis, will travel! As long as there is a luxury hotel, of course. In ski terms, 75% of that equation is full service — no gear schlepping for you. Ski in, ski out, baby. And it’s pretty damn cush to have your boots warmed for that first run, and then to have someone meet you at the end of the day with some Glühwein or a hot toddy. But apart from these creature comforts, there’s the other 25%, which is all about over-the-top luxury. Crystal chandeliers in the mountains, anyone? Let’s go explore some of the best ski lodges in the world.
These hotels are compelling enough to win over non-skiers, as long as you know how to après-ski — the universal language of ski season, no matter where you are in the world.
The Location: Courchevel, France
Les Trois Vallées is one of the best places to ski in the world, with an extensive network of interconnecting trails. This is where the serious skiers go each season. Conveniently, it just so happens to be situated in the glorious French Alps. This particular location is also rich in history, as the coveted destination rose to prominence as a result of the 1908 construction of the Moutiers railroad station.
When a hotel is part of the Oetker Collection, which includes Eden Rock and Hotel du Cap, you know it’s going to be good. If you’re worried about COVID, want to enjoy maximum privacy, or are coming to the Alps with a big group, Courchevel has you covered. For instance, the L’Apogee has two five-bedroom chalets on the premises. They’re so glamorous that we had no trouble naming Courchevel 1850 Oetker one of the top ski lodges in the world.
Hotel Rosa Alpina
The Location: San Cassiano, Italy
San Cassiano is a captivating Italian mountain village in the red-rocked Dolomites, a range just as majestic as the Alps. The unique Dolomites are even protected as a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site for their cultural and natural character. Above all, the Dolomites make for really top-notch skiing.
For many years, there wasn’t an up-to-standard five-star ski resort in the Dolomites. That changed when Rosa Alpina entered the arena. True to the authentic Italian style of the region, Rosa Alpina is family-run, but also part of the Aman resorts coalition. In other words, the best of both worlds. St. Hubertus, one of the hotel’s four dining options, has earned its three Michelin stars. Chef Norbert Niederkofler‘s curated menu of local, fresh ingredients brings a taste of the mountains to the Rosa Alpina’s welcoming accommodations.
The Chedi Andermatt
The Location: Andermatt, Switzerland
There might be nothing in the world like skiing in the Swiss Alps. At the Chedi Andermatt, it’s as picture perfect as can be — which you’ll see for yourself when you take in the view of snow-encapsulated chalets. There are more than 110 miles of slopes to choose from, and they’re all top-notch. Add the sunshine and fresh air, excellent food and European elegance, and you have yourself one of the finest ski vacations you can ask for.
The Urseren Valley is uniquely versatile for whatever style of powdery fun best suits you, from classic skiing to cross-country to snowboarding. And if the slopes aren’t your thing, you can find hiking trails that will reveal all the natural beauty of the Alps. Still too athletic? Then the Chedi can hook you up with a horse-drawn carriage to enjoy those same views while you snuggle under a warm blanket with a hot toddy — both included.
The Location: Gstaad, Switzerland
Even if you don’t hit the slopes, but just like luxury hotels, the Alpina Gstaad beckons with world-class lodging. The architecture of the exterior is classic Swiss chalet, but the interiors are sleek, modern and luxurious. Rooms are generously sized, with baths that make you want to cocoon in your room; no judging if you sleep in! The Panorama Suite is the Alpina’s baller accommodation: 4,300 square feet and 3 bedrooms. Book it and you’ll have a private gym, a sauna, a Turkish bath and spa, as well as an outdoor jacuzzi.
The Alpina doesn’t mess around with its non-private spa either; it looks like a grand Roman bath. The spa is run by the Six Senses, and is the only one of its kind in Switzerland. Unique offerings this season include a Tibetan Healing Retreat, which is worth a few days away from the slopes.
Badrutt’s Palace Hotel St. Moritz
The Location: St. Moritz, Switzerland
This place is literally a palace. If you’re looking for a ski lodge in the world to make you feel like royalty, this is the one for you. Badrutt’s is the place to see and be seen in Switzerland. The après-ski scene and the nightclubs are as much of a draw as the skiing.
Find deep relaxation at the Palace Wellness. Indulge with spa treatments, take laps in the indoor infinity pool, or break a sweat in the fitness facilities.
Cheval Blanc Courcheval
The Location: Courcheval, France
The French Alps are unmatched for a classic atmosphere, awe-inspiring scenery, and luxury stays — and the Trois Vallées hosts some of the best ski lodges in the world. We’ve included two of the most exquisite accommodations it has to offer.
Also, French cuisine is world-renowned for a reason, and the culinary offerings in this region are among the best the country has to offer. At Cheval Blanc, Le 1947 is a three-star Michelin restaurant, as you would probably expect from this portfolio of hotels.
Cheval Blanc is just crushing it around the world, and the Courcheval location is a beauty. With elegant pops of color and an emphasis on comfort, Cheval Blanc knows how to make you feel at home in complete and utter luxury. For the most intimate of mountain escapes, book the bright and spacious four-floor chalet.
Scarp Ridge Lodge – The Eleven Experience
The Location: Crested Butte, Colorado
What once was a small Colorado mining town now boasts of the top ski lodges — not just in the Rockies but in the world. The atmosphere melds a touch of Croatian architecture with lingering examples of the area’s Wild-West history. Legend has it that Scarp Ridge Lodge was once a “dance hall” of ill repute.
Eleven Experience brings you the best of hardcore adventure and low-key-high-key luxury. There are no crystal chandeliers here, but both the decor and the tech at Scarp Ridge are off the charts. Individual rooms have altitude acclimators that help you adjust to the heights in Crested Butte. You can essentially make your room the same altitude as Denver, and ramp it up to the Butte’s 8900 feet as you adjust. Skiing here is by cats (no, not this kind), which take you up your own mountains. This means no chair lifts, no lines, and as much skiing as your heart desires.
When you’re ready to warm up after a frigid day braving the Colorado powder, Scarp Ridge has you covered. There are hot tubs, a steam room, a sauna, and indoor saltwater pool that has an underwater sound system.
The Location: East of Big Sky, Montana
Montana’s Big Sky mountains boast some of the most majestic views in the United States. As importantly, the unique terrain offers world-class skiing in the winter. The Yellowstone Club is where the likes of Bill Gates, Tom Brady, Ben Affleck and your other average millionaires and billionaires come to ski. It’s the only private ski mountain in the United States, and members like it that way. If you’re around in the summer, you can enjoy golf and next-level trout fishing.
If you’re staying at the Yellowstone Club, you’re not checking into a hotel. Instead, owners and their guests are put up in private multi-million dollar homes. Feeling social? The club house is the center of all food, activities, and spa and creature comforts. The wellness and gastronomical culture of Yellowstone Club is top-notch year-round. There are 16 on-premise dining options, ranging from comfort food and casual experiences to gourmet fusion. If you really love the looks of this place, you’ll need to look into getting a membership. Yellowstone Club is members-only to ensure privacy and a community environment.
The Location: Brixen, Italy
This boutique wellness hotel in south Tyrol isn’t a traditional ski lodge, but if you book it, you are right in the central ski area of the Dolomites. So use the slopes as you wish, but also luxuriate in medical-grade wellness (read on). Forestis provides an environment where you can immerse fully in nature in the legendary Italian Alps. The unique location is said to have next-level health benefits. Rumor has it that the Austrian monarchy chose it for a tuberculosis sanatorium in the early 1900s.
Experiences at Forestis are curated around the elements of Water, Air, Sun, and Climate. With an emphasis on mindfulness, the staff incorporates these elements into a rejuvenating wellness package. Forestis’ experts maximize the benefits of the four-factor approach to restore you to your best self.