The best ski resorts in the world know that it’s not all about the skiing experience! They are not among the top ski resorts worldwide only because of their abundant snow and perfectly-groomed slopes. A fabulous ski resort is a mix of luxury, class, and familiarity. It creates a comfortable setting where skiers feel like home. Furthermore, it also provides access to various activities for the non-skiers who accompany skiing enthusiasts. An excellent ski resort has spa hotels, great transport links, modern lifts, fun outdoor areas, and superb après-ski. Just like the top ski resorts mentioned below:
Les 3 Vallees, France
Home to 11 restaurants crowned among them with 19 Michelin stars, posh hotels, and sophisticated après-ski lounges, the colossal Les 3 Vallees ski area is as much about skiing and snowboarding as it is about relaxation and pampering. The highest ski area on the continent, Les 3 Vallees brings together top ski resorts like Courchevel, Meribel, and Val Thorens. Boasting 105 square kilometers, 328 pistes, and 166 modern lifts, the area is a wonderland for skiers and winter sports enthusiasts. Courchevel 1850 is the crown’s jewel, a glamorous ski destination, famous for its splendid north-facing slopes, as well as for its 15 five-star hotels and seven Michelin-starred restaurants. Charming Meribel mesmerizes with its wooden chalets and laidback ambiance, while Val Thorens reigns supreme as the highest resort in Europe.
Pretty and chic, Zermatt is one of the most photogenic and romantic ski resorts in the world. While non-skiers are busy taking in the views of the magnificent Matterhorn and pampering their taste buds with gourmet specialties served at the 48 restaurants in the area, skiers are in awe with the velvety 200 kilometers of trails. The majestic Matterhorn glacier looks down on Earth from its altitude of 3,889 meters. Add to this the 160 kilometers of trails found under the care of neighboring Italy, and you’ll get a vast playground guarded by the imposing Alps. Beyond the pistes awaits a winter paradise for non-skiers. From marked powder trails to Stockhorn Mountain to ice skating, you’ll certainly find something to keep you busy. If the outdoor activities are not exactly you’re forte, you can spend your time relaxing at the spa or sampling the local specialties.
Val d’Isere, France
Luring skiers with over 300 kilometers of runs, Val d’Isere covers half of what was once known as the Espace Killy ski area. Currently Val d’Isere and Tignes ski area, the two resorts share the 158 ski runs. A perfect destination for skiers of all levels of experience, Val d’Isere has Slow Zones and great ski schools for beginners. However, advanced skiers too will find their own share of black-graded slopes, including “La Face”, a black Olympic downhill run. The Pissaillas Glacier prides itself with blue and red runs that run down from over 3000 m. Val d’Isere grew from a traditional alpine village to become a posh ski resort with 5-star hotels, romantic chalets, and plenty of trendy restaurants and bars. Moreover, the designer shops keep shopaholics content and the nightlife is surprisingly vibrant.
Gathering under one famous name four ski areas – Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass, Aspen boasts 336 trails and 43 lifts spread across 5,517 acres. While Buttermilk is the best destination for beginners and families, Aspen Mountain boasts a top-to-bottom gondola and delights intermediate and advanced skiers. The resort is often a winter haven for the rich and famous and houses luxurious hotels and elegant restaurants. Guests are treated like royalty in Aspen. Non-skiers can always keep busy with ice skating, snowshoeing, tubing, sledding or simply enjoying the hotel spa. Moreover, the ski resorts have excellent après-ski locations such as the Ajax Tavern & Chair 9, Cloud Nine, and Aspen Brewing Company.
Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
One of the most popular ski resorts in the world, Whistler Blackcomb is the largest ski area in North America. Covering a colossal skiable area of 8,171 acres and offering access to over 200 trails and 37 lifts, this ski resort was home to the 2010 Winter Olympics. The area consists of two mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, linked by a 4.4 km gondola. The gondola is a superb example of modern engineering and enchants passengers with breathtaking views. Winter sports enthusiasts also have access to 16 alpine bowls and freestylers will feel right at home at the Nintendo Terrain Parks. The ski area is home to luxury accommodation, as well as classy restaurants and trendy bars.