Europe is no stranger when it comes to luxury…
…and when it comes to skiing, it’s no different.
Nestled in tiny mountain villages you’ll find some of Europe’s most luxurious and exclusive resorts in the world. Every winter, celebrities, business moguls, and even people like you and me head to these resorts to enjoy staying in some great hotels, amazing food and the fresh alpine powder.
1. Ski Amongst Royalty in Megeve
Megeve was created in 1921 by Baroness Noemie Rothchild as the playground for the rich and famous in the 1920s. It’s my favourite resort in France, with some saying Courchevel is new money and Megeve is old money.
The village of Megeve is as picturesque as it gets with cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, boutiques and art galleries galore, with stunning views of Mont Blanc. Megeve still retains her rich heritage and boasts seven five-star hotels and two Michelin Restaurants. Neil English (the Mail on Sunday Ski Correspondent) once said “even the cow barns are five stars.”
Megeve has no shortage of fantastic restaurants – on and off the mountain – as well as bars and clubs in town. There is even a Folie Douce up on the pistes (we have no shortage of recommendations, so let us know if you want some insider info)…
2. Stay at the Ultimate Luxury Lodge in Verbier
Have you ever dreamed of skiing next to Sir Richard Branson? Now’s your chance! Every winter, celebrities and royals flock to the slopes of Verbier. From Leonardo DiCaprio to Jude Law to Prince William, you never know who you could be on your lift.
If you’re looking for the ultimate luxury lodge that will leave all your mates green with envy, consider renting Sir Richard Branson’s “The Lodge” for a cool £130,000 a week. It sleeps 18 people so tell your mates to start saving their money. If £130,000 is out of your budget, consider the more affordable W Hotel Verbier or La Cordee des Alpes.
After a day of skiing, you can party the night away at one of the oldest nightclubs in the Alps, the Farm Club.
3. Get Romantic in Zermatt
The tranquility of Zermatt makes it the ideal romantic luxury holiday destination. With majestic views of the Matterhorn, historic buildings, and luxurious restaurants, the resort will be sure to reignite the romance in your relationship.
The resort village of Zermatt has car-free cobblestone streets, gourmet candlelit restaurants, and even horse-drawn sleigh rides to your hotel from the station. Lots of celebrities, like Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Nicole Kidman, and David Bowie, have skied at Zermatt over the years.
One of the big draws is the amazing ski area, with one of the highest cable cars in Europe and a link with Cervinia and some world renowned mountain restaurants like Chez Vrony and Zum See.
Enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery and stunning mountain panoramic views at 2222 metres in your suite at Riffelalp Resort. Or stay at the contemporary meets traditional mountain lodge, The Omnia. Either way, you won’t be disappointed by your choice.
4. Ski with Olympic Legends in St Moritz
St. Moritz is one of the few locations around the world that have hosted the Winter Olympics twice in 1928 and 1948. St. Moritz has been one of the most expensive ski resorts since its birth 150 years ago. You’ll see plenty of women walking the streets in their mink fur coats and Prada bags. But there is more to St. Moritz than bling.
Due to its location, St. Moritz gets 300 days of sunshine every year and has 58 lifts and 350km of pistes. The resort is home to the famous Cresta Run, a 1.2125 km natural ice skeleton racing toboggan track. After a long day of skiing, rest your head at luxury hotels like Badrutts Palace or Suvretta House for a real old school experience.
I had one of the most unforgettable lunches at La Marmite, but my favourite spot still remains the portacabin in a car park called La Baracca; shared tables, great Italian food and impossible to get in. It’s ‘the” place to be.
5. Enjoy the Exclusivity in Lech/Zurs
Zurs is perhaps the most exclusive ski resort in all of Europe. It only sells a maximum of 14,000 lift tickets a day even though its lift system can carry 48,000 skiers per hour. The Lech/Zurs region is home to 100 five-star and four-star hotels, like the Aurelio or Tannbergerhof (where the Dutch Royal family stay and you may be served by an amazing barman who will remember what you drank 3 years back!).
Positioned high in the Arlberg mountains of Austria, the charming ski villages draw Europe’s rich and famous with its opulent hotels and delicious restaurants.
As of this ski season, Zurs’ lift system now connects to St. Anton and Stuben giving skiers over 305 km of marked pistes and 87 lift and cable car systems. The 22.5 km Weisse Rausch circuit is popular amongst the immediate skiers.
6. Eat in Luxury in Courchevel 1850
Courchevel is part of one of the world’s largest ski areas, the Trois Vallees, which links eight ski resorts across three valleys in the French Alps. The Les 3 Vallees ski pass gives you access to 165 lifts and over 600 km of pistes.
Courchevel is divided into four distinct resort villages with Courchevel 1850 at the highest altitude. It’s the largest and most prestigious village to stay at and eat in and is packed with ultra-luxury chalets, hotels, and Michelin-starred restaurants.
Very soon there will be nothing left there except 5 star hotels – you just have to decide which style you prefer as they are all great but differ greatly in concept.
Celebrities like George Clooney, David Beckham, and Cher often like to ski here. You’ll find no shortage of delightful gourmet food at Pilatus, Azimut and Chabichou.
7. Go for Chic in Courmayeur
Nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc, Courmayeur is stylish yet affordable luxury resort.
The heart of the village, Via Roma, is lined with chic boutiques, innovative bars, charming antique shops, and plenty of restaurants to tantalize your taste buds. The amazing food is surprisingly affordable compared to other European luxury ski resorts and just as good.
Don’t be surprised if you see a Milan footballer or two hanging around town. Having said that it’s not all about new money. Courmayeur is very old money – Cinzano, Pirelli and old families from Genova, Turin and Milan also enjoy spending a season here and set the trend way back when.
Auberge de La Maison, our favourite, is a charming wood and stone hotel perfect for understated luxury.
8. Enjoy the Fresh Air in Crans-Montana
Situated at 1500 m on a sun-drenched plateau in the Rhone Valley, the twin ski resorts, Crans-Montana, offer impressive views of the mountains from the Swiss Matterhorn to the French Mont Blanc.
Crans-Montana is often overlooked by the other luxury ski resorts mentioned above, but the resorts have great luxury hotel options and fantastic skiing.
You’ll find Crans streets lined with Hermes, Prada, and Montblanc. Le Crans, the Crans Ambassador, and the Hostellerie Pas de L’Ours are some of our favorite luxury hotels in the resort. And, you don’t want to skip dinner at LeMontBlanc at Hotel LeCrans as it is one of the resort’s best restaurants with panoramic views of the mountains.
9. Jet Away to Exclusive Gstaad
Gstaad has to be one of the ultimate understated luxury resorts in Europe.
Much of the high life isn’t visible because it all goes behind the closed doors of the resort’s chalets and private clubs, but the whole area exudes wealth. The traditional Swiss village is home to some of Switzerland’s finest hotels, impressive private chalets, and even a small airport to park your private jet.
If you have £25,000 and three years to wait, you can become a member of the extra exclusive private Eagle club at the top of Wassengrat.
The Chesery restaurant is one of the best restaurants in town.
The new Alpina Hotel is perfect if you like a little bling while the Gstaad Palace Hotel offers more old world luxury. They even have a drone delivery service to deliver champagne and dinner to their remote mountain hut for special occasions! Of course, no trip to Gstaad is complete without a night out at the Greengos nightclub at the palace. Our personal favorite hotel however is the Grand Hotel Park for its more understated luxury experience and hi tech rooms.
The European Alps has always been the playground of the rich and famous. From royalty to A-star celebrities, don’t be surprised to find yourself on a lift with Hollywood Royalty…
Europe has lots of luxury choices for different budgets. We can help you book your perfect luxury ski holiday today. Just let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll try our very best to make it happen.