Picking a bluebird forecast, or the pursuit of fresh powder are not the only things to consider when it comes to organising your ski weekend.
It may seem early to be thinking about this in the heat of July but to get the best choice of flights and hotels at the right rates it is important to get going now.
So here is my guide to ensuring you get the most out of your luxury ski weekend – and bear in mind that the same applies to short breaks at any budget, not just luxury!
1. Choose the Right Accommodation for Your Group
Whether you’re travelling with the kids, impressing clients, or you want some time alone with the one you love, you’re likely to spend as much time in your hotel as you do on the slopes.
So, how do you choose? Well, here are a few of our favourite 4 and 5* hotels for inspiration…
For an intimate Italian experience, you can’t go wrong with at the Auberge de la Maison’s chalet-styled five-star service. They run a shuttle service to the mountains from their base just outside Courmayeur, and welcome you home after your day’s skiing with a roaring fireplace.
Or if it’s the home-from-home feel you’re after, the dark woods and abundant soft furnishings at the Hermitage in Cervinia – not to mention the discrete yet attentive 5* service and outstanding Italian cuisine – will make your stay as comfortable as possible.
For the whole family, the elegant Nira Montana offers a swimming pool, sauna and steam room in its superb spa, as well as well-equipped, spacious rooms. A new addition to the La Thuile area in 2015, this deluxe hotel serves fabulous local food in rustic chic surroundings.
If Austria is more to your liking, the boutique St. Antoner Hof offers unique, contemporary rooms in the centre of St. Anton itself. Relaxed, sociable and welcoming, it’s got everything you need to relax after a long day on the mountain.
22 luxury hotel rooms, 4 apartments and 6 chalets that can accommodate up to 12 guests – the beautiful Lodge Alpaga in France’s illustrious Megeve offers something for every group. Tranquility and elegance come in abundance, with the fantastic spa one of its many highlights.
Understated and sophisticated from the exterior, the W Hotel in Verbier boasts spacious designer rooms with their own fireplaces and balconies. Two in-house restaurants, a lounge bar, spa and its very own nightclub mean the only thing you’ll ever need to leave for is to ski.
Nestled in the village of Andermatt in the Urseren Valley, The Chedi offers a ski-in living room, fine restaurants, a comprehensive spa and 123 guest rooms and suites. However large your travelling party, everyone’s needs will be met at this wonderful resort.
2. Make Sure the Transport is Hassle Free
Ideally, you’ll spend as little time getting to and from your resort as possible, so you can enjoy your luxurious surroundings. But there are a host of different ways to do so, and choosing the right one is key.
Firstly, it’s more than likely you’ll be flying out, so be sure to pick a departure airport that’s convenient for home, but just as important is an arrival airport that is well located for your resort of choice.
If you’re entertaining, or if you have business to attend to, consider any VIP lounge areas you might require during your journey. We can even arrange private jets, should you require one (or more).
The Last Leg
Once you’ve touched down at your destination airport, how you arrive at your resort is the next question to be answered.
Are you driving yourself? Will you be needing a chauffeur? Or is a helicopter the only way you wish to travel?
In Swiss resorts, there’s even the option to travel by first class train, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the breathtaking scenery on the way to your resort.
However you wish to reach your resort, we can tailor your package to make your journey as smooth as possible – leaving you free to focus on the more important things.
3. Check the Local Restaurants Match Your Tastes
Skiing all day really works up an appetite, and at the end (and in the middle) of a long day of skiing there’s every chance you’ll be craving an utterly mouth-watering meal.
Whether you’re travelling as a family, couple, or corporate party, you’ll need to think carefully about the catering options for your group. Whether you read expert articles about The Best Restaurants in the Alps, check Trip Advisor, or speak to one of our experts, there are many different ways to ensure your holiday is a culinary success.
Alternatively, for real food aficionados, why not take a look at our Mountain Gourmet Ski Experience. Now in its fourth year, this unmissable combination of skiing and fine dining runs from 17th – 20th March, 2017. For more information, contact Jessica Gorman by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Pick Your Instructor to Meet Your Needs
If you’ve got a mixed-ability group, lessons are a great way for everyone to enjoy their trip at their own speed – and give you all something to talk about over après-ski drinks.
Having watched friends and family go from total beginner to solid skier in the space of a week, the excitement of their achievements every day was matched only by mine at realising they’ll want to come skiing again and again.
You may be a total novice, a master of the mountains, or somewhere in the middle, but there’s always something new for you to discover on (or off) the piste.
You may have read our article on Heli-Skiing, and for those of you seeking that perfect powder adventure, you’ll be needing the best guides a resort can offer.
It could be that you just want a quick refresher on the skills you learned a few years ago, or you could want an intensive, week-long course to really nail your technique – either way, it’s really worth ensuring your instructor has the right qualifications to get the best out of you.
5. Do Some Non-Skiing Activities
If you’ve got enough energy left over after spending your day on the slopes, or you’re looking for a more relaxing way to spend the weekend while the thrill seekers do their thing, there’s more to ski resorts than skiing.
Spa treatments, luxurious mountain lunches, panoramic helicopter flights, or even Courmayeur’s thermal spa – you can be pampered any way you like.
Most luxury resorts also boast some of the best shopping around, so you can pick up a treat for your loved ones (or yourself). One of my favourites is the idyllic alpine high street of Megeve, which has some beautiful boutiques.
Ready to Go?
Fantastic, so are we! Our tailor made service means that we can help you to choose exactly the right flights to suit your needs with good availability still at this stage.
And remember that bespoke does not mean expensive – our flexibility means that we can look at whatever level of accommodation suits your budget if you are not looking for a luxury trip, and getting in early on good flights is important to get the best fares.
Or, if you think we’ve missed anything you can’t live without on your ski trip, let us know by commenting below – we’d love to hear from you.