Best Skiing in the World
But there’s still something about skiing that lends itself so well to the world of luxury and exclusive travel.
The rarefied experience of enjoying a bracing pastime in some of the world’s most stunning natural surroundings, the cosy ambience of quality accommodation, and the awesome apres-ski culture are all tied together by an alchemical je ne sais quoi to produce unique vacations that are uncommonly good.
Today, iconic resort names like Chamonix, Courchevel, Lech, Courmayeur, Aspen and Whistler are synonymous with high-end holiday experiences where the accommodation, cuisine and entertainment are as excellent as the powder, pistes and parks.
Furthermore, since skiing has become a favourite pastime for everyone from royals to business magnates and movie stars over the years, the cachet of famous ski resorts has grown considerably, making long weekends and weeks away in the world’s most famous ski locations rare treats for anyone celebrating a special occasion or simply indulging themselves.
If you want to find some of the most competitive deals on the most famous ski resorts in Europe and beyond, Erna Low can help you glam it up with comprehensive and customised ski holiday package deals including everything from aesthetically pleasing accommodation to personal ski lessons and ski passes included.
When you want luxury ski holidays in the best resorts in the business, talk to us first.
Why choose Erna Low for famous ski resort deals?With a history in the snowsports sector that stretches back to 1932, we’re industry pioneers who organised the world’s first ski chalet holidays in Austria.
Ever since those early days, introducing visitors to the magic of the mountains has been our business and we’re as passionate about delivering high quality ski breaks in the most beautiful ski resorts as ever.
This means that when you allow us the privilege of arranging your ski holiday in some of the world’s best resorts, quality connects every component like a golden thread ̶ from your ski apartment or hotel to your ski passes, every element is second to none.
History of luxury ski travelSome luxury ski holidays have a long history in the industry ̶ in fact people have been taking winter sports breaks in Switzerland’s St Moritz since way back in 1864.
However, many of the world’s modern ski areas were born in the 1960s, when there was a massive boom in ski resort construction all over the world which resulted in names like Niesko in Japan, Canada’s Fernie, and La Plagne in France becoming familiar names to anyone who wanted to swap their annual sun, sea and sand break for snow, skis and schnapps.
Resorts which were based near traditional mountain villages sometimes blended the authentic existing architecture with chalet style accommodation and amenities, giving the entire village a chocolate box appearance, although a handful of entirely purpose-built resorts incorporated modern architecture with a bold aesthetic vision.
Whether you choose chalets, apartments or hotels, there are still many resorts worldwide where the accommodation quality is comparable to that on offer in plush city neighbourhoods, the skiing and snowboarding provision is outstanding, and the apres-ski and off-slope entertainment are excellent too.
As the world’s best ski resort continually tweak and improve their offering, we’re on hand to arrange exceptional winter sports experiences which you’ll cherish forever.
World’s best places to skiWith so many global ski resorts to choose from, it’s tough creating a short list of the best places to ski. However, there are a select few ski locations that have perfected the balance between natural beauty, snow quality, apres-ski and accommodation. Here are a few of the world’s best places to ski:
Whistler Blackcomb is the largest winter sports area in North America and Canada’s most renowned ski resort. This combined ski domain harnesses the expansive powder bowls of Whistler Mountain and the natural blessings of Blackcomb’s Horstman Glacier to create an impressive mountain playground that features over 200 immaculate runs connected by an uber-efficient lift system. Combine this perfect positioning with unparalleled Pacific views and a high-end full-service resort and you’ve got one of the world’s premier ski resorts to contend with.
Val d’Isère in France is one of Europe’s most famous high-altitude ski resorts and along with sister resort Tignes, it forms the Espace Killy Ski Area, a gorgeous and gargantuan ski domain with 300km of terrain connected by 150 lifts. This is one of the world’s best areas for expert skiers, with a large proportion of tricky black runs, but it’s also a paradise for off-piste skiers, with the ungroomed areas above the treeline in Tignes presenting a vertiginous challenge even to time-tested experts. Off the slopes, there’s a range of quality accommodation which will feel like a home from home, while the apres-ski at venues like La Folie Douce is legendary.
Kitzbühel is one of Austria’s most desirable snowsports locations and its picture-postcard resort buildings and mountain chalets endow it with a terrific traditional charm. There’s a 170km skiable area in the local resort area and 280km in the wider SkiWelt area, with some challenging super-long runs down from the top of the Hahnenkamm Mountain, complemented by a clutch of cruisy blues and enjoyable reds, as well as a terrain park that’s a magnet for freestyle boarders. Again, this is a high-end ski resort with a mix of tasteful accommodation options, and its collection of chic boutiques, trendy cafes and impressive architecture architecture have earned it the nickname Glitzy Kitz.
Biggest ski areas in the worldSize isn’t everything, but if you want to make the most of a skiing holiday, taking your powdery break in one of the world’s famous, expansive lift-linked ski areas means you can expect a variety of terrain and experience the hospitality and apres-ski in several connected ski villages. If this sounds tempting, take a look at a few of the biggest ski areas in the world:
The Three Valleys is the world’s largest ski area, with a mind-blowing 600km of runs to explore and high-altitude, snow-sure resorts like Val Thorens (Europe’s highest ski destination), and plush Courchevel and Meribel. These mega-resorts are also complemented by satellite villages like Les Menuires, La Tania and St Martin de Belleville, so there’s a range of accommodation ranging from high-end to affordable. As well as the superb skiing and snowboarding on offer, The Three Valleys is a haven for foodies, with an amazing array of Michelin-starred restaurants ready to tempt your taste buds.
Portes du Soleil ski area covers 650km and comprises 12 resorts that reach all the way from France’s Mont Blanc to Lake Geneva in Switzerland, but a few spaces in its lift network means it’s actually the world’s second-largest lift system next to The Three Valleys. It’s an impressive winter sports arena nonetheless, and includes modern resorts like Avoriaz, authentic market towns like Morzine and charming Champery in Switzerland. You’ll find plenty of intermediate pistes here as well as advanced runs and off-piste and it’s a savvy choice for families with children as well as groups.
Paradiski is a vast French ski area with a 425km skiable terrain linked efficiently by 160 lifts ̶ it was formed in 2003 when the iconic double-decker Vanoise Express connected the two terrific purpose-built resorts of La Plagne and Les Arcs. With runs well over 3000m on the Bellecote and Aiguille Rouge, there’s plenty of excitement for advanced as well as intermediate skiers in Paradiski, as well as accommodation, apres-ski and eateries to suit all tastes and plenty of off-slope entertainment for kids.
World’s most exclusive ski resortsYou can expect quality and good customer service at any Erna Low partner ski resort, regardless of its position on the price scale, but the most expensive ski resorts in the world always deliver that little but extra which turns a great ski holiday into a completely unforgettable experience. Here’s a sneak peak at those international ski resorts where luxury is standard:
Courchevel is a classy French ski resort in the massive Three Valleys ski area and if you’re a foodie, your taste buds will be in seventh heaven here. Seven Courchevel restaurants share a constellation of no less than 12 Michelin stars, so when it comes to haute cuisine, the highest standards possible apply. But that’s not all, because there are several four, five and Palace-rated hotels here and more bijou designer boutiques than you can shake a jewel-encrusted ski stick at. If you want to let your hair down, there are plenty of establishments where you can let loose, including La Grange, a high-end club where the champagne- and cocktail-fuelled party continues until 5am.
Cortina d’Ampezzo is arguably Italy’s most fashionable ski resort, which is quite a claim to fame in a country that prides itself on staying at the cutting edge of style. A traditional mountain town in the Dolomite mountains, the centre of the resort is a cluster of elegant 19th century mansions with a distinctive green and white belltower as the centrepiece. The car-free main drag is the Corso Italia and it’s peppered with high-end boutiques and chic cafes, while the bars of Piazza Venezia is the place to be for the beautiful people who gather each evening for glam nights out in the resort’s salubrious bars and nightclubs.
Yellowstone Club in Montana is the world’s only completely members-only ski resort and it’s located just half an hour north of Yellowstone National Park, therefore as you might expect, the scenery is absolutely stunning. Frequented by hedge fund managers, captains of industry and members of America’s ‘old money’ set, this is an ultra-luxe destination where security is said to be controlled by former US Secret Service operatives. The private residences are as plush as the world’s poshest hotels and the ‘sugar shacks’ of Yellowstone serve artisan coffee and divine desserts.
World’s most famous apres-ski venuesHaving a choice of swish and swanky places to eat, drink and be merry during your soirees is another essential ingredient of the world’s best ski resorts. Whether you like sipping vin chaud in a comfy ski-in café by the side of the piste, sipping champers on a sunny terrace, chatting over cocktails in a laid-back lounge or dancing on table tops after a toffee vodka or three, you’ll find something to float your boat. To whet your appetite, here’s the lowdown on the world’s most famous apres-ski venues:
Trofana Alm in Austria’s Ischgl is a destination you definitely don’t want to miss when you’re holidaying in this terrific Tyrolean ski resort. A rustic barn converted to a two-storey pub, the oompah and disco music is turned up to maximum overdrive as revellers belt out the lyrics in impromptu singalongs, dance on the tables and enjoy lashings of apple schnapps.
Oasis Champagne Bar in Aspen is a movable feast of bobby goodness which pops up at various locations in Aspen Mountain throughout the season, serving ice cold bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne and caviar. If you follow the resort’s social media accounts closely, you can find out where it’s going to materialise next and be first in line for a fresh glass of the good stuff.
Bar Gyu + in Japan’s trendy Niseko ski resort is a ‘secret’ bar which is a bit like a snowbound speakeasy. Also known as the Fridge Door bar, its unassuming entrance is a small red freezer door in a snowbank, but once you’re inside you’ll fall in love with its comfy retro furnishings, jazz soundtrack and creative cocktails prepared perfectly by resident mixologists.
Le Rond Point is an institution in the famous French resort of Meribel. Affectionately known as Ronnie’s to the initiated, this iconic bar located just off the Marmotte piste keeps the party going 7 days a week with DJs and live bands every afternoon and a massive terrace with mountain views where a friendly crowd gathers every afternoon and drinks industrial volumes of toffee vodka, the go-to refreshment in this lively and wonderfully welcoming establishment.
The Poppenberg-Hütte is located in Winterberg, one of the best ski resorts in Germany. Its traditional décor, roaring fireplace, quality music and fresh draught beer make it one of the most popular hangout spots in this excellent resort.
As you can see, you’ll find everything from a quiet beer to a magnum of champagne in the amazing après venues that complement the world’s most famous resorts.
Accommodation at famous ski resortsAccommodation at famous ski resorts ranges from private catered chalets to self-catered apartment complexes and high-end hotels, so there’s something to suit snowsports travellers of all types. For some resort guests, a private catered chalet is the ultimate combination of privacy and exclusivity because the entire building is solely occupied by you and your guests for the duration of your break, with skilled chefs preparing your hearty breakfast and delicious evening meal.
Alternatively, you might like the independence offered by a well-appointed ski apartment, where you have the choice of cooking your own snacks in a well equipped kitchenette, but there’s also an onsite restaurant, bar and wellness centre. For an accommodation option where you can holiday in relative anonymity but still enjoy amenities, a ski apartment is a savvy option.
Finally, luxury ski hotels are the jewels in the crown of the world’s most famous ski resorts, with these most traditional of accommodation options available in five star and palace standard incarnations in the planet’s best ski areas.
Whatever accommodation option best meets your needs, we’ll collate a shortlist of the best options and help you select the choice that hits the nail on the head.
Booking your holiday at a famous ski resortIf you want to treat yourself and your family to a holiday at a famous ski resort, Erna Low can easily advise on the best option for your budget.
With generations of experience in the ski holiday business, no ski travel agency is better placed to meet your luxury ski holiday needs.
With impressive accommodation, top of the line ski hire and passes, classy cuisine and sublime apres-ski, a luxury ski holiday is an experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime.
If you’re tempted, now you definitely know who to call!
Call 020 7584 2841 To Book Your High-End Ski Holiday Today!