Even when the sun is shining in summer, it is not too early to start thinking about a winter getaway. Winter holidays seem to offer everything: exciting fun-filled days, stunning scenery and relaxing evenings. And if you want to join the ranks of the rich there are plenty of luxury winter sport resorts to choose from.
Worldwide luxury ski destinations
St Moritz is a popular ski destination and the Badrutts Palace Hotel is one of its most prominent landmarks. Established 100 years ago, it overlooks the St Moritz Lake and has the most amazing mountain backdrop.
For a cozy, yet no less luxurious resort, Byblos Courchevel in France, has chalet-style accommodation and excellent views over the Jardin Alpin. Guests can step out of their front doors and start skiing immediately, and the village at Courcheval presents some lively distractions. This is the favorite of celebrities, but the atmosphere is anything but exclusive, even if the price tags are. It is not only the excellent slopes that attract visitors, but the chic boutiques and fantastic restaurants and bars.
Belying the opulence within, Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado, has the appearance of a country inn, but boasts a luxurious and elegant interior. For a long time, this has been the destination of choice for some of America’s highest profile skiers, but just as at Courcheval, there is a slope for everyone here. Aspen is also a favorite with celebrities and has the highest real estate prices in the US. The local venues also offer plenty of entertainment for visitors.
Whistler in Canada has plenty to offer the visitor with over 8,000 acres of pristine slopes, including three glaciers, terrain parks, and 16 alpine bowls. As well as skiing, the resort also offers snowboarding, snowmobiling and ice-skating, as well as zip lining. The local area is well served for evening entertainment, with plenty of great restaurants and bars.
A favorite with the glitterati, Klosters in Switzerland has an unrivalled reputation for luxury. The resort offers plenty of variety with its slopes and is something of a mecca for snowboard and downhill enthusiasts. A little quieter than Courchevel, it still packs a punch as far as the nightlife goes, with excellent eateries and bars, a theater, concert hall, night clubs and casino.
Safety on the piste
There are always horror stories about people returning from skiing vacations with a plaster cast on an injured limb, and while this does happen, there are plenty of safety precautions the sensible skier can take to minimize the risks.
Safety on the slopes starts with protecting the head, and this means wearing a properly fitting ski helmet. Whilst they may not be the most attractive of headwear, your head is much safer inside the helmet’s protective shell.
Eyes should be protected too, even if the sun is not shining. Sunglasses should have a high UV filtering factor to protect against the glare of the sun reflected by the snow. Sunglasses may be the only protection needed if the wind is not strong, but if the snow is blowing around, it may be worth investing in some ski goggles.
Keep warm by dressing in layers. Skiers will need to keep warm as they start their journey up the slope, and layers can easily be removed as the body warms up.