The 10 World’s Most Luxurious Ski Resorts to Visit in 2022
This includes Aspen, Courchevel, Verbier, Gstaad, and St Moritz...
Winter is coming and it makes us wanna go skiing. niood lists the 10 World’s Most Luxurious Ski Resorts to Visit in 2022:
Gstaad is a glamorous Swiss ski resort in the Bernese Oberland, surrounded by well-groomed slopes and tree-lined mountains. Located at the intersection of two Bernese valleys, Gstaad has influences from both French and German speaking parts of Switzerland.
The charming town has traditional chalets, luxurious shops and award-winning restaurants; yet despite its growing popularity as a celebrity hotspot and one of the world’s most exclusive resorts, it maintains an understated charm with its pedestrianised centre and wooden chalets.
Courchevel’s part of the world’s biggest lift-linked ski area, the 600km Three Valleys. And the runs around this resort are arguably the best in the whole area – tons of long greens and blues close to each village for beginners, and a huge range of both open and tree-lined runs for more experienced skiers. And most of them are north-facing, so the snow record is fab. There’s more than enough here to keep you happy all week, but if you do want to explore further, you’ve got the rest of the ski area to play in.
The resort’s popular with the rich and famous, and is made up of four villages – pretty and peaceful Le Praz (1300), relaxed Courchevel Village (1550), lively Courchevel Moriond (1650) and upmarket Courchevel 1850. And they all share a top-notch food scene, with no fewer than seven Michelin-starred restaurants between them, so you’re in for some memorable mountain lunches and evening meals.
Aspen ski resort is well known for its elegant Victorian buildings, luxurious hotels, great skiing and vibrant nightlife. The centre of Aspen is pleasingly compact, making it possible to walk between all the main hotels, bars, restaurants and shops. The views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains are some of the best in Colorado and include the famous Maroon Bells, some of the most photographed peaks in the US.
With such an extensive volume of slopes, you could spend your entire trip covering new terrain every single day. In Aspen ski resort, you can ski the same route that has hosted World Cup finals, ride through gladed powder stashes or burn your legs racing from top to bottom on some of the longest pistes you can find. Or if you’re a freestyler, Buttermilk is home to the Red Bull Double Pipe event and the Winter X Games.
Verbier is one of the most gloriously situated ski resorts in the Alps, with superb skiing and charming chalets. The lively town has the exciting buzz and is notoriously brimming with keen skiers and après lovers. Being just over an hour and a half’s drive from Geneva, Verbier is a much-favoured ski weekend destination and you will soon feel at home in the laid-back atmosphere of the town. Situated in the centre of the 4 Valleys, Verbier town is perched upon a sun-drenched plateau which gives way to a vast ski area with exciting terrain to thrill skiers and boarders of all abilities.
The skiing at Verbier is world class. It boasts more than 80 lifts, giving you access to over 400km of runs at a snow-capped altitude of up to 3,330 metres. Beginners and intermediate skiers can take their pick from nearly 80% of the runs, with picturesque views from Les Esserts and versatile slopes at Savoleyres.
At an altitude of around 3883 metres between Zermatt and Breuil-Cervinia lies the highest ski area in Switzerland, the Matterhorn ski paradise. 360 kilometres of blue, red, black and yellow runs promise fantastic skiing. Guests can use modern lifts and cable cars, including the Matterhorn glacier ride. The supporting programme of events includes some unforgettable gourmet delights and shopping facilities.
Make sure you visit the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise to get 360-degree views of peaks, valleys and 14 other glaciers – and you can go inside this glacier as well, to see snow sculptures and centuries-old ice formations.
St. Moritz is a luxury alpine resort town in Switzerland’s Engadin valley. It has hosted the Winter Olympics twice, has the Cresta Run, a world-championship bobsled run made of natural ice, and an outdoor Olympic ice rink. Its frozen lake hosts polo, cricket and even horse racing on ice. Ski and snowboard areas include Corviglia, Diavolezza and Corvatsch, and there are well-groomed cross-country ski trails.
For winter sports enthusiasts there are 350 kilometres of pistes with a state-of-the-art infrastructure in the surrounding area. St. Moritz’s ‘house mountain’, the Corviglia, boasts the steepest start slope in Switzerland with the Piz Nair Wall’s 100 per cent vertiginous drop. Toboggan riders plunge down the icy run which is one of the oldest natural ice bob runs in the world. For winter hikers there are 150 km of winter walking trails and for cross-country skiers there is a track network of about 200 km. The snowboard fun park, curling and altitude training are just some of the other winter sports facilities.
Whistler is a town north of Vancouver, British Columbia, that’s home to Whistler Blackcomb, one of the largest ski resorts in North America. Besides skiing and snowboarding, the area offers snowshoeing, tobogganing and ski jumping at the Olympic Park, a venue for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. The hub of Whistler is a compact, chalet-style pedestrian village at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
The village itself has everything going for it – it’s pretty, super convenient and bursting with bars, restaurants and high-quality hotels. Not to mention, it’s got that famously friendly Canadian atmosphere. Take a walk along the Village Stroll to find somewhere to tuck into British Columbian staples like steak and seafood, toast the end of the day with friends, or even belt your heart out at karaoke. There are après sessions for families too, with kid-friendly activities and entertainment.
Vail ski resort is one of America’s most famous and best-loved ski resorts. Located 100 miles west of Denver in the state of Colorado, Vail ski resort has the largest single ski mountain in North America, boasting a total of 5,289 skiable acres. Together with its neighbour Beaver Creek, which is just a 30 minute shuttle bus ride down the road and has a shared lift pass, it is unquestionably one of the top ski resorts in the United States with superb skiing.
The skiing area has expanded massively. The majority of the terrain on the front side of Vail mountain comprises well-groomed pistes ideally suited to intermediate and advanced skiers who enjoy cruising. As well as this you can get Vail’s Epic Ski Pass, which opens up access to the mountains in the ski resorts of Heavenly and Northstar, allowing you to explore the Californian ski resorts during your stay.
Niseko ski resort in Hokkaido is probably the most famous Japan resort amongst international skiers and boarders. For those that love powder, Niseko Japan is the number one pick for a ski holiday because sometimes it seems to constantly snow, and the deep, deep powder is way too enticing. Niseko the snow factory is one big powder playground!
Niseko Ski Resort is suited to skiers and boarders of all ability levels. There are a large variety of groomed runs that are ideal for beginners and intermediates. For powder hounds Niseko has great off-piste skiing. The slackcountry and backcountry options are also very impressive, and thankfully both off-piste and out of bounds riding is permitted. Another element that sets Niseko apart from many other Japanese ski resorts is the combination of both alpine and tree skiing.
Cortina is the largest and best known of all the ski resorts in the Dolomites, and is one of the classic Alpine winter sports destinations. Its ski area may be more fragmented than others in the Dolomites, but it is equally (if not more) beautiful, and the town itself has much more to offer besides skiing.
Cortina d’Ampezzo has been a winter sports mecca since the 1930’s, and in 1956 it hosted the first Italian Winter Olympic Games. It is known as the Queen of the Dolomites and is located in the heart of the eastern part of these spectacular mountains, in the Belluno province of the Veneto region. The area, open and sunny, boasts stunning views in every direction. One of the best-known ski resorts in the world, Cortina lives up to its reputation with a system of modern ski lifts and snowmaking capabilities that cover 90% of the slopes and which guarantee a ski season that stretches from November to April. The resort, with nearly 140 km of slopes, includes Auronzo-Misurina and San Vito di Cadore and is part of the Dolomiti Superski ski area. Cortina also has a rich tradition of hospitality and events. Every year it hosts international sports events like the Alpine Ski World Cup, the Tour de Ski, ice hockey and curling championships, and Cortina Winter Polo.