Lavish Hotels for A Dream Ski Trip

1 — The Chedi, Andermatt, Switzerland

“The highest sublimation of all you can imagine in the way of Swiss scenery,” wrote Charles Dickens when he visited Andermatt in 1845. “Oh God! What a beautiful country it is!” Nevertheless, if you had visited a decade ago, the idea that Andermatt would top a list of luxury destinations would have been laughable. The thriving Victorian tourist trade had dried up after two world wars, and the town revolved instead around its large army garrison, sited here to guard the strategic crossroads of three key Alpine passes, the Furka, the Gotthard and the Oberalp. But in the new millennium the army pulled out, leaving the town at risk of depopulation and economic collapse. 

Step forward Samih Sawiris, a multimillionaire Egyptian property developer, who bought the disused barracks and developed a grand plan to turn it into a year-round luxury resort — a mix of hotels and apartments, with skiing in winter, golf in summer. The Chedi, which opened in 2013, is the project’s pièce de résistance — a lavish, 123-room, five-star hotel, moments from the celebrated north-facing ski slopes of the Gemsstock. 

Many scoffed when the ambitious plans were first mooted but now the hotel is by far the most rated by our panel. “I’ll stick my neck out and say the Chedi Andermatt is the best luxury ski hotel in the world,” says Michael Bennett of Ski Independence. “Breathtaking public spaces, incredible rooms and an exceptional spa, plus world-class dining, ski butlers and a cheese sommelier to guide you through their 5m-high cheese cellar.” CHF500 (£388); thechediandermatt.com

2 — Deplar Farm, near Siglufjördur, Iceland

 

Near the tip of the Troll peninsula, in Iceland’s far north, Siglufjördur is a sleepy fishing town where snow-covered trawlers rust on the dockside and the main attraction is the herring museum. And yet nestling among the mountains to the south of town is a former sheep farm that recently emerged from a no-expense-spared conversion as perhaps Europe’s most singular ski retreat. There are 13 bedrooms, a media room, spa, swimming pool and living areas with floor-to-ceiling windows giving uninterrupted views of the frozen wilderness. There are no ski lifts but a helicopter is on standby to whisk guests to the surrounding peaks — the long days this far north mean you can still be skiing at midnight. Deplar is the creation of Chad Pike, an American who is a fanatical skier and fly-fisherman, as well as senior managing director of investment firm Blackstone. From $2,850 per person per night, including heli-skiing and full board; elevenexperience.com

3 — Kristiania, Lech, Austria

 

 

The Kristiania is the antithesis of the attention-seeking, diamond-encrusted version of luxury found in the Alps’ more arriviste resorts — an elegant, art-filled retreat that is packed with character. Built by Olympic ski champion Othmar Schneider — his hunting trophies still hang on the walls — it’s presided over by his glamorous daughter Gertrud.  It sits just a few minutes’ walk from the village centre and offers 29 rooms, each individually designed and many of them filled with antiques. There is no nightclub or rooftop jacuzzi here, but taking breakfast in the wood-panelled dining room you might find yourself sitting below a Lichtenstein, looking out over the frozen lake to the chalets of Lech and the soaring peaks beyond, as your coffee is poured from a silver pot. “It oozes personality,” says Kirsty Edwards of Scott Dunn. €480; kristiania.at

4 — The Jerome, Aspen, US

 

The late Hunter S Thompson famously used the Jerome’s bar as his office, arriving at midday and working through his mail as he drank. This brick-built 1880s hotel has been extensively refurbished since then and is now managed by upmarket chain Auberge Resorts, but it retains its charm. “Even if you don’t stay here, join the ski bums and millionaires rubbing shoulders in the iconic J-Bar,” says Craig Burton of Ski Solutions. $675; aubergeresorts.com

5 — Cheval Blanc, Courchevel, France

In Courchevel you can’t throw a snowball without hitting a five-star hotel — there are 20 of them, more than anywhere else in the country outside Paris — but the Cheval Blanc was the most recommended by our panel. The 36-room, piste-side hotel opened in 2006 and is owned by the luxury conglomerate LVMH. Don’t leave without having dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, “Le 1947”, which has only five tables but three Michelin stars. €1,770; chevalblanc.com

6 — Hotel Tannenhof, St Anton, Austria

Set high above the lively resort of St Anton — guests are ferried up by Maserati — the Tannenhof is a hotel with such attention to detail, and such deep carpets, that artistic designs are vacuumed on to the bedroom floors. Formerly it had 23 rooms, but was rebuilt in 2011 with just seven suites, lending it an intimate chalet atmosphere while still offering a great spa, gym and pool, a sensational restaurant and a renowned 

 

sommelier. €2,145; hoteltannenhof.net

7 — Amangani, Jackson Hole, US

The signature rustic luxury of the Aman group is a perfect fit in this Wild West resort. An outdoor pool with views of the awe-inspiring Tetons, fabulous massages and suites decorated with warm-hued leather, stone and wood make it “the best luxury and spa experience in Jackson Hole” for Jonny Cassidy of the Ski Club. $800; aman.com

8 — Alpina, Gstaad, Switzerland

When it opened in 2012, the imposing Alpina, complete with turrets and flagpoles, was a shot in the arm for genteel Gstaad — the first newly built five-star for a century, created at a cost of $337m (or $6m for each of the 56 bedrooms). Unusual touches include a “living art room”, where guests can paint their own canvases, and stand-up paddleboarding yoga classes in the pool. “The benchmark for luxury hotels,” says Rupert Longsdon of Oxford Ski. CHF765; thealpinagstaad.ch

9 — Les Fermes de Marie, Megève, France

Several old wooden farmhouses were deconstructed beam by beam, transported from the high Alps and rebuilt in Megève for the 70-room hotel that is “French rustic-chic at its best”, according to Fraser Wilkin of Snow-Wise. Leather armchairs, Mongolian sheepskin cushions and carved four-posters encourage hibernation. €390; fermesdemarie.com

10 — Zürserhof, Zurs, Austria

Today the third generation of the same family runs the atmospheric, ski-in, ski-out Zürserhof — “the original five-star in the Arlberg”, says Kaluma’s Andy Butterworth. Culinary showboating includes a buffet featuring 200 different cheeses. €480; zuerserhof.at

11 — Zaborin, Niseko, Japan

As is typical of a Japanese ryokan, the Zaborin has its own supply of hot spring water, which gushes into private indoor and outdoor onsens in each of the 15 suites, so that guests can soothe themselves after a day pounding the deep powder of Niseko. ¥108,000 (£729); zaborin.com

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