Dreaming of snow-capped mountains and après-ski fun? Hong Kong’s winters are great, but they do make us long for a trip to the slopes! Check out these superb lodgings and resorts for skiing in some of Europe’s best ski zones and beyond – add them to your 2021 plans.
Skiing Destinations in Europe
It’s a relatively small country but Switzerland packs a punch as a skiing destination; two of the best regarded areas are St Moritz and Verbier.
With over 350 kilometres of slopes, the mountains around St Moritz in Switzerland are known for superb cross-country skiing. The Engadin valley is also home to some of the country’s best runs. The eye-catching, historic Badrutt’s Palace Hotel has a heated outdoor pool and an ice rink, and offers a free transfer to the valley station.
If you enjoy doing your ski trips in a big group, The Lodge is the perfect place to stay. The impressive nine bedroom Swiss chalet can accommodate up to 18 adults in nine bedrooms and up to six children and teens in a specially designed bunkroom. Located in popular Verbier, it’s also only 250 metres from the area’s main ski lifts.
Our focus here is on Courchevel, part of the Trois Vallées (Three Valleys), which together constitute the biggest alpine ski domain in the world.
This property in Courchevel offers direct ski-in, ski-out access to the beautiful Trois Vallées, whose 600km of ski slopes include 120km that are ideal for cross-country skiing. Cheval Blanc’s ski ambassadeurs will settle everything for you, from warmed boots to skis, so you can be off in a jiffy. After a long day in the powder, enjoy a relaxing spa treatment and a dip in the hot tub.
Located in the exclusive Belvédère neighbourhood, Ultima consists of 13 four- and five-bedroom chalets. It’s also just opened a new restaurant and two spas, including indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, hammam and jacuzzi. The Ultima Ski School offers private lessons for both adults and kids.
Other super slopes
Besides skiing in Europe, there are so many exciting snow-filled destinations around the world for getting your ski on. Here’s just a taste…
Pyeongchang County in South Korea’s northeast is home to two well-known ski resorts, Yongpyong and Alpensia, the former with impressive slopes that cater more to intermediate and advanced skiers, and the latter with six slopes that are ideal for beginners, with pistes up to 1.4 kilometres in length.
Yes, you read that right! For something different on a future trip, why not skip the regular ski haunts and head to Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh or Uttarakhand in India’s north? They’re becoming increasingly popular for winter activities. At Mount Apharwat, you’ll find some almost-vertical descents and fantastic off-piste routes, while Solang Valley is another great place to explore.
For a mid-year ski trip, NZ is a brilliant option. Coronet Peak is just a 30-minute drive from Queenstown in the South Island, with terrain catering to skiers of various levels. The beginner slopes are perfect for families, while adrenaline junkies can give heli-skiing a try. An hour’s drive from Coronet, The Remarkables mountain range is another top spot.
Snow lovers have options galore in America, including picturesque Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. There’s a massive 90 square kilometres of terrain here, with 500 ski runs and seven cross-country areas, and many resorts offer kids’ ski lessons. Other well-known US ski destinations include Jackson Hole (Rendezvous and Apres Vous mountains) and Aspen in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
A two-hour drive from Vancouver, Whistler is one of the most popular skiing spots in Canada, and known around the world. It has over 32 square kilometres of terrain to explore and a reliable snowfall. There are family ski zones, guided offpiste routes and even heli-skiing. Banff and Lake Louise are also great places to head to for a ski trip.
Japan is a skiing mecca, and is incredibly easy to get to from Hong Kong. If you haven’t taken a holiday in recent years to Niseko, Hokkaido’s popular powder playground, you’ll likely know someone who has! And Hakuba in the Northern Alps west of Tokyo gets great snowfalls each year, too, making it perfect for skiing and winter sports.
This article first appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.
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