Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, or simply just looking for a taste of luxury in the mountains, there are some truly memorable resorts for a luxury ski holiday. These resorts offer a five-star experience; choose between the top hotels in the world, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants and make turns on perfectly groomed pistes. It doesn’t stop there either; think private airstrips, 20,000 bottle wine cellars, designer boutiques and art galleries. Welcome to the most expensive ski resorts in the world…
The picturesque village of Gstaad in Switzerland has retained its fairy tale Alpine charm, despite its growing popularity as one of the world’s most expensive ski resorts. Charming, traditional chalets contrast with fabulous designer shops such as Prada and Ralph Lauren, which sit alongside award-winning restaurants.
On the mountain, skiers can explore 200km of slopes, reaching a snow-sure altitude of 3,000m up on Glacier 3000. The pistes here are immaculately groomed and quiet; you’ll often have the pistes to yourself and rarely encounter a queue at the lifts.
Gstaad has some fabulous five-star hotels. Amongst our favourites is the iconic Gstaad Palace, where Swiss hospitality and luxurious design make for a glamorous stay. The Gstaad Palace is one of the most famous ski hotels in Switzerland, welcoming guests from all over the world, with its elegant interior, state-of-the art spa and fabulous restaurants. For an alpine dish with a twist, we recommend the exquisite truffle and Champagne cheese fondue at the hotel’s La Fromagerie.
Often referred to as the ‘Queen of the Dolomites’ Cortina d’Ampezzo is a wonderfully glamorous ski destination and one of Italy’s most expensive ski resorts. The town itself is chic and lively; if you love fashion and gastronomy as much as a perfectly groomed piste, the boutique shops and Michelin-starred restaurants will tick every box.
Up on the mountain, the views are spectacular. You can look forward to spending your days enjoying long lunches and sipping aperitivo on sunny terraces. Set in the Dolomiti Superski, the skiing opportunities are endless, with over 1,000km of downhill skiing to explore. The fun doesn’t stop beyond the slopes, either. After enjoying a few aperitivo on the piste during après, there are plenty of cosy wine bars and Michelin-starred restaurants to take you all the way from piste to pillow. We recommend Masi wine bar for a post-ski drink; located on the piste, it’s a vibrant bar with a great atmosphere and incredible views from the sun terrace.
Cristallo Resort and Spa is one of the top five-star hotels in the Dolomites. Originally inspired by the Art Nouveau movement, this is a notable rendezvous for high Italian society and fine Italian hospitality shines through in every aspect of the service.
The iconic Swiss resort of Zermatt is home to some of the highest skiing in Europe. The vast ski area consists of 360km of terrain, connected by ultra-modern lifts. The skiing at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise reaches up to a spectacular 3,883m. When you arrive at the glacier, take the peak lift to the highest viewing platform in Europe; the view up here really does justify the name ‘Glacier Paradise’. Non-skiers have excellent access to the mountain – it’s possible to get right up to the glacier on foot – meaning everyone can enjoy the delicious mountain restaurants and views.
Zermatt is pedestrianised, aside from the small electric cars used as taxis in resort. As a result, guests access Zermatt itself by a mountain train, leaving their cars behind. It’s a wonderful way to arrive in Zermatt and gives the feeling of entering another world. Just walking through the main streets, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world. The streets are lined with designer shops, beautiful fairy lights adorn the buildings and small market stalls sell mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.
For a memorable stay, Hotel Omnia is one of the most impressive hotels in Zermatt. This contemporary mountain lodge sits high on a 45m rock above town and offers uninterrupted Matterhorn views. Omnia’s personal five-star service is all about the detail and the experience is unforgettable. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a chalet, Backstage Luxury Chalet offers a unique experience. The private hot tub hydraulically lifts above the roof at the press of a button, revealing the most breathtaking views.
Aspen lies in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. It’s one of America’s glitziest resorts and boasts a vast ski area. If you’re looking to arrive in Aspen in style, the resort even has its own airport.
The town has an eclectic restaurant scene with every cuisine you could imagine – from farm-to-table, to vegan or sushi – and lures some of the countries top chefs down from New York. Aspen has a vibrant nightlife, and there are a number of private members clubs to choose between, such as the Caribou and Cigar Bar. The resort is home to fantastic designer boutiques such as Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton and surprisingly, over 50 art galleries.
The ski area is one of America’s most extensive with 461km of piste split over four different mountains; Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. Expect first-class lifts – including heated gondolas – and even pop-up Champagne bars on the piste. Well, what else would you expect from one of the world’s most luxurious ski resorts?
Stay at luxurious The Little Nell to experience one of the finest hotels in the world. The hotel has a Five Diamond rating, awarded for world-class luxury, amenities and indulgence. Little Nell’s restaurant ‘Element 47’ is one of the ‘must-tries’ in the resort for foodies. Specialities like Wagyu beef and lobster grace the menu and the legendary wine cellar holds over 20,000 bottles. The hotel offers unique experiences, such as Snowcat Powder Tours, which take you out into the backcountry to enjoy 10-12 untracked runs in the fresh powder followed by complimentary massages.
The glamourous resort of Courchevel sits in the Three Valleys and is one of France’s most luxurious ski resorts, with an incredible ski area to match. The resort has its own airstrip and helipad, so jet setters can fly in by private plane or helicopter. Courchevel is split into four villages and each is unique. We recommend 1850, which is the highest and largest of the villages.
The Three Valleys is one of the world’s largest ski areas, with 600km of piste to explore. The pistes in Courchevel are meticulously maintained every night with guests waking to perfectly groomed runs. Courchevel sits on the far side of the Three Valleys and as a result, the slopes are usually quiet.
It’s easy to see why Courchevel is one of the most expensive ski resorts. Firstly, it’s said the resort has the highest concentration of five-star hotels in France outside Paris. Further to that, Courchevel also has the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the Alps. If you’re looking for somewhere special for dinner, we recommend Le 1974 at Cheval Blanc, which has an impressive three Michelin-stars. This five-star hotel is also an excellent base for your stay, with ski-in ski-out access to the Three Valleys and a luxurious spa. Another of our favourites is The Portetta. This is a great choice for families or couples looking for understated luxury with high-end service. ‘Cucina Angelina’ is the hotels’ flagship restaurant. Founded by top British Chef, Angela Hartnett, the restaurant serves up Italian-inspired mountain food in a rustic setting.
To find out more about the most expensive ski resorts in the world, call our ski experts on 020 7471 7700.