If you didn't manage to get away over the summer or never seem to get around to planning a winter escape, there's still a glimmer of snow-dusted excitement to look forward to this year - ski season! Whether to hit the slopes or cosy around a firepit, you can wrap up warm, head outside and breathe in the fresh alpine air.
Can I ski this winter and what safety measures are in place?
Absolutely! The first signs of snow are now landing
across Europe's picturesque peaks, soon to be
thick and ready for sensational skiing. Just like the
summer destinations and hotels have over the last
few months, ski resorts are also adjusting their
practices, protocols and way of running to ensure
they are completely safe for your stay. Small changes
make a big difference, so expect plenty of sanitising,
a la carte menus to replace buffets, and social
distancing measures in place. In France, Austria and
Switzerland, the mountain lift networks are covered
by the public transport laws, which means masks
are obligatory, and in many you won't be able to
share a lift with someone outside your bubble.
While staying in line with their government restrictions,
most of our featured European ski hotels have all
their fabulous facilities open. Boasting enviable
panoramic views of the Swiss Alps, The Alpina
Gstaad has perfected the balance between safety
and serenity at the utterly superb Six Senses Spa.
With an outdoor pool, therapists wearing masks and
no communal changing rooms, you can enjoy the
same unrivalled spa experience without having to
worry about a thing. Meanwhile, ensuring you feel
at ease on your Austrian ski escape, a new private
house concept is in operation at Kristiania Lech,
whereby only hotel guests can enter the property,
which now has a reduced capacity with just 16
exclusive suites. In addition, rates are fully catered,
including a hearty pre-ski breakfast, light lunch,
afternoon tea, gourmet dinner and most drinks, daily.
Over in France, Zannier Hotels Le Chalet is
a luxuriously rustic boutique hotel near to the pretty
alpine village of Megève. In total conformity with the French regulations, every single facility is open here, with just a few small changes. Other than no facial treatments and the hammam closed, the stunning spa is operating as usual - the perfect sanctuary for après-ski pampering and relaxation.
Spa at Zannier Hotels Le Chalet
The Alpina Gstaad
View of Megève from Zannier Hotels Le Chalet
Six Senses Spa at The Alpina Gstaad
When should I book my ski holiday?
Early! Due to social distancing in hotels and at ski
lessons, the capacity will be even more limited, so you
should book as soon as possible to secure your stay.
Early booking also means you can access the very best
offers - so get in touch today!
What if the situation changes before I travel?
We've been busy perfecting the art of travelling in the
'new normal', constantly keeping up to date on the latest
FCDO and Government guidance so that we can make
your travels as seamless as possible. More good news?
Many hotels are being gloriously flexible during these
crazy times, both in terms of cancellation and payment.
Boasting amazing interior design with the modern
Asian twist so beloved of The Chedi brand, The Chedi
Andermatt is allowing cancellation up to 48 hours
before travel (which changes to 21 days over the
Christmas period and one week in February). Up to
this time, you'll receive a full refund should your plans
change. Over in Italy, the wonderfully warm and
welcoming Hotel Hermitage can be found tucked among
the trees in a quiet area of Breuil Cervinia, nestled at
the foot of the Cervino-Matterhorn. They are offering
a full refund in cases of COVID-related cancellation -
including Italy or UK border restrictions, quarantining
in either destination, the banning of non essential
travel, flight cancellations, ski resort or lift closures,
and even a positive COVID-19 test before travel. The only hotel located on France's Mont d'Arbois slopes, the fabulous Four Seasons Hotel Megève is also offering a COVID-19-related cancellation policy. Again, in case of any shut borders, travel bans, flight cancellation due to the pandemic, quarantine imposed or a positive test, you will have the option to postpone your stay or credit the amount for the following 12 months, while reimbursement may also be considered.
Indoor Pool at The Chedi Andermatt
Living Room at Hotel Hermitage
Ski Room at Four Seasons Hotel Megève
How else can I make sure I'm safe while skiing?
1. Avoid peak dates like Christmas week, New Year
and February half term. Resorts and hotels are
likely to be at their busiest then. Plus, between us,
you'll get better offers outside of these times too!
2. If you'd rather avoid restaurants, then why not call
for room service instead? The newest luxury hotel
in the exclusive French resort, Airelles Val d'Isere
Mademoiselle is offering every single menu -
including their fabulous fine dining menu - for room
service, as well as their impressive wine list!
3. While après-ski may conjure up images of large
crowds and busy bars, you can make your post-slope
pursuits more refined this year and avoid
bar-hopping, making sure to pre-book the venue
you do choose.
4. You could always swap après-ski for a little
relaxation. Easily reached from central Zermatt, the
iconic spa at Riffelalp Resort 2222m is exclusive
for hotel guests, home to Europe's highest outdoor
pool with magnificent Matterhorn views.
5. Avoid groups and go private - whether for ski
lessons or unforgettable excursions. The fabulous
'First Tracks' experience from Barriere Les Neiges
invites you to be the first to ski on the freshly fallen
snow, with early access to the slopes alongside a
6. In a world where seclusion and space are
more important than ever, there's perhaps no
better choice than a private chalet or swanky
apartment. Enjoy gorgeous alpine-inspired
interiors and fantastic facilities, along with heaps
of space and the highest level of privacy.
Bar at Airelles Val d'Isere Mademoiselle
Outdoor Pool at Riffelalp Resort 2222m
Family Skiing from Barriere Les Neiges
If you're seeking a little extra privacy but still want to be able to access fantastic facilities, we've got a few fabulous options for you.
A luxurious chalet owned by Sir Richard Branson, The Lodge, Verbier is home to nine bedrooms and an additional bunkroom for little ones, while facilities include a heated indoor pool, alfresco hot tub, fully equipped gym, and party area. New for this season, The Lodge is offering shorter stays from just three nights, as well as reduced rates for those occupying up to four or six rooms - opening it up to smaller groups.
Flaunting a super-sleek Italian/Scandinavian design, Thurnher's Residences are the first and only serviced apartments in Zürs am Arlberg. Located directly beside the Zürser See lift and moments from the family owned Thurnher's Alpenhof, they offer the perfect combination between the seclusion of your own residence and the superb services of the hotel - including plenty of crackling log fires, seasonal gourmet dining menus, an extensive spa and a panoramic roof terrace.
Back in 1926, Baroness Noémie de Rothschild - founder of the French ski resort Megeve - fell in love with the panoramic views from the Mont d'Arbois plateau, building the family's first property that has become Les Chalets du Mont d'Arbois, Megève, A Four Seasons Hotel. This storied alpine hideaway is made up of three charming chalets - named after Baroness Benjamin de Rothschild's daughters Eve, Noemie and Alice - available on a room-by-room basis, while two can also be booked for exclusive use.
With 53 apartments boasting comforting interiors, Six Senses Residences Courchevel guarantees a luxurious base from which to access some of the best ski slopes in the world. While offering the seclusion and privacy of your own chalet, the apartments also benefit from an extensive range of services - including the seriously superb Six Senses Spa and the Six Senses Club Lounge, in which you can enjoy refined breakfasts, afternoon tea and locally-sourced evening canapés and drinks.
Party Room at The Lodge, Verbier
Pool at Thurnher's Alpenhof
Bar Mont d'Arbois Terrace at Les Chalets du Mont d'Arbois, Megève, A Four Seasons Hotel
Yoga at Six Senses Residences Courchevel
For complete privacy, plenty of space and full safety on your ski escape, we can also arrange in a stay in a completely private chalet. Sophisticated, stylish and exclusive, options include everything from a chic two-bedroom apartments to an ultra-luxe 24-bedroom residence - some of which boast private spas, full-screen cinemas and slope-view swimming pools. Many of these luxury hideaways have introduced a super-safe non-contact service for the upcoming winter season. This enables you to enjoy the majority of the usual fantastic services while still respecting social distancing and minimising risk. As services are reduced and things are ever-changing, many chalets are offering rate reductions of up to 25%, smaller deposits, later payment dates and fantastic cancellation options of either a full chalet credit or 90% refund.