Adventure • October 2017
As ski season settles in, you thrill at the promise of heading to the slopes while your other half shivers in dread at the thought of being holed up in a chalet. But it needn’t be a dilemma. Ski expert Gabriella Le Breton picks five winning winter destinations that will keep everyone happy
On piste: Megève’s flattering pistes wind between forests and along crests with mesmerising views of Mont Blanc. The gentle slopes and fabulous mountain restaurants, including glamorous Folie Douce, make for skiing as suave as the town below.
Slope off: Megève is awash with five-star hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants and plush boutiques. Be sure to make an appointment at Pure Altitude (pictured), the chic Alpine spa at Les Fermes de Marie, which offers indulgent treatments featuring locally sourced edelweiss, arnica, blueberries and glacial water.
On piste: St Christoph is ideally located for exploring Ski Arlberg, Austria’s largest linked ski area. Encompassing more than 300km of pistes and untold acres of world-class off-piste terrain, it should be on every passionate skier’s bucket list.
Slope off: The hamlet of St Christoph boasts a surprising cultural star: arlberg1800 is a modern building, linked to the historic Hospiz Hotel by an underground walkway, and housing a 200-seat concert hall (pictured) and two contemporary art galleries. The world’s highest art centre, it hosts an eclectic mix of classical, jazz and modern music concerts and recitals – all free to hotel guests.
On piste: Italy’s most fashionable resort, Cortina (pictured) attracts more non-skiers than skiers, leaving its varied pistes blissfully empty. The intermediate-friendly slopes are relatively modest in extent but boast eye-popping vistas of the Dolomites.
Slope off: Join fur-clad Italians taking winter hikes along gentle snow paths, go snowshoeing or dog sledding before being reunited with your skiing half for the daily passagieta, where locals and visitors stroll through Cortina’s atmospheric Old Town at 6pm before apéritifs and dinner.
On piste: Lying at the foot of the Matterhorn, Zermatt promises skiers a whopping 360km of snow-sure pistes, including a spectacular 13km-long descent from the top of Europe’s highest cable car all the way into Zermatt.
Slope off: Zermatt is the quintessence of Swiss mountain charm and its restaurants are widely recognised as some of the finest in the Alps. Happily, some of its best-loved mountain restaurants – including Chez Vrony (pictured), Zum See and Findlerhof – can be accessed on foot or with the assistance of pedestrian-friendly chairlifts for romantic lunches.
On piste: Heavenly is one of nine ski resorts that dot the shores of Lake Tahoe, one of the world’s deepest, and most photographed, lakes. The aptly named resort straddles California and Nevada, offering some 5,000 acres of immaculately groomed pistes and challenging off-piste terrain with stunning lake views.
Slope off: Lake Tahoe is just as much a place for urbanites as nature lovers, with shops, galleries, festivals and concerts. Elvis used to play the Tahoe showrooms and – allegedly – still does.
Book your next ski break at ba.com/ski