Whether offering posh hotel suites, elegant vacation homes or beautiful, cozy chateau-style cabins, the most luxurious ski resorts always provide impeccable service, unparalleled attention to detail and every amenity imaginable. Such things as en suite gourmet kitchens manned by private chefs; boot-warming ski concierges and ski valets; ski shuttle service; private equipment fittings and lessons; exclusive activities and excursions; and relaxing hot-spring-style whirlpools, steam rooms, saunas, hot tubs and lavish spas are de rigueur. Below, in alphabetical order, are some of the most lavish ski getaways on the planet.
Beaver Creek (U.S.)
Exuding luxury, sophistication and class, Beaver Creek in Colorado features pristine, challenging ski runs that span three mountains and a charming yet refined Bavarian-style village that delivers luxurious five-star hotels, gourmet restaurants and exceptional service across the board. It even features heated pavements and moving walkways. And, when not on the immaculate slopes, there are plenty of off-mountain activities and events to enjoy, too.
Set amongst the Italian Dolomites, not only does the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo present a breathtaking backdrop, its ski area comprises four sectors, each offering its own distinct terrain, elevation and aspect, giving skiers incredible variety. The Cortina ski resort, one of Europe’s premier see-and-be-seen spots, offers a scenic village with luxurious lodging and spas, numerous gourmet restaurants, intimate wine bars and chic boutique shops that mirror those of Florence and Milan. No wonder, then, that this is the place where affluent Italians continue to flock.
A top contender among the elite, Courchevel 1850 boasts a lengthy, time-tested reputation for providing premier luxury vacations and is well known for its top-notch slope-side accommodations, haute Michelin-star dining, and swanky clubs, shopping and spas. It is part of the expansive ski terrain of Les Trois Vallées — one of the largest ski areas in the world — within the French Alps. It attracts VIP clientele, including royal families, celebrities and the wealthy, such as Prince William and Kate Middleton, George Clooney and Giorgio Armani.
Deer Valley (U.S.)
A premier luxury ski destination located in Park City, Utah,Deer Valley is an exceptional, high-quality, upscale resort that has been recognized as the world’s best ski hotel at the 2014 World Ski Awards in Austria, as well as being named one of the “Three Most Luxurious Ski Resorts in North America” by Forbes Travel Guide in 2015. It also is a crème de la crème of ski vacations, providing plenty of desirable, high-end lodging options and delivering impeccable personalized service. (Complimentary tissues dispensed in the lift lines — need we say more?)
Throughout the years, Prince Charles and his sons have been known to frequent Klosters. And although it’s also recognized for appealing to celebrities who cherish discretion and privacy, it’s where Prince William and his now-wife, Kate Middleton, first were photographed kissing. Of course, where you find royalty and A-listers, you’ll also find the powerful and wealthy. Other notable regulars in the past have included Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, Yul Brynner, Lauren Bacall, Greta Garbo and Gene Kelly. Nowadays, you might cross paths with Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, Rupert Everett or Swiss movie producer Marc Forster … just don’t tell them we sent you!
Lech Zürs am Arlberg (Austria)
Located in the Austrian Alps and renowned for their skiing, Austria’s most exclusive ski resort, Zürs, provides picture-perfect terrain, lots of snow and numerous top-quality, lavish hotels. Part of the Arlberg region, Zürs and its neighboring linked resort, Lech, offer 190 miles of interconnected runs and 124 miles of off-piste trails. The area is regarded as an “insiders’ place” where old European families, top CEOs and royalty come to ski and enjoy themselves in uninterrupted peace.
Known for more than seven decades as the place to be seen, this winter vacation haven of the rich and famous is recognized worldwide for its scenic slopes, charming village center with an open-air ice rink, horse-drawn sleighs, cobbled streets and glamorous shops, and lavish accommodations. Located in southeast France near the Italian and Swiss borders, this swanky resort offers seven five-star hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants and several of the world’s finest mountain spas.
St. Mortiz (Switzerland)
Boasting a 5,157 vertical drop, 220 miles of terrain incorporating five ski areas and 56 lifts, this upscale resort offers a renowned, prestigious ski vacation that’s perfect for expert skiers, yet is accommodating to beginning and intermediate levels, too. Located in the Swiss Alps, it features its own airport; two express trains; a host of grand hotels and award-winning restaurants; a sophisticated shopping village filled with modish shops; high-end art galleries; and bars, chic nightclubs and casinos. And, you just might run into Ivana Trump while you’re there.
Whistler Blackcomb (Canada)
With two incredible mountains, stunning terrain, deep snow, and exceptional ski school and guide services, this resort attracts the world’s jet set crowd. Located 75 miles north of Vancouver, it’s 50 percent larger in size than the second-biggest ski resort in North America. Although once fierce rivals, creating a flurry of continual upgrades and improvements for both that garnered attention and won awards, the Whistler and Blackcomb resorts merged in 2003. A reputation it has upheld, it was voted North America’s No. 1 overall best ski resort in 2016 for the third consecutive year — and fourth time in five years — in Ski Magazine’s annual readers’ poll.
Yellowstone Club (U.S.)
This 2,200-acre private Montana ski resort and residential community located near Big Sky, Montana, boasts its own mountain and world-class skiing. It’s the first members-only ski club that’s drawn such ultra-rich and famous slope jockeys as Bill and Melinda Gates, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, and Google billionaire Eric Schmidt.
Renowned for its excellent skiing and having the highest concentration of fine dining choices in the world, not to mention several five-star luxury accommodations, Zermatt has long been a standout ski destination in Europe. That said, of course it’s known to draw major celebs, including Nicole Kidman, Sting, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The gorgeous world-class resort is the highest in the Swiss Alps, and the cobbled streets of this quaint village are filled with plenty of galleries, shopping, festivals, events — and even horse-drawn sleigh rides.