We know that skiing holidays vary wildly but whether you’re a heli-skiing daredevil looking to make fresh tracks in Iceland, or a family embarking on its first snowy foray in THE ALPS, we’ve got you covered.
Iceland isn’t shy of visitors pouring over millions of years’ worth of geological wonders, but Eleven Experience’s heli-skiing trips makes exploring volcanic mountains with some of the highest average snowfall on the planet and barely another soul in sight a whole lot easier. Eleven’s Iceland trips aren’t for the faint-hearted; slopes of fresh white powder stretch out into an other-worldly landscape. With no trees nor towns in sight, distances are difficult to judge until you reach the churning ocean and look back (those brave enough can pop in for a quick surf).
Luxurious touches by night soften the adrenalin-fuelled runs by day. Off-the-grid bolthole Deplar Farm is Eleven’s Iceland base — a 30,000-square-foot sheep farm that has been sensitively converted into a luxury hotel, featuring everything from geothermal-heated indoor and outdoor pools to a bowling alley. And if that all sounds a bit hum-drum, the Northern Lights are often dancing overhead.
If Iceland seems a little extreme, Eleven Experience’s Chalet Hibou and Chalet Pelerin in The Alps are close to three heli-ski bases with runs ranging from 1,000 to 1,200 metres and there are seven world-class ski resorts within reach of the two chalets, which can be taken together for larger groups. Food is typically French and regional specialities like Raclette and Côte de Boeuf fuel indulgent evenings.
As much as skiing holidays are about mountain air and epic runs, they’re about hunkering down in a dream-like heap with friends and family. Private chalets are the way to go whether you’re looking for a big party, multi-generational get-to-together, or simply switching off from the real world with the people that matter most. From The Rockies to The Alps, we’ve got plenty of options. (suggestions?)
If you’re going to ski The Rockies, you’ve got to stay in Colorado’s last authentic ski town — Crested Butte. Here, among the town’s historic and soulful charm, two chalets stand out; Eleven Experience operates both Scarp Ridge Lodge and Sopris Lodge with flawless hospitality. Scarp Ridge Lodge is a six-room inn that can be booked for exclusive use. It dates back to the 19th century and was built as a dancing hall for miners. Four-bed Sopris sits next door; another saloon building with a sauna, hot-tub and fire pit. Eleven transports guests in a custom-made snowcat from Crested Butte up to Irwin for more snow and deserted runs.
Chalet Le Petit Ours is located in the exclusive area of Belvédère, named after its stunning views over Méribel’s valley. Méribel is one of the most scenic mountain villages, set at the centre of Les Trois Vallées ski area which comprises of Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires – Saint Martin, Val Thorens and Orelle - 600 kilometres of interconnected slopes and 180 ski lifts, offering endless skiing for all levels from beginners to the most experienced off-piste or cross-country skier. This is one of our favourite spots for a hassle-free everything-taken-care-of ski-in ski-out holiday in The Alps. The chalet can be taken on a self-catering or catered basis and sleeps 10 guests in 5 beautifully furnished double en-suite bedrooms, while the extensive facilities, including an outdoor jacuzzi and games room, will keep the whole family entertained.
The Chedi Andermatt is our go-to grande dame in the Swiss Alps. Just two-hours by train from Zurich, the nature surrounding this 123-room Alpine-Asian retreat boggles the mind; from the sheer face of Gemsstock to the plunging Schöllenenschlucht gorge. Service is exceptional, ‘ski butlers’ help to make days on the slope breeze by, and facilities are plentiful.
A little more low-key is the quaint bolthole La Portetta in Courchevel. Sibling to Lime Wood and The Pig Hotels, La Portetta is a laid-back foodie hotel with effortless style and pretty piste views. A Bamford-stocked spa helps to sooth muscles at the end of the day and children are welcome, too. Over in the Savoie hamlets of the Vanoise National Park, La Bouitte, meaning ‘small house’, is a cosy and unassuming chalet-style hotel that punches above its weight when it comes to food. The father and son-run three-Michelin-starred restaurant has given the Savoie region international culinary fame, and the bite-size Bela Vya spa has everything you need to feel pampered at the end of the day.
For traditional hospitality, you can’t beat Rosa Alpina in The Dolomites, Italy. Over 75-years, three generations of the Pizzinni have expertly hosted guests in Alpina’s charming, antique-laden and wood-panelled 19th Century digs. Rooms vary from romantic vaulted ceiling suites to contemporary doubles and a rooftop, three-bed Chalet Zero. Breakfasts are served with Dolomite views, and the two Michelin-starred St. Hubertus Restaurant is good motivation to get off the slopes.
Few resorts have a more exclusive image than Lech in Austria (thanks to Princess Di fame), where horse-drawn carts still pummel cobbled streets between old stone churches and champagne bars. Four new lifts now link up the Lech and St Anton side of the Arlberg, opening up 340km of slopes. The terrain on the Lech side is perfect for intermediates, and a cap on day visitors means crowding isn’t an issue. Understated and homey (it’s carbon neutral, too) Hotel Kristiana Lech is our preferred choice for families, while Severin’s is ideal for couples. There’s a large hot tub, state-of-the-art cinema, and spa at residences’ disposal.
Over in Canada, avid skiers and snowboarders need to look no further than Whistler’s Four Seasons. The foot of the Whistler Blackcomb Mountain is moments away, and although just outside of the throngs of Whistler village, everything is within walking distance — restaurants, bars, shops, and several fascinating First Nation cultural centres. Fitness bunnies will love the comprehensive facilities, including a fitness centre and hydrotherapy tubs, and a ski concierge welcomes guests off the slopes with hot chocolate.
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Ski trips come in many shapes and sizes, but whatever type you fancy we prioritise top-notch service, easy access to the slopes and après-ski that’s worth the trip alone. Whether you’re an experienced heli-skier or a snowplough expert, we can create the perfect trip for you.