Reviews by Rowena Carr-Allinson
Best for the Budget
Naturhotel Miraval, The Dolomites, Italy
At the north eastern end of Italy the jagged peaks of the Dolomites line the Austrian border. Here you’ll find Trento, part of South Tyrol, which is an interesting mix of Italian and Austrian, whether it's in the architecture, food or language. On skis it's possible to wander through both countries without even knowing you're crossing borders. With the gorgeous snow and sun, the Dolomites dramatic scenery is stunning. What’s more, the area is famous for its après ski, and delicious meals like polenta cakes and sausages. Check out cute Canazei and classy Cortina d'Ampezzo, far more glamorous than its automobile namesake. The hottest new hotel is the boutique, 12 bedroom Naturhotel Miravel, opened this season in Alta Badia. On Sasso Santa Croce mountain, it has a gourmet restaurant, panoramic lounge with a fireplace and a snazzy spa. With a low environmental impact, the hotel works on reduced energy, so you’d be doing the environment a favour, too.
Naturhotel Miravel, Montassilone 25, Gais, Perca BZ, Italy, 39 0471 84 40 55, naturhotelmiraval.com; altabadia.org Doubles from £124, B&B; minimum 3-night stay.
Best for… the ultimate R’n R
Chalet Kaila, Morzine, France
Being in the heart of the Portes du Soleil, the resort of Morzine is on the doorstep of the largest linked skiing area in the world, with two countries, 14 resorts, 209 lifts, 288 marked slopes, and more than 650 kilometres of pistes to play with. Whatever your level, there’s plenty to keep you busy here. Head to the slopes at the Pleney for beginners, to the thrilling red rides at Les Gets, or pop up to Avoriaz via the Prodains bubbles that whisk you up in no time. The pretty village has a good mix of traditional chalets, hotels and nightlife like the cosy Coup de Coeur bar or the new Bec Jaune microbrewery. To stay stylish, try the stunning new Chalet Kaila just three minutes walk to town and 50 meters from the Super Morzine bubble. You’ll be pampered and wined and dined by your friendly chalet host in the warm, pine clad surroundings. Perks include daily cakes, in-room flat screen TVs, roaring open fire, hot tub, sauna and stunning Alpine views. Not a skier? Try the al fresco ice-rink, paragliding or trawl the weekly cheese market…
Chalet Kaila, Route de la Plagne, 74110, Morzine, France, 0844 557 3119, vip-chalets.com. Rooms from £929 pp for 7 nights, including transfers, return flights from London Gatwick and full-catered chalet service. Office de Tourisme de Morzine, morzine-avoriaz.com
Best for Spa Lovers
Grand Hotel Kronenhof, Pontresina, Switzerland
Just six miles from glitzy St. Moritz, at the neo-baroque Grand Hotel Kronenhof you can experience all the glamour of the Swiss jet-set skiing atmosphere with the authentic village feel of Pontresina. The Roseg Glacier and the Morteratsch Glacier has a ski lift and run all the way down and cross-country skiers will appreciate the trails across the Roseg Valley. Having won oodles of awards already (World’s Top Hotel 2014 Travelers’ Choice® and Tripadvisor’s Best Hotel in Switzerland 2013), the Grand Hotel has now been revamped with a stunning, 2000 square metre spa with a 20 metre indoor infinity pool, saunas, steam rooms and even a flotation pool with underwater music. The kitchen has plenty of gongs too, earning GaultMillau awards in its five restaurants, so there’s no excuse to skip the raclette.
Grand Hotel Kronenhof, Via Maistra 130, 7504 Pontresina, Switzerland, +41 81 8303030, kronenhof.com. Doubles from around £348, half-board.
Best for Partying
Club Pierre, Meribel, France
Meribel is a firm favourite with the Brit crowd. Quaint yet busy, the resort is at the heart of the 'Trois Vallees' which covers a massive 615km of slopes, so you can easily venture further to Courchevel or Val Thorens. Although known for its wealth of ‘easier’ pistes (36 blue runs), earning it the nickname of intermediate heaven, it’s also got plenty to keep experienced skiers happy, with more than 30 black runs, plus off-piste skiing on Mont Vallon. To stay right on the snow, book into Club Pierre, a ski in-ski-out, Savoyard- style chalet where you can just book one room. Luxe decor, an outdoor hot tub and in-house iPads are just some of the frills on tap. Off-piste you’ve got shops, an ice rink, a swimming pool, plenty of good restaurants (try the Lodge du Village’s new terrasse for a traditional British cream tea), and legendary bars like the ‘Ronnie’ Rond Point (with a brand new outdoor deck), O’Sullivan’s (for live DJs), and the best of the clubs: the new Shameless at The Doron Pub.
Club Pierre, Hullote piste, 73550, Meribel, France, 0844 5573119, vip-chalets.com. £859 pp for seven nights, including return flights from London Gatwick, resort transfers and chalet board catering.
Best for Romance
Hotel Goldener Berg, Oberlech, Austria
Fancy joining the Euro-royals on the pistes? Then head to Oberlech, where the crowned heads like to slip on their skis. You’ll find picture perfect chalets, reliably great snow - due to the altitude - groomed pistes, and hearty Austrian food and mulled wine to warm you up. Check into the four star Goldener Berg and you’ll be right on the pistes, ready to work up an appetite for all the top-end cuisine served up in its three restaurants, from the formal gourmet table to the laidback lunchtime terrace grill. For some post- piste downtime, head to the spa for a comforting hay wrap, or order a schnapps or three by the roaring fire in the cosy bar. Add contemporary cool rooms and gorgeous, winter-wonderland views, and you’ve got the perfect romantic winter hideaway.
Hotel Goldener Berg, A-6764 Oberlech am Arlberg, Austria, +43 (0)5583 22050, goldenerberg.at. Studio doubles from around £350, B&B.
Rowena Carr-Allinson, carrallinson.com