The towns nestled in the nooks and crannies of Europe’s legendary mountain range may be age-old, but this year the hotels will be totally fresh. So, too, in the high-altitude villages of the American and Canadian West, where five-star hotels are upping the ante in some very popular destinations—some of which haven’t yet laid claim to true luxury accommodations. Here are the coziest new places to sleep this winter, no matter which side of the Atlantic you choose to ski.
Caldera House, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Right at the base of Teton Village is the latest luxury proposition from a town that’s full of them. Caldera House functions partially as hotel and partially as a members-only ski club where the town’s who’s who can benefit from such amenities as souped-up ski lockers and slope-side valets (all available to hotel guests, too).
Whether you're soaking in a Japanese bathtub in one of the rooms or clinking glasses of après ski bubbly on the hotel terrace – where there’s a fur throw for every seat back – it’s among the poshest places in town. Rooms from US$1,250.
Hide Hotel, Flims, Switzerland
In Flims, a charming hamlet that abuts one of Switzerland’s largest resorts, there’s Hide, a ski-in Design Hotel with colorful, Scandinavian-inspired décor. In the village, you’ll find picture-book Alpine architecture, but inside the hotel it’s all very 2018: think geometric, tricolor wood paneling; bedside lamps that appear to be strung on gilded ropes; and a sculptural fireplace anchoring the lobby.
There’s also an “ice grotto” in the spa and a “Kindercity” kids’ club that will teach little ones about chocolate-making or robotics while you zip down the slopes. Rooms from US$250.
Le Cerf Amoureux, Megève, France
Parisian hotelier Lisa Konckier may be best-known for the urban oasis she opened in her hometown’s 9th arrondisement: Hotel de Nell. Now she’s bringing her understated aesthetic to Megève, where Le Cerf Amoureux has just 12 rooms that are like tidy wooden boxes – some with gabled ceilings and views of Mont Blanc.
Each is adorned with hand-painted doors, vintage dressers, and gingerbread-style trim; instead of paintings on the walls, you’ll find primitive-looking sleds. Still, a charcoal-and-taupe color palate keeps everything decidedly fresh and not too dated, just the right fit for so-chic Megève. Rooms from US$230.
Snowpine Lodge, Alta, Utah
Hard-core skiers love Alta for its outright ban on snowboards; it’s also one of the few resorts to remain independently owned in an era of corporate-driven consolidation. The only drawback? It’s never had much in the way of luxury resorts.
That’s changing with the addition of Snowpine, a timber-framed lodge with a modern farmhouse vibe and its own semi-private quad that connects to the ski area. For the no-frills ski bum, there are bunk bed-style dorm rooms from US$99, but for those drawn more to Aspen’s amenities, there are also suites with exposed beams and freestanding bath tubs. Also in house: a full spa, movie studio, and ski shop, naturally. Standard rooms from US$400.
Experimental Chalet, Verbier, Switzerland
St Moritz may be glitzier, but Verbier is the place to go for a younger crowd and Switzerland’s best slopes; it’s the main town connecting to 4 Valleys, the country’s largest ski area. That combo drew in the team at Experimental Group, whose hotels and wine bars in London and Paris have largely become instant hotspots.
The company’s first ski chalet will have a restaurant by one of Paris’s best chefs, Gregory Marchand of Frenchie, plus 39 sherbet-colored, mid-century-inspired rooms designed by Milanese architect Fabrizio Casiraghi. And yes, there will be a nightclub – in this case, a redo of the town’s most epic party spot since 1971: Farm Club. Rooms from US$215.
White Line Hotels, Bolzano, Italy
A trio of intimate but impeccably appointed inns has opened or renovated around Bolzano, Italy, adding extra appeal to the suddenly trending Dolomites – and they’re all part of an under-the-radar collective of design hotels called White Line.
There’s 1477 Reichhalter, a minimalist haven with an all-day cafe that churns out fresh pasta and celebratory cakes; Hotel Weisses Kreuz, a guesthouse with 13th century bones and 21st century comforts; and Hotel Bühelwirt, where the neutral-toned rooms have geometric, windowed reading nooks.
Whichever you choose, rent a car: this area is studded with incredible panoramas, visible from all angles as you navigate back-to-back series of hairpin turns. Plus, mobility means you can take advantage of several impressive, fit-for-intermediates ski areas, from Cortina to San Cassiano. Prices vary by hotel.
The Josie, British Columbia, Canada
The hipster industrial look continues to swell in B.C. with the November opening of the Josie, a little boutique hotel with big ambitions in the nature-loving town of Rossland. Come here for steep slopes and deep powder; the nearby resorts of the Kootenay Rockies, such as Red Mountain, Revelstoke, and Kicking Horse, offer vertical drops of up to 5,600 feet.
Need a break from the thrills? The hotel can set you up with curling lessons (it’s more fun than it looks) or book you a massage at the spa. Rooms from US$116.
Hotel Le Massif, Courmayeur, Italy
Courmayeur may have a French name and take merely a 90-minute drive from Geneva, but it’s Milan’s upper crust that stakes claims to this northern Italian hideout near Mont Blanc.
The design at Le Massif is sumptuous: coffered ceilings and oversized windows in the bedrooms and stuffed leather couches around a glassy floating fireplace in the lobby. Of course, there’s great food at the slope-side steakhouse, for fancy midday meals, and at the gastronomic dinner spot that fuses the best of Italy and France. Rooms from US$400.
La Folie Douce, Chamonix, France
Opening in December in the shadow of Mont Blanc, La Folie Douce, the first hotel from the eponymous purveyor of famously raucous après ski bars, raises the volume in the French resort of Chamonix. It will have Studio 54 vibes in its art deco-inspired nightclub and 142 iron-and wood-accented premium rooms, all with access to a substantial wellness area that includes yoga and cycling studios. Rooms from US$155.
Limelight, Snowmass, Colorado
Aspen is an all-time favorite destination for skiers from the U.S and well beyond. But those who frequent the resort town know that Snowmass offers some of the best slopes out of Aspen’s four peaks. For fans of that mountain, it’s now possible to wake up - in luxury – at the foot of the gondola at Limelight, a spinoff of the Aspen namesake with 99 spacious, neutral-toned rooms.
Like Snowmass itself, which has one of the best kids’ centers out of any ski resort, the hotel is family-friendly, offering everything from diaper genies to dog beds at no additional charge. Do expect a small resort fee, though, to cover the ski shuttles (to other peaks) and the ski valet. Rooms from US$470.
Daria-I Nor, Alpe d’Huez, France
Those who frequent the French Alps may be familiar with Hotel Koh-I Nor in Val Thorens or Hotel Taj-I Mah in Arc 2000 - they’re beloved properties with easygoing vibes and half-board rates (meaning dinner is included). Now the owner of these classic spots is opening a third location that’s sure to draw his loyal following.
The 37 rooms come in various shapes and sizes, including simple doubles with mountain-facing terraces and duplexes for families. But they all share the same ski-in, ski-out access to Alpe d’Huez, a glacial ski area with a full 155 miles of all-levels terrain. Rooms from Us$415.
Compass Rose Lodge, Ogden, Utah
Powder Mountain may be one of the most overlooked ski areas in the U.S. That’s no surprise, considering it practically sits in the shadow of Park City. Yet it claims more than 8,464 skiable acres – more than any other resort in the country – and gets 500 inches of snow each year, which visitors can enjoy crowd-free.
The catch? Outdated lifts and infrastructure make it better for back-country enthusiasts than lovers of long groomers, and the resort doesn’t use man-made snow, which can be both a pro and a con, depending on the forecasts.
If Powder Mountain sounds like your perfect place, Compass Rose Lodge is now the perfect place to stay. It has just 15 rooms in a charming, Old West town - along with a high-tech astronomical observatory where you can get impressively magnified views of the crystal-clear night sky. Prices unavailable at press time.
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