Alta Badia Ski by Andre Schoenherr 1

Ski chalets to visit in winter 2021-22 - Snow

Ski season is back at last, and this year there’s a host of welcome additions to your favourite destinations, explains Abigail Butcher


Hype is building for the much-anticipated return of skiing – Covid and vaccine passports permitting. Flights and accommodation are filling fast, with bookings up substantially. As a result, resorts are gearing up for skiers who want a big chunk of time in the mountains.

Courmayeur Mont Blanc has smart-working tickets so digital nomads can work at the top of its Skyway Monte Bianco; Val d’Isère’s new five-star hotel K2 Chogori offers co-working spaces, and Northern Alpine Guides have teamed up with Lofoten Ski Lodge in Norway to offer office locations with lunchtime ski-touring trips.

There’s an emphasis on environmental responsibility for 2021/22. Morzine-Avoriaz have been awarded the Flocon Vert label for sustainable tourism, Zermatt the ‘Swisstainable’ label, and brand new launch EcoSki Rental offers ‘skiwear with a conscience’ to hire in collaboration with My Wardrobe HQ.

Both Brexit and Covid have had an impact on chalet holidays, but new ideas come from Consensio Chalets: a ‘relaxed catered chalet’ with tailored catering sitting between catered and self-catered; and Ski France’s ‘Contactless Chalet’ where live-out staff are on hand for catering, cleaning and concierge at your preferred level.


Eurostar’s direct Ski Train was cancelled last winter but has been resurrected by Europe’s biggest ski resort operator, Compagnie des Alps. The Travelski Express is a charter service that can only be booked as part of an accommodation package taking skiers direct from London St Pancras every weekend to either Moûtiers or Bourg-St-Maurice.

Once on the slopes, those who get peckish skiing in Les Gets can make use of a new tartiflette vending machine along with a takeaway service in the village. And, rising from the ashes after Covid, VIP Ski launches Bear Lodge in Arc 1950, a 30-room luxury slopeside, fully hosted chalet built from scratch.

Elsewhere in Paradiski, a step-by-step progression area has been created for beginners in Peisey-Vallandry close to the new Vallandry gondola, which generates its own electricity and comes complete with an animal museum in its terminus. Over in the Three Valleys, Ultima Collection is opening its first property in Courchevel – 13 chalets, two spas, and direct and exclusive access to the slopes.

There are welcome additions to the food scene, too. On the ridge between Méribel and Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, Maya Altitude is set to become a hotspot. At 2,400m, with Himalayan decor, it was designed by Hong Kong-based architect Sylvestre Murigneux, with a menu created by Michelin-starred Akrame Benallal and executive chef Christophe Dupuy. Saint-Martin is one of the quieter villages in the 3V, and a four-star hotel with Belgian owners, Le Lodji, offers waffles and crepes alongside local and seasonal produce.

Two gondolas now link Val Thorens and Orelle, the fabled ‘fourth valley’, offering pedestrian access to visitors from Italy and the Maurienne, negating the need to drive into the Tarentaise Valley.

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Bolzano Airport in the heart of the Dolomites is open to skiers for the first time since 2016. Sky Alps will fly twice a week from Gatwick in a 78-seater with luxury interior. Fares from £115 each way.

In nearby Alta Badia, chef Simone Cantafio (from two-star Michelin Toya Restaurant in Hokkaido) is now head chef at Hotel La Perla. He’s heading up the region’s ‘A Taste for Skiing’ this season, with eight Michelin-starred chefs assigned to one of Alta Badia’s mountain huts, focusing on sustainability.

Elsewhere in the Dolomites, Merrion Charles launches an avoid-the-crowd ski safari with renowned guide Mario Delmonego, also a qualified chef. Stay at White Deer San Lorenzo (a former hunting lodge for Italian aristocracy), newly refurbished Locanda degli Artisti and at Rifugio Fuciade, a former priests’ retreat renowned for its cuisine.

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Austria and Switzerland

The mega Ikon Pass has expanded into Europe, incorporating Kitzbühel, along with Italy’s Dolomiti Superski, to cover 47 destinations in nine countries.

In Saalbach-Hinterglemmhose, those who prefer a child-free experience can head for adult-only hotel the Goldstück and in Sölden The Secret opens this winter, the USP being the Vue Sky Bar with its glass ceiling. In Kleinarl, Salzburg, a new three-storey organic mountain restaurant Lumberjack sells food and drink in three portion sizes, with discounts for bigger sizes to encourage social eating.

Major investment at Naturhotel Forsthofgut in Leogang has led to a spectacular new spa, waldSPA Seehaus. It has an infinity pool that flows straight into an organic swimming lake, three garden loft suites, a Japanese restaurant and floating Finnish sauna and plunge pool.

Also lifting their wellness offering is Salzburger Hof Leogang with the new Panorama Spa with rooftop infinity pool.

Over in Switzerland, you can ski and surf in the same day, thanks to an indoor wave machine at newly opened Alaïa Lodge in Crans-Montana. The Jungfrau also gets a shake-up with the Eiger Express, a V-Cableway whisking skiers in Grindelwald to Männlichen and Eigergletscher – the ultra-modern terminals are akin to an airport and it’s no surprise the whole project cost some £372 million. Also in Grindelwald, the four-star superior Bergwelt hotel opens with Michelin-star chef Marcus G Lindner at the helm.

Finally, Verbier has upgraded its Medran gondola and reconfigured the base station, adding escalators to reduce the massive queues.

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Canada and USA

New Whistler-based operator Mabey Ski is offering a trip to the Kees and Claire Hut, the first finished refuge in a trio that will make up a circular hut-to-hut touring experience for Whistler’s Spearhead Traverse. Experiential travel experts Eleven are launching the ultimate heli-skiing adventure in the heart of British Columbia, teaming up with Kingfisher Heli in the Central Monashees, the Pinnacles and the Valhalla Mountains (averaging 60ft of snow each year). Expert guides and trip managers ensure all skiers see each day as a local adventure, with accommodation in Halcyon Hot Springs, small or private groups and fun guaranteed.

In California, Squaw Valley has been renamed Palisades Tahoe. It will link by lift with Alpine Meadows, also being incorporated in the name, to create the third-largest linked ski area in North America.

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