On Piste: The Best New Openings This Ski Season
New resorts sure to impress, whether you're an expert shredder or energetic newbie.
Whether you’re a serious skier or an amateur snow bunny, unless you own a family chalet or are a loyal devotee to one particular mountain locale, deciding where to go can be the single hardest part of a successful season. From luxury hotel openings to resort renovations, to new and improved snow parks and spas, there's a lot to choose from this winter. Read on for the best new offerings from these international mountain towns.
Hotel Reopening: El Lodge, Ski & Spa Resort, Sierra Nevada
If you’ re looking for a stay that's as comfy and cozy as it is modern and sophisticated, then look no further than Sierra Nevada’s El Lodge, Ski & Spa Resort (pictured). Located an hour’s drive from Granada International Airport, the hotel has been undergoing renovations for the last three years and proudly reopened its doors this December.
With only 20 rooms and suites in addition to door to mountain access, this is every skiier's dream. Finnish timber is used throughout, giving the design a sleek yet traditional Alpine feel. There's even a pret-a-porter equipment hire, along with boot warming and slipper service. Opt for one of the third floor suites, which boast a large terrace and private hot tub overlooking the mountains. If that’s not enough bliss for one stay, check out the on-site spa and wellness center, or take a dip in the open-air swimming pool.
New Package: Five Star Geneva-Zermatt
New to the scene this year, Geneva Tourism has launched a package that’s designed to showcase the proximity of the city to the slopes. Visitors will be able enjoy the ultimate Swiss experience, opting to spend a couple of days in Geneva, living in the lap of luxury in one of its plentiful five star hotels, admiring Mount Blanc from afar, and exploring the city with the Geneva Pass (included). Then, they'll head to the slopes of Zermatt, a traditional village high up in the Alps. Here, along with a giant web of great pistes, you've got fondue stops a-plenty and all-encompassing luxury spas—don't miss La Reserve.
New Hotel: Terminal Neige, Le Totem, Flaine
Uniting winter sports with wellness, state-of-the-art technology, and art, Terminal Neige, in the resort town of Flaine in the French Alps, is the latest from Maisons & Hotels Sibuet. A complete 180 from the traditional Alpine lodges on the slopes, the colorful Navajo-inspired interiors throughout the lobby, bar, restaurant, and 96 guestrooms feature a mix of sleek and modern, with funky wall art and contemporary fixtures. The Pure Altitude Spa is sure to be a hit, with its various ski-themed treatments that serves as the ultimate retreat after a long day on the slopes. As for Flaine itself, the area boasts fantastic skiing at far lower rates than its competitors (rooms from $164).
New Hotel: Le Yule, Val d'Isere
One of the most celebrated ski resorts in France, Val D'Isère in the Espace Killy region, has even more to offer visitors this year starting with Le Yule. Set at the base of the Solaise and Bellevarde slopes, the 41 rooms come equipped with a terraced brasserie, perfect for leisurely sun-basking lunches, and Spa Luxe, a state-of-the-art spa and wellness center with sauna, hammam, and swimming pool, as well as large windows that allow guests to kick back and watch skiers traverse down the Olympic Bellevarde slope (rooms from $377).
New Fitness Retreat: Santhosh in St. Moritz
Some would argue that hurtling down the slopes all day long on a week-long ski trip is more than enough exercise, but there are those who crave a little extra adrenaline. If you’re in the latter group, Santhosh Retreats may be the perfect option. New this season, the group has partnered with Carlton Hotel St. Moritz to host its first-ever winter fitness retreat.
Over the course of five days, guests can indulge in yoga, dance classes, massages, spa time, Michelin-starred dining, and snowshoeing. Afternoons are free for hitting the slopes, and in case you were worrying that it was going to be all work and no play, the retreat, which runs from March 16 through 20, 2016, also coincides with St. Mortiz's annual Music Summit (from $4,534 per person).
New Snow Park: Le Tour, Chamonix Valley
Now home to Europe's largest snow park, fans of freestyle should look no further than the Chamonix Valley in Le Tour. No modest affair, the park is served by a dedicated téléski and four-person chairlift, and includes a range of obstacles sure to thrill even the most daring of snowboarders and skiers. Natural snow is a given, thanks to its location 1.3 miles up. Aside from the park, there's the rest of the beautiful Chamonix Valley to explore, and great off-piste runs in Vallorcine, too.