Many of these great ski hotels in famous winter destinations across Europe allow you to stay the night with powdery slopes directly outside your door. You can wake up, strap in, and spend days filled with downhill thrills and breathtaking panoramas. At the end of the day, enjoy a little apres-ski at cool onsite bars or a spa treatment with saunas and heated pools.

    Many of these great ski retreats are outright iconic while some others offer an experience out of the ordinary – think purpose-built, glistening buildings hand-carved from ice that you can actually sleep in! Families with kids are well catered to with bunny slopes right on the doorstep and kids’ club facilities offering fun programmes. Read on and choose where to stay for your next European ski getaway from these top picks below.

    1

    Le Refuge de Solaise

    Val-d'Isere, France

    At 2,551 metres above sea level in the French Alps of Val-d'Isere, the luxurious and roomy accommodation at Le Refuge de Solaise complements the ski resort’s sweeping, snow-capped mountain views. The hotel’s 16 chalet-style rooms reflect traditional Alpine heritage through its dominant use of old timber and natural materials.

    The luxurious Olympic Room is spacious at 68 square metres and can accommodate up to 5. Groups of friends or larger families sharing the adventure can also opt for the Dormitory, featuring 3 double beds and 8 single beds. After a thrilling day on the slopes, soothe and soak at Le Refuge’s high-altitude spa, while gazing out to snowy peaks through the large bay windows.

    2

    Experimental Chalet

    Verbier, Switzerland

    The 4-star Experimental Chalet is a chic, ski-in/ski-out hideaway up in the Swiss alpine village of Verbier. It puts you right at the heart of the gateway to the 4 Vallées ski area. There are 39 rooms and suites, some furnished with jacuzzis and with terraces overlooking Mont Combin and a series of other snowy peaks.

    Notable facilities include the Frenchie Verbier bistro and Spa by Biologique Recherche (with its sauna and steam rooms). You can create fun apres-ski memories at the refined cocktail bar as well as at the hotel’s legendary Farm Club. The hotel provides free shuttles to Verbier base station. Ski passes and ski storage services are also available.

    3

    Aurora Village Ivalo

    Inari, Finland

    Base your Finnish skiing adventures at Aurora Village Ivalo and stand a chance to witness the magical northern lights right from your bed. Set as a rustic, nature-centric village, Aurora features ski-in/ski-out glass-roofed cabins where you can sleep under starry night skies or with the gentle, natural illumination of the midnight sun.

    Facilities complementing your experience include a cosy, chalet-style restaurant with a central fireplace and daily changing 3-course menus. There’s also a tour desk where you can book your husky or horseback-riding safaris or snowmobile tours. At the end of any adventure, hit the wood-heated, panoramic sauna by the river with views of nature.

    4

    My Arbor

    Bressanone, Dolimites, Italy

    My Arbor is a top choice for a 5-star luxury nature retreat up in the Italian Alps, with an emphasis on wellness. The ‘tree hotel’, as its name implies, has unique treetop suites built on tall stilts that allow you to wake up and take in the dramatic views of the Dolomites and the breathtaking South Tyrol landscape through the forest canopy of birches and spruces.

    You can reach the lush forest grounds and the adults-only ski-in/ski-out property within an 8-minute walk from the cable car to the Plose ski area. The Plose cable car station is around 800 metres away. After skiing, indulge in South Tyrolean and Mediterranean cuisine at the restaurant or rest and unwind with breathtaking views at the panoramic sauna of Spa Arboris.

    5

    Goldener Berg

    Lech am Arlberg, Vorarlberg, Austria

    Staying at the mountainside 4-star Goldener Berg hotel, you’ll wake up to the beautiful highland vistas of Vorarlberg in western Austria right out your window. You can ski in and ski out with the Bergbahn Lech–Oberlech cable car just a 3-minute walk away. Free area shuttle services are available.

    Colourful and laidback boho-chic rooms and suites are great for families with an 85 square metre Chalet Suite suitable for a party of up to 6. Most feature balconies that open to mountain views. The hotel is also pet-friendly. The hotel’s Alpine Spa has saunas and 2 mountain spring-fed indoor pools with panoramic views. Its golf course offers fun rounds against the dramatic landscape in summer.

    The award-winning Norefjell Ski & Spa is a top choice for a ski-in/ski-out experience in Norway’s beautiful, mountainous Norefjell region. Exciting slopes for all ages and skill levels are right on the doorstep, including 3 different areas dedicated to kids. Norefjell’s reindeer mascot, Nore Rein, happily greets young skiers with hugs on the slopes.

    Beyond skiing, there's a 16-metre wall-climbing facility for those looking for another challenge. And for some much-deserved relaxation after an exhilarating day out, hit the spa area that’s spread over 2 floors. It features outdoor and indoor jacuzzis and baths, as well as a Finnish sauna. The chic 4-star ski resort is 4 km northwest of the Norefjell Skisenter and a 2-hour drive from Oslo.

    7

    Icehotel

    Sweden

    Experience a truly unique winter wonderland retreat of a lifetime at Icehotel, a Swedish ski resort where you can sleep in a room made of ice. The temporary ice structures are purpose-built in winter alongside permanent, year-round rooms. They feature platform beds on carved ice and thermal sleeping bags to keep you warm.

    It is the world’s first and largest ski-in/ski-out hotel built out of ice and snow – a magnificent seasonal landmark in its own right. Icehotel’s individually designed and hand-carved art suites also feature masterfully created ice and snow sculptures. Even the wedding hall, with its ice crystal chandeliers, resembles Superman's Fortress of Solitude.

    Sowell Collection Hôtel des Dromonts offers skiers a cosy and convenient 4-star stay right in the heart of the French Alps’ major Portes du Soleil ski domain. At 1,800 metres above sea level, this ski-in/ski-out hotel has direct access to the slopes.

    Sowell’s rustic-chic design and organic architecture incorporating timber help it blend naturally against the mountainous setting. Its interiors are supplemented by décor harking back to the 1960s. Plush and cosy rooms and suites have windows looking out to the breathtaking slopes and snow-covered peaks. Complementing the Sowell resort experience are sauna, steam room, and spa facilities, as well as a hip bistro and restaurant and a vintage-style bar for some fun apres-ski.

    9

    Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden

    Berchtesgaden, Germany

    Enjoy a luxurious 5-star ski retreat at the chalet-style Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden, up in the Bavarian Alps. With ski-in/ski-out access and with ski lifts only a 5-minute walk away, it’s one of the top options on the German-Austrian border for refined amenities and adventure. Besides the exciting slopes and lush alpine landscapes, you’ll also find a bit of history nearby with Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest retreat, the Kehlsteinhaus, and the Salzbergwerk Berchtesgaden salt mine.

    The ski resort has modern and well-furnished rooms, each with balconies or patios that open to breathtaking views of the surrounding Bavarian landscapes. Suites are more replete with living rooms and coffeemakers and some others with kitchenettes and fireplaces. Enjoy fine and authentic Bavarian dining with amazing views at Gourmet Restaurant PUR, and be pampered with luxurious treatments at the full-service spa.

    10

    Tschuggen Grand Hotel

    Arosa, Switzerland

    The 5-star Tschuggen Grand Hotel serves as a luxurious base for your Swiss skiing adventures in Arosa, with groomed slopes right on your doorstep. The Arosa region itself has slopes for all levels and the Tschuggen-Express mountain cable car is right next door. Majestic alpine and forest views are all around, from the hotel’s stylish rooms and suites to the 4 restaurants and the spa and wellness facilities at the massive Tschuggen Bergoase.

    All accommodation types feature a balcony. The 140-square-metre Tschuggen Suite is the ultimate choice for spacious luxury, with living and dining areas, a kitchenette, 2 double bedrooms, 2 sun loggias, and 3 bathrooms. Besides an onsite ski shop with ski storage services, there’s also a kids’ club where the little ones can participate in fun and well-varied programmes when they aren’t skiing the Kinder School bunny slope.

    11

    CERVO Mountain Resort

    Zermatt, Switzerland

    CERVO Mountain Resort puts you right next to the ski slopes of Zermatt, the famous mountain resort and winter playground in southern Switzerland. The high-end, 5-star resort itself is perched on higher ground at the foot of a mountain, overlooking the ski village and with the iconic Matterhorn peak towering to its southwest.

    The resort offers ski-in/ski-out access and the highlight attractions of the village, such as the Gornergrat Railway and the Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis, are all an easy 15-minute walk away. Accommodation options include distinctively designed lodges that all offer balconies opening to dramatic mountain views. The Mountain Ashram Spa is a top luxury highlight, inspired by a Japanese onsen but also featuring Bhutanese hot stone baths and Northern European saunas.

    12

    Hotel Le Coucou Méribel is a luxurious 5-star ski retreat in Meribel, right in the heart of the Tarentaise Valley. The ski-in/ski-out hotel is right at the foot of Meribel’s Rond-Point des pistes and is a great place to stay for skiing Les Allues to the north – from which you can even further ski to the Three Valleys Ski area via a short gondola ride on the Olympique Telecabine.

    Bordered by the French Graian Alps to the north and the natural reserve of Plan de Tuéda to the south, you’re surrounded by breathtaking mountain vistas. Most of the chic rooms and suites feature balconies to take in the views, while private chalets have saunas, indoor pools, steam rooms and butler services. Le Coucou’s Tata Harper Spa itself has heated indoor and outdoor pools with a large terrace facing the snow-covered landscape.

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller

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