On Piste: Your guide to 4 European luxury ski destinations

On Piste: Your guide to 4 European luxury ski destinations

From Zermatt to Megève, this is our curated list of where to head in Europe, be it for leisurely trails or adrenaline-fuelled slopes and the best après-ski spots and spas
14 February 24
Gstaad: Most luxurious ski escapes in Europe Image source: Gstaad Tourismus: Horneggli Skiing

Ski holidays are about far more than conquering the pistes.

They offer opportunities for adventure, pampering, indulgence, soaking up serene mountain air, and sharing special moments with loved ones. And even better than all that is having a private spa for winding down in the evenings before heading out for a Michelin-starred dinner. If you’re looking for a ski holiday with a touch of glamour, Europe has no shortage of luxury resorts.

Here are four destinations to consider for your next ski trip.

Gstaad, Switzerland

Nestled between 1,000 and 3,000m above sea level, Gstaad is revered for its quintessential Swiss-ness and glamorous social scene as much as for its ski credentials. The slopes, 200km of them, attract a mix of celebrities and the European elite from mid-December to mid-March, but it’s also hugely popular in the spring and summer, mainly because there are endless ways to spend your time here besides skiing. Longer days are ideal for outdoor activities like warm-weather hiking at Wispile Mountain, the Lauenensee Loop Trail, or Glacier 3000. Shopping is a trans-seasonal pastime too, and there’s lots of it to be done in Gstaad. The main shopping street is the cobblestoned Promenade, where you can pick up an après-ski party look at luxury boutiques such as Louis Vuitton and Prada. Gourmands won’t want to miss Pernet Comestibles, an upscale gourmet food market, and art lovers will enjoy Maddox Gallery and the Gagosian, which opened here in 2022. 

Where to Stay 

The Alpina Gstaad was the first luxury hotel built in Gstaad for 100 years. Sitting majestically amongst the Swiss mountains, it offers stunning panoramic views despite feeling like a private enclave. The hotel embodies discreet elegance, with a subterranean entrance, impressive art collection, and inspiring design that combines Alpine tradition and craftsmanship with modern luxury; nowhere else would you find a Tracey Emin displayed beneath a 200-year-old baroque ceiling. The outdoor terrace is perfect for an afternoon of reading and overlooks the swimming pool and snowy peaks beyond. The Panaroma Suite is the hotel’s showstopper, with three bedrooms over two floors, multiple balconies, and private spa with its own hot tub, fitness, and massage areas. Whatever you do, don’t sleep on the hotel’s Six Senses Spa Gstaad – the grotto-like indoor pool and Himalayan salt room will help you decompress before you’ve even enjoyed a world-class treatment. 


Winter season prices starting from €1,279 for a Deluxe Room Schönried, double occupancy, breakfast included 

Where to Dine 

Gstaad is known for its gourmet eats, and if you’re not into the rustic Alpine fare of stews and creamy potato dishes, there are many refined alternatives. Rössli Restaurant in Feutersoey and Olden Gstaad at Hotel Olden are some of Gstaad’s longest-standing restaurants and are well-loved by regulars. If you’re staying at The Alpina, though, you really have to look no further than the hotel’s own Michelin-starred executive chef, Martin Göschel. He masterminds the three exceptional restaurants here: Sommet, for French-based cuisine with local ingredients, Megu, Switzerland’s best Asian restaurant led by Sushi Master Tsutomu Kugota, and Swiss Stübli, a modern take on hearty dishes like raclette or fondue. 

@roesslirestaurant @oldengstaad @martin_goeschel

Megève, France

A less crowded option compared to larger ski resorts in France, Megève has a boutique vibe to it that’s popular with a younger crowd. Tree-bordered hills and expansive bowls keep it competitive in terms of skiing, and there’s a popular open-air ice rink that’s perfect for family fun. The charming medieval centre is like a scene from a Disney film, with cobblestone streets and historical architecture. Take an evening walk or opt for a horse-drawn sleigh ride if your legs are tired from skiing all day. The network of mountain trails accommodates walkers, making it an excellent choice for groups that include non-skiers as well as shoulder season visits.  


Where to Stay 

Those familiar with the Four Seasons brand will be surprised by the Four Seasons Megève Collection, a unique collaboration with Edmond de Rothschild Heritage. It comprises Four Seasons Hotel Megève, the only hotel on the Mont d'Arbois slopes, and Les Chalets du Mont D’Arbois, Megève, A Four Seasons Hotel, a winter-only retreat offering classic Alpine charm. The 55-bedroom hotel is the epitome of a winter wonderland, a stone’s throw from the legendary Mont Blanc summit. There’s a golf course, the region’s largest spa, and hike tracks for the summer. Positioned at the foot of the Mont d’Arbois slopes, the chalets are split into three completely distinct properties that can be booked as a whole or by room. Chalet Eve features the main reception, lounge, Spa by Bamford, and restaurant, as well as 25 rooms. Chalet Noémie can sleep up to 28 guests and Chalet Alice up to 22 guests. 

Four Seasons Hotel Megève winter season prices starting from €1,950 for a Superior Room 
Les Chalets du Mont D’Arbois winter season prices starting from €800 


Where to Dine 

For fine dining, there’s Four Seasons Hotel Megève’s very own La Dame de Pic – Le 1920, which offers innovative flavour combinations by Anne-Sophie Pic, the world's most decorated Michelin-starred female chef. Three Michelin-starred Flocons de Sel is a unique setting for a romantic dinner, a convivial lunch with friends or a memorable family meal. This gastronomic restaurant has refined and elevated the authentic way of mountain life. For meat lovers, Le Beef Lodge presents exceptional cuts smoked with various wood types, marinated, or slow-cooked for over 70 hours, all served in lavish surroundings. You can choose your cut from the menu or directly from the butcher’s stall.   

@ladamedepicle1920 @floconsdesel @lodgeparkmegeve

Lech, Austria

In Austria’s Arlberg region you’ll find Lech, a resort town favoured by numerous royals, including the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Perhaps the most low-key of these three resorts, it’s for those seeking a tranquil mountain retreat with an authentic atmosphere. Pristine surroundings, coupled with a reputation for excellent hospitality make it a sought-after destination. Lech maintains its genuine Alpine charm while avoiding excessive glamour and is truly magical in the winter months. The wide, snow-covered slopes are enjoyed by intermediate skiers and families, with generous snowfall compared to other neighbouring resorts. Be sure to head to the Lech river, where you’ll find quaint independent cafés and traditional timber chalets.  

Where to Stay 

There are several classic, family-owned hotels here, such as ski and wellness-focused Hotel Alberg Lech or the Relais & Châteaux recognised Post Lech Alberg. For those craving more privacy, there are The Arula Chalets, two luxury ski-in/ski-out chalets on the slopes of Oberlech. They can be booked individually or together for full privatisation with 2,600 sprawling sq metres of space. The chalets truly leave nothing to be desired: 24-hour concierge and butler and chauffeur services ensure your every whim is catered to. There's also a spa area that includes an indoor pool, sauna, steam bath, infrared cabin, and in-house spa therapist, so that you can decompress after a day of skiing.  

Winter season prices starting from €19,500 per night for Arula Chalet 1, €7,900 per night for Arula Chalet 2, and €27,400 per night for Arula Chalets Total. 


Where to Dine 

Nothing says “Austria” quite like schnitzel followed by warm. Savour both at the ever-popular slop-side restaurant, Rud-Alpe. The Stube at the Hotel Alberg is a local institution where you can indulge in one of nine imaginative fondue creations. They even have a dessert version with fine pastry that you dip into a decadent vanilla sauce – true cold weather comfort food. For an afternoon hot chocolate break, head to Baristro, a trendy coffee shop at the heart of the village square. 

@rudalpe_lech @thebaristro @hotelarlberglech

Zermatt, Switzerland

A place that appeals to both avid skiers and those in search of a lavish, snowy vacation, Switzerland’s Zermatt is one of Europe's premier ski resorts. It boasts exceptional snow conditions that endure well into April, and of course there’s the iconic Matterhorn – famously known as the “Toblerone Mountain” – punctuating the landscape. Horse-drawn carriages trot through the cobbled streets and the air is noticeably cleaner – perhaps because the streets here are car-free. It takes less than half an hour to walk from one end of the village to the other and the only mode of transport besides the horses are silent electric taxis, making it both pretty and peaceful.  

Where to Stay 

In central Zermatt there's the five-bedroom Chalet Aconcagua, a glossy escape for those who want to be pampered in privacy. Spread across four floors, its contemporary design is both opulent and moody, with monochrome art, chandeliers, slate walls, and leather furniture. The wellness area includes a hammam, and the chalet comes with a professional chef, two hosts and a butler, so you won't have to lift a finger. As for hotels, Riffelalp Resort 2222m shows off with Europe’s highest swimming pool. In the winter you can ski from the doorstep and in the summer, there are gorgeous hiking trails, including the 5 Lakes Walk to explore.  

Winter season prices at Chalet Aconcagua starting from €3,617 per person per week 
Winter season prices at Riffelalp Resort 2222m starting from €858 per person per night 


Where to Dine 

To those in the know, Chez Vrony is the best mountain restaurant in the Alps. Known for the quality of its ingredients, the restaurant serves organic home produce from livestock raised solely on Alpine grass. It’s only open from 11.30am - 4pm, so bookmark it for a mountainside lunch. If you want a break from all the Alpine fare, Madre Nostra at the modern CERVO Mountain Resort is a cosy Italian with one Michelin star, where the homemade pasta always hits the spot. For all out, top-tier gastronomy, though, there’s one standout destination, and that’s L'Atelier Grandsire. It’s a French fine-dining restaurant serving small, delicious plates that are impeccably crafted. The staff are attentive but not effusive, and the overall atmosphere is charming. 

@chez_vrony @cervozermatt @latelier_grandsire