Skiing has not only became a recreational activity and a competitive winter sport, but it has morphed into a complete lifestyle.
Europe is home to some of the World’s most iconic ski resorts when it comes to winter holidays and activities. Many head to the cozy mountainside each year to enjoy alpine skiing, historic ski villages and après ski drinks. Let our top 10 list of luxury ski resorts in Europe showcase how magnificent, beautiful, fun, diverse and elegant a ski resort can be.
Part of Les Trois Vallées, the largest linked ski area in the world, the Courchevel ski resort is an instant classic with a strong touch of luxury and comfort. Courchevel is not only favorited among celebrities and professional athletes but for those who love to blend high-quality amenities with a skiing arena suited for any level. The astonishing 150 kilometers of pristine alpine nature runs are accessible from 60 lifts. With interconnected ski runs for both beginners and experienced ones, you’ll enjoy skiing alongside breathtaking summits and glaciers, all touching the sky at altitudes of more than 2,500 meters. Complete your ski trip by staying at one of the many five star hotels and multiple Michelin restaurants for that cherry on top.
Where to stay: Located on the pristine slopes of the French Alps L’Apogee Courchevel and Hotel Le K2 Palace provide fabulous locations, panorama views, luxurious spas and impressive dining menus. With ski in ski out options you’ll have immediate access to the highest slopes in these first class ski resorts.
Glamorous, exclusive and classy, Switzerland’s exceptional natural landscapes and world-renowned ski resorts are popular year after year. St. Moritz ski resort is among the best that there is. One of the first winter resorts in Europe offers a package of thrilling activities that is difficult to match. Whether it’s admiring majestic Alpine views or engaging in cross-country skiing, bobsledding and beyond, St.Moritz is a recipe for a perfect vacation. An excellent snow record and high-quality skiing led to hosting numerous world ski competitions, including the 1928 & 1948 Winter Olympics. Here, the history and achievements speak for itself in St.Moritz ski resort.
Where to stay: As one of the world’s top winter destinations, St. Mortiz is a frequent host to all kinds of prestigious sporting events. From grand to boutique, there are luxury hotels for every traveler’s taste. Enjoy Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, a glamorous alpine hideaway is straight out of a winter fairytale and Carlton Hotel St. Moritz, overlooking Lake St. Moritz and the Swiss Alps. The hotel features high-end dining and a 3-floor spa area. The Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski is housed in a beautiful 19th-century palace with direct access to St. Moritz’s cross-country skiing area.
Cortina d‘Ampezzo, Italy
Italian ski resorts have their own case for quality and grandeur, and Cortina d‘Ampezzo deservedly makes it a prime destination in Italy for the winter holidays. The location gives it away instantly, as the iconic and astonishing Dolomites promises a stay that will be impossible to forget. The large skiing area of Cortina d‘Ampezzo hosts an array of high-end restaurants, SPA hotels, delicious Italian cuisine and holds the prestige of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite being known for its entertainment, and exclusive boutiques, skiing still takes the crown as one of the top attractions. From massive terrains for intermediates to Olympic-grade steeps and beginner snowfields, the ski resort offers fantastic downhill skiing, cross-country ski trails and an Olympic rink for ice skaters. All accompanied by the magnificent presence of the mighty Dolomites.
Where to stay: Cristallo, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, the first 5-star luxury hotel in the Dolomites offers great views and a large wellness center. The Faloria cable car is close by, connecting you to the Dolomiti Superski area. Located in the heart of Cortina d’Ampezzo, Grand Hotel Savoia is the perfect place to enjoy your ski holiday. The hotel has two bars (including a fancy cigar bar) and makes an excellent choice for those seeking a hotel with modern, contemporary style.
Saalbach Hinterglemm, Austria
Southwest of Salzburg in Austria lie the twin Alpine resorts of Saalbach and Hinterglemm. These two resorts were originally separate villages and are gradually merging into a single ski resort. More than 60 cozy mountain huts and restaurants serving delicious local cuisine makes an invitation hard to resist. Seemingly endless pistes, breathtaking landscapes and 270 kilometers of Austrian slopes waiting to be conquered. Not only it is one of the largest ski areas in the country, but one of the most diverse as well. Adding to an already exciting experience comes in dozens of snow parks, countless skiing routes, a thrilling freeriding park, floodlight slopes alongside toboggan runs and much more. Saalbach Hinterglemm goes an extra step to create an unforgettable, fun and luxurious experience in the charming traditional villages.
Where to stay: Saalbach Hinterglemm is where you will find some of the best luxury ski hotels in Austria. The Alpine Palace Hotel lies in the heart of the Saalbach-Hinterglemm region, alongside the Reiterkogel cable car station where you can ski in and ski out. The gourmet dining opportunities should not be passed up. Enjoy award-winning cuisine and grab a drink to take in the stunning views. For a more urban style, stay at Wiesergut Hotel, located just steps away from the Zwölferkogel Cable Car. This 14th-century Austrian estate turned minimalist mountain lodge offers remarkable views of the surrounding valley.
Discovered back in 1741 by two Englishmen, with the first luxury hotel constructed in 1816 and hosting the first-ever Winter Olympic Games, the Chamonix Valley quickly became an international sensation. A birthplace some say, of skiing and luxurious winter resorts. The altitudes in Chamonix allow for one of the best snow conditions in Europe, most challenging terrains and the world’s highest slopes. But don’t let that scare you away, as Chamonix also hosts plenty of skiing lessons, beginner routes and dozens of opportunities for the less experienced. The ski-resort is also nestled on Europe’s tallest mountain – the enchanting Mont Blanc, dominating the skies with altitudes of almost 5 kilometers. It is also a lovely experience for non-skiers who can enjoy a historic ambiance, luxury shops, high-end restaurants, wellness centers and many more amazing amenities.
Where to stay: Sitting at the foot of Mont Blanc and at the heart of the Alpine mountains, the Grand Hotel des Alpes is one of the most charming hotels located in the heart of Chamonix. Another great hotel includes the upscale and stylish accommodations at Hotel Mont-Blanc offering stunning views and unique style in this traditional mountain village. Those looking for a wow factor for your ski holiday should stay at Le Hameau Albert 1er offering world-class service, two Michelin stars and a fabulous spa.
Unbelievable scenery, gourmet food, and high-altitude skiing. Only a few of many words that describe Zermatt’s iconic presence in the world of ski resorts. A place where you can ski two countries in one day! It all starts with hundreds of kilometers of the trail system, incredible long runs, the world’s highest cableway and skiing at high heights. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as Zermatt offers a lively and exciting getaway. Enchanted by a sharp backdrop of the legendary and striking mountain of Matterhorn, it should be no surprise if Zermatt ski resort takes your breath away from the very first moments.
Where to stay: Pulsing with life and luxurious perks, it has everything, from lovely shops, enormous spas, charming cafes, buzzing bars and noble hotel lounges with over thirty 5-star accommodations. If you want all the conveniences, luxury amenities and a wide range of accommodations, including family style apartments, Mont Cervin Palace is the place for you. For a ski-in, ski-out hotel, Cervo offers the best views of Matterhorn and easy access to the town.
One of Germany‘s finest ski resort brings us straight to where we should be – its highest peak, the mountain of Zugspitze, rising 2,500 meters above sea level. The charming and beautiful Bavarian town, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, is a perfect match for the mountain and its landscape, to create a scenic and memorable skiing experience. The mountain is popular year-round and offers 20 kilometers of slopes, 10 lifts and 40 challenging trails for all levels out there. Ski above the clouds, and don’t forget to visit the summit of Zugspitze by cable car for panoramic views, including different mountain peaks of different countries. Visit the Zugspitze Beer Garden, known as the highest beer garden in Germany. On a clear day you can see Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Take in the scenic views with a cold beer in hand.
Where to stay: Those looking for an unforgettable stay in the heart of the Tyrolean mountains will enjoy the Zugspitz Resort. Recently renovated in 2019, the resort offers guests contemporary comfort in Alpine design. Stay in one of the roof-top suites for a unique experience. Romantik Hotel Spielmann offers a relaxed chalet-style accommodation including rooms, suites and apartments and excellent spa facilities. With spacious rooms and beautiful views of the Alpine landscapes of Garmisch-Partenkirchen you won’t need much more to enjoy your ski trip.
A hidden treasure and gem of Northern Italy, the Courmayeur has nothing to hide when it comes to being a top-class ski resort. The small and picturesque town of Courmayeur offers an elegant and sophisticated stay in one of many luxury hotels and mountain lodges together with ancient churches, historic atmosphere and pristine nature. Cable cars in the center of the town will lift you up for incredible vistas, while the entire Aosta Valley and the flank of Mont Blanc will become your playground for wintertime activities such as skiing, exploring cross-country trails and beyond. A glorious mix of stunning panoramas, luxurious amenities, thrilling mountains and slopes, and the historic cobblestoned town will make you fall in love with this ski resort in a heartbeat.
Where to stay: The Grand Hotel Royal e Golf is located at the foot of Mont Blanc is only a 6-minute walk from Courmayeur Mont Blanc ski lift. Featuring mountain-view rooms and an outdoor heated pool, you’ll feel relaxed after a day on the slopes. Those who fancy a chalet-style hotel with cozy rooms and a rustic-chic vibe will love Au Coeur Des Neiges. You can even organize to have food and groceries be prepared and arranged ahead of time. For a sleek hotel, stay at Grand Hotel Courmayeur Montblanc offering modern rooms and panoramic mountain views in Courmayeur.
Switzerland jumps into our list once again with another sparkling ski resort. Davos, perched at the heights of 1560 meters, is one of the highest towns in the continent. It is equipped with exciting verticals and hundreds of kilometers of mostly intermediate runs with a dash of epic long runs for those who are more experienced. Davos also boasts an ultimate Alpine charm and sweeping landscapes by being located right in the heart of the Alps. This town is not only a ski resort but a real and authentic city of Switzerland that will never leave you bored, whether you are a skiing enthusiast or not.
Where to stay: Discover the ultimate luxury experience here with museums, theatres, Swiss mountain restaurants and luxury hotels surrounded by nothing but a crisp mountain air. Centrally located in the heart of Davos, the 5-star Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvedere is walking distance to shops, nightlife, restaurants and more. Hotel Seehof sits next to the Parsenn Cable Car with direct access to the ski slopes.
Last, but definitely not least, and possibly, one of the most recognized and well-known ski destinations and resorts in the world takes us back to Austria. Colorful buildings and luxurious hotels together with family-run inns, various events and more, creates a blend of experience for any type of vacationer or budget out there. Winter sports and activities are plenty here, whether it is for family fun, couples getaway or expert skiing enthusiasts. Kitzbühel’s hundreds of kilometers of skiable areas, served by dozens of lifts will make an experience both comfortable and adventurous at the same time. Kitzbühel ski resort is also a host to the toughest and meanest downhill race on the planet known as Hahnenkamm where terrains get as steep and vertical as 85%.
Where to stay: Built in 1897 in the Art Nouveau style, the Gartenhotel Erika is one of the most traditional and well-known hotels in Kitzbühel and is just a 3-minute drive away from the Hahnenkamm Cable Car. Hotel Weisses Rössl provides guests with an upscale hotel mixed with alpine-style chalet. The rooms and suites at this 5-star luxury hotel do not disappoint. Featuring a mix of luxury and high-quality materials you’ll feel a sense of elegance throughout your stay. Have you ever wanted to stay in a castle surrounded by beautiful mountains? Set in the middle of the scenic Tyrolean Alps, A-ROSA Kitzbühel was built in the style of a Tyrolean castle and features a wide range of wellness and spa treatments for total relaxation.
There’s just something special about the European slopes
Fresh snow, traditional chalets and scenic Alpine views—all the things you need for a great ski vacation. Although the U.S. and Canada offer plenty of memorable ski resorts, countries like France, Switzerland and Italy top the list year after year. For a romantic snowy getaway or a winter wonderland family vacation, destinations across the European continent won’t disappoint.