For some, pristine snow, a ski-in ski-out resort and private ski tuition are key to a fun filled ski holiday, for others, it’s the draw of access to the best après ski nightlife and wonderful on-the-mountain dining experiences. The slopes are calling, so whatever your preference, here are five of Europe’s top ski resorts that you can experience as part of a tailored ski holiday by luxury operator OROKO Travel …
September has arrived, summer holidays are a distant memory and we’re beginning to think ahead to this year’s ski trip. At the five ski resorts outlined below, there’s something for everyone – whether you’re fantasising about full days on the slopes, dreaming of exquisite meals with incredible views, looking forward to family-friendly fun, planning stop offs at the latest aprés-ski hot spots or envisioning a relaxing, rejuvenating winter spa weekend.
With so many resorts to choose from, how do you make your decision? We’ve done the hard work for you and narrowed down the choices. Ski enthusiasts will love Verbier with its guaranteed snow, while non-skiers will flock to Kitzbühel where luxury spas and shopping await. Irish travel specialists OROKO are leaders in luxury holidays – they take the headache out of the holiday planning process, saving you time, booking it all on your behalf and offering infinite amounts of free, impartial and up-to-date advice, while ensuring you get the best possible value for money.
That’s why we’ve mined their incredible knowledge to find out where we should be skiing this year. Below you’ll find ski resorts to suit all travellers, from family-friendly fun to unforgettable experiences both on and off the piste. The slopes are calling – your winter wonderland experience starts here …
BEST FOR GUARANTEED SNOW
Best time to travel: December – April
Suited ski level: Intermediate – Advanced
Transfer time: Fly in to Geneva, 2 hrs transfer
For the skiers who want to spend all day on the slopes, you’ll need somewhere with guaranteed snow. Verbier’s snow-sure slopes means that you can ski from December to April comfortably. The top slopes reach over 3,000m, offering one of the most snow-sure slopes in Switzerland. Taking the Mont Fort lift to the top of the ski area is a must with views reaching the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. To help you plan your ideal trip, it’s good to note that January is often the quietest month and February is often the busiest. The busier months promise a more vibrant nightlife in Verbier’s fantastic bars, restaurants and night clubs. “It suits both the keen skier, with its amazing and accessible off-piste, and the more leisurely skier who enjoys cruising the blues before relaxing for the afternoon,” says Conor Magee, OROKO Ski Specialist.
BEST FOR FOODIES
Best time to travel: December – April
Suited ski level: Beginners – Intermediate
Transfer time: Fly in to Geneva, 1 hr 15 mins transfer
Superb mountain dining, along with après and relaxation, are some of the prime factors when it comes to choosing your favourite resort. After a day on the slopes many of us will look forward to an evening meal with a difference. For firm foodies, we recommend Megève, the resort which is famous for its fine dining, home to outstanding restaurants like La Table de l’Alpaga and the three-star Michelin Flocons de Sel. A French ski resort, expect outstanding cuisine and service. Make your way down the soft snowy pistes by day, and enjoy an incredible meal by night to reward you for all your hard work. Sipping champagne on a slopeside terrace with a view, experiencing exquisite French cuisine like never before, you’ll be counting your lucky stars that you chose Megève.
BEST FOR FAMILIES
Zell am See, Austria Zell
Best time to travel: December – April
Suited ski level: Beginners
Transfer time: Fly in to Salzburg (Saturday – Saturday), 1 hr 15 mins transfer
Or fly into Munich, 3 hrs transfer
Choosing to bring the kids on an adventure of a lifetime, you’ll want to make sure you’re selecting a family-friendly resort where kids of all ages can get involved and enjoy the atmosphere. Zell Am See in Austria is a beautiful lakeside town and year-round resort. The slopes are wide and tree-lined with unique views down to the mountain onto Lake Zell. Zell am See offers a relatively short transfer time, which is important when choosing to holiday with young children. OROKO’s partner hotels in Zell am See offer advantages like proximity to the slopes, complimentary transfers to ski lifts and non-ski activities. “Lovely wide slopes make this the perfect resort for beginners and young children. Parents can enjoy a cruise while being able to keep an eye on the little ones with ease,” says Aisling O’Carroll, OROKO Sales Manager. Zell am See offers daytime care and activities for kids from ages three upwards and accommodation options include OROKO favourites, Grand Hotel Zell am See and Hotel Stadt Wein, making it perfect for families of all ages.
BEST FOR LUXURY LOVERS
Kitzbühel and Jochberg, Austria
Best time to travel: Late December – Late March
Suited ski level: Intermediate
Transfer time: Fly to Munich, 2 hrs transfer
Kitzbühel and Jochberg, part of the KitzSki area, offers a wonderful, laid-back vibe for a mixed group with varying interest in snow sports. Even if you’re not a skier, Kitzbühel’s additional activities include ice skating, dog sledding and snowshoeing so you can still have fun on the slopes. A great destination for relaxation, OROKO partner hotels are home to outstanding luxury spas. While some take to the slopes, others can indulge in spa treatments, swim in the outdoor heated pool and enjoy a warming sauna treatment. Kitzbühel’s glamorous centre is also renowned for excellent shopping – something we know will appeal to Glossy readers. “Kitzbühel, with its charming, cobbled streets and brightly-coloured houses, rightly deserves its reputation as the most beautiful ski resort in Europe,” says Brendan Breen, OROKO Managing Director. Spend your day enjoying a soak in the hot tub, cosy up with a good book by a roaring log fire or treat yourself to a top-class treatment, and then join the rest of the party for a delicious fondue and vin chaud come dinnertime.
BEST FOR APRÉS SKI
Val d’Isère, France
Best time to travel: Late December – Early March
Suited ski level: All levels
Transfer time: Fly into Geneva, 3 hrs 30 mins transfer
If for you, skiing is just the necessary precursor for après, then Val d’Isère is the resort to choose. Regarded as one of the best ski resorts in the world, Val d’Isère also has a reputation for being one of the finest ski resorts for après-ski in the Alps. It is home to the legendary Folie Douce après bar and restaurant on the mountain. Hearing it before you see it, La Folie Douce is the go-to spot for après-ski drinks, dancing and live DJ sets. Val d’Isère also offers excellent spots for quiet drinks on scenic terraces, such as Bar Restaurant Les Equinoxes.
It’s time to book your ski holiday!
Now that you’ve explored the options for your next ski trip, it’s clear that OROKO Travel has something spectacular to suit all groups of families and friends this winter. OROKO Travel, Ireland’s only luxury tailored travel business, will tailor your luxury ski holiday to suit your needs and preferences.
For peace of mind, all OROKO ski holidays include private airport transfers and luxury accommodation. Additionally, tailored itineraries include ski passes and pre-ordered equipment rental (including in-house ski and boot fitting services), as well as ski school reservations, guiding and instruction. Those who book through OROKO Travel will also have access to the OROKO App and 24/7 support. Now is the perfect time to book your luxury ski holiday, to find out more, visit orokotravel.ie or call 01 260 0240.
Follow OROKO Travel on Instagram @oroko_travel.