Unforgettable Vacations at Luxury Alpine Ski Resorts

by Blake Herzog

Whether you are a veteran ski bum, do it a couple times per winter or are stepping onto skis for the first time, there’s no better place to do it than a luxurious resort in the shadow of breathtaking mountain peaks.

And there’s no better place to find them than the Alps.

The 60,000-square-mile range in south-central Europe has captured the world’s imagination with its scenery, culture and magnificent ski chalets and resorts.

Opened in 1907, the village of La Clusaz, France, is considered by many as the oldest continuously operating ski resort in the world, and it opened the door to the opulent results that were established throughout the region.

Take a look at some of the most exclusive resorts you can visit over the winter season (and beyond):


The Alps traverse the length of this nation and are threaded throughout with sumptuous resort areas. The largest is Ski Arlberg, made up of seven villages including Lech, a picturesque thatched-roof village especially friendly to beginning and intermediate skiers and dotted with sumptuous chalets and restaurants.

Nearby St. Anton is thriving as a summer resort as well. Farther east, Kitzbuhel is a magnet for celebrities and royalty and is filled with enticing high-end shops.


This is where skiing luxury was born, and it continues to be a primary hub of world-class skiing and hospitality.

Courchevel is on the eastern end of Les Trois Valles, the world’s largest connected ski area that can be traveled with a single pass, a skier’s icy heaven. Its 11 five-star luxury resorts and high-end shops draw wealthy tourists from across the globe, particularly the Middle East.

Chamonix at the base of Mount Blanc draws expert skiers but has some runs that are more family-friendly.


You probably won’t be surprised to learn that in Italy skiing moves beyond sport to lifestyle, with food and wine adjacent to the athletic activities.

The Alps wrap around its northern border and include the Dolomites on the eastern side, which are technically part of the Alps but considered by many to be a separate region. That’s where you’ll find chic Cortina d’Ampezzo and quaint Val Gardena.

Valle d’Aosta in the far northwest is the Alpine section and features the spectacular Gran Paradiso National Park and charming Courmayeur.


The Swiss pioneered winter sports tourism and boast a long skiing season, along with Austria.

Zermatt is a car-free city at the base of the real Matterhorn offering a delightfully relaxed atmosphere and 200 miles of skiable terrain.

Verbier’s resorts do luxury with a capital L at the heart of a network of off-piste trails to delight and challenge more advanced skiers.

Gstaad is known as the most expensive resort area in the Alps, and you get what you pay for — it’s managed to achieve a delicate balance between maintaining its historic charm and beauty and updating its facilities for today’s travelers.

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