Traditional ski hotels with an old alpine atmosphere are getting harder and harder to find. Across the Alps, there has been a trend over the last decade or so to replace the old and traditional with a modern architectural and interior decor style of sleek glass and polished stainless steel. This modern hotel style panders to those looking for a clean, minimal (even urban?) aesthetic but many still hanker for the old style of alpine ski hotel. These clients prefer the dark, cosy atmosphere created by old wood paneling and fabrics with a darker hue. Whatever takes your fancy let our experts help you find the perfect hotel.
Romantic ski hotels in SwitzerlandThe majority of traditional ski hotels are located in beautiful resorts with plenty of alpine charm and ‘chocolate box’ appeal. Zermatt, which is one of the most famous ski resorts, is also one of the world's most romantic mountain towns. Take the scenic mountain train from Täsch and then step into your horse-drawn carriage which awaits your arrival in Zermatt. Surely, there cannot be a more romantic entry to a ski resort than a sleigh ride through the cobbled car-free streets of Zermatt with the iconic Matterhorn Mountain overlooking you. Zermatt is a truly special place and somewhere everyone should take the opportunity to visit at some point during their skiing life. One of the best romantic hotels and also one of the oldest is the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof (ask for their horse-drawn sleigh to pick you up at the station). The Zermatterhof has been welcoming illustrious guests from all over the world since 1879.
Traditional ski hotels in ItalyFor some the home of romance is to be found in the Italian Alps and these clients will certainly also appreciate the value for money compared to Switzerland. Whether it’s the dramatic scenery of the Dolomites or the charm of hidden villages within the Aosta Valley, Italy is one of the best options for a romantic ski break.
The Hotel La Perla in Corvara is set in the heart of the Dolomites (on the vast Sella Ronda ski circuit) and is one of the best hotels in the region. It is family run, as many of the best hotels are, so you can be assured that all the staff are dedicated to making your stay as enjoyable as possible. What makes the La Perla so extra special is the incredible atmosphere created by the traditional interior. Each of the separate little dining rooms has been intimately designed to reflect the local building traditions. The design of the Michelin starred restaurant, La Stüa de Michil, is particularly romantic and is sure to impress any partner. Head Chef, Mr Nicola Laera, prepares classic Italian dishes with locally sourced ingredients – the food is to die for. The romantic atmosphere is enhanced by the attentive staff wearing traditional outfits complete with white gloves. If you are looking to impress this would be the place to do it.
Another traditional Italian hotel which stands above the rest for its charm and originality is the Hotellerie de Mascognaz in Champoluc - even the name of the hotel sounds romantic! This idyllic 13th century hamlet is hidden away in the forest high above the main resort of Champoluc and is accessed only by skidoo or off road vehicle. One of the hotel’s many drivers will always be ready and waiting to take you and your loved one through the snowy forest to and from the hotel hamlet. At the top of the forest track the trees part to reveal a collection of ancient mazots and farm buildings which have been lovingly restored to create this stunning hotel. Here you can take individual rooms or even take an entire chalet to yourself.
Traditional ski hotels AustriaAustria has plenty of traditional and romantic ski hotels but the Hotel Eder in Maria Alm is a little different. The hotel is again family run but recently the older generation has taken a step back to let the younger one put their mark on the property, and what a good job they've done. The hotel has only recently been refurbished to high standards with the introduction of more modern elements such as the spa area and the fire-pit terrace on the roof. The new owners have managed to effortlessly combine ultra modern and cool interiors with the traditional Austrian exterior of the building. If you are looking for a traditional hotel with a more modern atmosphere then the Hotel Eder is certainly worth considering.
Traditional ski hotels FranceIf you are looking for a traditional ski vacation in the French Alps then look no further than Megève. This chic and stylish resort lies only one hour south of Geneva Airport and has a huge selection of high quality bijou hotels and Michelin starred restaurants. Of course there are luxury hotels in other French resorts such as Courchevel, Meribel and Val d'Isere which would more than rival those of Megève but these other resorts simply do not have the romance and the charm that Megève possesses.
Megève was first put on the A-listers' map by the Rothschild family in the 1920's. However, latterly the celebrated hotel brand, Sibuet, has done much to grow Megève into the world renowned ski resort that it is today. Jean Louis Sibuet converted the bones of each hotel into stunning alpine retreats, and his business partner, Jocelyne, managed the interior design. Their first project, The Hotel Au Coin du Feu, opened in 1981 and eight years later they followed with the Les Fermes de Marie which today is the hallmark of the 'art of well being' in the Alps. The charming Mont Blanc hotel, in the very centre of Megève, opened in the mid 1990's and was soon followed by the American cabin style Lodge Park. The brand has since gone on to add other properties in Provence and the French Alps but Megève very much remains their spiritual home.
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