For globe-trotting powder pilgrims, there’s no substitute for slicing down a silent Swiss corduroy alp or carving into fresh Japanese powder under bluebird skies. A new crop of ski hotels is beckoning skiers and snowboarders with not just the world’s best slopes but also exciting après scenes that include cold yoga, onsen-style soaking tubs, and freestanding Malm fireplaces. It’s time to tune up your gear, strap on your boots, and hit the piste with a stay at one of these five new standout retreats around the world.
Six Senses Crans-Montana
- Where: Valais, Switzerland
- What to expect: Exclusive piste access and a spa built for recovery
- Book now
Unapologetically modern and glassy Crans Montana, or Crans as it’s called locally, is the most contemporary of Switzerland’s 358 ski resorts and often compared to Aspen. The almost mile-high town in Switzerland’s French-speaking Canton Valais two hours from Geneva is the anti-Gstaad. It’s marked by glass restaurants, year-round golf courses (offering snow golf and hosting the Winter Golf Cup), and modernist high-rise towers like Le Super Crans, a midcentury residential tower designed by one of Le Corbusier’s pupils. But it still offers the tranquility of spacious slopes surrounded by larch trees frosted with fluffy white powder and azure lakes of the Forêt des Grands Pras nearby.
Opening in February 2023 is the Six Senses Crans-Montana, a 45-room ski-in, ski-out complex above the main gondola in Crans. The chalet-style, terraced accommodations offer killer views of either the Matterhorn or Mont Blanc and exclusive early bird access to the piste every morning. An established wellness leader in hospitality, the property has a 21,500-square-foot spa with treatment rooms, an innovative Stretch Pod that helps with recovery, a yoga studio, three thermal pools, steam rooms, and a hammam. Especially intriguing is the Biohack Recovery Lounge, which uses smart tech to optimize the body’s natural healing processes. Think NormaTec compression boots for lactic acid legs, Hypervolt percussion massagers, and Venom Back Wraps, which soothe muscle tension on the lower back after a day on the mountain.
Anders Mountain Suites
- Where: Brixen, Italy
- What to expect: Minimalist alpine architecture with a side of la dolce vita
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In Italy’s UNESCO-listed Dolomites, après-ski meets la dolce vita under the watch of the jagged golden peaks of the Plose massif that juts into the sky, which on sunny days is a crisp, brilliant blue. The German-speaking region of Italy is also known for its modernist architecture, rustic Alpine-Italo cuisine, and high-altitude wines. A new and under the radar ski-in/ski-out spot in Brixen called Anders Mountain Suites opened in June 2022 at an altitude of 6,000 feet. The former 50-bed alpine hotel has been converted to a contemporary seven-suite retreat with low slung minimalist architecture, smooth contoured concrete, brushed spruce wood, and giant glass windows overlooking the fir forests and mountains where 26 miles of sun-kissed piste await. A bio sauna, roaring fireplaces, and full kitchens that come with stocked fridges sweeten any long-term stay.
- Where: Winter Park, Colorado
- What to expect: Retro vibes at Colorado’s oldest continuously operated ski resort
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Few things are cozier than snuggling up to a crackling fire in a 1970’s style A-frame that’s covered by a blanket of snow. This is what the folks at SkyLab are promising at their new throwback hotel, A-Frame Club, in a two-acre forest close to the slopes of Colorado’s Winter Park, the longest continuously operated ski resort in the state, located 67 miles north of Denver. Averaging more than 320 inches of annual snowfall, the ski resort gets 300 days of sunshine; its 3,081 acres of skiable terrain including groomers, terrain parks, deeps, steeps, tree-fringed piste, and moguls.
The new 31 stand-alone units, each 475 square feet, sleep up to four people, and feature bedroom lofts, private onsen-style soaking tubs, Malm fireplaces, exterior decks, and vintage furnishings to round out the nostalgia. At the center of the site is a bar and restaurant called the Saloon, where daily meals and drinks—for example, venison schnitzel, ratatouille bowls, and campfire banana splits—are served on the warmed patio around firepits.
Hiramatsu Karuizawa Miyota
- Where: Nagano, Japan
- What to expect: A residential-feeling retreat in less internationally known Nagano
- Book now
Japan is home to more than 500 ski resorts and world renowned powder—so soft and fluffy you’ll almost want to wipe out. Niseko may be the most famous of Japan’s ski resorts, but it’s dominated by powder aficionados from Australia, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore and arguably the least Japanese of the country’s ski resorts.
For a downhill experience with fewer international crowds, point your skis toward Nagano, where modernist newcomer Hiramatsu Karuizawa Miyota opened in 2021 with 28 guest rooms and nine villa suites. Sprawled across 14 acres in the foothills of the Okuchichibu Mountains, the resort is a 10-minute drive from Miyota train station and 20 minutes from the mountain resort of Karuizawa. Parquet wood walls and floor-to-ceiling windows lend an urbane penthouse vibe, while spacious balconies, private stone onsen baths, kitchenettes, yoga and massages on demand, and dog runs promise to make long stays more enjoyable. Don’t miss the French Japanese cuisine from Bocuse-trained chef Akio Yanagihara.
Ultima Courchevel Belvédère
- Where: Courchevel 1750, France
- What to expect: Exceptional service and access to hundreds of miles of groomed piste
- Book now
In 2021, the exclusive ski-in/ski-out property of Ultima Courchevel Belvédère opened its doors, complementing Ultima’s well-regarded collection of ski properties in Megève, Gstaad, and Crans-Montana. The 13 weathered wood chalets, with as many as five bedrooms each, were built using sustainably sourced local trees. They sit on the perimeter of the La Rosière forest in Courchevel’s sunny Vallée Ensoleillée, part of the extensive Les Trois Vallées, which offers a whopping 372 miles of groomed piste to explore.
The property is especially service forward, with a high staff-to-guest ratio that includes a fleet of ski instructors, butlers, chauffeurs, personal chefs, and massage therapists on hand. Not one, but two spas on property are wellness playgrounds that include an indoor pool, a heated outdoor pool, and an outdoor hot tub, while a fitness room offers such innovative custom treatments as yoga-focused cold therapy.