Insider's Picks: 9 Must-Visit Ski and Spa Resorts

Skiing in style requires the right blend of great slopes, luxe accommodations and relaxing spas. Here are nine such breathtaking coldspots around the world

Insider's Picks: 9 Must-Visit Ski and Spa Resorts

While one could head for warmer climes in winter, nippy Jack Frost can make for an excellent companion – especially if you intend to mix both adventure and indulgence. For a truly luxe winter, throw in a spot of skiing and a generous dose of spa pampering at a luxurious resort. From boutique mountain lodges to branded all-star joints, we scoured the globe for perfect winter retreats. Spa addicts and adrenaline junkies, take note.

St Regis Resort Aspen

Colorado, USA

Even excluding the standard butler service, a stay at the St Regis is always a welcome indulgence. At the St Regis in Aspen (pictured top and above), the butler is a "ski" butler who will help you transition seamlessly from suite to ski slope, taking care of everything from equipment and instruction to transportation. The Aspen crowd is demanding so you can expect great après-ski offerings and impeccable service. Celeb-sighting is also a worthy pastime in Aspen. Indeed, it may even evolve into a contact sport so brace yourself for run-ins with the likes of Will Smith and Cindy Crawford. Pack the Prada shades and Chanel après-ski boots along with black tie gear for more formal evenings. Back at the hotel, Remède Spa—a massive 15,000 sqf haven of pampering—is the perfect respite from the cold. This super-luxe spa offers Vichy showers, vapor caves, a confluence waterfall lounge and an oxygen lounge.

Amangani

Wyoming, USA

Trust the Aman Resorts to bring unobtrusive, six-star manners to the American Wild West. Set against the dramatic landscape of Jackson Hole in Wyoming, Amangani is designed to blend in with its surroundings. The main reason to visit in winter is the resort's Ski Club that will take you from airport to resort to ski slopes in style. The Ski Lounge, a 20-minute complimentary drive from the resort, features easy ski-in/ski-out facilities for the slopes of Jackson Hole's Rendezvous and Après Vous Mountains. It also provides a ski concierge, storage for ski equipment, boot dryers and refreshments. Also, try winter wildlife safari tours, snowcat rides, dog-sledding, snowmobiling and sleigh rides, all of which offer the chance of spotting wildlife. Retreat back to the resort's award-winning spa and its 35m open-air heated pool with panoramic views to complete your day.

Four Seasons Resort Whistler

British Columbia, Canada

When the Four Seasons Resort opened in 2005, it set the standard for über luxury in the ever-popular Whistler, where the 2010 Winter Olympics took place. Topping its own high standards, the resort also offers stunning private residences for rent. The spa has stunning views of the mountains and the outdoor pool is fully heated, with hot spring-style whirlpools. Their Ski Lite program allows you to truly travel light. Guests will be suited up head-to-toe in designer ski gear from Prada and Spyder at the Whistler Blackcomb Mountain Products store (on the lower level of the lobby). To ensure optimum carving on the hill, this package also includes high-performance rental equipment featuring Salomon, Rossignol and K2 skis, as well as Burton boards. Their dedicated Ski Concierge will help make all the arrangements.

 

Le Mélézin

Courchevel, France

Nestled in the Trois Vallées in the French Alps is the stylish village of Courchevel with its fine restaurants, trendy boutiques and nightclubs. Established in 1992, Le Mélézin is a chic boutique hotel that offers the star treatment with ski in/ski out access on the Bellecôte ski slope. The hotel, fashioned after an alpine manor, has only 31 plush guest rooms and suites. Sport offerings include heli-skiing, ice climbing and much more. For après-ski fixes, the spectacular spa uses organic Aman spa products for their treatments, which run the gamut from Thai massage to Shiatsu to reflexology and more. Must-tries includes the sleek hammam and Massage Sportif for sore muscles

The Vale Niseko

Hokkaido, Japan

Possibly the most stylish all-frills resort in Hokkaido, The Vale in Niseko is barely a year old and already almost fully booked for the current ski season. The resort offers superb rooms and serviced apartments. A private designer onsen that overlooks the ski runs taps 700 meters deep into this mineral-rich volcanic region to collect its natural thermal spring water. The ski lifts are about a minute's ski away and the village center is walking-distance. Niseko, being Asia's top ski spot, offers everything you can expect in après-ski activities. The resort's restaurants are highly lauded but venture into local joints in town for some unforgettable kaiseki meals. The spa and gourmet experience are truly rewarding after a tough day on the demanding slopes.

Riffelalp

Zermatt, Switzerland

Once you've conquered glitzy St Moritz, the fabled village of Zermatt might be the detox tonic you need. Hop on the Glacier Express train in St Moritz and take one of Europe's most scenic rides on its first class coach to Zermatt. The Riffelalp Resort at 2,222 meters high was originally built in 1884 and has been fully refurbished since a fire in the 1960s. The crowd, if one can call it that, is decidedly posh and the rooms and suites are country-elegant. The resort boasts Europe's highest outdoor pool, with lots of massage jets and majestic views of the Matterhorn. It's heated to a comfy 35°C all year round. Refined cuisine and spa aside, the beauty of the resort's location (the Gornergrat ski area) is that thrill seekers can schuss across the Italian border to Cervinia or heli-ski the high passes.

 

Vigilius Mountain Resort

South Tyrol, Italy

Set some 1,500 meters above sea level and tucked away in the South Tyrolean Dolomites, is Vigilius Mountain Resort. Only accessible by cable car, the resort's seclusion makes it the perfect retreat (it only has 35 rooms and six suites). The resort is built with renewable materials, abundant glass, recovered wood and bamboo. The organic architecture is carbon dioxide neutral and boasts state-of-the-art, ecologically-sound heating and plumbing systems. In winter, the mountain is covered in deep, pillowy snow perfect for cross-country and alpine skiing. The first ski lifts start right outside the doorstep of Vigilius and you can hire a guide for anything from snowshoeing to yoga to spinal gymnastics. At the spa, indulge in therapeutic Kneipp water baths, fir cone foot reflexology, traditional hay baths and hi-tech facials. Alternatively, enjoy their deliciously healthy gluten-free cuisine.

Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates

Dubai, U.A.E

Spa, ski and sand—an aberration and unlikely combination in any circumstance. But as we know by now, Dubai defies all convention and logic. Check into the famed Kempinski Hotel in Dubai and check out the unprecedented views from the room of the indoor ski resort called Ski Dubai. "Alpine living" in Dubai is not a joke. With five runs of varying difficulties, Ski Dubai is about 85 meters high (roughly 25 stories) and has 22,500 sqm area of man-made snow all year round. Their super luxe Grand Ski Chalets will dazzle you with views of snowy slopes outside your window so you'll forget you're in a desert. Try their K Wellness Spa's holistic Ayurvedic treatments to get rebalanced.

Waldorf Astoria Park City

Utah, USA

January is the most glamorous month to be in Park City, Utah. To rub elbows with the indie Hollywood crowd, book a room at the Waldorf Astoria during the Sundance Festival. Prep yourself for star encounters at the resort's 16,000 sqf chichi Golden Door Spa. For those who still want to ski, the resort has a dedicated gondola that reaches more than 4,000 acres of skiable terrain at The Canyons' slopes, Utah's well-kept secret among serious skiers. Waldorf's ski package this season offers a multi-day lift ticket, full-day instruction, a massage at Golden Door and a horse-drawn sleigh ride followed by dinner. And of course, there is the slight chance of running into Robert Redford.

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