2020 has been an unusual year when it comes to travel, with many of us forced to forego our usual luxury getaways thanks to the ongoing restrictions that have come with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
If you’re still mourning the loss of your lavish Maldives escape or your five-star city break from earlier in the year, then you’re not alone, and now that the second UK lockdown has ended, many are making some last-minute bookings for a winter getaway early in 2021.
January and February might not be the best months for soaking up some winter sunshine in Europe, but when it comes to luxury skiing destinations, it doesn’t get much better. So, if you’re eager for some on-slope action and – if social distancing rules allow – a little après ski champagne – then these are the top luxury destinations to book for a lavish new year’s getaway.
Val Thorens, France
Val Thorens has been enjoying an increase in popularity amongst high-net-worth holiday makers in recent years, not least thanks to its provision of unique festive and gourmet experiences alongside an epic offering for skiers. Sitting pretty at 2,300 metres above sea level, the resort is on the verge of celebrating its 50th anniversary and as the highest ski resort in Europe and the largest ski area in the world, its appeal needs little explanation.
With ski trips at sunset, double ziplining, ice diving, dog sledding and ice climbing, there’s plenty besides the norm to keep the whole family entertained. Make sure your kids are wearing helmets for their activities to keep them safe, and a great time is guaranteed.
Nearest airport: Chambéry or Lyon
Where to stay: Hotel Le Kaïla
Seasoned skiers will love spending their winter getaway in Kitzbühel, where some of the best slopes in Europe are ready and just waiting to be enjoyed. This resort was also ranked as the most beautiful ski resort in Europe by European Best Destinations this year – and with good reason.
Dubbed ‘the most legendary sports destination in the Alps’, it has fast become a playground for the rich and famous. Set within a sophisticated town that effortlessly combines style with tradition, it’s these contrasts that make the resort so unique. Here, you can expect to see rustic Tyrolean guesthouses rubbing shoulders with high-end designer boutiques from around the world. From the pretty medieval town to the breath-taking hiking trails and picturesque pistes, this place has got it all.
Nearest airport: Salzburg or Innsbruck
Where to stay: Grand Tirolia Hotel Kitzbühel, Curio Collection by Hilton
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Surrounded by the breath-taking scenery of the dolomites, Cortina is a world-renowned resort located 40 kilometres from the Austrian border in northern Italy. Famed for the quality of its slopes and extra popular thanks to its proximity to Venice and Verona airports, Cortina features an impressive 120mk of slopes for different ability levels. Three different ski areas – Faloria-Cristallo, Tofane and Lagazuoi-Cinque Torri-Giau – come with a range of unique characteristics, where skiing is an all-encompassing experience. Its perfect looking slopes are scattered with mountain huts serving up delicious local cuisine – the perfect place to stop off and warm up in the middle of an action-packed day.
In the evening, visitors make their way to the town centre to soak up the atmosphere at the Corso Italia – a legendary street which offers some of the best shopping in the Alps, and plenty of fancy restaurants to dine at, too.
Nearest airport: Treviso or Venice
Where to stay: Cristallo Luxury Collection Resort
Home to some of the very finest ski resorts in the world, in Europe, it’s tricky to choose just three – but these three luxurious offerings tick all the right boxes, promising an opulent getaway comprising on-slope action, fine dining and outdoor pursuits. And, complete with some of the very best hotels money can buy, any of them will guarantee you a winter getaway to remember.