Europe wins the choice of the best ski resorts hands down.
1. Zermatt, Switzerland
A Matterhorn ski paradise with skiing and snowboarding around the year, Zermatt is an attractive blend of Alpine rustic beauty and sophisticated stays. What’s a ski resort without glamour and glitz? In Zermatt you will find extensive free-ride slopes, endless well-prepared pistes, inter-connected ski areas and heli skiing. It is undoubtedly the most glamorous and upscale ski resort. But if you like a bit more pizzazz, then head out to St. Moritz.
2. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
For some added adrenalin rush, yet again, Europe has the best on offer. You can expect a dream holiday at the Cortina d’Ampezzo ski resort. With its Olympic class ski slopes, stunning dolomite mountain scenery and designer chic shopping, it’s a sure adrenalin fix for ski enthusiasts. The village itself sits in a sunny amphitheatre, while the Dolomite Superski connects you with a 460-lift system to 12 resorts spread over 750 miles of ski trails!
Ski enthusiasts who like to try out unfamiliar terrains, must try some of these luxury ski resorts in Asia. Unique ski options, hot spring spas and a culture fix, what more could you ask?
3. Hokkaido Island, Japan
To experience the ski slopes in a whole new light, visit Japan. Its ski resorts at Hokkaido Island are known for night skiing, with huge stadium lights brightening up 2560 vertical feet of slope deep in consistent, light powder. It has 4 interlinked ski resorts, all of which are famous for wide open powder bowls and tree runs.
Niseko ski resort is the most popular for skiing adventure and a variety of runs for beginners to advanced skiers. With hot springs and international cuisine adding to the luxury feel, it is voted the best in Japan.
Hakkoda ski area may however be a better choice, being the newest and less discovered, with no crowds and a great range of ski level slopes. One Chalets, Hakuba, and the Hanazono Ski Resorts are other luxury ski adventures in Japan.
4. Pyeongchang ski resorts, South Korea
Want to test the slopes laid out for the 2018 Winter Olympics? While Yongpyong is the largest ski resort with a range of options and activities thrown in, the Phoenix Park resort offers night skiing and snowboarding till 4am on its 1,050m peak, Mont Blanc.
5. Gulmarg, Kashmir, India
Isn’t skiing all about adrenalin fixes? So what about carving the slopes of the Himalayas? With the largest and steepest mountains on Earth, the ski runs are long and challenging. The resort also boasts of the highest gondola in the world, which takes skiers to a height of 3,747m on Kongdoori Mountain. A wellness retreat can be incorporated to your stay, by adding an Ayurveda spa experience and traditional Kashmiri cuisine to this unique Himalayan adventure.
Some of the most luxurious resorts with challenging off-piste skiing are in Argentina and Chile, with spectacular trails and views to die for.
6. Cerro Catedral, Argentina
The most modern resort base, this is for serious skiers. Catedral resorts are known for deep powder, excellent tree skiing, and off-piste terrain. This resort offers you many ski options such as backcountry skiing, well-groomed terrains and a lively nightlife – it’s must-visit for seasoned skiing and snowboarding.
7. Ski Bariloche, Cerro Bayo, Argentina
For a more experiential ski adventure, visit this resort only an hour away from Cerro Catedral. A small upscale boutique resort, it offers advanced unpatrolled off-piste terrain to explore.
Note there are also great resorts in the Andes in Chile, such as Valle Nevado, El Colorado, and La Parva. These are less than 60km away from Santiago and you can access all three with a unique lift ticket.
Ski enthusiasts who like the thrill of carving the slopes of rugged mountains, in biting cold conditions, must visit these ski resorts. What’s more, these resorts are open through the year, with each season offering a unique weather conditions and snow. Skiing in the coldest regions on earth, has its own rush. Add to it the charm of rugged mountain beauty, and you are hooked.
8. Whistler, Canada
One of the best international ski resorts, it is a skier’s dream destination with big mountain experiences. Popular attractions are its dramatic mountain scenery and lively après scene, and the spectacular Peak to Peak gondola linking the two mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb. Skiing, heli-skiing and snowboarding, in the most spectacular setting of jagged mountain peaks, glaciers and deep forests, what more could you ask?
For those who find Whistler too crowded or glitzy, move on to Banff, or Jasper, – other great ski towns of Canada. But expect to have limited transport and stay options. If you want to visit the U.S., then check out the ski resort at Vail, Colorado.
9. Alyeska, Alaska
For hard core skiers who want the thrill of “cool skiing in sun baked Alaska”, Alyeska is the best choice. Considered the Holy Grail for skiers and riders; its lack of crowds, steep slopes and abundant snowfall cannot fail to hook you. Heli and cat skiing, snowmobiling, flight-seeing, snowshoeing, dog sledging, spa facilities and fishing are activities for your not-so-enthusiastic companions. Alyeska is a ski resort you will want to visit in summer for its daylight skiing, and sighting Northern Lights. In winter, daylight hours are 5-7 but the vast snowy wilderness and rough terrain are challenges no skier likes to miss.
Could not find the time to go skiing this winter? Or want the added thrill of summer skiing? Then head out to New Zealand for a unique skiing experience (June – September).
10. Craigieburn Valley, New Zealand
If uncrowded off-pistes, steep narrow chutes and deep snow are what gets you, this is just the place for you. The resorts do not have the clichéd chairlifts, gondolas and grooming; but offer a shared skiing community of expert skiers from all over.
What is your favourite sky resort? Comment below!