Europeans and Europe visitors are spoilt for ski terrain. With hundreds of beautiful slopes spread across nearly 4,000 resorts, the options can be as dizzying as the peaks. But if you want something special, there are destination hotels in every major ski country on the Continent – be they home to a standout restaurant, eye-popping design, incredibly cosy interiors or a spectacular natural setting. Here are the ones to put on your skiing bucket list.
Portetta, Courchevel 1650, France
This 38-room hotel, directly beside the piste in Courchevel 1650, runs a slick operation. Skiers who have visited its sister hotel Lime Wood in the New Forest, or any hotels in The Pig group, will recognise instantly the laidback but oh-so-helpful vibe among staff – not to mention the soft, plush bedding, cosy sofas, roaring fires and top-notch cuisine from a kitchen headed by Angela Hartnett. Portetta’s huge outdoor terrace and Fire & Ice bar is a destination in itself, serving up everything from coffees to long, sun-soaked lunches and wood-fired pizza with shots at aprés time. Six loft apartments and a small ski shop directly within the hotel completes Portetta’s fine offering.
Valsana Hotel Arosa, Arosa, Switzerland
The meandering, forest-lined train ride to Arosa feels like a holiday in itself before you even reach the quaint resort, which shares a ski area with neighbouring Lenzerheide. Rebuilt and relaunched in 2018, the Valsana Hotel really has sustainability at its core, powered by a massive ice battery that draws waste heat from the hotel and converts it back into reusable energy. The 40 rooms and nine family apartments are eclectically decorated with an ode to nature and Valsana’s proximity to the forest. The property is also paperless, uses eco cleaning products, serves local produce and even refuses to offer a shuttle service, asking guests to use the resort transport.
Niekhu, Riksgränsen, Sweden
Niehku means “dream” in the northern Sami language – extremely apt for this dreamy 14-room lodge-hotel, built on the site of an historic trainline Riksgränsen. It’s in the most northern of Sweden’s ski areas in Lapland, on the border with Norway. This once-in-a-lifetime property incorporates historic sections of an old railway workshop where trains came to rest after a long journey, ferrying iron ore 200km north of the Arctic Circle. This is the place for ski touring, with 5,000kmsq of roadless terrain in spectacular scenery, with a season later than mainland Europe - March to the end of May.
Sporthotel Hermitage, Soldeu, Andorra
Now that the Grandvalira is managing the resorts of Arinsal and Pal, in addition to Soldeu and Arcalís, it has become the largest ski area in Southern Europe, with 303km of pistes. The sheer size makes a stay at this hotel complex all the more inviting. There are three different four- and five-star hotels at Sporthotel Hermitage, all sitting at 1,850m, right beside Soldeu’s main gondola station. The complex also has ski shops and a mountain sports centre to peruse, as well as a fabulous 5,000sqm mountain spa set over five floors with outdoor pool, hydrotherapy pools, Turkish bath, Finnish sauna and much more besides. There are nine restaurants, and two Michelin-starred chefs on hand to stoke you up for long days on the slopes – and all are great value in tax-free Andorra.
Rosapetra, Cortina, Italy
As the 2026 Winter Olympics looms, Cortina in the east of the Dolomites is set to hit the world stage. The 33-room Rosapetra Spa Resort and top-notch spa will become hot property this season. Built with local natural materials of fir and stone, with a huge terrace, restaurant, fitness room, spa with 12m swimming pool, the hotel has it all – but the centrepiece is the view. The Rosapetra is framed by the awesome jagged backdrop of the Tofane massif, one of the most iconic sites of the Dolomites, known for its huge three-edged pyramid shape that turns pink at sunrise and sunset - hence the hotel’s name “Rosa Petra”, or Pink Stone.
TOP Hotel Hochgurgl, Hochgurgl, Austria
This award-winning, ski-in/ski-out hotel oozes Tyrolean charm high in Austria’s Obergurgl-Hochgurgl ski area, where snow is guaranteed from November to May. Set directly on the piste at 2,150m, it has been owned by the Scheiber family since 1961. There are 62 light, luxury bedrooms, a 2,200sqm spa and huge restaurant with adjoining sun terrace, all of which give you panoramic views of the Ötstal. There’s an in-house ski shop offering equipment rental, and direct links to Austria’s highest ski school, Europe’s highest motorbike museum and one of the highest wine cellars in the Alps.
Set at 2,000m beside the Baptiste Giabiconi blue piste in the heart of snowsure Arc 1950, VIP Ski’s ski-in/ski-out Bear Lodge offers the best of chalet accommodation with hotel facilities. Bear Lodge has partnered with ESF in resort and offers guests complimentary ski guiding on two mornings of every week, while facilities include a pool, spa, cinema room and private garage. There are two bedrooms designed for people with reduced mobility. It’s a schlep to reach Les Arcs by car from an airport, but take the train to Bourg Saint Maurice and the nearby funicular connects with Arc 1600 in just seven minutes.
Kulm Hotel, St Moritz, Switzerland
This grand dame of Swiss hospitality credits itself with being the birthplace of winter tourism, thanks to a dare that encouraged a handful Brits to travel to this iconic resort and fall in love with the sunshine, mountains and views of Lake St Moritz. The Kulm was the first hotel built in St Moritz, opening its doors in 1856 and cementing its place in history throughout the 19th century, thanks to its ties with the Cresta Run. Today, as well as being central to one of the most dangerous ice skeleton runs in the world, the Kulm has 164 rooms, six restaurants (including a new one for 2022), and an extensive spa with 20m indoor pool.