For those who love to ski pristine packed snow, there are lots of destinations to consider.
But from the Rockies to the Alps, the best ski resorts in the world set themselves apart. Maybe it's a stunning view and slopes that blow other destinations away. Or perhaps it's the hospitality and opulence of the lodging and resort life. Whatever it is that draws you to one of these picturesque locations is a personal choice. But keep reading and you'll probably find a spot that offers exactly what you want.
But check out each of the mountainside getaways we've picked for our list. These are spots around the world that continue to attract the most avid skiers on earth. And if you're not that confident on the different courses, don't worry. We're talking about resorts so opulent you won't feel bad if you never make it onto the slopes. And when you finally do venture out on your skis, you'll find a lane that will suit your skill level. Read on for our favorite and best ski resorts in the world.
The Best Ski Resorts in the World for Luxury Travelers of All Stripes
You might know that some of the most incredible locations are situated in massive mountain ranges. And even if you're expecting to see North America and Europe on our list, you might not know exact destinations. So let's take a deeper look at where you can find the best snow capped peaks at the best ski resorts in the world. But beyond the feeling of getting out onto the mountain, these are also luxury getaways. So you can find the same level of comfort, service and opulence of any other high end resort or hotel.
1. Zermatt, Switzerland
The Swiss Alps represent the pinnacle of skiing for many experts and aficionados, offering some of the best ski resorts in the world. And you might think we'd select the highest elevation or most challenging peak as one of our picks. But this spot features the Matterhorn, which provides some incredible views and exceptional slopes.
And among the most breathtaking places to experience this feature is found in Zermatt. There's also a museum in that town dedicated to the storied Matterhorn peak. This is a quaint Swiss town and provides a perfect entrance to what could become your favorite ski resort. Old construction, narrow roads and all of the accouterments you would expect are on full display.
The nearby peak was first conquered in 1865 by a team of British explorers. That trek included some personal history but helped put the Matterhorn on the map. Since then, the area has been built up to become a world class destination. And we think it is assuredly one of the best ski resorts in the world at this point. More than two million visitors pass through Zermatt annually to visit the universally beloved peak.
Safety features have made it more feasible than ever for skiers of all skill levels enjoy. Find a guide to introduce you to all the intricacies of this pristine location. And while you're there, enjoy the fine food and relax at your resort for an unforgettable vacation.
2. Whistler, Canada
British Columbia is an excellent choice for skiers looking for a North American destination. And Canada's Whistler Mountain is among the most heralded peaks in the region and among the best ski resorts in the world. It gets an phenomenal amount of snow each year, giving folks plenty of fresh white powder to carve.
The environmental features are among the most spectacular on our list. You can find different types of snow, from damp and dense to light and fluffy stuff. Getting up your preferred peak is easy and comfortable in speedy chair lifts. Everything works like a well oiled machine. Reports indicate it can efficiently shuttle as many as 30,000 people up the mountain each year.
Then there are the extra surprises, like an incredible lunch or dinner at the Rim Rock Cafe. Find a wide range of delicacies to suit any craving. And there are a number of great restaurants with spectacular service. Vacationing here doesn't come cheap. But it also doesn't get much better than the feeling of this crisp mountain air. While you're there, you might just spot a celebrity or notable figure taking advantage of the great destination.
Don't do much skiing? You'll still have plenty to enjoy about your visit. There is the snow limo chair that gives you a unique and exhilarating experience. A gondola car can transport you around the resort. Find a hot spring pool at the Four Seasons located in the area. Plus, there's an incredible spa to either regroup after you ski or to take the place of a trip uphill.
3. Vail, Colorado
Staying in the United States might be a great option for those who want a luxury ski destination. And there are few snow packed mountain peaks more inviting than those in Colorado. One of the best ski resorts in the world is located in Vail. This is a spot where service and substance account for a big part of your stay.
You can pick luxury resorts like the Four Seasons, which gives you great access to the mountain. And from the lockers to the ski lift, everything is aimed to contribute to your comfort. Enjoy some of the most attentive resort staff members you'll find anywhere on earth.
The area boasts an incredible 5,289 acres to tackle on your skis. That means there's a bigger plat of land than anywhere else in the country. And it includes some of the most pristine and infinitely enjoyable packed snow around. Gaze at the wooded mountainside and bask in the quiet solitude of the spots tucked out of the way. A high speed ski lift will get you where you're going without taking up too much of your time.
There might not be as many beginner slopes as a newcomer would like to see. But if you've been on a few getaways, you'll have no trouble tackling intermediate slopes. And you rarely have to worry about weather not holding up to your expectations. There aren't many places where fresh snow is such a sure bet. And that fact on its own helps Vail earn a spot among the best ski resorts in the world.
4. Lech, Austria
Austria has got some of the planet's finest mountain peaks and best ski resorts in the world for thrill-inducing trips. And perhaps the very best among them is the area of Lech am Arlberg. Among the very exclusive destinations here are some of the most pampering locations anywhere. But if you can get out of the lodge long enough to strap on skis, you'll see the true draw of this place.
To get here, you'll have to go through some particularly treacherous passes. But the destination might just be worth it. As you start to find homes, lodges and businesses, you'll know you're almost there. Finally, you arrive at a serine destination and you feel that you've arrived at a perfect ski nirvana.
While Hollywood royalty might visit some of the other spots, this one is famous for its actual royalty. You'll find members of royal families from Jordan, Spain and the Netherlands among common visitors. If you've got the desire and the money to make it happen, you can join them for an inimitable outing. Lech is also where ski champs have trained, so if it's good enough for them you know it will sufficiently challenge you.
This is a callback to an era of proper luxury. You'll be surrounded by folks who don evening wear and fine clothing. And it makes sense. This is the home of wealth and luxury, so plenty of people want to make sure they look the part. Plus, with more than its share of ultra high end gourmet chefs and restaurants, it warrants consideration. The elevated cuisine and art on display will feel more authentic when you're dressed up.
5. Courchevel, France
The last stop on our tour of the best ski resorts in the world is found in France. And we think this is the epitome of chalet luxury. Courchevel provides access to a wide range of pristine slopes packed with snow. And there are seven restaurants in the immediate area with Michelin stars.
Everything seems as though its perfect at this destination. And from the nature to the local architecture, there's a certain unparalleled beauty surrounding the region. There's no question why the ultra wealthy often flock to this resort. It's got it all, and it all comes at a pretty steep price. But for those with the resources, there are few places on the planet with so much opulence. And that doesn't even begin to mention the pristine snow covered peaks.
Everything is expertly groomed and kept at the highest of standards. And the best news is that there are areas where you can actually find a great value. Staying outside of the most exclusive areas can give you access to some very affordable accommodations. Then the well planned transportation system will get you to your ski destination with no hesitation.
Plenty of ski lifts will comfortably escort you to your favorite run on your schedule. And while you're in Courchevel, there's lots of stuff to do aside from skiing and eating. Find a great bowling alley, a movie theater and even a beautiful ice rink. Then there are some warmer options like saunas, swimming pools and even surfing. You can also enjoy some pretty unforgettable nightlife. No matter your tastes or those in your party, you can find plenty to love about your trip at any of the best ski resorts in the world.
The clean, crisp air and luxury hospitality can make a ski trip one of the most enjoyable getaways.
And if that sounds like a great time for you, consider the best ski resorts in the world. These places remain perennially popular for good reason. We have tried to pick apart the crowded segment to bring you some of the highlights of the best ski resorts in the world.
This guide has hopefully helped you decide where you'd like to spend your next ski vacation. If so, share this article with the enthusiasts in your life. And leave us a comment below if you have any final thoughts or questions.