The 16 ski lodges shaking up the winter-break scene
The 16 ski lodges shaking up the winter-break scene
From a capsule hotel in a remote part of southern Russia to ski safaris at Megève’s Four Seasons property, and a hipster hotel in a Marcel Breuer designed building, we take you on a tour of the most eye-catching ski lodges to check into now.
Frutt Family Lodge
In the tiny Swiss village of Melchsee-Frutt on a remote peak, nearly 2,000 metres above sea level, the views from this sleek 47-room hotel are, literally, breathtaking. Designed by Zurich-based architect Philip Loskant, the four monolithic concrete and timber cubes clad in glass and natural stone, give way to an interior lined with Swiss oak. Along with the usual suite of snow activities to keep you busy, on site, there is also a spa – swathed in stone quarried from Valle Onsernone – that has been inserted into an underground cavern of polygonal chambers; a cinema, bowling alley, wine bar and restaurant to keep you busy.
Small, smartly designed and approachable, Terminal Neige is set in a low-slung modernist building by Hungarian architect Marcel Breuer. The interiors channel a hipster attitude with Native American-inspired woven and woollen fabrics on armchairs and drapes, steer skulls on stone walls and warm chestnut timber furniture. Each room features a black-line fractured mural by a local street artist that draws the eye towards window views of the ski slopes of the Grand Massif and distant Mont Blanc. Meanwhile, the in-house spa offers treatments that incorporate the antioxidant vitamins derived from Alpine plants.
Along with being the only hotel to offer direct access to the Mont d’Arbois slopes, the Four Seasons Hotel – the first mountain destination for the brand – also boasts a Ski Concierge, who is on tap to organise a host of winter activities from horse sledding to snowcat rides and even a ski safaris, where a helicopter transports guests to the best of the slopes available. If that wasn’t enough, the spa, which is the largest wellness space in the French Alps, is a marble-lined pleasure dome featuring a year-round indoor-outdoor pool with underwater music, and the restaurant is also the new location for the two-Michelin star Le 1920, a local favourite that serves up modern French food.
373 Chemin des Follieres; tel: 33.4 50 211 211; www.fourseasons.com/megeve
Aiguille Grive Chalets Hôtel
Les Arcs, France
Paris-based architects Atelier Cos have used a mixture of wood and glass for this chalet in the Alpine resort of Les Arcs. Against a background of Mont Blanc views, with direct access to the slopes, Aiguille Grive was inspired by the avant-garde style of Charlotte Perriand, one of the founding architects of the area. Inside, interior designer Pierre-Marie Couturier has created a cosy mix of alpine and Scandinavian chic, with deep sofas, fireplaces and convivial dining tables. Meanwhile, the eco-friendly cabins house between four to six double rooms each, with a sitting area, dining space and a fully equipped kitchen
In the ski resort of Alta Badia, among the jewelled valley of rolling hillocks at the foot of the Dolomites, the 18-room Hotel Gardenazza has been a reliable constant for its unblocked views and charming service. Inside, the interiors are clad in a mix of local pine panelling, oak and terrazzo floors and limestone tiles, while the rooms are dressed in locally sourced wool. The distractions are suitably alpine, not least a garden bristling with tall conifers and lawns for sunbathing. The kitchen turns out hearty servings of bacon dumplings, and cancì, a South Tyrolean ravioli that’s stuffed with spinach, ricotta, chives and nutmeg, whilst a low ceilinged room furnished with puffed up sofas leads to a Finnish sauna and infra-red cabin.
Designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, The Chedi Andermatt fuses traditional chalet vernacular with Gathy’s modern symmetrical ethos, using plenty of wood and stone. Tokyo-based design firm Spin Studio brings its upscale Asian style to the hotel’s fine dining and tempura-and-sushi restaurants. But the biggest indulgence is the 2,400 sq m spa, with its 35-metre pool and no fewer than eight fireplaces to warm guests after a day on the slopes. Winter sport enthusiasts get their own ‘ski butlers’ in stand-by, and next summer a golf course will meander through the meadow.
While the hotel itself is not new, the recently reopened Scribner’s Catskill Lodge has become a go-to as a weekend getaway for New Yorkers thanks to its location within arms reach of the city and its design by Brooklyn-based Studio Tack. Decked out in locally-sourced pine and dressed with mid-century inspired furnishings and artwork by local textile artist, the Catskill Kiwi, the 38-room property, which is set on a hillside with views of the Hunter Mountain ski slopes, has a list of activities to keep even the busiest of people occupied. So after a day out and about, head back to Prospect restaurant to tuck into a comforting modern American menu peppered with crowd-pleasers from juicy burgers to octopus served with chorizo and potatoes
Located in Falls Creek, a resort town in north eastern Victoria, QT comprises 63 apartments which are dressed with light, contemporary furnishings, open-plan layouts and private terraces with hot tubs and sweeping views of the Kiewa Valley. The hotel’s in-house spa features five treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room and indoor plunge pool, plus an outdoor spa. A 1950s-inspired cocktail lounge and casual dining room round out the property’s relaxed, youthful appeal.
7 Bogong High Plains Road; tel: 61.3 5732 8000; www.qthotelsandresorts.com/falls-creek
Swiss-Lebanese hotelier Sami Lamaa has breathed new life into an abandoned cable car station atop the snow-laden slopes of Crans-Montana. Accessible only by foot, ski or snowmobile, the 16-room hotel, at over 2,000 metres above sea level, has panoramic views of the Rhone Valley and the majestic Alpine peaks beyond, but the true scene-stealers are the terraces — set over three levels — which are dotted with hammocks, sun loungers an outdoor pool, bars and of course the restaurant, which serves local fare like the house made spätzli with tomato and cream sauce, along with regional Valais wines.
Set on a high plateau in South Tyrol, the addition of six new suites (bringing total keys to 50), a 20m indoor/outdoor pool and spa by Bozen-Bolzano-based studio Noa now adds a layer of modernity to the 59-year-old family-run Seehof Nature Retreat. Deeply set loggias, pebbled floors, copper accessories, and light stone are highlights, whilst double-sized windows pull in that incomparable view of greenery, sky and distant Dolomites from every angle. The sun-dappled spa is a particular treat with its capacious sauna, as is a deep-tissue massage with warm basalt stones. In the kitchen, Daniel Trenkwalder’s sends out dishes such as the duo of pink-roasted veal and glazed veal stew, and tomatoes stuffed with bulgur, fresh herbs and basil foam.
Via Flötscher 2; tel: 39. 472 412 120; www.seehof.it
Perched atop Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak, in a remote part of southern Russia, LEAPrus is an eco-hotel comprising three cylinder-shaped units that house communal bedrooms, lounge areas, a restaurant and a 24-hour front desk. Located just 2.7 miles from Ski Lift Elbrus, there’s no mistaking that skiing and hiking are the primary activities here but, back at the hotel, free Wi-Fi is also available to keep you occupied.
Mount Elbrus, Kabardino-Balkar; tel: 7.800 777 5642; www.caucasus.ru
Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa
Alta Badia, Italy
There was always good reason to visit the family-owned Rosa Alpina, but the arrival of a new penthouse has enticed us further. Italian studio Vudafieri-Saverino Partners has created a timber-lined three-bedroom suite, which creates a traditional backdrop for more contemporary design elements that includes furnishings by Tom Dixon, Edra, Fornasetti, Gubi and Fritz Hansen. There is a roster of activities, from hang gliding to hot air ballooning to throw yourself into, not to mention four restaurants, but personally, we’re staying put to indulge in the penthouse’s personal wellness area backed by widespread views of the surrounding Dolomite peaks.
Strada Micurà de Rü, 20; tel: 39 0471 849500; www.rosalpina.it
Alta Badia, Italy
There is a surreal quality about the new incarnation of the 35-room Hotel Tofana in the northern Italian outpost of Alta Badia. The interiors are Escher-like in their complex interlocking stairs and ramps, whilst broad terraces, balconies and capacious windows draw Alpine sunlight into rooms furnished in larch, linen and stone. Here, hiking and skiing are de rigueur, though we also suggest heading to the fifth-floor spa which features Asian-based treatments.
Micurà de Rü 63; tel: 39. 471 849473; www.hoteltofana.it/en/hotel-tofana.html
On the slopes above Zermatt, against a backdrop of the majestic Matterhorn, Cervo is a timber-framed bolthole where guests can ski right up to the entrance. There are a total of 36 rooms set over six chalets – each with its own spa, relaxation room with an open fire place and a terrace. The perfect sanctuary to retreat to after a day on the slopes and before heading out to one of the two restaurants – not least Cervo Puro which serves up warming classics with a hint of northern Italy, such as the deliciously rich oxtail soup, potato gnocchi sauteed in tomato saffron brew, or the pork chop served with celery apple chutney and piedmont hazelnuts.
Riedweg 156; tel: 41.27 968 12 12; www.cervo.ch
Jackson, Wyoming, USA
Retro-rustic chic at Anvil, a former 1950s motel that has been transformed by Brooklyn-based Studio Tack into a 49-room bolthole with a two-toned palette of white and navy, parquet flooring, Woolrich blankets, and sconces by New York lighting company Allied Maker. The cosy in-house Italian restaurant is the perfect antidote to a day spent on the slopes at nearby Jackson Hole.
215 North Cache Street; tel: 1.800 234 4507; anvilhotel.com
Comprising 24 rooms, the 14th-century family-run Hotel Wiesergut includes a traditional white four-storey building that has been transformed by local firm Gogl & Partners Architekten into 17 ‘manor suites’, surrounded by a series of modern, low-lying structures with floor-to-ceiling windows that house seven garden suites. The interiors include warming tones of mushroom browns, set against wood and stone. Rooms are furnished with bespoke pieces such as hand-blown glass chandeliers by Cologne-based Isabel Hamm, and artworks by ceramicist Petra Lindenbauer and sculptor Andreas Reichlin. Food is by the Kröll family, featuring seasonal, regional produce and incorporating their tradition concept of farm-to-table dining.