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Three of the best luxury ski destinations in Europe

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With winter heading its way to northern climes, now is a good time to plan a luxury skiing holiday and what better place to visit than one of these magnificent ski resorts in Europe.  Wrap up warm, grab a glass of mulled wine and get planning.

Ski fun

France and Courchevel 1850

Probably one of the top destinations, not only in Europe but in the world, is the luxury ski resort of Courchevel 1850.  Located up in Les Trois Vallées (or The Three Valleys) with its magnificent interlinked ski system, Courchevel 1850 is one of several excellent ski resorts offering the very best in accommodation.  
Within Courchevel as a whole, there are eleven 5-star hotels and two of the very posh and newly-minted 6-star “palace” hotels.  Courchevel is the only resort said to offer this level of sheer and utter luxury.

Within the resort there is also a range of luxury ski chalets on offer through Consensio, offering the best of everything.

When it comes to cuisine, this is the best destination for fine dining with more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other French resort. Shop til you drop at the resort shops selling the best of all the high-end brands.

Attracting the likes of worldwide Royalty and Hollywood stars, Courchevel is also famous for its great lift system which, even at the very busiest times of the year, makes for a queue-free experience - a rare thing indeed these days.

Courchevel CC-by-SA Yrithinnd

Switzerland and St. Moritz

Heading up to Switzerland, St. Moritz is the place to be.  The resort is located on the highest summit of the Eastern Alps, a short distance from the town of St. Moritz itself.  Popular with both the international Jet Set and the elite of the world, St. Moritz is claimed to be among the most expensive ski resorts in the world.
St. Moritz
St. Moritz photo CC Attribution 3.0  Murdockcrc
Due to its very favorable position, the resort enjoys more than 300 sunny days each year, making St. Moritz not only a great ski location but also a year round destination.  Each winter the “White Turf” horse race is held on the frozen Lake St. Moritz and in the surroundings not only skiing, but also snowboarding and hiking are popular activities.

Of the hotels on site, probably the best are The Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains  and the Badrutt's Palace.  Another option is the Club Med, which has its very own mountain restaurant.

Besides offering a range of top quality hotels, there are beautiful and typical ski chalets available.  Oh, and apart from all the sheer and opulent luxury, the skiing is pretty good too.

Italy and Cortina d’Ampezzo
Heading to Italy, Cortina d’Ampezzo comes highly recommended.  This town and “commune” up in the southern Dolomitic Alps of Veneto is a popular ski resort, well known for its excellent ski ranges, the scenery, luxury accommodation and shopping, as well as the popular après-ski scene.

Popular with the Hollywood crowd, Cortina starred in the 1963 “The Pink Panther,” as well as one of the best James Bond stunt sequences in the 1981 film “For Your Eyes Only,” and the area is still popular with the jet set, as well as European aristocrats.

For the serious skier, Cortina d’Ampezzo offers some of the most challenging black runs and off-piste runs, but there are also pistes off all level of difficulty and all have wonderful views over the Ampezzo Valley.  For those with youngsters, The Mietres ski area has been specially adapted for children with a series of gentle runs winding through the woods.  There is also a great dedicated sledge run, which is popular with children of all ages.

Cortina d'Ampezzo
Cortina d'Ampezzo in the evening CC-by-SA Antonio De Lorenzo

Whichever location you choose, wrap up warm and cosy and have great fun this winter!

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Latest update: September 25, 2014