The best deals for a late ski season getaway
The combination of warm sunshine and snowy mountains is fabulous – so if you’ve missed your ski fix this season (or reckon you could squeeze in another one), then take a look at the wide range of opportunities, whether you opt for a luxury hotel, a cosy catered chalet or a good value self-catering lodge.
The good news is that you don’t have to trek to the back of beyond to enjoy some incredible skiing. For example, St Anton in Austria is just an hour and a half from Innsbruck Airport, and Chamonix in France can be reached in less than an hour from Geneva.
Another great reason for a ski trip now is the strength of the pound versus the euro – so your money will go a lot further than in recent years. Even though there has been a recent dip in the pound, you still get 1.38 for your pound, compared to around 1.12 three years ago.
The golden rule is aim high if you want the very best of the snow. That’s why resorts such as Val d’Isere, Tignes, Chamonix and Verbier are sure to deliver a fantastic experience right up until the last days of the season. Better still, the week ahead is predicted to bring fresh snowfalls to already excellent amounts of cover, so it’s looking pretty good for a ski break at Easter of afterwards.
If you’re considering a drive to the Alps, we recommend you build in an overnight break on the way (the closest resorts are a minimum nine hour drive from the ferry), and with heavy traffic expected over the Easter period, you should expect longer journeys. One good tip is to buy a motorway toll tag (saneftolling.co.uk) which means you can bypass the often extensive queues on French motorways – the costs ate just deducted in one go from your bank account once you’re home.
A good tip is to find friends to travel with, and share a chalet. This gives you success to some fabulous properties, and can make a self-catering lodge eminently affordable. Also – ski high but eat low if you’re looking to save a few euros. The highest bars and restaurants can more or less charge what they like for drinks and lunches – so by all means enjoy the views from the top, but pay less by using cafés at resort level rather than on mountain tops!
Enjoy browsing our selection – and start planning that fabulous late ski escape!
Spend Easter on the slopes with family or friends, at the luxurious three-bedroom Lodge aux Praz. It’s less than an hour’s drive from Geneva airport, so it’s perfect for a last-minute ski getaway, with no worries about long, fractious transfers. It is one of the only resorts within easy reach of Geneva which offers runs above 3,000 metres, so it virtually guarantees snow throughout Easter and beyond.
Stay at the family-friendly lodge, which has spacious living areas and sweeping views of Mont Blanc, with wooden floors and exposed stone walls, a home cinema, modern, fully-equipped kitchen, laundry facilities, two bathrooms with heated towel rails, use of a sauna and ski locker and a sofa-bed. It is just 200 metres from Flégère cable car, and a short walk to nearby restaurants and bars
Price: £1,050 (reduced from £1,520) with High Mountain Holidays (01993 775540; www.highmountain.co.uk) starting 31 March. There are low-cost flights to Geneva and the airport is 45 minutes away; resort transfers cost from £24pp each way.
Some of the best Canadian snow this season has been in the Rockies. Both Banff and Jasper have had excellent years with good snowfall and lots of sunshine, so Banff works well for a late season ski break. Getting to Banff is so easy – a 8.5 hour flight to Calgary and then a 90 minute transfer and you are in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.
Buffalo Mountain Lodge is slightly out of town but owned and operated by a Calgary family. The food is wonderful, much of it sourced from the owner’s ranch, the decor is totally Canadian, all wood, a great mix of sophistication and elegance and we just love the huge open fire which welcomes you as you walk in to the lobby.
Prices from £1160 per person with Frontier Travel (020 8776 8709, frontier-travel.co.uk) including return flights from Gatwick to Calgary, (operates on a Wednesday), an SUV for 7 days including unlimited mileage, tax and insurance for 2 drivers, 7 nights at the Buffalo Mountain Lodge plus a 6-day tri area lift pass which will allow skiing at Lake Louise, Sunshine and Mount Norquay.
Fly from London to Geneva, then be whisked away by private transfer to Verbier (arounf two hours). All pistes are above 2500 metres, perfect for snow-sure skiing.
Sleeping six, The Locarno offers great accommodation, just moments from the Medran lift, perfect for skiers looking for a stress-free, easy-access skiing getaway. Located on the second floor, guests can enjoy the large balcony leading from the living room, which offers views across the village towards the valley below.
Best suited to more experienced skiers, Verbier’s Four Valleys ski area has a huge array of runs for every level, whilst the resort has plenty of off piste’ activities including ice skating, a heated pool and husky rides.
Powder White (powederwhite.com) offers seven nights from £349 per person based on six people sharing on a fully catered basis. This was £849 per person, offering savings of £500 per person. This package is based on 4th April departure. Powder White’s fully catered chalet offering includes Champagne and canapés on arrival, cooked breakfast, afternoon tea, unlimited house wine and a three-course dinner with select dinner wines. Flights are not included in prices but Powder White can arrange international travel and private transfers on request.
Grab an active break with a difference, and enjoy cross country skiing, first-rate hospitality and high-quality cuisine at Rustad Hotel in Sjusjøen. For absolute beginners or experienced skiers, the Rustad Hotel in Sjusjøen is the perfect place for a get-away-from-it-all break this Easter weekend. With its sheltered terrain, good choice of easy tracks, and resident British ski instructor, Sjusjøen is a great place to try out cross-country skiing for the first time, but also thrills more advanced skiers with its vast, Olympic-standard network of scenic trails.
Other activities available locally include dog-sledding, ice-fishing, snowshoeing and ice-skating. The tranquillity of the setting amongst the dramatic mountains is instantly relaxing, as is the cosy atmosphere of the Rustad Hotel, with its log-cabin-style lounges, open fires, a solarium and sauna, offering views over the snow-clad fells and frozen lake.
Inntravel (01653 617000, inntravel.co.uk) offers this break for £798 per person based on two sharing, including international flights SAS Heathrow-Oslo, three nights’ full board accommodation, transfers, use of cross-country ski trails, and a book about cross-country skiing.
Just an hour and a half from Innsbruck or two hours from Zurich, the village of Oberlech is set at 1,600m so it enjoys late snow and a ski area stretching to 2,377m. The hotel is a true haven of peace and calm, ideal for relaxing after a day on the mountain. Family owned and run, the hotel has 40 rooms and suites full of modern Alpine charm. Soak up the fresh mountain air in the outdoor hot tub, disappear into the spa for rigorous massages, gentle facials and revitalising saunas and make the most of the stunning scenery of the Arlberg Mountains.
The hotel has three restaurants for Austrian fine dining, relaxed lunches or afternoon drinks on panoramic sun terrace. The Hotel Goldener Berg is a member of Chic Collection, the new definitive guide to stylish hotels around the world for discerning independent travellers.
Chic Collection (chiccollection.com, 0203 735 5033) has five nights at Hotel Goldener Berg has availability from 7 -12 April 2015 from 473 per person based on two sharing a deluxe studio.
A resort altitude of 1850m means plenty of late snow across a vast and
glorious ski region to rival any in the world. Ultra-chic Val d’Isere is
accessible via a 3hrs drive from Geneva Airport. Chalet Husky is new
and spectacular, leaving nothing to the imagination. Sleeping up to 14
across seven en-suite bedrooms, the property epitomises contemporary
design and is home to the crème de la crème of games rooms, featuring a
climbing wall, archery and rifle shooting. There is also a fabulous
wellness area complete with large pool with infinity waterfall, sauna,
Jacuzzi and massage rooms.
Scott Dunn (scottdunn.com, 0208 682
5050) offers 7 nights at Chalet Husky (sleeping up to 14) from £1,275
per person based on full occupancy and including return British Airways
flights, transfers, in-resort driver service and a private chef and
host. The chalet also benefits from use of the Scott Dunn Explorers
children’s club or a private nanny can be provided if required.
St Anton is famed for excellent snow conditions, legendary off-piste and one of the best après scenes in Europe. Skiing here can be challenging, especially in the Galzig area, but your pass gives you access to a substantial 340km of varied terrain. This includes the labyrinthine tree runs of Gampen and the under-rated Rendl.
After a hard day on the slopes, finish off with a slope-side drink at the infamous Mooserwirt or Krazy Kanguruh, before continuing the party in town. St Anton is a real ski village with oodles of charm, sophisticated spas and a cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Chalet Inge is a little different to your average chalet – think of the telly programme Grand Designs and you’ll probably be in the right area. It’s über-modern and has a really individual, contemporary and minimalist style. The modern, open-plan dining room and bar area is the social hub of the Inge. Tucked away in the corner is a small but comfy lounge area with open fireplace – it’ll seat around ten people fairly comfortably, and a few more at a squeeze. There’s also a pretty nifty wellness suite – which fortunately for shy Brits does not require you to remove your bathing costume for the sauna or steam room. Catering includes: cooked breakfast, afternoon tea and cake, aperitif, canapés, three-course evening meals with a selection of wines, cheeseboard, freshly brewed coffee.
A week’s catered accommodation at Chalet Inge costs from £619 with Crystal Holidays (crystalski.co.uk; 020 8939 0726), based on two sharing with flights from Stansted to Innsbruck, transfer about 90 minutes. Departure 4 April 2015.
Neilson has extended its ski season by adding more departures to its resorts in Les Deux Alpes in the French Alps with an extra flight from London Gatwick to Grenoble (approximate transfer time is two hours 30 minutes) on 11 April. At an altitude of 1650m, Les Deux Alpes is a great resort which enjoys long hours of sunshine, a high altitude and snowsure pistes. The resort is perfect for families, couples and groups, and all standards of skier or boarder. There are excellent slopes of varying degrees for beginners and intermediates. And for those more experienced – the legendary off-piste runs of La Grave offer some of the best free-riding.
Hotel Le Crêt is a light and airy hotel with a great choice of rooms and fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. Boasting 16 rooms which are all brightly finished with views of the resort or mountain complete with an ensuite bathroom, making it an ideal choice for families, couples and groups wanting the intimate buzz of a chalet plus the space and added privacy of a hotel all combined with the usual outstanding Neilson service and hospitality. Other facilities include complimentary Wi-Fi in the public areas, large lounge with satellite TV and board games, hotel bar, a cosy dining room with a fireplace and a heated ski and boot room.
You’ll pay £335 per person a week with Neilson (neilson.co.uk, 0333 014 3350), including flights, transfers, and half board.