What better way to spend Thanksgiving than booking a ski trip to take advantage of some crisp early season snow!
In fact, early in the season is the best time to ski, the snow is fresh and not months old, the prices are much, much cheaper, even at the best ski hotels in the world, and what better way to feel some pre-Christmas cheer. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
The key to early season skiing is to pick a resort high up in the mountains or to pick one with access to a glacier. Target these high altitude resorts and glacier resorts, and you can almost guarantee snow-sure skiing before Christmas.
I start with two ski resorts that I am choosing to ski from this winter. Sölden has a superb glacier which always has plenty of snow as shown by the Solden webcam. It was good enough for James Bond so it is good enough for me!
The town is hidden at the end of a long valley, and beyond Sölden, you will discover mountain streams and pretty fields that look like they are straight out of “Heidi.” The higher slopes and are just a short gondola ride away from the center of Solden on one of Austria’s largest glacier areas.
Rettenbach Glacier and Tiefenbach Glacier feature perfectly groomed slopes surrounded by the stunning Alpine scenery and reaching up to an incredible 3340 meters above sea level. The season here begins as early as September and extends through until May.
The only place to stay in Solden is the 5 star Das Central hotel, which sits up a side street from the main drag and is a large and beautifully refurbished luxury hotel. We stay here every year.
Our tip is to request one of their refurbished rooms which face the front of the hotel. These rooms are south facing and offer sunshine, which streams in through the floor to ceiling windows throughout the day. The decor is modern pine with swish bathrooms and superbly comfortable beds.
The hotel also has a great pool area with lots of bubble features, and best of all, there is a gondola shuttle that takes guests directly to and from the bottom of the main gondolas every 5 minutes or so, which means no waiting around.
The room rates already include breakfast, dinner, Wi-Fi, and welcome drink. Book with us, and you get even more!
Near Far Collection: Get this free when you book with us
Das Central In Sölden is a member of our Near Far Collection which means that when you can book a room via our luxury travel concierge you get brilliant extra benefits at no extra cost.
Our exclusive benefits at Das Central In Sölden are free parking (in the underground car park), room upgrade (if available), €35 EUR SPA voucher per room, early check-in & late check-out (if available).
Lech is also a favorite, and we will be returning here to this winter. Princess Diana loved it. I love it. It is a chocolate box beautiful and is high enough to glisten with snow even in early December. You can ski here 2 December until 23 April, and with an altitude of 1,444m, it is a brilliant choice for the luxury traveler.
With cloaked in snow, see the Lech webcam you can already ski right down to the village and even the lower runs are ski-able.
Stay at the hotel Aurelio in Lech. This Aman style ski hotel in the Alps offers everything you could want from a ski hotel. Every room faces into the valley and across the slopes, and each balcony is bathed in sunshine throughout the day. The rooms themselves are uber-modern ski chalet style, with amazing and generous marble bathrooms (with yummy Hermes Paris Un Jardin Sur Le Nil toiletries). A million little touches make this place special such as chocolates and hankie packs in your ski locker, high-end lotions at your bedside to fight the mountain dryness, breakfast anytime you like. The swish pool area also hosts fruit, water, teas, and nuts, to keep you going between the bowls of delicious Swiss chocolates dotted around this magnificent chalet.
Book Aurelio in Lech with our luxury travel concierge for extra free benefits.
It would be wrong to write about the best ski resorts in the world and not to include an alternative beyond the Alps. One of the most snow-sure resorts in North America is Whistler, with 3,300 skiable hectares to explore, and yes, it is already snowy here too if you look at the Whistler webcam. Whistler’s village is only 675m in altitude so when the snow is falling on the slopes, it can turn to rain in the resort. The top lifts here reach 2,285m, and the two mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb have gondola access at their bases and are linked by a different gondola at mid-mountain.
Stay at the Four Seasons Whistler which offers everything you would expect from a Four Seasons including a fun outdoor pool and hot tub area which you can swim in while it snows.
Book this Four Seasons with our luxury travel concierge to get you will automatically get VIP benefits which include free breakfast, free room upgrade (subject to availability), an additional free $100 USD credit to spend at the resort, early check-in & late check-out (if available), VIP gift and more.
Stubai Glacier, Austria
Our fourth choice is the Stubai Glacier in Austria. With snow guaranteed almost year-round, Austria’s largest glacier ski resort, Stubai, sits at an astonishing 1,750 m to 3,210 m above sea level and yes, check out the Stubai webcam to see the snow. The only downside to this Glacier is that there isn’t a good luxury ski hotel at the base of the Gondola, which means you will need to take a minibus ride to get to and from the base.
That said, we wholeheartedly recommend the very special Jagdhof hotel, which is 20 minutes complimentary shuttle from the Glacier and usefully also only 25 minutes from the airport at Innsbruck. This makes the Jagdhof a brilliant place to come for a weekend of skiing.
This family-run Relais & Chateaux property is sat in a beautiful Austrian village and offers fantastic food, a bar with a wonderful atmosphere and live music every night, an excellent spa, and a superb indoor-outdoor pool which opens up to extensive lawns where you can sunbathe after a day on the glacier. The free glacier transfers offered by the Jagdhof make getting to the glacier surprisingly stress-free.
Book Jagdhof hotel with our luxury travel concierge for extra free benefits.
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