By Dan Frith on Aug 13, 2018 in Accommodation, Austria, Europe, Events, France, Hotels, Regions, Switzerland, Travel Miscellany, Vacation Rentals, Western Europe
The World Ski Awards were launched in 2013, with the aim to reward the best in each category as voted for by travel professionals and skiers across the globe. They vote for their favourite ski tourism products and brands or chalets and hotels, whilst the audience who gather for the unveiling of the winners serve as a “who’s who” in ski hospitality.
Ski tourism constitutes an important segment of the global travel and tourism marketplace. An estimated 400 million skier visits take place each year to over 2,500 ski resorts which are home to over 6 million hotel beds.
The World Ski Awards were developed in reaction to overwhelming demand from the ski industry for an awards programme that was fair and transparent, a programme with a mission to serve as the definitive benchmark of excellence. This year the 2018 World Ski Awards will be a three-day event held in Kitzbuhel, Austria from the 16th to 18th November. The highlight will be the red carpet World Ski Awards Gala Ceremony itself on the evening of November 17th. Ski tourism figureheads and market leaders from North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Australasia will be in attendance as the winners are unveiled.
The 2018 awards to be announced at the event in Kitzbuhel in November. Luxury chalets in Zermatt are well represented. Les Anges, a previous winner in 2017, Zermatt Peak and the stunning Chalet Aconcagua are amongst the nominees for the category of Best Ski Chalet 2018. Other notable nominees are Chalet Babylon and Chalet Ubud in Tignes, Chalet Joux Plane in Morzine and the superb Chalet Hidden Dragon situated near Verbier in the 4 Vallees.
Nestled in a fir and pine forest, Hidden Dragon can be found along a private road and set within its own exclusive grounds. Complete with panoramic views over the Rhone Valley and the true luxury convenience of ski-in and ski-out access. Hidden Dragon is not your everyday wood clad mountain retreat. The 700m2 of luxurious living space has been created with the ancient feng shui principles in mind and a hint of Asia, all balanced with a healthy dose of Swiss charm. Exquisite antique pieces sit harmoniously alongside both the contemporary design of the chalet and the use of organic materials. Everything was designed to come together to evoke your senses. The site of Hidden Dragon was prepared with Shinto rituals to cleanse the earth and appease the mountain spirits. When you are staying somewhere as fabulous as Hidden Dragon, staying in is the new going out. Hidden Dragon in my tip for Best Ski Chalet 2018.
In 2017 the Best Ski Chalet award deservedly went to Chalet Les Anges, which is in the running to repeat its success in 2018. Les Anges is one of the most outstanding luxury ski chalets that Zermatt and Switzerland has to offer.
Elegantly composed, and featuring reclaimed wood throughout, it is spread over three spectacular floors over an impressive 700m2. It is full of light with huge panoramic windows to take full advantage of the breathtaking views of the Matterhorn, the surrounding mountains and valley walls and across Zermatt town. Great care has been taken to create a warm and cosy ambience. Its modern contemporary style with the highest quality natural fabrics is counterbalanced by the symmetry of the furniture to enhance the feeling of warmth and serene luxury. Les Anges sleeps fourteen guests in seven large en-suite bedrooms spread over two floors. Six of the bedrooms have undisturbed Matterhorn views.
The gorgeous and cosy lounge area is graced with a grand piano and it says a lot about the generous dimensions here that the sizeable piano doesn’t overpower the space and hem you in.
A notable nominee for 2018 Best Ski Chalet is the wonderful Chalet Uberhaus in Lech, Austria. Nestling on the side of the piste in the exclusive enclave of Oberlech, Uberhaus is one of Austria’s most exclusive properties. The incredible chalet sleeps ten adults and four children, is located in a ski-in, ski-out location and commands panoramic views over the surrounding mountains. It has a sensational outdoor hot tub positioned ideally next to the piste. Inside, the chalet has wonderful spa facilities including a well-equipped gym, sauna and hammam as well as a plush cinema, and a bar with pool table. I think Chalet Uberhaus will give Hidden Dragon a run for it’s money.
If you want to win the a ‘Best Of’ award, especially in the chalet category, you really must up your game and in the 2017 edition the Best New Chalet award went to Chalet Alpaca in Meribel, which does just that. Alpaca was completed in early 2017 and is a valuable addition to Méribel’s increasing luxury chalet collection. The beautiful stand-alone chalet accommodates 14 people comfortably in six bedrooms over four floors. Stylish interior design combined with facilities that leave guests wanting nothing made this one of the most exciting additions to the ski chalet market in 2017. These facilities include a heated outdoor swimming pool, outdoor copper hot tub, hammam, sauna, private indoor climbing wall, games room with pool table and vintage pinball game as well as a cinema, bar and library. To further bolster its attraction, Alpaca is located in the exclusive Route des Chalets with incredible views over the village and guests can ski in and out from within 50m stroll of the chalet.
The 2016 Worlds Best Ski Chalet award was deservedly won by the stunning Chalet Pont du Cam, a luxury property located in the popular ski resort of Méribel. The chalet sleeps up to 14 guests across 7 luxurious en-suite bedrooms spread over 450m2 and is staffed by a team of five.
The chalet offers a contemporary haven, with luxurious furnishings and the finest touches. The open plan living area with feature fireplace provides the perfect opportunity to relax. You can unwind on the sumptuous leather sofas or enjoy the vista from the picture windows overlooking the valley. This chalet delights at every turn with endless entertainment on offer. Guests here can choose between a movie in the media room, a game of pool or savour a cocktail at the bar, or make use of the fully equipped gym or soothe away aching muscles in the Hamman, followed by a glass of champagne in the large outdoor hot tub with a view.
A notable 2016 Best Ski Chalet nominee was the quirky and original Chalet Rock n’ Love, designed by the legendary freestyle skier and rally driver Guerlain Chicherit. His vision and design flair created something daring and original and he really brings his A game to provide the ultimate unique chalet experience.
From the moment you walk into the traditional looking chalet from the outside, you are whisked into a retro world of Rock n’ Roll. With Route 66 memorabilia, a Wurlitzer jukebox stacked with 100 albums, a plethora of musical instruments, including a guitar with an original Marshall amp and a pool table made from a real Austin Mini. Four dedicated staff, who are passionate about pleasing their guests are ready to provide world class service. Including a chauffeur and 4×4 vehicle to carry guests from slope to chalet and a private chef who will devise exquisite bespoke menus for each stay.
Four spacious master bedroom suites, continuing the retro theme throughout and for the children; they can sleep in real VW Campers and a Jeep up in the amazing ‘Garage room’. Rock Love boasts its own private indoor swimming pool, gym, outdoor Jacuzzi and a massage Hydro-jet bed. This chalet really does aim to please all the senses!
Another notable 2016 Best Ski Chalet nominee is the fabulous Ecurie located in the pretty little resort of St Martin de Belleville. For over a century a lowly stable stood in the ancient village of Villarabout, just outside the chocolate-box resort the jewel of the 3 valleys. A sympathetic renovation has transformed it into a beautiful retreat for 8 guests. The Ecurie is the epitome of relaxed luxury – you won’t find infinity pools with jet streams, cinemas or gyms here but an authentic, heart warming home wrapped in calmness and tranquility affording a real opportunity to get away from it all. There is an abundance of ancient wood, complimented by elegant furnishings and warm, cosy fabrics, inspired by The Ecurie’s Savoie history.
I can guarantee that any chalet that is nominated for ‘Best Chalet’ award cuts the mustard and would be a worthy winner and a truly exceptional place to hang your hat. I’m more than familiar with all the chalets I’ve mentioned and they are all wonderful properties that delight and inspire.
Danny Frith is Director at SkiBoutique. SkiBoutique is a luxury ski chalet agency based in Switzerland.
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