Ski Destinations for All Levels (From Noob to Expert)

Ski Destinations for All Levels (From Noob to Expert)

We picked the brains of founder of The Ski Week, Leo Alsved, to get the resort recommendation to suit your ski level, as well as plenty of insider restaurant and bar picks.



If
you’ve ever had your friends swish past you on their skis
making snarky comments about your general ineptitude, or been on
the other side of the coin helping idiots into their boots and
side-stepping back up the mountain because they’re ‘stuck’, then
this guide will help you choose an ideal ski resort for your level.
And who better to ask than Leo Alsved, founder of The Ski Week.


Beginner

Most ski resorts have some form of beginner’s area for those
just learning the sport. Les Trois Vallées (The Three Valleys) in
France is a safe bet for those just starting out. Courchevel,
Méribel and Val Thorens all have big beginner areas and easy runs
to all the villages. In Courchevel, stay at Le Seizena, which has
an aviation-theme and is near the gondola. It also has insane views
over the town and down into the valley. If you fancy some delicious
food and great atmosphere then head to the beautiful Portetta for
dinner. Brilliant menu and fantastic cocktails.

Saas Fee, which is in the Swiss Alps near the Italian border, is
also good for beginners. Hotel Bristol is
reasonably priced and right next to the nursery slopes so you can
be out improving your technique first thing in the morning. If you
don’t want to stay in a hotel check out Chalet Feekatz – it has six
rooms and is a ten-minute walk from the centre.


Intermediate

If you’re an intermediate skier you can probably ski in most
places, certainly in Europe. If you’re looking for some good skiing
with a large selection of red and blue runs and a similar number of
bars and restaurants then Verbier is the place. As part of Les
Quatre vallées (Four Valleys) and with 412km of downhill pistes
it’s impossible to get bored.

Verbier also offers loads of other stuff for those who aren’t as
into skiing or snowboarding. There are awesome walks and hikes and
nighttime tobogganing down from one of the restaurants on the
mountain is a must. For some great Alpine food and good atmosphere
head to Le Caveau
restaurant in the main town. Verbier is expensive so if you are
willing to fork out then stay at Central Hotel which has
fabulous modern rooms and is home to the popular TBar downstairs
where they play live music.

Samoens, in the French Alps, is great fun and good for
intermediate skiers. They have loads of things to do along with
skiing. I would recommend staying at Hotel Les Glaciers. It’s close
to the town centre and has a decent restaurant in the hotel.


Advanced

Chamonix is a great location for advanced skiers and also where
we run The Ski Week. As another resort that is part of the Four
Valleys it is one of our largest destinations in terms of ski
mileage and makes for a truly epic trip. This season we took over
the whole of Pointe
Isabelle Hotel
. Being able to ski over to Courmayeur, in Italy,
is also a great experience. For after hours, Chambre Neuf has a
great live cover band and is the most popular après ski bar you’ll
find in the Alps.

Japan has to be the place to go if you want to ski the best
powder in the world. These spectacular mountains will challenge
you, but it’s definitely worth it. We actually launched The Ski
Week in Hakuba last year with an exploratory group and the trip was
a massive success. I can tell you from experience that the rumours
of the mythical deep powder are definitely true. Niseko is the
other go-to destination in Japan. If you do get the chance to go,
stay in the Ki Niseko hotel, it’s amazing. Then go and eat at
Rakuichi – it’s a little wooden hut that will most
definitely have a queue outside at midday. The food is traditional
Japanese and seriously delicious.

Avoriaz, which is part of Portes du Soleil in the French Alps,
is a great resort with an awesome snow park for advanced skiers.
Everyone moves around in horse-drawn sleighs because there aren’t
any roads in the winter and you can ski in and out of wherever
you’re staying. There are some great little places to eat in the
town. I would recommend Hotel des
Dromonts
– it’s a fun and cool hotel recently redecorated in
1960s-style with a delicious restaurant.

All these resorts offer so much and have loads of places to stay
and eat, but it can be pretty expensive. Maybe I am biased but to
save you all the fuss why not just come on The Ski Week and we can
sort all that for you!

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