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Indulgent Alpine Escapes: The Art of Après Ski in Europe

November 24, 2023

With the arrival of winter in the European Alps, sophisticated travelers search for destinations that offer both exhilarating ski escapades and elegant après-ski indulgences. We invite you to explore the luxurious world of après ski and discover why Cortina d'Ampezzo, Gstaad, Megève, Courchevel, St. Moritz, and Verbier are Europe's most sought-after destinations to experience this Alpine ritual.

More than just after-ski

The tradition of après ski, rooted in the French phrase "après-ski" meaning "after skiing," has evolved into a quintessential element of ski culture. It extends beyond mere relaxation following a day on the slopes, especially in high-end ski resorts where it caters to an affluent clientele. Après ski is a celebration of Alpine life, where the day's adventures on the mountains are recounted and friendships are forged or deepened in a setting of luxury and warmth.

Gastronomy plays a central role in the experience. Fine dining establishments at these resorts offer exquisite menus that showcase a blend of local and international cuisine, tailored to please sophisticated palates. These culinary delights are often accompanied by an array of fine wines, craft beers, and premium spirits, thoughtfully selected to complement the flavors of the dishes. Wine tastings and pairing events further elevate this gourmet experience, adding a touch of refinement and indulgence.

Wellness and relaxation are also integral to après ski. After an exhilarating day on the slopes, guests can indulge in spa treatments, massages, and relaxation therapies designed to rejuvenate the body and mind. The luxury extends to premium amenities like hot tubs, saunas, and thermal baths.

The social and entertainment aspect of après ski is equally significant. This time is characterized by lively socializing, with venues hosting live music, performances, and exclusive parties. It's an opportunity to mingle, meet new people, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, all in settings that exude sophistication and style.

The settings for après ski activities are meticulously chosen to enhance the experience. Exclusive bars, lounges, clubs, and terraces, often boasting stunning mountain views, serve as the backdrop for these gatherings. For luxury travelers, the experience is highly personalized, with options for private dining, bespoke entertainment, and tailored wellness treatments, ensuring a unique and memorable après ski experience.

Here are some top European destinations where you can fully experience the joys of this snow-capped tradition.

Alpine sophistication in Cortina d'Ampezzo

Cortina d'Ampezzo, the “Queen of the Dolomites,” is a fusion of Italian elegance and alpine charm, captivating discerning travelers. After a day on the Dolomiti Superski slopes, the village's après-ski scene showcases refined luxury. Imagine unwinding in sophisticated lounges like Enoteca Baita Fraina, with a glass of Prosecco against the backdrop of a mountain sunset or savoring the exquisite Italian cuisine at Tivoli Restaurant.

Beyond its vibrant ski culture, Cortina d'Ampezzo is enriched with art, fashion, and heritage, making it more than just a ski destination. It's a destination where style, sophistication, and the serene beauty of the Dolomites converge, offering an exclusive alpine experience.

Elegant living at Chalet Geneva

Building on the allure of Cortina d'Ampezzo is Chalet Geneva, nestled in the prestigious Via Menardi area. This luxury vacation rental offers stunning views of Mount Cristallo, Faloria, Cinque Torri, and Tofane, bringing the heart of the Dolomites to its doorstep.

The interior of Chalet Geneva is a blend of classic Alpine architecture and Milanese haute couture. Its crisp white walls and lacquered wood with amber tones create a warm, inviting atmosphere, enhanced by art pieces and sculptures. A highlight is the corner cocktail bar in the media room, surrounded by designer furniture in silver textiles, perfect for relaxation and entertainment. The dining area, with its exquisite marquetry and unique fireplace, elevates the dining experience alongside the soothing ambiance of a crackling fire.

This four-story chalet is interconnected by a private elevator and staircase, featuring six luxuriously appointed ensuite bedrooms, each showcasing a distinct aspect of mountain luxury. The standout master suite exudes Old Hollywood glamor, and the lavish, spa-inspired bathrooms are adorned with precious stone. Chalet Geneva's wellness facilities include a massage parlor, gym, sauna, jacuzzi, and an indoor swimming pool measuring 66 feet – Cortina d'Ampezzo's most prestigious in-home wellness center.

LVH Chalet Geneva Cortina d'Ampezzo

Gstaad’s glittering charm

Gstaad in Switzerland is synonymous with Alpine elegance and refinement, and its après-ski scene is no exception. Dine at the Michelin-starred Chesery or savor traditional Swiss fondue at Saanewald Lodge. Gstaad's luxurious spas, such as The Gstaad Palace Spa and The Alpina Gstaad Spa, offer world-class wellness experiences to rejuvenate after a day on the slopes. Gstaad's enduring allure lies in its discreet luxury and timeless sophistication.

The charm of Gstaad extends beyond its culinary and wellness offerings. This Swiss haven is a playground for the affluent, known for its upscale boutiques and galleries that line the picturesque promenades. In winter, the village transforms into a fairy-tale landscape, with its opulent chalets and hotels set against the backdrop of snow-covered peaks. Gstaad's social calendar is filled with exclusive events and gatherings, from high-profile skiing competitions to elegant soirées, making it a hub for networking and entertainment among the elite.

High altitude living

Ultima Gstaad is a jewel in the crown of Swiss luxury retreats. Situated in the heart of this prestigious resort village, this luxury hotel offers proximity to famed ski slopes, exquisite dining and spa experiences.

Its interior design blends traditional chalet warmth, Courchevel authenticity, and modern elegance. The hotel boasts eleven unique suites, each embodying a distinct aspect of Swiss Alpine luxury. Rustic timber interiors contrast beautifully with sleek LED lighting and sophisticated decor, creating an ambiance of rustic chic meets contemporary glamor. The lounge area, reminiscent of a James Bond setting, perfectly combines Alpine coziness with luxury, featuring open-plan living rooms with fireplaces, elegant dining areas, and state-of-the-art kitchens.

Each suite includes two balconies offering breathtaking mountain views, with the Presidential Suite basking in all-day sunlight and an array of deluxe amenities. The hotel accommodates up to thirty-two guests across sixteen ensuite bedrooms, distributed in eleven apartments, ensuring privacy and comfort for all. The Ultima Spa, complete with an aesthetics clinic, treatment rooms, a steam bath, Hammam, and indoor-outdoor Jacuzzis. The 49-foot swimming pool and fully equipped gym add to the array of recreational options.

LVH Ultima Gstaad

Megève: A stylish hideaway

Nestled in the French Alps, Megève exudes understated luxury and old-world charm. After carving up the slopes of Mont d'Arbois, head to Les Fermes de Marie, a charming farmhouse turned luxury hotel, for après-ski cocktails by the fireplace. Megève's cobbled streets are dotted with boutique shops and intimate bistros, creating a cozy and intimate atmosphere that appeals to those with a taste for authentic French elegance.

Megève's appeal is further accentuated by its vibrant cultural scene and outdoor activities beyond skiing. The town hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from jazz concerts to culinary festivals, showcasing its rich heritage and lively spirit. For those seeking adventure, Megève offers options like snowshoeing, ice skating, and scenic hot air balloon rides, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding Mont Blanc range.

Pure Indulgence

Ultima Megeve makes the perfect culmination to your après-ski adventures in Megève. This year-round chalet boasts breathtaking views of Mont Blanc, with its location offering serene pastoral scenes in the off-season and stunning winter landscapes. Its exceptional wellness facilities, including a spa with hammam, fitness, and massage rooms, elevate it to a league of its own in luxury vacation rentals.

The chalet combines ski lodge charm with high culture glamor in its expansive interiors. The design features a fusion of fine timber, artful exposed beams, and double-story vaulted ceilings, complemented by modern glass walls and clerestory windows that flood the space with natural light. The luxurious velour and suede upholstery, set against a chic black and white palette, enhances the rustic elegance of the chalet. The formal dining room, adorned with a crystal chandelier and marble dining tables, exudes an aristocratic flair.

Ultima Megeve consists of two luxurious chalets, providing versatile accommodations for large groups. It houses eight private suites, capable of hosting fourteen adults and four children with the utmost privacy and comfort. The chalet is not just a place to stay but a complete luxury experience, boasting amenities like a salon, wine cellar, cinema room, and spacious terraces with panoramic mountain views. Its private helipad adds an exclusive touch, ensuring a bespoke and high-end experience from arrival to departure, setting a new standard for luxury in the French Alps.

LVH Ultima Megeve

World-class Courchevel

Courchevel, part of the world's largest ski area, Les Trois Vallées, is a playground for the world's elite. Its après-ski offerings are equally prestigious. Sip Dom Pérignon champagne at La Table du Jardin Alpin or savor a gourmet feast at Le 1947, a Michelin three-star restaurant. Courchevel's glamorous nightlife, luxury boutiques, and private chalets epitomize the essence of Alpine grandeur.

This destination offers an exceptional range of winter sports and outdoor activities. Here, skiing is an art form, with perfectly groomed slopes suitable for all skill levels and the thrill of heli-skiing for the more adventurous. Beyond the pistes, guests can enjoy scenic dog-sledding tours, ice skating, and even snowmobiling under the stars.

A luxurious retreat

Chalet Pow Pow in Courchevel's Chenus area exemplifies elegance and convenience, offering ski-in ski-out access and stunning alpine views. Just steps away from the Planterey lift and a short walk to the resort center, it blends accessibility with tranquility.

The chalet spans six floors, accommodating up to 15 guests. Its living room, with vaulted ceilings and plush seating, features contemporary wood and stone accents under natural light from grand bay windows. The fully equipped kitchen caters to culinary enthusiasts, and the chalet abounds with indoor entertainment options: a cozy cinema room, a games room with a pool table, pinball, and table football, and a wellness center in the basement, complete with a jacuzzi, hammam, swimming pool, massage room, and gym. Seven ensuite bedrooms, including a children's bunk bedroom for four, offer luxurious accommodation.

Outdoors, Chalet Pow Pow is just 50 meters from the slopes, perfect for ski enthusiasts. The wrap-around terrace and ski room with heated boot racks enhance the outdoor experience, making it a top choice for a luxurious winter vacation.

LVH Chalet Pow Pow Courchevel

St. Moritz: Where grandeur meets glitz

St. Moritz, a name synonymous with Alpine sophistication for over a century, is a premier destination for those who seek the finest in après-ski indulgence. Enjoy caviar and champagne at the iconic Badrutt's Palace Hotel or immerse yourself in the wellness sanctuary of the Kulm Spa. St. Moritz's glittering social scene, pristine slopes, and renowned winter polo matches make it a captivating choice for high-net-worth travelers.

St. Moritz’s breathtaking natural beauty and wide array of outdoor activities that go beyond skiing are likewise notable. The frozen Lake St. Moritz becomes a hub for exciting sports like ice cricket and horse racing, adding to the unique charm of the town. For those who admire art and culture, St. Moritz offers an array of galleries and museums showcasing both local and international works. The town's exquisite shopping options, with boutique stores and high-end brands, cater to the most discerning shoppers.

Opulent retreats

Chesa Stupenda I, nestled in St. Moritz's exclusive Suvretta area, epitomizes Swiss Alpine luxury living. This mountain oasis offers both serenity and easy access to the resort's cosmopolitan amenities and ski slopes, being just a minute from the chairlifts and five minutes from the center.

The interior of Chesa Stupenda I is a masterful blend of Alpine tradition, mid-century elegance, and contemporary style. The unique architectural design creates unforgettable lounges and living spaces, adorned with amber-hued timber and enhanced by sleek LED lighting. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the living areas provide stunning views of the Swiss Alps, while Eames lounge chairs and plush Scandinavian-style furnishings ensure a balance of sophistication and comfort. The upper floors feature a striking teal theme with rounded doors and plastered walls with an old-world patina.

The chalet comprises eight individually designed bedrooms across five floors, ensuring privacy and discretion for guests. Among its standout amenities are a sports and games facility with a modular squash court, an indoor swimming pool, and a sauna, perfect for après-ski relaxation. Outdoor spaces include romantic alfresco dining areas and a deck immersed in the Alpine scenery. Additional conveniences like a ski room and a garage with a car lift make Chesa Stupenda I am top-tier choice among St. Moritz's luxury vacation rentals.

LVH Chesa Stupenda St. Moritz

Dynamic Verbier

Verbier, nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps, offers a diverse après-ski experience. Visit the world-famous Farm Club for an unforgettable night of dancing and entertainment or dine at the rustic-chic Le Carrefour. Verbier's dynamic atmosphere, renowned freeride terrain, and vibrant après-ski scene cater to those seeking a lively Alpine adventure.

The town also hosts numerous cultural events, including music festivals and art exhibitions, attracting a varied crowd. For those in search of relaxation, Verbier's luxurious spas and wellness centers provide a tranquil escape. This blend of high-energy activities and serene experiences ensures that Verbier appeals to a broad spectrum of visitors, whether they're thrill-seekers or those seeking a peaceful retreat in the beauty of the Swiss Alps.

Modern Luxury Living

The Calima Estate in Verbier redefines the luxury mountain getaway, offering serenity and seclusion alongside easy access to resort amenities. Perched high in Verbier, it boasts unparalleled views with its twin properties.

The interiors of Calima Estate blend Alpine tradition with European sophistication. The great room features soaring timber beams, rough hewn accents, radiant white walls, and oversized windows that flood the space with light, highlighting the luxurious velour and leather furnishings. The chalets offer seamless flow between the lounge areas and private balconies, striking a balance between cozy romanticism and chic elegance. The estate comprises eight deluxe ensuite bedrooms across the two chalets, connected by an internal walkway and designed to provide a calm atmosphere. In total, the estate comfortably accommodates sixteen guests in luxury and privacy. One residence features a twenty-seat dining table for communal meals, while the other boasts a state-of-the-art cinema room.

The wellness facilities are a highlight, with two of Verbier's finest private spas, including indoor pools with mountain views, hot tubs, a hammam, and a sauna. The south-facing terrace, with an outdoor Jacuzzi, offers a sublime view of the Swiss Alps, making The Calima Estate a pinnacle of luxury in a breathtaking Alpine setting.

LVH The Calima Estate Verbier
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