Eating & Skiing our way across the Dolomites
Adding a new country to our European programme had been on my radar for some time and it became clear that many of our clients were keen to experience Italian ski resorts.
Known for extensive skiing, stunning vistas and good value, not to mention the food (more on that later), I was really looking forward to eating – and skiing – our way across three fantastic resorts in the Dolomites, in preparation for adding ski holidays in the Italian Dolomites to our winter 2016/17 programme.
Together with my colleagues Karen (Senior Ski Specialist) and Catherine (Ski Product Support and fluent Italian speaker), we flew into Venice Marco Polo airport in March and hopped into a hire car to make the two hour journey to our first stop of Cortina d’Ampezzo. Popular among well-heeled Italians with a penchant for fur, this resort really is the place to see and be seen in Italy. With many holidaymakers more intent on sashaying their way along the beautiful cobbled streets of the car-free, traditional town centre, we found that the slopes were relatively quiet.
Split into two main areas (Tofana and Valoria), we spent a great day on the Tofana side enjoying some lovely cruisy slopes and taking in the immense scenery.
Skiing in Italy: What’s good, what’s great, and why it’s now in my list of favourites!
Before this February my experience of skiing in Italy had been restricted to day trips taken from French resorts, but this winter an ambitious plan was formed to fulfil several wishes in one trip: Combining a trip to Rome, a 6 Nations rugby match (and a Scotland win!), a week of skiing and a stopover in Verona.
One of the nice things about visiting Italy is that it’s relatively small – and they have a super-efficient high speed rail system which meant we could get from Rome in the south, up to the Trentino region in a little under 4 hours. None of the ski resorts are accessible by rail, but we were able to get a transfer from the town of Trento to Madonna di Campiglio, which took about 2 hours.
Zip Trek Eco Tours are a hair raising pursuit come snow or sun, operating throughout the winter and summer seasons they provide the perfect après-ski activity for kids (6 and over) and grown-ups alike. My family, particularly my two teenage sons, were determined to try out this high flying adventure on our recent Summer holiday to Whistler – we weren’t disappointed! Read the rest of this entry »
The fantastic Big White Masters Ski Weeks are tailored specifically towards skiers and boarders aged 50+yrs, looking to meet like-minded snowsports addicts. These week long programmes include top ski coaching, a bit of après, some chat and plenty of social – surely a winning formula! Read the rest of this entry »
Ski Independence go skiing and what a season it’s been! The Ski Independence team have been getting their turns in on 3 continents, in 7 countries, in 44 different resorts. In total we’ve clocked up over 125 ski days between us! Below we share a few of our highlights (plus a lowlight) and top tips from winter 2015/16.
Managing Director, Michael, spent a week in Avoriaz with his family:
My top tip would be lunch in one of the restaurants in Lindarets, a small hamlet just down from the Lindarets and Proclou chairlifts. Read the rest of this entry »
Described by Fairmont as “our exclusive lifestyle hotel experience”, Fairmont Gold offers an extra dimension to the traditional yet relaxed luxury of Fairmont Hotels. Available in a wide range of our Canadian resorts, we wanted to give you more information about the superb levels of service and personal attention on offer with Fairmont Gold.
We could list off everything that is included – a private check-in desk, a dedicated Fairmont Gold team, a delicious continental breakfast served in the Fairmont Gold Lounge. We could tell you how big your room will be (at least 165sqft. at the Fairmont Banff Springs). Or, we could tell you what your view might be like – anyone for the Marquis De Lorne Suite at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise? Ok, so that’s quite a bit of information already! What really matters, though, is the experience itself. Our Ski Groups Specialist, Vikki, was lucky enough to experience the uniquely personal and discreet Fairmont Gold service in March 2016…
Vikki’s Fairmont Gold Review
Our Ski Groups Specialist, Vikki, has just returned from Monster Ski 2016 where she and a group of avid skiers took on a fantastic 3 day challenge to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis research. So far nearly £25,000 has been raised, great work!
On Monday 14th March 2016 I met with the guys and girls who were taking part in this year’s Monster Ski 2016 – an awesome trip to raise funds for the MS Trust. The Monster Ski challenge is to ski 30,000 vertical feet for 3 consecutive days, which is the equivalent of Mount Everest 3 times over! This is no mean feat and this is the 2nd year I have joined these amazing people in taking part in this fantastic challenge covering Chamonix & Courmayeur.
Monster Ski 2016: Day 1
The Ski Utah Interconnect – The Best Way to Ski 6 Resorts in One Day
Looking out the window to bluebird skies and a smattering of fresh snow I experienced that deep fluttering excitement that only comes from opening the curtains knowing you have a day of skiing ahead of you. Though this wasn’t going to be just any ski day; today myself and Katie from the ski team would go where few skiers are allowed to go, today we would ski 6 of Utah’s best ski resorts, crossing under ‘no entry’ ropes and boot packing up the backcountry from Deer Valley to Snowbird and everywhere in between (Park City, Solitude, Brighton and Alta) – we were doing The Ski Utah Interconnect Adventure Tour.
We pulled up to the Deer Valley car park at 8am and headed into the Snow Park Lodge where we met our guide, Chris Peters, and our fellow tour participants, a state trooper and two firefighters, both from New York. If things got sketchy out there, at least the emergency services would be present! Our guide gave us a quick run-down of the day’s plan, presented us with the obligatory “it’s not my fault if you die” waivers, then handed out avalanche transceivers and the Holy Grail of Ski Passes – the Ski Utah Gold Pass which would allow us to access to chairlifts in all the resorts we would enter. I tightened up my ski boots and we were ready to get going. Read the rest of this entry »
On Sale Now – Fly Direct to Salt Lake City next winter
Fly direct and non-stop from London Heathrow to Salt Lake City with Delta, from Winter 2016/17 onwards!
The journey to Utah’s excellent and often legendary ski resorts will be quicker and far more convenient than ever before and is a real bonus for UK skiers and snowboarders. This brand new route will run 4 times a week, all winter, and Delta will also be operating daily direct flights from Amsterdam to Salt Lake City, with connections from Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds Bradford & more.
Find out more by getting in touch with our team of Ski Specialists by calling 0131 243 8097. Read the rest of this entry »
Skiing can be tough on the body, especially if you only get away once or twice a year, with burning thighs a common complaint. What better then, than to relax and recharge at the end of the day with a soak in a luxurious hot tub or sauna or by indulging in a full body massage? Our guide to the best ski resort spas is here to help you find the perfect place to ease your aching limbs out of your ski boots and into the very best Jacuzzis and luxury pools.
From the simple pleasure of a hot tub with a beautiful mountain vista, to an all-out spa experience complete with ice pools and flower baths, Ski Independence’s team of Ski Specialists have tried and tested (reluctantly, of course!) a wide range of spa and wellness experiences to share with you.
1. The Remède Spa, St Regis Hotel Aspen
Voted the Number 1 Spa in the World by Travel + Leisure, the 1,500 square foot luxury Remède Spa at the exclusive St Regis hotel comes complete with steam caves, cold plunge pools, hot tubs, a fitness centre, the ‘Confluence’ waterfall and complimentary champagne. There’s even an oxygen lounge if the Rocky Mountains altitude is proving a little too much to handle in the first few days of your holiday.
Take your rejuvenation a step further with unlimited access to Aspen’s renowned yoga studio Shakti Shala for $25 per night when you stay at the St Regis Aspen.
Ski Independence top tip: “I really love the St Regis Spa in Aspen – it’s a champagne and nibbles, self-indulgent, spoil yourself sort of a place. Just what you want on holiday!” Karen, Ski Specialist Read the rest of this entry »