Archive for ‘Switzerland’
For decades, the rich and famous have been flocking to the picture postcard Swiss resort of Gstaad. With exceptional levels of hospitality and a spectacular choice of luxury hotels, it’s no wonder that this charming village has been a long time haunt for the elite. Famous guests and residents have included Julie Andrews, Brigitte Bardot and none other than Mr Bond himself, Roger Moore. Look beyond the designer boutiques (of which there are plenty) and you’ll find that underneath the glitz and glamour, Gstaad is at its heart a traditional farming community with an extremely warm heart.
Offering the perfect mix of tradition and style, it’s easy to see why Switzerland is one of the world’s most popular ski destinations. From the buzz of Verbier to the charm of St Moritz, Switzerland has something to offer for everyone.
If the idea of Christmas spent in the snowy mountains surrounded by friends and family sounds appealing, read on. We’ve selected the best hotels in Europe offering programmes filled with festive fun from sumptuous Christmas dinners to spectacular decorations helping to create that magical festive feel.
Can’t make up your mind where to go on your ski holiday this winter? The Capra in Saas Fee are offering you the opportunity to experience five famous ski resorts in the Valais region of Switzerland within the space of a week.
Synonymous with old school glamour and historic mountain luxury, St Moritz conjures up images of fur coats, dinner jackets and cigar rooms. After enjoying a long weekend at the iconic 5* Badrutt’s Palace, I realised it was all these things but also much, much more.
After a quick transfer through Zurich Airport and onto the incredibly efficient Swiss Rail network, I settled in for a beautiful journey to St Moritz. Classic Swiss mountain vistas appear at the window only 20 minutes after leaving Zurich and these continue all the way for 3 hours 40 minutes. They say the best things in life take time…
Along with the partying, eating copious amounts of food and celebrating in the streets, one of the most integral elements of a New Year ski holiday is snow. The start of the year is generally a great time to ski in Europe, however snow cover in late December and early January can vary from resort to resort, so why not pick our brains for information on the most snow-sure destinations?
Our knowledgeable reservations team will be more than happy to talk through your requirements and point you in the right direction. So whether you’re looking for wild après, the ultimate in-resort dining or high altitude slopes, we’ll do our best to make sure you bring in 2019 in style.
Here are just a few of our picks for high-altitude early-season skiing in Europe:
The highest slopes sit at 3,300m, ensuring snowy mountains throughout the season.
Great piste-grooming and high altitude make Tignes a dependable New Year resort!
The village sits at 2,300m, making it the highest resort in the Alps and a snow-sure destination.
Our Top Tips
1. Once you’ve decided where to go, make the most of the mountain by letting us organise your instructor. Whether its group or private lessons, we can help!
2. Book your lift pass before you travel. With the majority of our French resorts, we can send your hands-free cards out with your travel documentation to ensure you’re not waiting to get on the slopes. Read the rest of this entry »
Zermatt offers snow-sure, unique skiing in the shadow of the famous Matterhorn. Surrounded by mighty summits, on offer is over 350km of pistes, with easy connections between Zermatt and the neighbouring Italian resort of Cervinia. As well as awesome skiing, the car-free village of Zermatt has a lively après-ski scene with plenty of restaurants serving everything from traditional Swiss cuisine to Italian pizza and several bars to enjoy live sports or dance until the early hours. Add in a handful of four and five-star luxury hotels, and Zermatt has all the ingredients for a great getaway.
So what’s new in Zermatt in 2018/19? While the resort offers the same quality experience year after year, we’ve put together a list of some of the exciting new additions for the upcoming season.
Lifts & Access
The world’s highest 3S (three cable) Cableway, the Matterhorn Glacier Ride, will start operating in Zermatt in December and will transport passengers from Zermatt up to the Matterhorn glacier paradise. Enjoy the glorious panoramic views of the surrounding mountain range as you travel in luxury cable cars – a handful of which have been encrusted with Swarovski crystals and even feature a floor that becomes translucent three minutes into the journey!
It takes a special blend of ingredients to create an unforgettable luxury ski escape. Beautiful surroundings, luxurious facilities, first-class service and outstanding food – to name but a few.
That said, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to luxury ski holidays. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful getaway in an alpine village or an action-packed break in a lively resort, it’s all about finding the perfect 5-star ski holiday for you.
Why not take a look at our pick of the best luxury ski escapes this winter for a little inspiration?
Hotel W, Verbier
Best for: urban decor and stylish après ski.
Our top 9 recommendations for 2018/19
A family ski holiday is one of life’s great pleasures. There’s nothing quite like being together in the fresh air of the mountains, watching your children grow in confidence and ability. Ski Independence have been a family ski holiday specialist for 25 years and we know from experience that the bet family ski holidays take a lot of careful planning and a good dose of detailed knowledge – so why not leave it to us? We’ve highlighted some of our recommendations for the best family ski holidays for next winter, and if you don’t see what you fancy below we’re happy to recommend a huge range of alternative destinations, accommodation & activities to suit your family. So, in no particular order…
1. Les Gets, France
A short transfer from Geneva and a traditional pretty village are often two sought-after points on a family holiday wish list and Les Gets more than ticks these boxes. The centre of the village is lined with shops and restaurants serving a selection of Savoyard specialities along with a couple of lively bars offering laid back après-ski. Read the rest of this entry »
“These last few days in Switzerland have been more relaxing than our honeymoon!” announced my husband of seven months whilst lying in the 38°C water of the ‘warm bath’ in the Chedi Andermatt’s spa. There’s no way I could disagree – we had loved our Canadian road trip right after getting married, but it was not in the same ball park in terms of kicking back and totally de-stressing.
We began our Swiss twin-centre luxury skiing trip by flying in to Geneva and then transferring up to resort in true Swiss fashion… starting with the iconic red trains. The views, the efficiency and the space on-board all make travelling by train a very different experience than in the UK. Our first resort was Saas Fee and this involved changing in Visp and taking the bright yellow Post bus to the resort. We weaved our way up to the entrance of Saas Fee and stood in the sunshine for the hotel’s electric taxi to pick us up. For the uninitiated, a handful of Swiss resorts are car-free (Saas Fee and Zermatt among them) and to get around, the equivalent of a covered golf buggy ferries people, luggage and supplies around the resort making for a peaceful and noticeably cleaner village centre. Read the rest of this entry »