What makes an expert skier? Is it the ability to go off-piste every time you ski? The adrenaline rush you get from only skiing the black runs in each resort? Or perhaps it’s the challenging terrain that keeps drawing you back year after year? The best luxury ski resorts for experts are scattered all across Europe, North America and Canada, whilst Japan is fast becoming an expert skier’s paradise too. From deep powder bowls to vertical mountain faces, there are plenty of luxury ski resorts for advanced skiers that will test even the most seasoned ski experts.
What makes a luxury ski resort great for expert skiers?
There are several factors which you will need to consider when looking at luxury ski resorts for advanced skiers. The off-piste terrain and percentage of red and black runs in each resort will determine whether it is viewed as an advanced ski area. The facilities are also important; those of you who are expert skiers will want to book the best guides for off-piste skiing or hire the best quality equipment for your time on the slopes. Or if lively Après is more your thing, you’ll want to stay somewhere with vibrant nightlife too.
Here at Oxford Ski Company, we have several expert skiers in our team, so we know the best resorts to base yourself in, as well as the most difficult runs to ski. We understand that off-piste terrain and formidable runs are what expert skiers crave, so we’ve put together our pick of some of the best advanced luxury ski resorts on offer. We’ve also included some of our favourite luxury ski chalets and luxury ski hotels from which to base yourself, ensuring your downtime away from the slopes is just as good as your time spent on the mountains.
Luxury ski resorts for advanced groups
With access to over 400km of piste across the extensive Four Valley ski domain, Verbier makes a great base for expert skiers and is home to a number of challenging black runs. The skiing elevation ranges from 1,500 metres, whilst the resort altitude reaches a height of up to 3,330 metres, making Verbier one of the best ski resorts in Europe for experts.
If you’re travelling in a large group, The Alpine Estate is a brilliant place to stay. Made up of two chalets combined, the estate sleeps up to 22 guests and boasts an array of impressive features including two indoor pools, two saunas, steam rooms and Hammam’s, three massage rooms, an outdoor Jacuzzi, fitness centre and a bar with an extensive wine cellar.
Sticking with Switzerland, Zermatt is another resort which is perfect for advanced skiers and is up there as being one of the best ski resorts in Europe for experts. A popular resort with mature adults, this car-free resort is popular all year round due to its epic glacier skiing in the summer months. Just over the border from neighbouring Cervinia, you can ski in Switzerland in the morning and be on Italian soil by lunchtime.
Expert skiers have almost 400km of off-piste terrain ready to conquer, with altitude reaching up to 3,883 metres. If you’re a snowboarder, head over to nearby Gravity Park which has some impressive freestyle areas. One of our favourite luxury ski chalets is the stunning Chalet Zermatt Peak, located in the centre of the resort and boasting uninterrupted views of the famous Matterhorn. Sleeping up to 13 guests across its five en suite bedrooms, the chalet features a sauna, steam room Hammam, indoor/outdoor Jacuzzi and a private gym.
Another of the best ski resorts for experts is Aspen in Colorado. There’s a vast ski area covering the four ski mountains of Snowmass, Buttermilk, Highlands and of course Aspen, with some challenging ski runs making it one of the best advanced luxury ski resorts. The town itself is charming and traditional yet offers some of North America’s most exclusive and modern luxury ski hotels with state-of-the-art features. World class private guides will take you to some formidable off-piste ski areas, whilst non-skiers in the group can enjoy a wide range of restaurants, bars, boutique stores and excellent spa facilities.
The luxurious St Regis Resort is located at the base of Aspen mountain, making it a fantastic place to base yourself for your ski holiday to Aspen. With four restaurants, a fitness centre and spa complete with steam caves, cold plunge pools, a heated pool and waterfall, there’s so much to do on-site that the only thing tearing you away will be the sheer beauty of the North American mountains.
Luxury ski resorts for a solo trip
One of the best advanced luxury ski resorts in the French Alps, with a vibrant nightlife and exciting Après scene, Val d’Isere is perfect for solo travellers looking to enjoy top level skiing. Travelling solo is a great way to meet like minded people, and with more restaurants, bars and shops than you can shake a stick at, Val d’Isere offers plenty of things to see and do even if you’re not travelling with anyone.
We think hotels make a better choice than shared chalets for people travelling solo, and one of our favourites in resort is the 5* Le Yule Hotel & Spa. Situated at the base of the Solaise and Olympic Bellevarde slopes, this Scandinavian style hotel features a brasserie restaurant with sun drenched terrace and a spa and wellness centre with Jacuzzi and indoor pool.
Here at Oxford Ski Company, we have found that the first week of the season is a brilliant time for solo skiers, being both great value and a very sociable time to travel. St Moritz does solo trips well, with an abundance of non-ski activities to enjoy if you aren’t so focused on the skiing. One of the most exclusive resorts in the Alps, St Moritz is lined with Michelin starred restaurants and designer boutiques, plus its home to an array of luxury ski hotels to base yourself from.
For a unique experience, give the Cresta run a try, it’s the oldest bob skeleton track in the world and is perfect for solo skiers wanting to push themselves out of their comfort zones. We’d recommend staying at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, set on a lake against a mountainous backdrop, this hotel is a firm favourite with celebrities and royalty. There are seven bars/restaurants on site as well as a world class spa and indoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and even an ice rink.
Back in France, Chamonix is another good resort for those of you who wish to travel solo for your luxury ski holiday, and it’s a surely one of the greatest ski resorts for experts. Its varied ski area offers skiing for all ages and abilities, whilst there are also plenty of things to see and do in the town when you’re not on the slopes. Just a short transfer from Geneva, Chamonix is a great choice for soloists who don’t want to spend too long getting to resort, and there’s fantastic Après and vibrant nightlife too.
Base yourself at Hotel Mont Blanc, one of the oldest established hotels in resort. With a restaurant, cosy lounge bar and 250 sqm spa by Clarins, you’ll feel right at home here. Our favourite part is the outdoor heated pool and Jacuzzi with breath-taking views of the surrounding mountain and glacier.