Choosing the right luxury ski resort if you’re an intermediate skier
There are a variety of different factors which you will need to consider when looking at the best ski resorts for intermediates. If there are too many red runs, the resorts may be considered too difficult for intermediates, and therefore the skiing won’t be best suited to your ability. It’s important to choose a resort with a range of terrain so you can decide to push yourself and ski a more challenging route one day, or take it easy and enjoy the laid-back pace of blue runs the next. Nursery slopes and ski schools are an important factor if you’re travelling with children or beginner skiers, so its worth bearing that in mind too.
Here at Oxford Ski Company, we understand that challenging pistes will appeal to intermediate skiers, so we’ve listed some of the best luxury ski resorts in Europe for intermediates, as well as touching on resorts further afield too. Japan, the USA and Canada offer some spectacular skiing plus they are fabulous destinations within their own right, should you or your group wish to indulge in some non-ski activities during your holiday. We’ve also included some of our top luxury ski chalets and luxury ski hotels from which to base yourself, so finding inspiration for your next luxury ski holiday just got a little bit easier.
Best luxury ski resorts for intermediates in France
With over 27 miles of cross-country trails, pretty tree-lined slopes and a skiing elevation of up to 2355m, Megeve is one of the best ski resorts for intermediates in France. The majority of pistes are dedicated red runs, offering plenty of challenges for intermediate skiers. One of our favourite luxury ski chalets is Chalet Millesime, tucked away in Megeve’s peaceful Rochebrune neighbourhood. Featuring an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, fitness room and hot tub, the chalet offers comfortable and stylish accommodation for up to 14 guests.
Although well known for being a challenging ski destination, Chamonix has an extremely varied terrain with over a third of the pistes being designated blue runs that will appeal to intermediate skiers. The Mont Blanc Tunnel, which stretches over 11km, has made the resort very accessible, particularly with those looking for just a short weekend escape to the Alps. Just 300m from the nearest slopes, Le Hameau des Plans is a trio of exclusive luxury ski chalets at the edge of Chamonix town centre. Sleeping up to 43 guests, these chalets are perfect for multi-generational families or large groups of friends looking for a tranquil retreat after a long day in the mountains.
Best luxury ski resorts for intermediates in Switzerland
Over in Switzerland, Crans-Montana is a firm favourite of ours as it’s the place where Oxford Ski Company was born, so it’s a resort that’s special for us and our clients. With a vista that spans Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and the Rhone Valley, as well as a ski area that’s geared up for both intermediates and total beginners, Crans-Montana ticks all the boxes for one of the best ski resorts for intermediates. Elevated at 2100m, Chetzeron is an eco-friendly luxury ski hotel with ski-in/ski-out access via a red run. Its impressive spa facilities and sun-drenched terrace with panoramic mountain views make it popular with guests and locals alike.
Zermatt is one of the best luxury ski resorts in Europe for intermediates, with formidable skiing and challenging pistes, there are no green runs at all in resort. Attracting intermediate and advanced skiers from all over the world, Zermatt is popular all year round with its summer glacier skiing a hit with visitors looking to ski out of season. As luxury ski hotels go, CERVO Mountain Resort is a cut above the rest. Its own private elevator brings guests to resort level, whilst the hotel’s three terraces and restaurants are the perfect place to enjoy delicious food and drink or lively apres-ski
Best luxury ski resorts for intermediates in Austria
One of the best ski resorts for intermediates in Austria, Lech oozes charm and is popular with royals and celebrities alike. Part of the Arlberg ski region, with over half of the pistes being dedicated red runs, Lech is a great choice for intermediate skiers. Arula 1 is a fabulous luxury ski chalet with ski-in/ski-out access, first class facilities and service to match. Sleeping 22 guests across 9 bedrooms, stand out features include an indoor swimming pool, sauna, infra-red cabin, outdoor hot tub and a private cinema room. There’s even an ice rink, shared with Arula 2 next door, making these chalets an excellent choice for large groups looking for a special stay in the Alps.
Over in neighbouring St Anton, also part of the Arlberg ski area, there are more than 340km of pistes to explore. You’ll find 200km of deep snow runs in resort, making it one of the best Austrian ski resorts for intermediates. 40 percent of pistes are suitable for intermediate skiers, and you can get around the entire resort with just one lift pass. Chalet Tschoder is one of our favourite luxury ski chalets in an enviable location, with ski-in/ski-out access and spectacular views of the mountains and the resort below. Sleeping up to 14 guests in 7 bedrooms, the chalet is complete with a gym, sauna, hot tub, TV/cinema room, ski room and its own bar.
Best luxury ski resorts for intermediates in Italy
Well known for being a snow-sure, family-friendly resort, Cervinia offers some of the most breath-taking scenery in the Alps. There’s fantastic skiing for all abilities, but the resort is particularly geared towards intermediates, with several cross-country runs and the highest snow park in Europe, sitting at 2800m. Located within a 10-minute walk of the resort centre, Hotel Hermitage makes a great base for your luxury ski holiday to Cervinia. Enjoy rooms with spectacular views of the Matterhorn, dine in the award-winning onsite restaurant, or relax and rejuvenate in the Wellness Area and Spa by Bellefontaine, complete with steam bath, sauna, ice fountain, and Emotional showers.
Located in the heart of northern Italy, San Cassiano is a bustling resort and is perhaps one of the best luxury ski resorts in Europe for intermediates. Located in the Alta Badia, and forming part of the Sella Ronda circuit, intermediate skiers will enjoy a number of difficult runs. The vast Dolomiti Superski area also offers more than 1100km of pistes to explore, and there’s even a Great War Ski Tour which is perfect for those looking for something different. Perfectly positioned in the centre of the village, Chalet Zeno oozes alpine charm with its own private terrace, hot tub and Finnish sauna boasting beautiful woodland views. Part of the Rosa Alpina hotel, chalet guests are offered access to the hotel’s full spa facilities and there’s a cosy communal area complete with fireplace and comfortable sofas and chairs.
Best luxury ski resorts for intermediates in the United States
Close to the Yellowstone National Park and surrounded by snow topped peaks, Jackson Hole is a fantastic ski resort in Wyoming, USA. The main ski area is Teton Village which enjoys an average snowfall of over 450 inches per season, offering miles of groomed pistes for intermediate skiers to navigate. Amangani is an outstanding luxury ski hotel which is unique in every way. The outdoor heated swimming pool and whirlpool offers panoramic views towards the Teton mountain ranges, plus the spa and wellness centre also features steam rooms, treatment rooms, two exercise studios, a wet room and a beauty salon, offering the perfect place to relax after a long day of skiing.
Over to Aspen in Colorado now where the skiing gets even better, particularly for intermediates. With a vast ski area covering four epic mountains, Aspen offers access to a wide range of quality ski runs across more than 5000 acres of pistes. Surprisingly there are no red runs in Aspen, with an equal amount of black and blue runs, making it one of the best luxury ski resorts for intermediates. Widely regarded as one of the top hotels in resort, being the only true five star ski-in/ski-out property, The Little Nell is located right at the foot of Aspen Mountain. The hotel has four restaurants/bars to choose from, with Chair 9 Bar the perfect place for lively apres-ski, and the Terrace Bar with outdoor pool is a firm favourite with guests looking to soak up some stunning mountain views.
Best luxury ski resorts for intermediates in Canada
Famed for being home to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, Whistler is one of the best ski resorts for intermediates in North America. The Whistler and Blackcomb mountains boast more than 8000 acres of terrain and the resort is renowned for powder skiing, with 10 metres of snow fall expected each season. Heli Chalet is a popular choice for a luxury ski chalet in Whistler, offering guests the chance to heli-ski directly from their front door. Nestled on a seven-acre estate, with panoramic mountain views, guests can take advantage of the chalet’s impressive features, including an outdoor heated swimming pool, hot tub, massage room, private library and wine cellar.
Offering stunning lakeside scenery, coupled with deep valleys and snow-covered mountains, Banff and Lake Louise make a fantastic backdrop for a luxury ski holiday to Canada. With a skiing elevation of up to 2600m, you can enjoy challenging black and blue runs, which are perfect for intermediates. The Fairmont Banff Springs is located right in the middle of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Canadian Rockies. If its breathtakingly beautiful location wasn’t enough, the hotel’s first-class facilities include a spa area with sauna and steam room, aquatic centre with indoor and outdoor pools and a hair and beauty salon with fitness centre. There are also 12 excellent restaurants offering cuisine from all around the world, including Canadian, Japanese, Italian and Bavarian.
Best luxury ski resorts for intermediates in Japan
Well known for delivering huge quantities of light, dry powder snow, Niseko is Japan’s premier ski destination and is up there as being one of the best luxury ski resorts in the world. Four interlinked resorts create miles of wide open pistes, tree runs and powder bowls which are well suited to intermediate skiers. Set within Annupuri’s pine forest, Seasons One is a five-bedroom luxury ski chalet with a whole host of impressive features including a private cinema, games room with fully stocked bar and 1000 bottle wine cellar. There’s also a spa with sauna, massage room and indoor heated swimming pool to enjoy.
Last on our list of the best luxury ski resorts for intermediates is Hakuba, consisting of nine separate ski areas concentrated in three main places; Iwatake, Hakuba47-Goryu and Happo-One. Within easy reach of Tokyo by bullet-train, the Japanese Alps are blessed with an average snowfall of over 12 metres per year, and over half of the runs in Hakuba are reds, posing some formidable skiing. A short stroll from the nearest piste, Amo 54 is a family-friendly luxury ski chalet sleeping up to 12 guests. Particularly geared towards children, the games room features a ping-pong table, punching bag, foosball table and board games.