From as early as November each year, ski resorts begin to open as snow starts to fall. We understand that this snow fall plays a huge part in any ski holiday and for this reason many wait until the festivities of Christmas are out of the way before heading to the slopes for more 'snow-sure' conditions. However, December regularly provides some incredible snow conditions in certain resorts meaning you could be on the slopes sooner than you think! If you simply cannot wait any longer to don those skis, or would like to take advantage of favourable prices during these early days of the season – which resort should you choose for the best December skiing?
We asked our team which resorts and properties they would recommend for the best pre-Christmas snow. Whether you’re looking for a ski hotel or catered chalet, consider the options below for your early season ski holiday.
December Skiing in Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt has one of the longest winter seasons in the Alps. Its three ski areas open in late November right through to the end of April. All three areas, Sunnegga-Blauherd-Rothorn, Gornergrat-Stockhorn and Trockener Steg-Schwarzsee soar to at least 3100m which lends itself to excellent snow conditions and long runs back to the village.
Where to stay in Zermatt?
Hotel - The Grand Hotel Zermatterhof is situated in the centre of the resort and has perfectly preserved its traditional character and charm whilst delivering up to date facilities and service. When you’re not out enjoying the slopes, the hotel’s Alpine Wellness Spa offers true relaxation with a sauna, large pool and various treatments to try. The horse-drawn carriage transfer from the station makes for the perfect beginning and end to your alpine escape and a true highlight of your ski holiday.
Chalet - Sleeping up to 13 guests, Chalet Zermatt Peak is the resort’s premier luxury chalet. Located just a few minutes away from the centre of Zermatt, its landmark position creates breath-taking panoramic views across the entire village and the iconic Matterhorn.
December Skiing in Val Thorens, France
As Europe’s highest ski resort, Val Thorens usually opens from mid-November. Snow cover is normally assured from late November until early May due to its high altitude and state of the art snow making. The resort’s highest lift goes to 3,230m, the top point of the whole 600km Trois Vallées ski area.
Where to stay in Val Thorens?
Chalet – Chalet La Datcha takes luxury up a notch in Val Thorens to meet that which is normally found in resorts such as Courchevel or Val d’Isere. The slopes are just 10 meters from the property, meaning the whole of the enormous Three Valleys ski area is at your doorstep to explore. This incredible chalet is a must-visit for any foodie – it’s one of the only private chalets in the world with a three Michelin star restaurant!
Hotel – The 5-star Hotel Altapura is in a fantastic ski-in/ski-out location with the Plein Sud chairlift passing right past the front door. The hotel’s modern contemporary style is complete with huge glass panoramic windows to harness the spectacular views. Facilities here include the Pure Altitude Spa, three restaurants, children’s play room and an in-house ski shop.
December Skiing in Val d’Isère, France
Val d’Isère is one of the best bets in the Alps for early season ski holidays. The resort will endeavour to open as early and as much possible according to the conditions each season. This dedication means that L’Espace Killy should be on everyone’s shortlist for pre-Christmas skiing.
Where to stay in Val d’Isère?
Hotel – Le Blizzard is a traditional 5-star hotel with a welcoming atmosphere and offering great value for money. The hotel itself has a beautiful alpine wood interior plus an outdoor heated pool and hot tub set amongst the snow – a true chalet-style property, perfect for its surroundings.
Chalet – The La Mourra Hotel Village is a new concept which opened its doors in December 2015. It contains four luxurious private chalets – one of which is Chalet Ambre. Boasting its own beautiful private living space, dining area and kitchen plus spa facilities, Chalet Ambre can comfortably accommodate up to 12 guests.
December Skiing in St Anton, Austria
St Anton is situated in a relatively sheltered position, with nothing but mountains surrounding it. This keeps the area cool and delivers lots of snow throughout the season. With the ski area reaching up to 2811m, the end of the winter season sees around three meters of snow build up, serving as a good base to stick around for spring skiing. If mother nature isn’t working in its favour, St Anton fights back with its 194 snow cannons able to cover up to 95% of the pistes with artificial snow!
Where to stay in St Anton?
Chalet – Chalet Griffin benefits from an exclusive, peaceful location in Nasserein whilst still being just a few minutes’ walk from the main lift station. Its elevated setting provides guests with uninterrupted views of the valley and surrounding peaks. The property itself is spacious, light and spread out across four floors – perfect for larger groups.
Hotel – The Raffl’s St Antoner Hof is located in the centre of St Anton and offers luxurious suites and rooms with a traditional alpine feel. Here you’ll experience a homely, relaxed atmosphere with first class hospitality and incredible facilities such as an indulgent spa area and multiple restaurants, bars and an on-site nightclub.
Contact our team on 01993 899420 to take advantage of favourable early season prices and you could be back on the slopes sooner than you think!