World ski resorts: top 8 most popular places for winter vacation

By Alina GoncharovaJan 14, 2024 18:33 PMResorts
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World ski resorts: top 8 most popular places for winter vacation
Atmospheric ski resorts. Source: Image PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay

Whether you're an experienced professional or a beginner looking to improve your skills or try a new hobby, everyone will find the perfect option among the selection of the world's best ski resorts. Whether in North America, the USA, Canada, or Europe, no matter where you choose to go for your next trip, you will definitely be satisfied with snowy mountain slopes combined with picturesque views, impeccable equipment maintenance, and modern amenities. We advise you to check out the ranking of the best ski resorts in the world to discover amazing and outstanding places for an unforgettable winter vacation.

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

World ski resorts: top 8 most popular places for winter vacation
The largest resort in North America. Source: Image Brigitte Werner/Pixabay

Among the top 8 ski resorts in the world, Whistler Blackcomb in Canada is prominent. In recent years, it has transformed into the largest complex in North America, renowned for its snowboarding and alpine skiing opportunities. With 37 lifts and more than 200 marked trails, Whistler Blackcomb offers guests over 8000 terrain features, including three glaciers and 16 alpine bowls. Here, you will find enough space and variety to explore new areas throughout the six-month season. Additionally, there are trails with different levels of difficulty, making it the perfect choice for both beginners and experienced adrenaline junkies.

This season, Whistler Blackcomb introduced another innovation - Fitzsimmons Express. The high-speed chairlift can accommodate eight people, significantly reducing waiting time and increasing capacity at the gate. The resort's après-ski scene is no less impressive than its slopes. After skiing, head to the Garibaldi Lift Company with rosy cheeks to enjoy hot drinks by the open-air fire pit. We also recommend checking out Wild Blue Restaurant + Bar, which offers a seafood menu.

For accommodation, pay attention to the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. The complex, with more than 500 rooms, is located at the foot of the mountain. The Westin Resort & Spa is a short walk from the Blackcomb Gondola Lift. Another hotel, Nita Lake Lodge, is located next to Creekside, known for cozy rooms with heated floors, basalt fireplaces, and double baths, as well as a world-class spa.

Aspen Highlands, Colorado

Among the four mountains that make up the popular Aspen Snowmass, the greatest experience awaits you right here at the majestic Highland Bowl at Aspen Highlands, located in Colorado, USA. The resort offers five lifts and 144 trails, and the cost of a one-day ticket starts from $169.

It will take about 45 minutes to reach the top, but the brave ones will be rewarded with a fantastic panoramic view, including the double peaks of Maroon Bells. Then, skiers will have an exhilarating 2,500-foot downhill ride. After your outdoor activities, be sure to reward yourself with a signature burger with pastrami, onion rings, and grilled cheese at the Merry-Go-Round at the top of the Aspen Highlands Showcase Lift.

If you like to pamper yourself with a relaxing treatment after skiing, we recommend staying at The Little Nell, which, in addition to luxurious accommodation, offers a new spa.

Innsbruck, Austria

If you want to conquer the slopes but also enjoy the city's energy and cultural attractions, we recommend choosing Innsbruck in Austria. This beautiful ski resort in Europe offers 111 ski lifts and cable cars and over 290 miles of pistes. The cost of a two-day ticket starts at $144.

The capital of Tyrol, which has twice hosted the Olympic Games, is surrounded by 13 ski resorts, each with its own style and amenities. In particular, Axamer-Lisum offers challenging championship pistes, and Schlick 2000 is a favorite for families thanks to its progressive terrain and excellent ski school. The vast area known as Olympia Ski World can be explored with just one Ski Plus City Pass, which gives you access to non-skiing activities such as bobsledding on the Olympic course and tobogganing. If you're traveling during the Christmas season, we recommend not missing exploring the surrounding holiday markets in the nearby villages.

Innsbruck offers a variety of accommodation options. In particular, you can book a room at the charming Stage 12 Hotel, which has 120 rooms. The establishment is located in the old quarter of the city, and the ski resort is conveniently accessible by bus. If you want to stay closer, choose the Mooshaus Mooshaus. This resort offers direct access to the ski slopes in Kühtai, and its key amenities include an extraordinary Alpine infinity pool and a kids' club with an extensive list of daily activities.

Mont-Tremblant, Quebec

Among the best ski resorts in the world is Mont-Tremblant, located in Canada. Among the Laurentian massif northwest of Montreal, Mount Tremblant rises, covering more than 750 acres. Despite its small size compared to the other contenders in this selection, Mont-Tremblant delivers what you would expect from a European-style resort in French-speaking Quebec:

  • a pedestrian village with exclusive boutiques at the foot of the mountain;
  • major events such as Tremblant's 24h and Le P'tit Caribou;
  • a location for après-ski with a terrace overlooking the lake and noisy bars where music goes on until the middle of the night.

However, the main advantage of the resort with 14 lifts and 102 slopes is its perfect slopes, as the owners invest heavily in snowmaking.

If you want to be as close to the slopes as possible, we recommend booking a room at the Fairmont Tremblant. The establishment, which recently reopened after a large-scale reconstruction, has 314 rooms. Here you can enjoy year-round heated pools and outdoor fireplace areas that keep you warm in any weather.

For amazing views, it's best to stay at Le Westin Resort & Spa, Tremblant, asking for a room with a balcony if possible. The hotel also boasts one of the best spas in the region.

Zell am See Kaprun, Austria

The fantastic ski area of Zell am See-Kaprun is 60 miles southeast of Salzburg, including two resorts - Schmittenhoe and Kitzsteinhorn. The former, with good ski schools and snow parks, is best suited for families, while the latter is ideal for adrenaline junkies, freeriders, and ski touring enthusiasts. The unique Alpincenter restaurant, located at an altitude of over eight thousand feet on the Kitzsteinhorn, deserves special attention.

If you're looking for a place to stay in this top ski resort in the world, we recommend the family-run Kaprunerhof Hotel, with its cozy chalet-inspired rooms. There's also a great restaurant on-site that specializes in local dishes like Pinzgau beef.

Another great option is the Hotel Nikolaus by Avenida, which has 31 apartment-style suites, each with a private sauna.

Snowmass, Colorado

World ski resorts: top 8 most popular places for winter vacation
Sunset over the mountains in Colorado. Source: Image buvanaramesh/Pixabay

Of the four mountains of Aspen Snowmass, this one, considered one of the best ski resorts in the world, is the most spacious and boasts the most vertical feet of lift-served terrain in the United States. With an elevation difference of 4,406 feet, there is enough variation to make it a family-friendly destination. The resort has 20 lifts and 96 trails, and the average cost of a one-day ticket is $162.

Thanks to significant investments in Snowmass Base Village, an extraordinary center with a variety of dining options comparable to European offerings and an ice rink was created. In particular, Sam's Restaurant offers rigatoni Bolognese and Negroni, transporting skiers from the United States to the Italian Dolomites. Also noteworthy is the new Alpin Room, where you can enjoy dishes such as tartiflette and schnitzel.

The former Westin Hotel has undergone extensive renovation to become the newly opened Viewline Resort Snowmass, Autograph Collection, and its subsidiary Wildwood Snowmass has a new cozy beer garden. If you're looking for other activities besides skiing, check out Limelight Snowmass, which boasts the highest climbing wall in the region. In contrast, the Viceroy Snowmass offers the perfect setting for a relaxing slopeside getaway with a modern spa and a gourmet restaurant run by celebrity chef Richard Sandoval.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt is one of the most beautiful ski resorts in the world, surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Alps. It offers 223 miles of pistes, some of which are over 10,000 feet high, stretching across four different zones. The cost of a one-day lift ticket starts at $87. The alpine charming village itself is located at the foot of the most famous mountain in Switzerland, the Matterhorn. Here, visitors will find many amenities, such as après-ski entertainment and a state-of-the-art lift system. Horse-drawn sleighs are the best and most atmospheric way to get around in a village where there are no cars. When you want to grab a bite to eat, be sure to stop by Chez Vrony for a delicious burger (make sure to book your visit in advance), or end your evening at the tiny Champagne Bar at the end of the Sunnega piste with a glass of premium bubbly.

Zermatt includes various hotels, including:

  • Grand dame Mont Cervin Palace
  • Schweizerhof Zermatt
  • CERVO Mountain Resort, and others.

The latter has recently opened an ashram-style spa with a system of saunas, baths, and outdoor pools.

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