Pack Your Bags: These are the Best Luxury Ski & Spa Hotels in the Alps

best luxury Ski & Spa hotels in the Alps

Photo Credit: Pashmina

There’s no better feeling than stepping into a hot steam room or sauna after being on the slopes, and then having a massage to ease any aches and pains in the muscles. For the ski and spa enthusiasts who are already thinking about their winter holidays, here’s our roundup of the best luxury ski and spa hotels in the alps.

best luxury Ski & Spa hotels in the Alps
Photo Credit: Koh I Nor

Koh I Nor, Val Thorens

Best for: Ski in, ski out and spa out!

The Koh I Nor is your hotel if you are looking to ski in, ski out and spa out. Located in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie, French Alps, Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe, at an altitude of 7,546 feet. We arrived in the evening, past sunset, having traveled on the train from Paris to Mutiers train station where the hotel shuttle bus picked us up.

The Koh-I Nor takes its name from the 105.6-carat-diamond of the British Crown Jewels, and in Persian it means ”Mountain of Light.” Perched on a hill top, the property has an impressive diamond-shaped glass exterior and you enter a glass lift to ascend into the reception area.

The spa is stunning, flooded in natural light, and with all the bells and whistles to soothe the skin, relax the muscles and detox the body—two pools, a fitness center, a sauna, a hammam, a Jacuzzi, experience showers, a salt wall and an ice fountain.

best luxury Ski & Spa hotels in the Alps
Photo Credit: Kulm Hotel

Kulm Hotel, St Moritz

Best for: Panoramic views of St Moritz from the spa!

The elegant and luxurious five-star Kulm Hotel stands proudly in the centre of St. Moritz, the original home of winter tourism, enveloped between breathtaking views of the Engadine lakes and the snowy, landscaped Alpine mountains.

The Kulm’s name is a German derivation of the Latin word culmen, meaning hill or crest and is the oldest hotel in St Moritz. Think old-school glamour, antique decor, chandeliers, grand pianos, and neoclassical pillars and arches.

The spa is a state-of-the-art wellness and fitness dream. Its treatments are based on its pioneering wellness concept of the three pillars: relaxation, detoxification and regeneration. At over 21,527 square feet, it’s one of the best and certainly the biggest spas we’ve been to. The facilities are exceptional—steam baths, whirlpool, saltwater grotto, Finnish sauna, bio sauna, infrared cabin, keneipp footpath and plenty of heated water beds to relax on.

You can’t beat going for an energizing swim in the morning then catching the sunrise from the stunning outdoor pool. There’s something rather magical about being outside in freezing temperatures, but feeling warm to the bone and watching the mist rise and float off the water against the pine forests and mountains in the background. 


best luxury Ski & Spa hotels in the Alps
Photo Credit: Giardino Hotel

Giardino Mountain, Champfèr

Best for: An ayurvedic mountain retreat!

The five-star Giardino is located slightly outside St Moritz, a stones-throw away in Champfèr, a quaint and enchanting Swiss village. From the outside, the picturesque hotel looks like a gingerbread house with a snow-laden fir tree at the entrance and breathtaking views of the surrounding Engadine Mountains in the background. It doesn’t get more alpine than this. The Giardino was crowned Europe’s most beautiful mountain hotel for 2015 in GEO Saison magazine (a title they have been awarded for nine consecutive years).

Inside, all is cozy and warm. A place where you want to sit by the fire with a mug of Swiss hot chocolate and your slippers on. The interior is decorated with a mixture of modern-design furniture made of traditional Engadine materials and colorful fabrics, cushions and fluffy stools. And then there are little quirky touches of "wow," like the spectacular floral chandelier, framed by a simple white corridor, bringing to mind a huge bouquet of wild flowers cascading down a snowy mountain.

At the Dipiù Spa, where the manager of the hotel has developed his own line of skin care products (di più comes from Italian and can be roughly translated as “a little more”), the focus is on Ayurveda and creating an holistic retreat experience. Therefore, they do Ayurvedic treatments incredibly well. The Giardino hotels in Ascona, St. Moritz and Zurich are the first five-star resorts in Switzerland to offer authentic Ayurveda treatments and cures, with the goal of helping guests to achieve health and peace by means of a holistic approach.

best luxury Ski & Spa hotels in the Alps

Altapura Spa Hotel, Val Thorens

Best for: Incredible views of the Alps from the spa!

The luxurious, five-star Altapura Ski & Spa hotel sits directly on the slopes with breathtaking views and good-vibe feelings coming from the ski and snow camaraderie taking place throughout the day. Another fabulous spot for enjoying the view happens to be the huge Pure Altitude Spa, at an impressive 10,764 square feet in size, this is the place to relax at new heights. Situated at an altitude of 7,546 feet, it’s the highest ski resort in Europe.

Pure Altitude is actually a cosmetic and spa brand, part of the Maisons and Hôtels Sibuet label, founded by luxury French hotelier and interior designer, Jocelyne Sibuet, and the result of a thriving family business that has existed for over 30 years. The relaxation area includes a Nordic Spiral, which alternates between dry and humid heat, punctuated by waterfall showers, a tepidarium and snow treatments culminating in an Igloo.

Treatments on the menu include a massage using hot candle wax, with Fleurs de Neige fragrance balm, the hallmark of the Pure Altitude range. Ultra-repairing and innovative, this treatment nourishes your skin in depth and envelops your body in gentle warmth. Or enjoy the Énergétique des Alpes ritual, which combines manual techniques with linen bags full of salts and mountain plants.

best luxury Ski & Spa hotels in the Alps

Pashmina Spa Hotel Le Refuge, Val Thorens

Best for: A night in an igloo under the stars!

The luxurious Pashmina Spa Hotel Le Refuge prides itself on being at the top of the three valleys, at an altitude of 7,710 feet. Val Thorens, which opened in 1971, is the highest ski resort in Europe renowned for the quality and guarantee of its snow and long season (from the 26th of November to 1st of May). In its infancy, Val Thorens attracted free spirits to what was viewed as the frontier of alpine development.

Taking its inspiration from the softest, warmest, richest wool in the world, results in the coziest setting and we spent the night in an geodesic igloo pod. It was one of those awesomely surreal experiences where you see it in the marketing photos, you imagine what it’s like, but the reality is even better! This is glamping under the stars at its finest.

We stayed at the hotel in December, during their Winter Camp—an active week aimed at adventurers and sportsmen offering ski touring, snowshoeing, conferences with alpinists and explorers, ski lessons and yoga classes.

The flashy and funky, pink and blue, 4,305-square-foot Spa by L’Occitane offers a range of natural, authentic treatments and massages inspired by traditional techniques. For those courageous enough to momentarily brave the ice-cold temperatures, there’s an outdoor hot tub. It’s worth it for the view which you can also get from the sauna.

best luxury Ski & Spa hotels in the Alps

Badrutt’s Palace, St Moritz

Best for: A magical, fairy-tale experience!

When you get picked up in a vintage Rolls Royce Phantom and a man in uniform, you know you are in for a good time. Warm smiles and courteous staff welcome us with open arms and chaperone us inside for our first glimpse of the huge lobby, Le Grand Hall, the legendary living room and catwalk of St. Moritz. Badrutt's Palace had us at hello.

Extraordinary, palatial Swiss hospitality is what the staff at the Badrutt’s do best and pride themselves on, and all without an air of pretentiousness. Many employees have been working at Badrutt’s Palace for over 20 years and recognize their regular guests by name as 70 percent of guests are returning ones.

To access the spa, Palace Wellness, one has to go by lift into the dimly lit cavern then through a corridor, hewn from the rocks on which the hotel was built. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and the beautiful, oval-shaped infinity pool glistens with small ripples forming from the waterfall that cascades out of the rock formations. Enjoy this surreal experience surrounded by shimmering floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views of the white Engadin mountain scenery.  

Cheryl Slater

Cheryl is a travel writer and blogger specialising in health and wellness travel. She travels the globe to seeks out the best retreats and resorts. Visit her site Soul Seed Travel for tips and recommendations on wellness travel and inspiration ...(Read More)

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