Tag Archive | skiing

10 Essential Elements That Make the Most Luxury Ski Vacation!

You’ll probably have you own ideas of what constitutes the ideal ski break. It could be that a trip to the Alps isn’t complete without your pooch, your favourite pillow, perhaps your own library or maybe a suitcase full of Baked Beans, Sliced bread and Marmite. Leaving your idiosyncrasies to one side, I think it would be hard to disagree with the list I compiled in an idle moment while I waited for the ski shuttle to take me to the nearest ski lift, which brings me nicely to the first essential.

1. Ski-in ski-out, private ski instructor

No clumping around the resort in ski-boots like a man in treacle with stiff legs, a no brainer, strap on your ski’s at the back door and away you go. And on return, a carving turn with a flourish, bringing yourself to a sudden stop and voila! time to put the kettle on. Make sure you have the ability to stop in time as the back door is a pretty solid object and you don’t want to be in casualty with broken bones on your first day. A private ski instructor wouldn’t go amiss either, ensuring you don’t come face to face with the aforementioned back door.

2. Chalet interiors with the wow factor

You’ve waited all year for this moment, raided all the piggy banks to get the best accommodation you could afford and poured over the photos a million times. You want to be able to walk in your chosen chalet and be blown away. Immediately your already elevated spirits are turned up another notch or two as you wander round, open-mouthed, from room to room, getting giddy and nudging each other saying “the photos just don’t do this place justice.” It’s a well-known fact that a well thought out and designed interior with classy furnishings and objects induces a feeling of well-being and contentment. Definitely a case of money well spent.

Chalet Artemis, courtesy of Scott Dunn

3. Open log fire

There’s something primeval about sitting near a log fire, staring into the flames, feeling the warmth, daydreaming. The complete opposite of what you’ve experienced in your days skiing; snow, ice, freezing temperatures. Here you can thaw on the outside
while you allow the  delightful red wine, with hints of summer breeze to do it’s job on the inside.  A must have element for the perfect ski vacation.

4. A terrace with stunning views

We all love the mountains don’t we? They are pretty special places, covered in natures cotton wool, the jagged peaks, the mysterious places high above the valley below where few people ever venture. Magnificent and untouchable and all visible from your wonderful terrace.  At nights the lights twinkle below, the stars twinkle above, the hot tub steams, this is as good as it gets.

Chalet Le Chardon

5. A top chef with great selection of wines from the wine cellar

You booked catered, you sit back the first night and await your first evening meal.  Go on, impress me! And do you know what? He does. Five superb, delicious courses, complete with descriptions and wines to complement from the extensive wine cellar.
An education for the mind and the palette; this gastronome would win Master Chef and he’s yours for the duration.

Luxury ski chalet

6. Spa facilities, gym, swimming pool, massage

You’re definitely pigging out on the top quality nosh, it would be rude not to, after all it’s not often you get Jaime Olivier to yourself for a week. What to do? Easy, wander down to the indoor swimming pool, put in a couple of lengths, have a session on the treadmill, have a look at the weights, then get a beefy masseuse to slap you about for a while, well, you deserve it, you ate way too much last night and the guilt is starting to kick in.

The Lodge

7. Arrive by private jet

Avoid the hoi polloi and hob nob with the elite, no queuing, no waiting, no mad scramble for your luggage on the carousel, that’s if it’s managed to board the same plane as you.  Arrive fresh, in half the time, feeling like a celeb. It could become addictive.

Private jet

8. Internet access

Go on, admit it, you’re joined at the hip to your phone, iPad, laptop, tablet and the social networking sites just couldn’t survive your absence for a whole week. I’m guilty too, I need the internet like a junkie needs a fix. Essential, how else are you going to plaster pictures of your evening meal, ski fun, chalet interior, best mate and the odd selfie on the net in an attempt to induce envy in the folk back home.

9. Grand piano

Would be nice but not essential. Even if you can’t play the damn thing it sure does look good and ups the ante in the, “wow! look what we got” bragging rights department. If you can play, it’s perhaps not often you get to tinkle the keys of a top quality Steinway. Makes chopsticks sound like Lang Lang’s in the house.

10. Chalet entertainment, cinema, private nightclub, private bar, games room

After the fine dining experience earlier in the evening a wander into the home cinema to catch a film is a treat.
There could be a few arguments over what that might be but there are another six nights and anyway he who
holds the remote is “King of the Screen.” The race for the remote could get ugly.

After the film, perform your own Saturday Night Fever, bust some moves and throw some shapes, if you can even
move in an energetic fashion after the skiing, the spell in the gym and the fight with the masseuse.
Mix your own cocktails and make up your own rules regarding ratio’s, one part fruit six parts alcohol, sounds about right.

An argument over the rules of pool, snooker, darts, Snakes & Ladders is always fun and helps to cement
and strengthen bonds with friends and family.

So there you have it, all the elements needed for the perfect ski break. You don’t necessarily have to have
them all and arguably some, you could well do without but a full house keeps everyone occupied and happy.

Rebecca Taylor is Director at SkiBoutique.
Article By Luxury Travel Blog.

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5 Reasons to Ski the Sierra Nevada This Winter

A ski holiday is not the first thing people usually think of when considering a visit to Andalucia; however, the Sierra Nevada ski resort is for many reasons a terrific alternative to the Alps and other European ski destinations. With world-class slopes and facilities, this site overlooking the Mediterranean sea and the culture rich city of Granada played host to the FIS Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Cup Super finals in March of this year and is already slated to host the World Championships in 2017. With the top station sitting 3300 meters high and a ski-able vertical drop of 1200 meters, this resort is no joke.

Sierra Nevada Spain

Consider five reasons to book your ski holiday in the Sierra Nevada this season:

The sun

This is still sunny Andalucia after all, and the Sierra Nevada ski resort is in fact the southernmost ski resort in Europe. It’s also the sunniest ski resort in Europe with more than 80% sunny days during the ski season. You can see the Mediterranean from the slopes on a clear day, and as the beach at Motril is within about 45 minutes drive from the resort, you can even ski and take in the sun on the beach all in the same day.

The Sulayr Snow Park

In preparation for hosting the freestyle ski and snowboard World Cup in March, 2013, the Sierra Nevada resort expanded the already impressive Sulayr Snow Park with nine brand new features to bring the number of jumps, rails, half-pipes and various other obstacles up to 70. Forty-six of these can be done consecutively in what is now Europe’s longest such run. There is a dedicated “Kidspark” within the zone and practice areas for intermediates to provide a safe as well as fun environment for freestylers of all ages and skill levels.

Fewer crowds and virtually endless off-piste slopes

The resort still seems to cater more to local patrons than for weeklong holiday makers, which means that on weekdays the crowds are often very thin, and even on weekends long queues for the lifts are rare. The Spanish habit of siesta still plays a role as well, so the midday slopes are even more luxuriously unoccupied.

But for those who really want to get away from the crowds, the entirety of the Sierra Nevada resort sits above the tree line so with a good snow it is possible to ski virtually the entire mountain. However, such off-piste excursions are not advisable for any but the most knowledgeable and expert skiers. Avalanche prevention measures off-piste are minimal, but with a bit of information and advice there are vast areas of skiable, natural mountainscapes.

Proximity to diverse attractions

It is often the case that the best ski resorts are so remote that it’s not possible to explore the region beyond the slopes. Again the Sierra Nevada resort offers a stark contrast. The resort itself is known for a livelier-than-most nightlife, but with such proximity to the historic city of Granada and the World Heritage site of the Alhambra at only about 20 kilometres away, it’s not so much of a possibility as a must. Malaga, at about 160km is also workable on a day trip and half of that is coastline for any desired beach stops. Cordoba and the Mezquita are also about a two-hour drive from Granada (a train also runs) offering further World Heritage sites and deep cultural explorations.

Length of the season

The Sierra Nevada ski resort is usually open from late November to early May, making it one of the longest non-glacial ski seasons in Europe. There are fewer than 50 ski resorts in the world open in May for late season skiing and the Sierra Nevada is one of them. The slopes are now already open for 2013, with the first skiers and snowboarders carving up the fresh snow from 23 November. That gives you a full six months to plan and schedule your visit this season!

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