Revealed: the world's most luxurious ski resorts
When skiing first became popular, it was considered the realm of the aristocracy and celebrity film stars, or maybe energetic sporty types who combined a love of adventure and mountaineering with the new thrill of sliding down fast.
The glamorous set might spend summers in St Tropez, Capri or Monte Carlo, then meet again in Alpine equals such as Megève and St Moritz, regarding the finest hotels, restaurants and shops, along with the opportunity to see and be seen, to be at least as important as the slopes.
While the cachet of resorts like these endures, nowadays skiing and snowboarding are open to a wider range of holidaymakers, from families or party animals to those who just want to ski hard. And there are also plenty of more wallet-friendly resorts catering for those on a tighter budget.
The four main ones – Schruns, Gaschurn, Silbertal and St Gallenkirch – give access to the the region’s largest single ski area, Silvretta Montafon, with 140km of pistes.
Schruns is the main village, with the most hotels – including two four-stars – restaurants and shops, as well as direct access to Silvretta Montafon and another smaller ski area called Golm, with 43km of pistes.
Courchevel 1850, France
One of the world’s largest ski areas, the Trois Valleés offers 600km of pistes linked by 165 lifts. It’s all accessible from Courchevel but for beginners and early intermediates the 150km of local slopes provide ample entertainment, with some challenging off-piste terrain too.
The majority of them are ideal for intermediates although beginners will flourish on the tree-lined blues of Socrepes in Tofana, and Mietres in Faloria