With the dark evenings and gloomy weather this month, what better way to pass the time than to plan your next exciting holiday. Leading private jet charter provider Air Partner has thoughtfully put together a guide on its pick of the top three ski destinations to book this season – from the super stylish après ski vibes in Zermatt to the Alpine paradise of Courchevel – winter’s answer to star-studded Saint-Tropez
In time for the festive season, the company has introduced a limited-edition £1million JetCard for the person who truly has everything. The card entitles ski enthusiasts to up to 86,625 nautical miles*, meaning they can travel to one or all of the below ski destinations several times over should they wish.
Alongside all the expected advantages of flying privately – more space, privacy, attentive service and proximity to their favourite resort – passengers are also able to fully customise their on-board experience. For instance, clients can enjoy delicious localised menus that offer a true taste of the Alps all the way back home.
Zermatt – Switzerland
Why go?: Home to the highest altitude station accessible by cable car in Europe – the Matterhorn glacier at 3,883m – and offering 350km of pistes, Zermatt is the place to go for advanced skiers. The resort also has a lively, cosmopolitan ambiance, with a delicious array of fine dining restaurants cooking up a culinary storm.
Best time to go: February, when the sun comes out and the challenging Stockhorn slopes open. For heli-skiing enthusiasts, March and April are best, as this is when the crevasses are well filled on the glaciers.
Must-ski piste: Rothorn or Stockhorn.
Where to stay: Mont Cervin Palace
A true home away from home, guests will be greeted in a horse-drawn carriage and delivered to this charming and quaint hotel. A blend of rustic Alpine and contemporary luxury, the interior design of the hotel spans everyone’s taste. Located at the foot of the Matterhorn, the views are also truly spectacular, particularly from the outdoor pool. Guests can also delight in delicious gourmet offerings at the hotel’s Michelin-starred Ristorante Capri, which serves sumptuous Mediterranean cuisine.
Where to dine: For lunch with a view, Chez Vrony provides not only outstanding cuisine, but also exceptional mountain views. Surrounded by a sea of Moncler jackets, diners can warm up with a drink on the terrace, or stop for a longer lunch from their exquisite menu. Advance booking is recommended.
Where to après ski: For lively ambiance and exceptional cocktails, nothing beats Snowboat – a boat-shaped building by the river, popular with seasonaires.
Where to party: For those who want to continue the party after dark, visit one of the most legendary nightclubs in the Alps – Broken Bar Disco at the Hotel Post. With the dark, cosy atmosphere of a wine cellar, and the iconic wine barrel that is used as a dancefloor, visitors will be entertained until dawn.
Where to unwind: Pay a visit to the Alpine Spa at the Grand Hotel to sooth those aching muscles. Featuring a pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam bath and ice grotto, as well as a private spa area for couples, the spa offers all the necessary treatments and facilities to fully unwind and rejuvenate.
How to get there Fly into Sion airport on Citation XLS and then it’s just over an hour’s transfer to the resort by car.
Ad hoc one-way flights from London to Sion from GBP 9,000
Gstaad – Switzerland
Why go?: A traditional, alpine village without the cosmopolitan feel of other fashionable Swiss resorts, Gstaad is where the A-listers flock every season. At an altitude of 1,060m, and offering 250km of pistes, Gstaad is a great resort for both novice and intermediate skiers.
Best time to go: Visitors are more likely to be guaranteed good snowfall in January and February.
Must-ski piste: The Hornberg area is popular with families, offering gentle blue and red runs.
Where to stay: The captivating Gstaad Palace is renowned for its family-run authenticity, warm and welcoming service, and glamorous history. It has sumptuous rooms, five restaurants, a lobby bar that is known as ‘the cross-roads of Gstaad’, and an incredible spa with unparalleled mountain views, pampering treatments, and heated indoor and outdoor pools.
Where to dine: For a friendly atmosphere, visit Le Grand Bellevue’s one Michelin-starred restaurant Leonard’s for either lunch or dinner. Delivering seasonal cuisine, the restaurant offers cut-above bistro cuisine.
Where to après ski: Head to Euter Bar or Horny Bar to gorge on raclette cheese and champagne, all amidst breath-taking mountain views.
Where to party: For somewhere unpretentious with a local feel to it, the Chesery Club offers live DJs, a fumoir, billiards, and two cosy bars.
Where to unwind: The Six Senses Spa at The Alpina Gstaad combines the local Alpine surroundings with an Eastern influence, creating a warm and secluded ambience. The spa facilities include a salt room, indoor and outdoor swimming pool, relaxation rooms, hot and cold plunge pools, steam room, and sauna.
How to get there: Fly into Bern airport on Lear 75 and then it’s just an hour’s drive from the airport to Gstaad.
Ad hoc one-way flights from London to Bern from GBP 9,300
Courchevel – France
Why go?: An Alpine paradise for skiers as well as non-skiers, the tip of Courchevel at 1,850m is France’s most upscale ski resort. With more five-star hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants than anywhere else in the country (except for Paris and the Riviera), it’s largely regarded as winter’s answer to star-studded Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera.
Best time to go: January, as the slopes are considerably quieter and the resort is likely to have received a few good snowfalls.
The must-ski piste: The Grand Couloir.
Where to stay: Uniquely positioned slope-side at the foot of the famed Bellecôte run of the fairytale village of Courchevel, Hôtel Barrière Les Neiges is moments from the centre of this vibrant destination with easy access to the rest of the Trois Vallées’ 600km of ski runs. With two Michelin-star Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco heading up the hotel’s BFire restaurant, guests can experience a gourmet feast every evening after a long day speeding down the slopes.
Where to dine: The Michelin-starred restaurant Le Farcon cannot be missed – Head Chef Julien Machet takes diners on a culinary adventure with a different lunch and dinner menu each day.
Where to après ski: Complete with a vodka bar and brilliant live music, Ku De Ta is a popular après ski venue which stays open until the early hours.
Where to party: Try the Mangeoire piano bar in Courchevel 1850 – the venue offers an extensive wine list and a disco that continues until 5am.
Where to unwind: The Cha’Banya spa Le Chabichou Courchevel 1850 has a subterranean wellness centre under the ski slope that specialises in an array of multi-sensory experiences. These experiences include a Dead Sea pool, Russian sauna, hammam, polar bath, ice fountain, saline cave, and a musical pool.
How to get there: Fly to Chambery airport on a Legacy 500 and then it’s an hour’s drive from the airport to the resort.
Ad hoc one-way flights from London to Chambery from GBP 14,000
For further information, please visit http://www.airpartner.com/en/private-jet-charter/ski/