There's a lot to be said for the independence and freedom that comes with hiring a luxury ski chalet when visiting the Alps. Other times, you may be wanting more of a true hotel experience. For those who prefer the latter, there are plenty of options in the area ranging from grand and elegant five-star luxury properties to intimate boutique-style establishments. Here are five beautiful hotels that have proved very popular with Swiss snow bunnies:
Photo Credit: Hotel Le K2
Hotel Le K2 — Courchevel 1850
Courchevel 1850 is arguably the most affluent ski resort in the world, the influx of Russians and the wealth that they bring has cemented its reputation and given its economy a massive boost. The USSR experienced its remarkable growth into a super power from 1850 onwards, but the resort isn't named because of that, that's a serendipitous coincidence. It's the elevation at 1850 meters that gives it its name, ensuring that this prosperous resort is guaranteed snow. In a destination that boasts some of the world's most luxurious chalets and hotels, Hotel Le K2 holds its own admirably. K2 has 29 rooms and suites furnished with Alpine woods, bronze accents and warm shades to exude a wholly natural setting. It has style, sumptuous comfort and five-star service, all dished up in a beautiful location.
Photo Credit: Le Chalet Zannier
Le Chalet Zannier — Megeve
This stunning little boutique hotel is a world away from the bling of its more illustrious neighbors. Not far from the heart of Megeve, a resort founded and developed by the French aristocracy in a bid to rival St. Moritz, Le Chalet Zannier is assured of its place amongst the finest accommodations the area has to offer. The property boasts three separate Alpine-style chalets in its environment, offering the privacy of your own space with the first-class service of a hotel. It also takes its service very seriously, which shows in every aspect of the property. Sophisticated and charming, Zannier is a beautiful haven that takes full advantage of its winter wonderland destination, and postcard-worthy scenery that surrounds.
Photo Credit: Cervo Mountain Boutique Resort
Cervo Mountain Boutique Resort — Zermatt
You really can't go wrong in Zermatt, this charming resort has it all. It offers year-round skiing high up on the glacier, mountains on three sides and the iconic Matterhorn, Zermatt's calling card. Set amongst snow dusted pines in a cozy spot on a sheltered piste, the setting for Cervo Mountain Boutique Resort is picture-perfect. The interiors are warm and welcoming, and the ambience is very chic, featuring contemporary décor mixed with traditional Alpine themes. No five-star retreat would be complete without a wellness center, and the Cervo does not disappoint with its outdoor whirlpool, sauna, sanarium (steam room), bucket shower, massage showers, kneipp-basin, massage room and a sunny terrace affording Matterhorn views.
Photo Credit: W Verbier
W Verbier — Verbier
There was much excitement around Verbier when the W brand announced it was coming to town; and the hotel opened its doors right in time for the 2013/14 ski season. Already, W Verbier has established itself as a major player in a resort packed with stunning accommodations. Situated next to the Medran lift station, the hotel couldn't be better placed. You can carve an elegant turn and swish to a halt in the hotel forecourt, take your place on the terrace and order a cocktail to toast your good fortune. Aside from its fabulous location and stunning interiors the W also boasts a fine array of luxury features including a state-of-the-art fitness suite, the stunning indoor/outdoor WET pool and the tranquil Away Spa. The service here is pretty special too, whatever you need, their renowned "Whatever, Whenever" service team is there to make it happen.
Photo Credit: Gstaad Palace
Gstaad Palace — Gstaad
The Gstaad Palace is legendary for its service; they probably wouldn't even baulk if you asked them to tickle your feet with a feather. Such are the lengths they go to please guests. If you want a palatial hotel with an unsurpassed elegance, this is the place to lay your hat (which will probably be picked up, dusted off and returned to you on a velvet cushion). Gstaad Palace is located in a charming mountain village surrounded by unspoiled countryside and views of the Swiss Alps. First opened in 1913, it has been run by three generations of the Scherz family who take the legacy passed down to them very seriously. The Spa features an ambiance which radiates a magical charm, and its exclusive facilities are spread on over 1,937 square feet. It includes eight treatment rooms, a private spa suite, saunas and steam baths, relaxation areas, indoor and outdoor pools, a state-of-the-art gym, solarium, Pilates Studio and a hammam. There are eight restaurants to choose from. If you're a non-skier it's quite possible you may never leave the hotel throughout your stay. If you want to feel regal for a week or two, this is the place to be, no question!