Ski resorts with more to do than than just skiing

These three great ski resorts have much more to offer than downhill thrills.


Steamboat Springs in Colorado strikes a perfect balance between young and old

"Those looking for aprs-ski that doesn't involve DJ tzi, shot skis or Jgerbombs should look to Andermatt" in Switzerland, says Tom Robbins in the Financial Times. "In June, it opened a stunning new concert hall with a performance by the Berlin Philharmonic." The glass facade "leaves it awash with natural light" perfect for a year-round programme that is geared towards promoting rising stars, ranging from opera and chamber music to jazz.

In little more than a decade Andermatt has transformed from being a garrison town with a few ageing ski lifts to becoming an upmarket resort. The five-star The Chedi hotel opened in 2013 and a new lift will extend the ski area to the neighbouring historic village of Disentis. If you make it there, but find you don't have the legs to make it back, the Apres-Ski train is on hand, with a bar serving cheese and dried meats, beer and schnapps.

From CHF510,

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Food, glorious food

As part of Les Trois Valles, the world's largest ski area, Val Thorens, in France, has access to hundreds of kilometres of ski runs, says Ben Ross in The Daily Telegraph. But it also has access to 19 Michelin stars shared by 11 restaurants. If that sounds like too much of a stretch, you can still eat well, if not exactly cheaply. "Our finest stop came at La Ferme de la Choumette, low on the mountain above St Martin de Belleville, where entrecote and tangy cheese burgers were served in a peculiar shed that was half restaurant, half cow barn." "But a glorious meal at Chalet de la Marine, off the Peclet lift above Val Thorens, showed that even extortionate pot au feu (€30) can be worth it when delivered well: rich, hearty and full of marrow." Stay at Langley Hotel Tango, located in "a busy, but not uproarious hub" for apres-ski.

From £80,

Hot springs in Colorado

Steamboat Springs in Colorado "strikes the balance between a younger ski-town population and older, laid-back ranchers, with a cultural scene built around both", says Kevin Max in Barron's Penta. Its natural hot springs and supposed therapeutic powers continue to attract visitors. Legend has it that early settlers mistook the noise coming from the springs for that of a steamboat. While the "massive" Steamboat ski resort is the village's main attraction, it is still less crowded than Vail and Breckenridge. Even so, there are also surprisingly few luxury places to stay. The luxury penthouses and condos at the Steamboat Grand at the ski resort are an exception, offering heated pools, hot tubs, a spa and views of the iconic ski area.

From $295 for three nights,

Chris Carter

Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.

Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.

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