The New Year is coming and washes away a whole decade of memories and great experiences, only to announce the next highlights. Even if many now claim that January is the time that an emotional travel disillusionment sets in, it is still the first weeks of the year that set the stage for the upcoming ski circus. For me the opportunity to present the best ski resorts for 2020 and to write my highlights on your bucket list. For this, we will travel from the busy ski slopes of Austria to the exclusive resorts of Zermatt and Aspen, Colorado. All 7 hotels and ski resorts are among the best in the world and I love to travel to these places again and again. Get inspired and start lacing your ski boots, as winter has already put its white dress over the peaks and slopes.
Das Central, Sölden
In April 2019 I had the opportunity to meet Jack Falkner and his James Bond installation in Sölden. Here you will find the famous ice Q from Spectre, not only a magnificent gourmet restaurant at 3,048 meters above sea level, but also the Central Hotel, one of the most exclusive resorts in the Alps. Oriented towards the epicurean, it spoils its guests with a 5-course menu and a water and sauna landscape reminiscent of the famous lagoon world of Venice. But the highlight is of course the Öztal Alps with the Gaislachkogel and the Gigijoch, which make Sölden a true ski Eldorado, offering a surprising amount of space. Despite all your sporting zeal, you shouldn’t miss the glass of Pino 3000 at the ice Q restaurant and enjoy the view of the white mountain world. Sölden is my clear number 1 in Austria. Here you can find the detailed report about the Hotel Das Central.
Arlberg 1800 Resort, St. Christoph
I have seldom been snowed in as much as in the extraordinary Arlberg 1800 Resort in St. Christoph. But if I’m honest, that was of course part of the plan, because after all, the hotel complex not only houses its own concert hall, but also the largest private Bordeaux collection in Europe, with a value of 7 million euros. The rooms and suites are equipped with an open fireplace and offer exactly the comfort you need after a cold day of skiing. All in all, the Arlberg 1800 Resort, with its mix of tradition and modernity, is one of the most unusual accommodations you can visit in a ski resort.
Das EDELWEISS Salzburg Mountain Resort
The EDELWEISS has become something like a second home for me, as I had the pleasure of visiting one of the best houses in Austria in winter and summer. Here you have a real ski-in-ski-out experience from what is perhaps the most modern ski room in the world. The rooms and suites, especially in the new annex, are of the very finest quality and the wellness area sets standards throughout Europe. You can’t describe it; you have to experience what Karin Hettegger and her family have done in the Grossarl Valley. It is not only the hotel and the ambience, it´s also the ski area, which belongs to the Ski amadé ski association, in which five large areas have joined forces to offer the spoilt holidaymaker an almost endless range of slopes.
The OMNIA Mountain Lodge, Zermatt
For me, Zermatt is clearly the best skiing area in the Alps, a thing that is due to its exposed situation and the exclusive accommodations. The OMNIA, which is managed by hotel director Christian Eckert, deliberately sets a counterpoint here to the traditional accommodations in this region. With American modernism and purist forms, the OMNIA leaves plenty of room for your own thoughts and experiences and focuses on the wonderful mountain world around the Matterhorn. In addition, the slopes of the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise offer adventure and fun away from crowded lifts in a picture-book setting. Click here for the article about The OMNIA.
Riffelalp Resort, Zermatt
Of course, Zermatt offers more than one outstanding hotel and those who are looking for the luxury of a Leading Hotel of the World in the middle of the skiing area should in any case check in at the Riffelalp Resort. This house at a height of 2.222 metres, literally breathes the crackling chimney scent into the fresh mountain air and inspires with three excellent restaurants and a heated outdoor pool with a view to the famous Matterhorn. Moreover, those who are doing their swings in the skiing area of the Gornergrat can also go straight to the hotel with their skis. There is no better way to spend the night, eat and look at the Matterhorn at the same time, so that the Riffelalp is an absolute must in the winter as also in the summertime.
Limelight Hotel Snowmass, Colorado
We’re leaving Europe and heading to the slopes of the New World in Aspen, Colorado, where a true ski-in-ski-out experience awaits you with the new Limelight in Snowmass. Located right next to the slopes and ice rink, you can let your tired legs whirl in the hot pool, watch the skaters do their pirouettes and then finish the evening in front of the crackling fireplace. The ski area in Snowmass is also one of my absolute favorites, because nowhere else does snow feel softer than in Colorado. And nowhere you´ll find less busier places than on the local slopes and lifts. In addition, the small town of Aspen is a perfect boutique domicile arisen from a winter catalogue. All in all, Aspen is for me the ultimate in winter sports, even if the mountain panoramas in Europe are much more impressive. Click here for the report about the new Limelight in Snowmass.
Sonnenalp Hotel, Vail
Vail or Aspen is the question here in Colorado and you can only answer it with both. While Aspen, with a total of four ski resorts, offers something for every target group, Vail captivates with a sheer monster of butter-soft slopes that roll endlessly downhill from 3,500 meters into the valley. In addition, the Sonnenalp Hotel is a little piece of home for me, as the parent company of this luxury accommodation is in Ofterschwang in Germany. But don’t worry, because the cuisine is of course made in the USA and you don’t have to leave Vail without hamburgers and spare rips in the rustic Bully Ranch. So, if you want to experience an epic day, you have to go to Vail, you have to go to the Sonnenalp Hotel.