A chic wood and stone hotel outside Cervinia in the Italian Dolomites, Les Neiges d’Antan hotel blends historic charm with contemporary cool. From its cosy wood-panelled bedrooms to a small, hi-tech spa, the atmosphere is one of quiet indulgence, not least in the restaurant. Choose from delicately presented, traditionally influenced dishes such as larch-smoked salmon, seuppe alla valpellinentze (a hearty cabbage, cheese and bread soup) and grilled venison cutlets with rosemary and garlic (three courses for around €35).
Stay there: Double rooms start from £260, b&b (lesneigesdantan.it).
Get there: Return flights from Gatwick to Turin cost from £80 (easyet.com). Car hire costs from £15 per day (holidayautos.co.uk).
The legendary Hotel Mont-Blanc is the ultimate in picture-perfect alpine luxury. Expect plenty of wood panelling, roaring fires, and sensational hot chocolate in the cosy lounge, and all of it right in the centre of this quaint mountain village. Its Les Enfants Terribles Restaurant’s avant garde decor is offset by the traditional food: classic French dishes such as steak au poivre (€39) and foie gras (€24), plus spectacular seafood. If this isn’t enough luxury for you, you can get a little bit extra by heading to the Spa Pure Altitude and shaking off the snow in the sauna and jacuzzi, or relaxing with post-ski massage.
Stay there: Classic rooms start from €290 per person; breakfast an additional €26 per person (hotelmontblanc.com).
Get there: Return flights from Gatwick to Geneva from £60 (easyjet.com).
SAN CASSIANO, ITALY
By day tuck into ‘slope food’ as you ski between a string of rustic mountain huts in the Italian Dolomites; at night enjoy Tyrolean retreat, the Rosa Alpina. This family-run hotel in the little village of San Cassiano is a gourmet hotspot. Norbert Niederkofler is the two-star Michelin chef of the hotel’s Restaurant St Hubertus, and the man behind the concept that’s evolutionised mountain food in the area. The idea: twelve guest chefs create a simple gourmet dish for a mountain hut, which is paired with the finest local wines. And you can learn more about the melting pot of Italian, Austrian and Ladin cuisine in a cookery class with Niederkofler himself.
Stay there: Double rooms €210 per person, including breakfast (rosalpina.it).
Get there: Return flights to Innsbruck cost £70 (easyjet.com). Car hire costs £23.80 per day (rhinocarhire.com)
With its sail-like structures poking out of the mountainside, the Tschuggen Grand Hotel’s Bergoase spa is clearly cutting-edge. Guests can sign up for the hotel’s Culinary Academy and man the stoves with Michelinstarred chef Tobias Jochim who heads up the La Vetta Restaurant. His tasting menus are an innovative take on traditional ingredients with the likes of Bresse pigeon sous vide with bulgur, millet and black walnuts. Then there’s the hotel’s private railway to whisk you to the slopes in style, and its mountainside restaurant complete with the Tschuggenhütte ice-castle.
Stay there: Doubles start at £365 per night b&b (tschuggen.ch). Three-hour classes cost £136.
Get there: Return flights from London to Zurich cost from £70 return (easyjet.com).
Written January 2014