Days are brightening, temperatures are on a (gradual) upward trend, and the last of winter is drawing ski enthusiasts to the slopes. With spring school holidays just around the corner, a sunny alpine vacation might be just the ticket to clearing away the winter blues. Below, six top spring ski destinations and cozy homes provide a welcome dose of mountain therapy.
Verbier, Valais, Switzerland
There’s really only one word to describe the après scene in Verbier: legendary. Bordered by two of the world’s most fashionable countries, this hotspot is a stop on “The Haute Route” for good reason. A favorite amongst aristocracy for decades, royals including the Duke of Cambridge have been known to flock to Verbier for a bit of time away. Bars here open early and are known to keep the champagne flowing, but don’t let the glitterati fool you; the resort is equally as enticing for the serious skiing set. Recognized as one of the premier off-piste resorts in the Alps, high season runs from December to April, but keep in mind European school holidays start near the end of February. When you’re ready to retreat from the scene, this alpine jewel, punctuated with European flair, provides all the trappings of a mountain lodge with the amenities of a luxury hotel.
Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan
One common thread connecting all winter sports enthusiasts in their snow-capped pursuits? The unmistakable feeling of weightlessness that comes with soaring down a mountain at top speed. When adrenaline junkies need a serious dose of skier’s high, they venture off the beaten path to Hokkaido, where the glacial winds blown in from Siberia dust the pistes with some of the driest, coldest, icing-sugar-iest snow on the planet, and the Niseko ski region can receive about 600 inches of snow a year. When you’re not rushing down a hill or exploring nearby volcanoes and hot springs, this contemporary apartment with its calming living-dining area provides the perfect place to rejuvenate so you can get back up and do it all over again.
Whistler, British Columbia
There’s a reason Whistler is routinely included in lists of top skiing destinations. It’s reliable, well-rounded, and relatively easy to get to. For those looking to squeeze the most action out of their skiing vacation, Whistler remains one of the best choices in terms of variety—especially if your cohort includes other families with children or individuals of varied skill levels. The action here is virtually endless; together with its partner mountain Blackcomb, Whistler offers more than 150 features including 90 rails, and an alpine village that is a destination unto itself. For serious downhillers, the mountains here are some of the world’s best, with over 8,100 acres of snow-covered slopes, 16 alpine bowls, and three glaciers. For an authentic ski experience, rest up at this cozy chalet, heated by a wood-burning fireplace that is quintessential mountain lodging at its best.
Megève, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France
Wondering where the chic set of seasonaires go to escape the crowds? They decamp to the more relaxed Megève, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region adjacent to Mont Blanc. Originally conceived by the Rothschilds while looking for an alternative to St. Moritz, to this day it attracts a regular clientele who favor peaceful slopes over a lively après. If fast-passing the queues is more your speed, this idyllic, postcard-worthy chalet overlooking the Aravis mountain range might be just what you’re looking for.
Park City, Utah, United States
The largest ski area in the United States, this behemoth resort located just 33 miles southeast of Salt Lake City is famed for its massive sprawl, impeccably-groomed runs, and Main Street charm, with its acclaimed Utah powder as the icing on the cake. December to March is the best time to visit, while January is ideal for those who wish to extend their visit to the Sundance Film Festival with a skiing holiday. No matter when you visit, this iconic ski lodge boasting mountain and gondola views is ski country at its finest, and is a place the entire family will look forward to getting back to.
Telluride, Colorado, United States
A former Rocky Mountain mining town turned hippie haven in the 70s and 80s, Telluride retains its off-piste appeal bolstered by a large arts and culture scene, quaint boutiques, and plenty of Old West character. When it comes to the snow, the resort doesn’t disappoint, with glades, bowls, and cliffs for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. Located in the heart of the action, this downtown home is the perfect place to soak up the authentic mountain charm of Telluride before making your way to the slopes.
Whether you need to soak up the sunshine on a terrace or feel the wind rush past your face coming down the mountain, a spring ski vacation is the perfect way to polish off winter and welcome in the change of the seasons.