This article was produced by National Geographic Traveller (UK).
Each year in the Alps, as the first snows of the season start to fall, mountain towns welcome winter visitors with a slew of smart new hotels. And this year is no different, with upscale brands including COMO Hotels and Resorts moving its beach-beautiful ethos to the Italian Alps in COMO Alpina Dolomites, and Grace Hotels giving St Moritz its first luxury opening in half a century in the Grace La Margna. With its boutique modern addition, the sleek Swiss hotel breathes new life into the former art nouveau hotel La Margna, following a trend for high-profile revamps seen across the Alps this season. Here’s a look at the six best new openings, many of which revitalise former hotel landmarks.
Part of the luxury spa hotel chain with properties from the Maldives to China’s mountain wilderness, this Swiss opening is Six Senses’ first in the country. Set on forested slopes just above the Cry d’Er gondola, many of its 78 rooms have large balconies with decor in local larch and oak, huge beds and freestanding baths. The indoor pool has a suspended ceiling of thousands of timber stakes reaching down towards the water. The outdoor infinity swimming pool will be heated all winter and is bordered by a greenhouse full of trees with a suspension bridge through the first-floor level treetops. Wild Cabin brasserie focuses on modern Swiss cuisine, while Byakko serves food influenced by the Japanese Alps. Doubles from €788 (£679), B&B.
Following the retirement of the couple who had run it for 30 years, the Alpina reopens in December as part of the boutique Seven group. The classic chalet-style building in the heart of the Swiss town, opposite the main ski station, has been reimagined, its 52 rooms now decked out in contemporary design hotel style. The spa and pool have been revamped, the lounge has an open fire, and there are two restaurants, a bar and an apres-ski terrace. Doubles from €280 (£250), B&B.
The luxurious Koh-l Nor hotel in this towering location in the Trois Vallées has been reborn as Voulez Vous by the Les Etincelles group, creator of upmarket hotels, residences, restaurants and bars in leading French ski resorts. The makeover brings new restaurants — including Il Savoia, an Italian-Savoyard blend. Cocktails and dance evenings are promised and it’s still ski in, ski out, set on the central Plein Sud piste. Doubles from €256 (£220) B&B (minimum stay three nights).
The latest from the German brand is a cosy classic chalet with a contemporary edge. Set close to Kitzbühel’s main hub, its riverside location feels tucked away from it all. A menu of small plates is promised for dinner, while the lounge and house kitchen are the places for make-yourself-at-home breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas. There’s also an indoor pool, sauna, steam bath and gym. Doubles from €168 (£145), B&B; €188 (£160) with dinner and a glass of wine.
This boutique chalet hotel in the lively Italian resort of Alta Valtellina has long been known for its duty-free drinking. The Camino is part of its move towards a more refined image, with a rustic chic aesthetic of wood, wood and more wood. Promising a breakfast buffet of local dishes plus afternoon snacks, a spa and, should energy remain after a day’s skiing, a gym. There’s a restaurant at sister B&B, Via Vai apartments. Doubles from €145 (£123) B&B.
A chalet from hip hotel group the Hoxton arrived in the French resort late last season, with city chic decor, country house flourishes and adorned with art. Six en suite bedrooms are set over three floors, with a chef (and mixologist) on offer for dinners that come with paired drinks. There’s an open fire, plush robes,a hot tub and cinema room. Four nights from £450 per person, room only, £19,800 for exclusive hire.
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