It’s that time of year again. The time when the allure of fresh white snow, fresher Alpine views and some serious après-ski becomes overwhelming, and you just have to pack up and make for the mountains. Whether one plank of wood or two is your jam, there’s only one destination for your skiing holiday this year: Switzerland.
Badrutt’s Palace – for old-school glamour
Known as the ‘Grand Dame of St Moritz’, Badrutt’s Palace is an iconic sight in the famous Swiss town. The dramatic architecture is only matched by its sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding Engadin Valley, fitting for a hotel that’s been hosting the rich and celebrated for 120 years. Marlene Dietrich and Audrey Hepburn both chose to escape the paparazzi in the Palace’s dreamlike towers, and Alfred Hitchcock came back no less than thirty four times, after he fell in love with the place on his honeymoon. The parties at the Palace are also legendary, with talk of sea lions in the swimming pool and elephants in the foyer over its 100 plus years.
And as for sport, the surrounding Engadin mountains are a skiing (or snowboarding) paradise, with over 350 kilometres of slopes of varying levels, all in easy reach of the ski lifts. For those of you looking to improve your skiing technique, the Palace also has its very own ski school. On the other hand, if you’re looking to spice up your week on the slopes then the Diavolezza glacier offers the most hairraising runs. And The Jackal’s tip? The newly launched ‘Gentelmenu’ of bespoke treatments for men in the Palace’s spa is the perfect way to relax and recover after a long day on the snow.
Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, Via Serlas 27, 7500 St. Moritz
Tel.: +41 (0)81 837 10 00
Ultima, Gstaad – for uncompromising modern luxury
For those sportsmen among you who enjoy the ski-in-ski-out experience, you have to visit Ultima. Located in the age-old ski town of Gstaad, it’s the closest hotel in the area to the ski lifts – the nearest, Wispile, is a mere 100m away. A five-star boutique hotel, Ultima marries classic Swiss interiors with a luxurious modern aesthetic, with bespoke art on the walls and plush furniture to sink into after a long day on the slopes. Choose from eleven suites (ranging between 50sqm to a palatial 240sqm in size) or private residences, all spread between three private chalets located ten minutes from the famous Gstaad promenade.
And after a day perfecting your cliff-hucking (if skiing off an icy cliff is your thing), what better to wind down with than supper cooked by a three Michelin-starred chef? Fortunately, Georges Blanc is overseeing the menu at the hotel’s renowned La Duchesse restaurant throughout the winter season. After dinner, retire to the opulent black marble and bronze spa with its 15m indoor pool, sauna and steam room or book a wellness treatment from La Prairie, Switzerland’s most famous anti-aging skincare brand.
Ultima Gstaad, Gsteigstrasse 70, 3780 Gstaad – Switzerland
+41 33 748 05 50
The Chedi Andermatt – for east-meets-west-allure
If we’ve not ticked your boxes yet (tough crowd, you lot) you could go for something a little different this year. Designed by architect Jean-Michel Gathy, The Chedi celebrates the fusion of traditional Alpine style with a slick Asian aesthetic. Deep-pile cashmere blankets and lashings of faux fur mix with sophisticated lighting, low tables and slatted doors, for a compelling east-meets-west aesthetic. The food’s seriously good too: the Japanese restaurant has just been awarded its first Michelin star. Run by executive chef Dietmar Sawyere, along with his sushi masters, it offers five to 10 course Kaiseki menus for a modern take on authentic Japanese cuisine. The 2,400m spa is also unmissable, with both indoor and outdoor pools and far eastern treatments tailored to you.
If you make it outside at all, The Chedi couldn’t be in a better location for access to the mountains. Nestled in the Swiss village of Andermatt, the nearest ski lift is a five minute walk away. And once you’ve ascended the mountain you’ll find approximately 120km of slopes on the Ski Arena Andermatt-Sedrun. The hotel also offers private ski tours with an Olympic skier and Alpine helicopter rides, too – for those of you looking for even more of an adrenaline rush.
The Chedi Andermatt, Gotthardstrasse 4, CH-6490 Andermatt
+41 (41) 888 74 88