Ski + spa is just the perfect combo! There’s no better feeling than stepping into a hot steam room or sauna after being on the slopes and then having a massage to ease any aches and pains in the muscles.
For the ski and spa enthusiasts who are already thinking about their winter holidays, here’s the Soul Seed Travel roundup of the best luxury ski & spa hotels in the alps.
Koh I Nor, Val Thorens
Best for: Ski in, ski out and spa out!
The Koh I Nor is your hotel if you are looking to ski in, ski out and spa out. Located in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie, French Alps, Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe, at a 2300 metre altitude. We arrived in the evening, past sunset having travelled on the train from Paris to Mutiers train station where the hotel shuttle bus picked us up.
The Koh-I Nor takes its name from the 105,6 carat diamond on the crown of the British royal and in Persian it means ”Mountain of light”. Perched on a hill top has an impressive diamond shaped glass exterior and you enter a glass lift to ascend into the reception area.
The spa is stunning, flooded in natural light and and with all the bells and whistles sooth the skin relax the muscles and detox the body – two pools, fitness center, sauna, hammam, jacuzzi, experience showers, salt wall, and ice fountain. Read the full review.
Pashmina Spa Hotel Le Refuge, Val Thorens
Best for: A night in an igloo under the stars!
The luxurious Pashmina Spa Hotel Le Refuge prides itself on being at the top of the three valleys, at an altitude of 2,350m. Val Thorens, which opened in 1971 is the highest ski resort in Europe renowned for the quality and guarantee of its snow and long season (from the 26th November to 1st May). In its infancy, Val Thorens attracted free spirits to what was viewed as the frontier of alpine development.
Taking its inspiration from the softest, warmest, richest wool in the world results in the coziest setting and we got to spend the night in an geodesic igloo pod! It was one of those awesomely surreal experiences where you see it in the marketing photos, you imagine what it’s like but the reality is even better! This is glamping under the stars at its finest.
We stayed at the hotel in December, during their Winter Camp – an active week aimed at adventures and sportsmen offering ski touring, snowshoeing, conferences with alpinists and explorers, ski lessons and yoga classes!
The flashy and funky pink and blue 400m² Spa by L’Occitane offers a range of natural, authentic treatments and massages inspired by traditional techniques. For those brave enough to momentarily brave the ice cold temperatures there’s an outdoor hot tub. It’s worth it for the view which you can also get from the sauna. Read the full review.
Kulm Hotel, St Moritz
Best for: Panoramic Views of St Moritz from the spa
The elegant and luxurious five star Kulm Hotel stands proudly in the centre of St. Moritz, the original home of winter tourism, enveloped between the breathtaking views of the Engadine lake and the snowy landscaped Alpine mountains.
The Kulm’s name is a German derivation of the Latin word ‘culmen’, meaning hill or crest and is the oldest hotel in St Moritz. Think old school glamour, antique decor, chandeliers, grand pianos and neoclassical pillars and arches.
The spa is a state of the art wellness and fitness dream. Based on its pioneering wellness concept of the three pillars: relaxation, detoxification and regeneration. At over 2000 square meters, it’s one of the best and certainly the biggest spa’s we’ve been to. The facilities are exceptional – steam baths, whirl pool, salt water grotto, Finnish sauna, bio sauna, infrared cabin, keneipp footpath and plenty of heated water beds to relax on.
You can’t beat going for an energising swim in the morning then catching the sunrise from the stunning outdoor pool. There’s something rather magical about being outside in freezing temperatures but feeling warm to the bone and watching the midst rise and float off the water against the pine forests and mountains in the background. Read the full review.
Giardino Mountain, Champfèr
Best for: An ayurvedic mountain retreat
The five star Giardino is located slightly outside St Moritz, a stone throw away in Champfèr, a quaint and enchanting Swiss village. From the outside, the picturesque hotel looked like a gingerbread house with a snow-laden fir tree at the entrance and the breathtaking views of the surrounding Engadine Mountains in the background. It doesn’t get more Alpine than this. The Giardino was crowned Europe’s most beautiful mountain hotel 2015 in GEO Saison magazine (a title they have been awarded for the ninth consecutive year).
Inside, all is cozy and warm. A place where you want to sit by the fire with a mug of Swiss hot chocolate and your slippers on. The interior is decorated with a mixture of modern-design furniture made of traditional Engadine materials and colorful fabrics, cushions and fluffy stools. And then there are little quirky touches of ‘wow,’ like the spectacular floral chandelier, framed by a simple white corridor, bringing to mind a huge bouquet of wild flowers cascading down a snowy mountain.
At the Dipiù Spa where the manager of the hotel has developed their own line skin care products (“di più” comes from Italian and can be roughly translated as “a little more”), the focus is on Ayurveda and creating an holistic retreat experience. Therefore, they do Ayurvedic treatments incredibly well. The Giardino hotels in Ascona, St. Moritz and Zurich are the first five-star resorts in Switzerland to offer authentic Ayurveda treatments and cures, with the goal of helping guests to achieve health and peace by means of a holistic approach. Read the full review.
Badrutt’s Palace, St Moritz
Best for: A magical fairy tale experience
When you get picked up in a vintage Rolls Royce Phantom and a man in uniform you know you are in for a good time. Warm smiles and courteous staff welcome us with open arms and chaperone us inside for our first glimpse of the huge lobby ‘Le Grand Hall’, the legendary living room and catwalk of St. Moritz. This hotel had us at hello.
Extraordinary, palatial Swiss hospitality is what the staff at the Badrutt’s do best and pride themselves on, and all without an air of pretentiousness. Many employees have been working at Badrutt’s Palace for over 20 years and recognize their regular guests by their names and 70% guests are returning ones.
To access the spa ‘Palace Wellness’ one has to go by lift into the dimly lit cavern then through a corridor, hewn from the rocks on which the hotel was built. There is light at the end of the tunnel and the beautiful oval shaped infinity pool glistens with small ripples forming from the water fall, that cascades out of the rock formations. Surrounded by shimmering floor to ceiling windows offering panoramic views of the white Engadin mountain scenery. Read the full review.
Altapura Spa Hotel, Val Thorens
Best for: Incredible views of the alps from the spa
The luxurious 5 star Altapura Ski & Spa hotel sits directly on the slopes with breathtaking views and good vibe feelings coming from the ski and snow camaraderie taking place throughout the day.
Another fabulous spot for people watching happens to be the huge Pure Altitude Spa, at an impressive 1000m² in size, this is the place to relax at new heights. Situated at 2,300m it’s the highest ski resort in Europe.
Pure Altitude is actually a cosmetic and spa brand, part of the Maisons and Hôtels Sibuet label, founded by luxury French hotelier and interior designer, Jocelyne Sibuet and the result of a thriving family business that has existed for over 30 years. The relaxation area includes a Nordic Spiral, which alternates dry and humid heat, punctuated by waterfall showers, a tepidarium, snow treatments and culminating in an Igloo.
Treatments on the menu include a massage using hot candle wax, with “Fleurs de Neige” fragrance balm, the hallmark of the Pure Altitude range. Ultra-repairing and innovative, this treatment nourishes your skin in depth and envelops your body in gentle warmth and the “énergétique des Alpes” ritual, combining manual techniques with linen bags full of salts and mountain plants. Read the full review..
Looking for your perfect ski & spa holiday? Get in touch with one of our travel advisors. Discover more photos of our trip on the Soul Seed Travel Facebook page and follow us on Instagram @soulseedtravel.