Ski hard, party hard: the coolest ski resorts for 2017
19th December 2016
If you’re after a holiday where you can shred the day away on the slopes and party the night away after, we’ve put together a go-to guide.
With the ski season running from December through to April, it can be tough deciding when is good to go. To help you out, we’ve selected some of the coolest resorts, featuring some of the best powder and even more importantly the best après, plus when we think you ought to pay them a visit. So prepare your ski jacket – ‘cuz you may just wanna try them all.
Mayrhofen – Austria
Mayrhofen the innocent little Austrian village under the mountains, is where you really ought to head to at the end of the ski season, specifically from the 3rd to the 8th of April for the infamous, wild festival of the mountains, Snowbombing. Not only is the skiing excellent but the village is also taken over by the festivalgoers for a week of partying. You can watch some of the greatest music artists like Chase & Status, the Courteeners and Blossoms all while taking in the picturesque beauty of the mountains.
The skiing is perhaps best first thing in the morning before the sun gets going, after this it can turn a bit sloshy. However, living in Britain we’re sure you understand the weather is an unpredictable force, so it’s best to pack both lightweight and thicker skiwear. You could easily fit one of our winter mountain cagoules in next to your ski jacket for that warmer weather. Just make sure you’ve got your best sunglasses with you and you’re ready to party!
Niseko – Japan
The Niseko resort in Japan has rapidly gained popularity since it’s discovery, which is no surprise as it enjoys some of the highest levels of perfect powder in the world. If you haven’t yet ventured to Japan for a ski holiday, we recommend getting out there from December 20th to mid February for the best conditions and by best we mean insane.
On average, Niseko enjoys 15-16 metres of fresh powder each season – this is huge, considering most resorts across the Alps get around 3-6m, if they’re lucky. Due to Japan being one of the colder resorts it’s best you invest in a technical snow jacket to keep yourself warm when the powder starts blowing in.
Niseko also offers an exciting variety of restaurants and bars with you all the après you need, however it is becoming more westernised so the sooner you can get out there, the better. Start your night off with a couple of cheeky beers in bar Tamashii, it’s open until 12pm and features a pool table and dart board to test your skills on, then move onto Bigfoot.
This bar is one of the most popular in the Niseko resort so tuck into a few drinks and burgers to set the vibes for your night. Finally, if the night is still young, get over to the underground Edge bar and keep the party going with a host of DJs playing each night.
Tignes – France
The Alps are best known for their snow season ranging from December to the end of March featuring great conditions, fun après and it’s also not too far for us Brits to go. What you might not know is that you can also ski in Tignes in the summer – obviously you’ll only have the slopes on the glacier and surrounding areas open to play with, but it’s enough to keep you busy. The Glacier opens from June 27th – July 3rd and July 4th – August 7th for some seriously sunny skiing.
Off the slopes you’ll find plenty to do with most restaurants and bars open, the après scene in Tignes is one of the best things about it with sports bar dominating the scene – perfect if you don’t want to miss the footie back home – and to end the night Melting Pot is a hot spot with loud drum and bass right through until the early morning. Expect a sore head at breakfast the next day.
Baqueira Beret – Spain
Set in the heart of the Pyrenees, at amazingly good value for money, lies Baqueira Beret. You should get yourself out there anytime between December and March/April. Surprisingly, this Spanish resort gets some of the best snow in Europe because of its position on the border of France.
The value is what attracts people to the skiing in Spain, that and the siesta and fun ski vibe you’ll find out there. If you want to ski all day and party all night then this is definitely the resort for you. Visiting skiers adopt the Spanish lifestyle and tend to ski into the afternoon, have a good snack of Tapas and wine, a siesta and then head out for supper at around 10pm to party into the night. There really isn’t anything that Baqueira Beret doesn’t offer…just be sure to keep an eye out for the local bears.
Lake Tahoe – California
For skiing in March, book a ticket to San Francisco and get yourself over to Lake Tahoe. At this time of year, the snow should be packed and ready and the sun showing her face after the bitter few months of January and February. It’s still worth taking your snoods and hats though, just in case.
Lake Tahoe is best for a scenic adventure. From the top of the Heavenly, at 3,060m, you can see the lake itself as well as Nevada, which is an experience in itself when you remember you’re stood there in snow, looking out at a sandy desert.
As for nightlife you’ll also experience something a little bit different in Lake Tahoe with casinos in abundance amongst the bars and restaurants for you to throw down some cash after a long day on the slopes and win big on your trip. In fact, some of the best hotels are also casinos so you can sneak in a few cheeky bets before bedtime.
St Moritz – Switzerland
Or maybe you prefer to people watch and pretend to be posh for a weekend. If you want glitz, glamour, excellent skiing and plenty of high-end restaurants then head to St Moritz. It’s best to arrive from the end of January to February, so you can plan in some time to watch the events that take place on the frozen lake. There’s polo, horseracing, plus all sorts of mad people doing mad things. St Moritz oozes class and you’ll see a lot of well-dressed people clad in fur coats strutting around, so be sure to pull out your Fur Gilet and get involved yourself. However, despite the high-end shops and restaurants you’ll still find plenty of affordable places.
Don’t forget your ski stuff too, of course, because of St Moritz’s position in Switzerland you’re guaranteed snow but also tons of sunshine, so pack some of your lighter ski gear and don’t forget the sun cream.