A quartet of fresh-faced high-altitude hotels, a stylish new suite and a trio of chalets offer supreme comfort across Europe’s winter wonderland this season. Brian Noone offers a guide
The most iconic of the newcomers is the resurrection of architect Jacques Labro’s cedar shingle-clad avant-garde masterpiece as the Hotel des Dromonts (hoteldesdromonts.com) opening in December in Morzine, France. Perched at 1,800 metres, with ski in/out access from early to late season, the 34-key hostelerie has been restyled with 1960s Mod in mind – warm thick carpets, natural fibre linens and bursts of bright colour create a warm, welcoming mood. The three-suite spa features pool, hammam and sauna, while the trio of eclectic restaurants – bistro, tapas, fondue – cater to all moods.
December also sees the opening of Hotel de Rougemont (hotelderougemont.com), where natural materials and exposed wood can be found in each of the 33 rooms and suites as well as the expansive lounge with panoramic mountain views. Set in the hamlet of Rougemont ten minutes northwest of Gstaad, there are more than 250km of piste within easy reach, and a wine bar, cigar lounge and fine dining restaurant all await guests’ return in the evenings.
Skiing is also a focus at Adler Mountain Lodge (adler-lodge.com), set on 60km of pristine runs in South Tyrol’s Alpe di Siusi, but guests at the idyllic 18-suite, 12-chalet hideaway, which opens for its first winter season in December, can expect equal thrills from the lodge itself. Built after more than ten years of bureaucratic wrangling, it sits in a protected zone and boasts stunning views of the UNESCO Heritage-protected Dolomites – including from the lodge’s rooftop wraparound infinity pool. All guests enjoy access to the three-suite spa with sauna as well as full board, with meals centred on locally sourced ingredients.
In Italy’s opposite corner, about 40 kilometres south of Chamonix in the village of La Thuile, design-led Nira Montana (niramontana.com) beckons skiers and snowboarders to 160km of nearby slopes overlooked by Mont Blanc. Fifty-five rooms, all with balconies and outfitted in natural materials, are joined by a large six-suite spa, an Italian restaurant with ample wine cellar and a convivial local atmosphere far from the madding crowd.
Centurion, Q4, 2014