Inghams Reservations Manager, Simon McIntyre, answers the unanswerable question!
Where is the best place to go skiing? I’ve been asked this five times this week and my answer has been different every time.
It’s not an easy one to answer, I’ve been lucky enough to have skied and worked in some amazing places, from Japan to Jackson Hole, Val d’Isère to Tignes and a number of mountains inbetween.
That said, it doesn’t necessarily mean that my answer is right or I am the man for the job on this one.
Skiing is so subjective. Someone once said; ‘One man’s spam fritter is another man’s caviar’. My dream destination may be your worst nightmare, my preferred flight time may be your biggest bugbear, I love cosy chalets, but you may love classic, formal hotels. Your idea of après could be a spa and an open log fire, mine isn’t. Your friends will tell you to go to Méribel, mine would say Val Thorens, and you’ll read that Japan is the best place on earth to go skiing, I don’t think it is. You get the point.
So where is the best place to go skiing? The answer is simple – there isn’t one. “One” doesn’t exist – there is no ‘best place in the world to go skiing’, they’re all good, go everywhere, that’s my recommendation.
Each ski resort has its own unique charm, be it built around its ski area, friendly locals, great snow conditions, super bars, favourite runs, home from home comforts. The list could go on.
So if I was a mad scientist and I had to create my own perfect ski resort, I would use the following formula:
Austrian après ski + huge French ski areas + North American snow conditions + Italian food + Swiss ambiance = ski destination utopia
Here are some of my favourite resorts…
1. St. Anton – undoubtedly some of the best off piste in Europe with unrivalled après ski.
2. Söll (SkiWelt Area) – best value for money resort with super après and mind blowing skiing.
3. Selva & Arabba – easily the most beautiful and biggest place I have every skied – the ‘Dolomiti Superski’ area is aptly named!
4. Tignes – this resort has the deepest European powder I have ever experienced, at the end of April no less!
5. Banff / Lake Louise – Rocky Mountain scenery, incredible snow conditions and the best ski town in the world.
6. Sauze d’Oulx, Italy- I spent the season as a ski guide in the Milky Way and still didn’t cover all the ski area.
7. Flaine – I love it because not many people seem to know about it. It’s one enormous snow-ball, with some great runs over the back down Morillon.
In my next posting, I’ll be writing more about my favourite ski resorts. I hope you find them useful and that they inspire you to go skiing!
Inghams Reservation Manager