Find zen on a remote mountain in Niseko or party it up at the glamorous Courchevel. These new resorts, none of which are more than a year old, will have you spoilt for choice this ski season
What about: If finding zen-like calm in between chasing powder sounds like a good balance to you, Aman Niseko will deliver. Nestled in a nature reserve and the lone property on Mt Moiwa, the secluded resort, which comprises just 30 guest rooms and 31 residences, guarantees a winter escape that truly feels like one. It was designed as a tribute to traditional ryokans, so each guest room enjoys its own private furo tub (a traditional Japanese bathtub that is usually wooden and deeper than western ones) and onsen facilities. Aman Niseko will mark the hospitality brand’s fourth property in Japan, but is its first in Hokkaido. It’s slated to open in 2023, although no specific date has been announced.
What’s cool: When it opens, Aman Niseko will be Japan’s first true wellness destination offering personalised retreat programmes. In addition to Japanese rituals such as watsu therapy, shiatsu massages and zen meditation, Finnish saunas and hammams are also on the menu.
Fun fact: The Ainu, Japan’s indigenous people, were the earliest settlers in Hokkaido. They only gained official recognition in 2019, so there’s much to learn about their culture and cuisine.
Aman Rosa Alpina
What about: Rosa Alpina isn’t exactly new. Founded in 1939, it has been owned by the Pizzinini family for three generations and has a loyal following among the well-heeled in the skiing community. What’s new, however, is its transformation into Aman Rosa Alpina, following a signed partnership with the luxury hotel group. Set to be completed in time for the 2022/2023 ski season, it will mark Aman’s 14th UNESCO-listed site. The 52-key resort takes up prime real estate on Italy’s UNESCO-listed Dolomite Mountains and offers access to the Dolomiti Superski area, where 1,200km of slopes that can be accessed by 450 lifts wait to be experienced.
What’s cool: Aman Rosa Alpina is home to three-Michelin-starred restaurant, St Hubertus, helmed by chef Niederkofler. With “cook the mountain” as a guiding principle, the menu is a representation of the territory, seasons, and the gastronomic traditions of the mountain.
Fun fact: Winter is a great time to spot chamois on the slopes, when harsh weather forces them to migrate downhill. In summer, they are often hidden above the tree line at elevations as high as 3,000 metres.
Montage Big Sky
What about: Given the top-notch skiing offered by the Big Sky resort region in Montana, it’s a surprise that the area went as long as it did without a high profile luxury accommodation option. That all changed in December last year, when US$400 million Montage Big Sky opened. Everything is larger-than-life at this 139-key ski-in, ski-out property, from the 3,530-acre Spanish Peaks enclave it sits in, which boasts 5,850 skiable acres, to its 10,000-square-foot spa. Après ski at lobby bar Alpenglow sees a roaming raclette cart bring all the accoutrements you could want to pair with melted cheese right up to your seat.
What’s cool: There’s more to do than just skiing here. Try Nordic skiing or conquer a snowshoeing trail. In addition, Yellowstone National Park is just about an hour’s drive away.
Fun fact: Even the resort’s neighbour is impressive – it’s the fabled Yellowstone Club, a private residential community and the only private mountain ski resort in the world. You may bump into some famous members such as Bill Gates, Justin Timberlake and Google’s ex CEO Eric Schmidt.
Six Senses Crans-Montana
What about: It may be Six Senses’ first foray into Switzerland, but it seems like the luxury hospitality group has already mastered the Swiss Alpine lifestyle. Slated to open in February 2023, Six Senses Crans-Montana is an intimate ski-in, ski-out resort with just 45 keys. Perched above the main gondola in Crans, you could go from enjoying unblocked views stretching from the Swiss Matterhorn to the French Mont Blanc in your room to gliding down a 140-kilometre slope of the Plaine Morte glacier with nary a pause. The impressive snow park here is one of the largest in Switzerland with an Adrenaline zone that has been rated five stars. Post-ski, take recovery up a notch with a suite of treatments at Six Senses’ famous spa, including a Biohack Recovery Lounge.
What’s cool: If you find yourself wishing you didn’t have to leave at the end of your holiday, take heart: located on the higher floors of the resort are 17 residences, 13 of which could become your holiday home – they are one of the last real estate developments in Switzerland to be available for sale to international buyers with no restrictions.
Fun fact: Crans-Montana will be hosting the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 2027. That’s how you know the slopes here are world-class.
Ultima Courchevel Belvédère
What about: Talk about exclusive. Opened in December last year, this is a ski-in, ski-out resort with no rooms, only 13 individual chalets with four or five bedrooms each, every single one with its own marble-clad en-suite bathroom. Lined up on a very optimistically named Sunny Valley at an altitude of 1,750 metres, the property provides a little respite from Courchevel’s tourist clusters at 1,650 and 1,860 metres. Avail yourself of the services of a ski butler, who will prepare your gear before every ski session, so all you have to do is put them on and whoosh straight out from your chalet’s boot room onto the run – straight to Les 3 Vallées.
What’s cool: All art on display in the property are from Bel-Air gallery in Gstaad and available for sale. The hotel is always willing to remove or switch out pieces upon request – why live with art you don’t like, even for a short stay?
Fun fact: A short hop from the Plan Bouchet ski area is the village of Orelle, where you’d find the summit of Les 3 Vallées. From a height of 3,230 metres, you’ll see the entire ski region laid out below you as well as the famous Le Bouchet glacier.