Mon 18 December 2023

The World Ski Awards, rewarding excellence in ski tourism, has revealed its 11th annual program winners. The winners this year include Europe’s highest ski resort in France, lavish alpine ski villas in Japan, and numerous luxury properties in Switzerland. By Jim Dobson.

The finest ski resorts, hotels, and chalets in the world’s leading 25 ski tourism nations are featured in this year’s Ski Hall of Fame. Launched in 2013, the World Ski Awards was created to increase standards in the ski tourism industry by rewarding the organizations that are leaders in their field. Ski industry professionals and the public select winners in a range of categories, including best resorts, hotels, chalets and tour operators.

Sion Rapson, Managing Director, World Ski Awards, tells me: “The World Ski Awards newcomer categories are typically amongst the most hotly contested categories within our annual program, receiving our highest voter engagement. This year proved no exception. Japan’s Setsu Niseko emerged victorious as the ‘World’s Leading New Ski Hotel 2023’, the only non-European finalist in a highly competitive field. The development is a fantastic addition to Japan’s luxury mountain hospitality scene: a destination unto itself, where wellness, gastronomy and exquisite accommodation complement the world-class skiing and the mesmerizing mountain views.

This year's 'World's Best New Ski Chalet' featured finalists from Canada, France, and Japan, with Etoile du Nord and Val d'Isère claiming top honors. Reached via a private tunnel, the chalet offers a level of privacy and exclusivity unrivaled in Val d'Isère. This is the next level of Alpine design – clever engineering and sophisticated interior design while welcoming and family-friendly."


Val Thorens (France)

Val Thorens, in the French Alps, is the highest resort in Europe, with guaranteed snow cover for many months. Every winter, this resort attracts enthusiasts from all over the world. With just one ski pass, you can explore the seven different resorts in the area, discovering marked ski runs hidden in the middle of snow-covered fir trees and reaching the summits close to the glaciers. It's a unique experience in the heart of a stunning environment offering plentiful accommodations, including four 5-star hotels (Hotel Pashmina, Hotel Altapura, VoulezVous Hotel, and Hotel Le Fitz Roy)


LAAX (Switzerland)

LAAX is the largest linked ski resort located entirely within Switzerland. The ski resort is especially well-known among freestylers and free-riders. The Graubünden ski resort boasts four terrain parks, a superpipe, a mini pipe, an off-piste, and an academy, all serviced by Curnius lift. Experienced freestylers who want to improve particular aspects of their skills are happy to find the terrain park Ils Plauns, which includes five kickers and 15 obstacles. You can actually enjoy the biggest halfpipe in Europe. Luxury hotels are limited but include the award-winning rocksresort, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Palais Bad Ragaz, and Tschuggen Grand Hotel.

Runners up:

  • Mammoth Mountain (United States)
  • The Lake Louise Ski Resort (Canada)

W Verbier in the Swiss Alps

W Verbier


W Verbier (Switzerland)

With an enviable position in the Swiss Alps, this resort has direct access to over 250 miles of skiing and hiking terrain. With an atmosphere mixing urban and alpine touches, the 123 rooms and suites, each with a fireplace and private balcony, are the perfect retreat after a day of skiing. The Alpine oasis at Away® Spa features two pools, nine treatment rooms, a 24/7 FIT gym, and facilities. The property also offers luxury residences featuring 2 to 3 bedrooms, a private kitchen, balconies, and lounge spaces.


Setsu Niseko (Japan)

This resort offers up to 190 luxury hotel suites blending Japanese design with contemporary luxury and a "deep-rooted respect for the surrounding alpine landscapes." Paying homage to one of Japan's oldest traditions of onsen bathing, Setsu's 750 sqm spa is one of the largest wellness facilities within Grand Hirafu, designed around a series of indoor and outdoor hot spring baths. Luxury ski lockers are provided along with a hotel ski shuttle service to and from the Grand Hirafu ski slopes.

Runners up:

  • Faern Arosa (Switzerland)
  • Six Senses Crans-Montana (Switzerland)


rocksresort (Switzerland)

Located directly at the LAAX cable car station offering modern apartments, the rocksresort Design Hotel takes guests directly up the mountain. Within the resort, there are also various restaurants, bars, and stores, and the longest treetop walk in the world. The resort takes a responsible approach to its resources and the environment and acts in accordance with Minergie standards.

Runners up:

  • Mountain Design Hotel Eden Selva
  • Valsana Hotel Arosa (Switzerland)


HakuVillas (Japan)

Positioned to take advantage of the stunning views of Niseko, HakuVillas is also the ultimate location to view Mt Yotei. Consisting of four luxury villas, HakuVillas offers an Alpine design mixed with Japanese hospitality. The full-floor Villas and the Super Penthouse are the ultimate offerings at the hotel. Luxury is key here as the hotel offers a white-gloved airport welcome with Dom Pérignon waiting upon your arrival, with a personal dream team of dedicated chalet hosts, private chefs, and chauffeurs.

Runners up:

  • Astra Falls Creek (Australia)
  • Le K2 Palace (France)


Chalet Zermatt Peak (Switzerland)

With breathtaking views of the Matterhorn and located above the enchanting village, the ultra-luxurious Chalet Zermatt Peak is a privately run chalet. The Chalet offers six floors with five double bedrooms, floor to ceiling windows, sky observatory roofing, and an indoor/outdoor Jacuzzi. There is a Wellness Center with a private gym, a full treatment spa, and in-house massage therapist, and an in-house award-winning Gourmet Chef.

Runners up:

  • Five Peaks Chalet (Canada)
  • Hahnenkamm Lodge, Kitzbühel (Austria)


Etoile du Nord - East Wing (France)

Located in the exclusive Petit Alaska area in Val d'Isère, Étoile du Nord East Wing is a luxury chalet for 12 guests. This chalet highlights its spa and wellness facilities, including a stunning indoor/outdoor swimming pool, where a retractable glass wall can be opened and closed. The spa area also contains an outdoor hot tub, with a steam room, wellness shower, massage treatment room, relaxation space, and peloton bike.

There are seven bedrooms in Étoile du Nord East Wing, sleeping a maximum of 14 guests. The Master double-bedroom suite on the top floor includes a private study and a large wraparound balcony with its own hot tub. There are five more double bedrooms, three of which offer the option of twin bedrooms, in addition to a bunk room sleeping two guests. All five floors of Étoile du Nord East Wing are serviced by an elevator.

Runners up:

  • Chalet Constantia (France)
  • Tsubasa Chalet at Hanaridge (Japan)


Ski Dubai (UAE)

Ski Dubai is the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort offering attractions like the giant zorbing ball, ice cave, Mountain Thriller ride, and polar activities. Located inside the popular Mall of the Emirates, visitors can play with the Ski Dubai penguins, build a snowman, roll down the hills, ride the Twin Track Bobsled, or explore a snow cavern. You can also go on the frozen zip-line or catch the classic chairlift to the top of a hill, where you can ski all the way to the bottom.

Runners up:

  • Ski Egypt (Egypt)
  • SnowWorld Landgraaf (Netherlands)

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