Six of the best design ski hotels

With the temperatures dropping, skiers and snowboarders are longing for powder-filled mountain slopes. What better way to experience the winter season than with a stay in a stylish design hotel in your chosen resort? From the European Alps to the sub-Arctic wilderness of Sweden and the northern reaches of Japan, each of these hotels exudes ooze sophisticated, urban flair and gives you access to some of the world’s best ski trails.

Copperhill Mountain Lodge, Åre, Sweden

Copperhill Mountain Lodge sits atop Sweden’s picturesque Mount Förberget in Åre, Scandinavia’s largest winter sport destination. The lodge combines cutting-edge design from acclaimed architect Peter Bohlin and the intimate, familiar ambience of a family-run operation. The hotel’s 112 earth-toned guestrooms feel luxurious and invitingly private and there are complimentary guided activities such as snowshoeing, ski tours and morning meditation, as well as ski-in/ski-out access to the large piste system.

After hitting the slopes, the hotel’s award winning spa is the perfect place to relax. The spa has recently added two chambres separées, featuring saunas, hot baths, showers and lounges, while the hotel’s latest restaurant concept, Vaajese, has a daily changing tasting menu based on the finest local ingredients and honours the traditional craft of Nordic cooking.

The Cambrian, Adelboden, Switzerland

You’ll immediately feel the welcoming warmth at The Cambrian, located in the Swiss village of Adelboden. The hotel incorporates natural, local materials in its sleek, modern design, effortlessly reflecting the exterior, which adds to the immensity of the mountains. Adelboden is one of Switzerland’s premier ski destinations, with over 200 kilometres of ski trails. The hotel’s 750 square metre spa, with its outdoor thermal pool deck, offers pristine views of the surrounding mountains.

A highlight in the hotel is the serene winter garden extending out from the lobby, a favourite gathering spot for après-ski drinks and basking in the tender winter sun. Each piece in the puzzle, from the incredible service to the equally wonderful spa and recreational facilities, is part of the experience of staying at The Cambrian.

Hotel Nevaï, Verbier, Switzerland

In the exclusive alpine destination of Verbier, Hotel Nevaï stands out as an icon for winter chic. Nevaï draws its name from the ancient Patois word for “snow”, which is used as a design motif throughout the structure, together with a subdued winter colour palette. Verbier features over 400 kilometres of ski trails and is one of Europe’s hottest destinations, due to the thriving cultural and après-ski social life.

Nevaï’s own Farm Club is one of the time-honoured places to see and be seen in the region. The venue has become a legend in the world of après-ski, where European royalty, international celebrities and stars like Diana Ross and David Bowie have danced into the early hours.

The Omnia, Zermatt, Switzerland

The Omnia is a modern hideaway located high above the snow-laden roofs of Zermatt. The mountain lodge sits serenely in the shadow of the legendary Matterhorn, arguably Switzerland’s most famous mountain. Architect Ali Tayar sought to fuse the elements of a cosy mountain lodge with functional, contemporary furnishings. Most of the guestrooms feature superlative views of the Matterhorn from private balconies. Zermatt has over 320 kilometres of trails open in the winter, and is a year-round ski destination, with glacier skiing in the summer.

Zhero, Ischgl/Kappl, Austria

Tyrolean tradition and innovative design blend seamlessly at Zhero - Ischgl/Kappl. Opening in December this year, the hotel is setting out to make a bold statement by combining fashion, design, luxury and comfort under one roof. Local materials have been employed in the design, such as stone, wood and fur, complemented perfectly with custom-made pieces from Italian designers like Minotti and Bottega Veneta.

Zhero - Ischgl/Kappl is ideally located between the ski destinations of Kappl and Ischgl and offers you a limousine shuttle service between locations. After hitting the slopes, you can enjoy a treatment in the 750 square metre spa, take advantage of the in-house Gucci boutique or even some duty-free shopping in the nearby tax haven of Samnaun.

Kimamaya Boutique Hotel, Niseko, Japan

Kimamaya Boutique Hotel is located in Niseko, one of Japan’s most popular ski destinations, on the northern island of Hokkaido. With just nine rooms created by designer Andrew Bell, the hotel captures the essence of the mountainous atmosphere and combines it with a cosmopolitan flair. The core of the main lodge is the timber-floored Living Lounge, where guests can mix and mingle, curl up with a good book or sip on vintage wines from owner Nicolas Gontard’s own vineyard in France by a flickering fireplace.

The interiors reflect the heritage of the original building, while combining elements of Scandinavian and Zen Japanese design. Kimamaya is located in the bustling heart of the famous ski resort of Niseko, Gran Hirafu, featuring some of the best deep snow runs and off-piste skiing. At the spa, guests are pampered with Japanese massage techniques and a soak in a wooden or stone tub. And the lodge’s award-winning Barn restaurant serves French-inspired food and wine fare, a first in Niseko.

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