The Top 5 Ski Resorts in Europe

For the Conde Nast Traveler annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey, registered voters weighed in on their favorite places around the globe. When it comes to the best ski resorts in Europe, readers are eclectically picky snow bunnies: These are the top 5 readers rated as their favorite spots for ski and après-ski—a mix of high-profile Alps hangouts and the more remote, high-altitude destinations made for the serious downhiller.









St. Moritz, Switzerland 

The oldest winter holiday resort in the world is as elegant and exclusive as it gets. As if St. Moritz wasn't already blessed enough at nearly 6,000 feet above sea level, the sun shines 322 days a year, pairing with the dry air for what’s known as a “Champagne climate.” But it’s the world-class hotels and restaurants, chic shopping, and excellent skiing on- and off-piste that draw celebrities and royalty alike. El Paradiso mountain club has always been one of St. Moritz’s most exclusive reservations and even more so since Badrutt’s Palace successfully took over management last winter. And, this winter, Italy’s beloved mini-chain Langosteria, opens its first mountain restaurant in the middle of the popular ski area Corviglia.


Where to stay: A room at alpine grand dame Badrutt's Palace Hotel, which has been indulging A-listers since 1896, or at the recently renovated Kulm Hotel—one of our Gold List favorites—can do no wrong. With the opening of Grace La Margna in December, St. Moritz finally offers a five star hotel 365 days a year.


Stats: One-day lift tickets range from $45 to $100; there are 58 lifts for 88 runs.

Zermatt, Switzerland 

Zermatt, surrounded by the Alps’ tallest peaks, has 223 miles of runs in four huge ski areas—some at an altitude of over 10,000 feet, so snow here lingers well beyond the winter season. This enchanting, alpine village lies at the foot of the Matterhorn, Switzerland's most famous mountain, and has plenty of modern touches, like its state-of-the-art lift system and swanky après-ski diversions. Horse-drawn sleighs are the preferred choice of transportation in the car-free village. On the slopes, be sure to stop for the burger at Chez Vrony (reservations a must) and a glass of bubbles at the tiny Champagne bar at the end of the Sunnega run. An innovative new ski-in/ski-out test center on the Theodul Glacier allows skiers to demo the latest equipment.


Where to stay: Grand dame Mont Cervin Palace and modern-luxe Schweizerhof Zermatt, both offer prime central locations and every imaginable amenity. Perched just above the village, slope-side CERVO Mountain Resort recently added an ashram-inspired spa with an expansive network of outdoor pools, saunas, and soaking tubs.


Stats: One-day lift ticket from $87; on the Ikon Pass. There are 54 lifts for 148 runs.

Verbier, Switzerland 

Verbier is considered one of the Alps' most glam resorts with high-profile stays including Richard Branson's luxury chalet The Lodge and Coco Club, the first VIP club in the Alps. The mountain’s mix of novice and expert pistes, as well as backcountry terrain and nearly 14 miles of groomed Nordic trails, attracts a youthful, sporty clientele to the 4 Vallées. This season, the Pasay chairlift, which ascends one of the most picturesque slopes in Verbier, gets a much-needed upgrade. The old four-seater has been expanded to six bubble-protected seats and now zips uphill in less than five-minutes, versus 11 so you can sneak in more runs. The Pasay snack bar has also been renovated to include a panoramic terrace.


Where to stay: There are the luxe chalets mentioned above, but the W Verbier has the best location in town, close to ski school meeting spots and opposite the Médran gondola.


Stats: One-day lift ticket from $82 on the Epic Pass. There are 80 lifts for more than 250 miles of runs across the 4 Vallées ski area.

Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy 


This historic town, carved into the valley of the Boite river, grew into a must-visit ski destination following the 1956 Winter Olympics, and it will once again host the Games in 2026. Just two hours from Venice, the town isn't too remote—though the towering ring of surrounding Dolomites might make it feel otherwise—and its low-key vibe (a far remove from the flashy, see-and-be-seen culture of other comparable ski towns) continues to attract the likes of George Clooney. Part of the massive Dolomiti Superski, Cortina connects skiers and riders to nearly 750 miles of slopes. And Nordic fans can access Europe’s biggest network of cross-country trails.


Where to stay: Intimate Hotel de Len has just 23 rooms and a fabulous rooftop spa that overlooks the valley.


Stats: One-day Dolomiti Superski pass from $78; on the Ikon Pass. There are 33 lifts for 83 runs.



Val d’Isère, France 


Though some bemoan the crowds and prices at this mega resort, Val d'Isère remains an experienced skier’s paradise. The area is home to exciting and high-quality, snow-sure slopes (and as backup, the largest artificial snowmaking plant in Europe) that are easily linked to neighboring Tignes, forming one of the biggest ski areas in France. An excellent dining scene and hard-partying nightlife make a stay here a true holiday in every sense of the word. This season, skiers have two new dining options on the slopes. The team behind beloved Edelweiss restaurant will debut an open-kitchen concept, René, on the Mangard slope and at the foot of the Grand Pré chairlift, L’Empreinte Avaline features a 60-seat snack bar, 100-seat patio, and a 150-seat bistro with bay windows. An outpost of Paris’s hip Loulou at Airelles Val d’Isère is the hot spot for après ski with its expansive terrace featuring DJ sets.


Where to stay: This season sees the debut of 215-room Club Med Val d’Isère, the first Club Med Exclusive Collection resort in the Alps. We also love the chic atmosphere of Airelles Val d'Isère, Hotel Le K2 Chogori, and Le Refuge de Solaise, the highest hotel in France. 


Stats: One-day lift tickets are $58 for Tignes and Val d’ Isère. The linked Tignes–Val d’ Isère ski area has 163 runs connected by 75 lifts, plus two skiable glaciers and two snow parks. Ski passes are free for children under age 8.


Modified From Conde Nast Traveller




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