The world’s best ski vacations are made of more than just the slopes and the snow – they’re experiences where both skiers and non-skiers alike can savor the winter atmosphere long after the lifts close. Welcome to the world of après-ski, where the lively mountain culture transitions to a wide variety of active and leisure pursuits. Whether it’s gathering by a crackling fireplace to sip hot cocoa with the family or lingering at a mountain outpost to pop champagne late into the night, these sought-after skiing destinations offer the ultimate winter experience on and off the slopes.
A tiny scenic town surrounded by the Swiss Alps, St. Moritz is an enclave of true apres-ski style. Opportunities to enjoy the best of winter dining, bars, and nightlife abound no matter where you choose to stay, but look no further than Paradiso by Badrutt’s Palace Hotel for the pinnacle of apres-ski experiences. As the name implies, the sprawling mountain club is a paradise for the senses, offering dazzling mountain views of sunny St. Moritz, gourmet French comfort food, a dance deck with daily DJ sets, and one of the most exclusive champagne and wine collections in the world. To discover this mountain hot-spot, board a complementary vintage Land Rover at the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel or take a relaxed gondola ride from the St. Moritz Bad station to ski to Paradiso, a destination on top of the world.
Sought after for the iconic charm of its old-world architecture and snow-capped mountain scenery, the idyllic Alpine village of Gstaad has long been a winter playground for international celebrities and royalty alike. And while the jet-set destination may be known for its opulent palaces and 17th century chalets, at Gstaad Palace, visitors can experience another legendary winter world at the GreenGo club. Outfitted in 70s era style complete with louche velvet booths and a famed metallic drop ceiling, this insider spot is a favorite for experiencing the true après-ski glamor of Gstaad.
With the towering peak of the Matterhorn framed in the backdrop, it’s no surprise that Zermatt remains one of the most popular and photo-worthy ski destinations in Switzerland. Since it burst on to the European travel scene in the mid-19th century, the bustling village boasts some of the most exceptional places to enjoy the off-mountain spirit of après -ski. Guests at the 160-year-old Mont Cervin Palace have the opportunity to relish the atmosphere of the old town at Joseph’s Bar & Terrace where a well-mixed cocktail, a cozy fireplace and the best of ski style are always close at hand.
Every year, the world’s top athletes and ski enthusiasts flock to the charming Tyrolean town of Kitzbühel for the winter World Cup races. Whether it’s on the slopes, in the spectator stands, or at the village’s restaurants, every corner of this destination is bustling with visitors and a classic mountain atmosphere. But those in search of a more exclusive experience just off the iconic slopes will enjoy the chic après-ski ambience at Hotel Weisses Ross Kitzbühel. The stylish sunken “living room” lounge is a design lover’s dream, and with the restaurant’s expertly crafted cocktails close at hand, there is no more covetable or comfortable alcove on the mountain.
With breathtaking limestone peaks that pierce 10,000 feet into the sky, the Dolomites are a ski destination unlike anywhere else in Europe. Here, the ski culture is as distinct as the scenery, with a lively energy that makes for an exceptional après -ski atmosphere. In Corvara, there is no more sought-after spot for after ski entertainment than L’Murin by Hotel la Perla. Brimming with the same personality and style of the hotel, which has been run by the Costa family for generations, this unique on-mountain outpost offers craft brews made just for the experience and a selection of custom cocktails and entertainment that visitors enjoy late into the night.
Secreted away in the mountains of northern Italy is one of the ski world’s best kept secrets: Courmayeur. The under-the-radar Alpine village plays host to some of the world’s most luxurious and exclusive winter retreats, including the new Le Massif Hotel & Lodge. The property’s refined and beautifully designed chalets offer some of the most awe-inspiring views atop the mountain. Head to the terrace just before the sun dips behind the snow caps for sensational apres-ski views that pair nicely with a bottle of champagne and delights from the Michelin-starred kitchen.
With a wealth of fabulous runs in the largest ski valley in the world, award-winning accommodations, and a collection of Michelin starred restaurants scattered throughout the town, Courchevel is considered one of the premiere places to enjoy winter in the French Alps. In this international destination, there are no shortage of phenomenal spots to relish a champagne-filled apres-ski scene. But for those in search of a more exclusive way to unwind after a day on the slopes should turn to Hôtel Barrière Les Neiges for a more intimate experience. Guests at this chalet-style hotel, just steps from the slopes, have access to a private theater that makes for an entertaining apres-ski experience for families and children of all ages.
The glittering town center and seemingly boundless terrain of its Rocky Mountain peaks have made Vail, Colorado a paradise for the international ski set. But those looking to infuse a bit of European flare into their American ski experience can find a haven in the Sonnenalp Hotel. With its Bavarian-inspired, alpine aesthetic guests can enjoy the best of both ski worlds. Here guests can partake in a different kind of apres-ski scene at the hotel's sumptuous spa. A post ski sports massage or a swim in the pool or outdoor hot tubs are the perfect way to unwind after a day swishing down the slopes.
A favorite spot for Hollywood insiders year-round, the mountain-side town of Park City, Utah turns into a sought-after ski destination in the winter months. Tucked into the heart of the main street, the restored Washington School House Hotel offers one of the most intimate and sought-after après-ski scenes off the slopes. The post-ski s'mores at the hotel’s indoor and outdoor fireplaces are a beloved tradition during the busy season.