What’s new this ski season
As the nights start to draw in and the leaves change colour, it’s a signal for those that enjoy partaking in winter sports that it’s time to begin their preparations for the forthcoming ski season.
And as with other types of holiday planning, it’s good to be in the know about new destination options and the resorts that are upping their game to offer excellent facilities at competitive prices.
So this season, expect impressive additions, developments and new technologies to make our time on the slopes go as smooth as our runs down. Of the many new aspects open to us, here are the five that make Flexicover team keen to get back in its ski gear to enjoy those whitewashed vistas.
New ski resort: Club Med Samoens Grand Massif, FranceThere’s a major new draw to the Grand Massif, located just 75 minutes from Geneva Airport but in France. The fourth largest ski area in the country, it’s set to become the home of Club Med’s flagship resort in France when it opens this December. The 336-room hotel includes 30 suites and 45 chalets and while open to everyone, families will certainly appreciate the amenities on offer which include kids’ clubs and a dedicated restaurant. The main restaurant on the other hand has four rooms, each providing a different ambience, such as a wine corner and a terrace overlooking the Alps. There’s also a gourmet lounge with panoramic views and top-notch food created by Michelin Star-winning chef Edouard Loube.
New hotel: Hard Rock Hotel, Davos, Switzerland
The Hard Rock Café’s hotel expansion continues, this time with their first accommodation in the Swiss Alps. The music-themed group have taken on a hotel that was refurbished to a high-spec last year but will add their famous touches to the design and service, with expert curators decking it out to reflect both local and international music. Guests, who will be quizzed about their music tastes on arrival, can make use of the hotel’s record players and vinyl collection, as well as Fender guitars and amps for bedroom jam sessions. The hotel’s within walking distance of the ski lifts in the heart of Davos and is set to open on 1 December.
Improved facilities: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
You can’t accuse the Arizona Snowbowl of resting on their laurels – they’ve been refining their slopes every year and there’s a lot in store for the upcoming season too. They’ve already planned to throw their doors open on 10 November, which makes them the first Arizonian ski area in action this year. Those who venture out will find an additional quad chairlift, the third new lift in three consecutive years, which means less waiting and more skiing. There are also plans for a new 300-seater restaurant to open this winter, doubling its dining capacity, and there are layout changes to make the area easier to navigate as well. Best of all there’s no increase in ski pass prices, making it a value for money option.
Revamped Alpine resort: Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
Just 90 minutes away from Zurich, Switzerland lies a revamped resort of three ultra-luxury hotels that’s benefited from a £440m renovation. Once the location where Audrey Hepburn married and Sophia Loren resided for a while, we can now enjoy the Palace Hotel (108 guest rooms, plus a French restaurant, bar and wine cellar), the Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa (with great pampering opportunities, suites and a private cinema) and opening later this year, Waldhotel Healthy Living (a 160-room wellness retreat with a spa, healthy restaurant and medical facilities). The only drawback is that there’s no skiing onsite – guests use Engelberg, half an hour’s drive away.
Off Piste activity: Délir’ Park, Val Thorens, France
While it’s important to make the most of your slope-time, it’s also good to take a break and partake in something a bit different. Well in Val Thorens there’s the perfect après ski option for adrenaline junkies with a competitive streak - Délir’ Park. Délir’ is a new 630m2 adventure park split into four areas. There’s a timed obstacle course called Ninja Contest, a ‘Wipe Out’ style games area, where groups of up to five friends can challenge each other, as well as slack lines, a large foam pit and trampolines enabling you to hone your freestyle techniques. The park is for those aged 10 and up (min height 1m40) and costs 14 euros per hour.
If you love all types of winter sports but prefer to spectate rather than partake don’t forget that the 2018 Winter Olympics are being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, from 9 to 25 February 2018. So whatever your travel plans it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.