With thousands of ski resorts in the world, how can you ensure that you’re picking the best one for your next ski holiday? There are some key things to look for when choosing a ski resort for their next ski holiday. Obviously, the most important thing is the mountain. But what truly makes a ski resort the best is much more than that!
To make it onto the list of best ski resorts in the world, we are looking at a combination of mountain terrain, backcountry, accessibility, accommodation, food options, the overall vibe of the ski villages, and of course, après-ski!
Located in Whistler, part of British Columbia province of Canada, the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort comprises two separate mountains. Whistler mountain and Blackcomb mountain have a total skiable terrain of 8,171 acres. Of this, 4,757 acres are part of Whistler mountain, and 3,414 acres are on Blackcomb mountain.
Whistler-Blackcomb’s impressive terrain is the largest ski resort terrain in all of North America and, as a result, is one of the most popular resorts in the world. There are a total of 31 lifts across both mountains (19 on Whistler, and 12 on Blackcomb), and it caters to all cadres of people.
Check out our favourite ski runs in Whistler.
The restaurants available on the resort span from five-star, fine-dining to more economical grab-and-go options. They also have some fantastic locally-run cafes and shops. The resort is also run year-round and thus, attracts large crowds and engaging communities that create interesting skiing experiences.
Why not come visit our vegan Whistler bakery – the only bakery you can ski to!
Hakuba village contains several ski resorts, including the most famous Hakuba Happo-One Ski resort. There are also others like the Hakuba 47 Snow Park combined with the ABLE Goryu resort, the Tsugaike resort, and the Sun Alpina resorts.
The Happo-One resort is Hakuba’s top ski resort, having been one of the Olympic hosting grounds for the 1998 Winter Olympics. It receives an average of 11-13m of snowfall each winter, and these sheets of snow cover the entire 543 acres of skiable terrain of the Happo-One. It has 21 ski lifts and 13 courses that span from beginner to intermediate and advanced level difficulties, making it a viable family vacation destination.
The village is conveniently accessible by train or bus from the capital. Its proximity to Tokyo means it has upscale restaurants and cafes that provide quality food service to skiers.
As Hakuba contains more than one resort, you may choose to visit others as well and can pick your preferences based on your experience level. For beginners, the Tsugaike resort may be a better option, while more experienced skiers should consider the Hakuba 47 and Happo-One resorts to access more challenging terrains and slopes.
Madonna di Campiglio ski resort is about 2 hours from the Verona airport, Italy. The resort itself sits 1,500m above sea level, and the skiable terrain reaches up to 2,505m above sea level. This altitude gives skiers and snowboarders an incredible view of the breathtaking Brenta dolomite terrain surrounding the pistes, especially at the highest points of the Spinale/Groste side, which also has the best snow quality in the resort.
The ski resort contains 19 lifts in total, and its 35 pistes span over a 60km long stretch of skiable terrain.
The slopes of the Madonna di Campiglio provide a great learning opportunity for new and younger skiers. Combine that with the availability of recreation spots all over the resort, and you’ve got a great spot for a family skiing vacation. The only downside to this resort is that more experienced skiers may find it slightly unchallenging for their standards.
The luxurious Snowbird in Alta, Utah has 2,500 acres of skiable terrain, with a base elevation of around 7,760ft. The four-season resort is 45 minutes away from the Salt Lake City International Airport, with luxury attractions such as spas, yoga studios, an exclusive rooftop pool, and many fine-dining restaurants.
There are 14 ski lifts in total, allowing you to reach the 11,000ft summit and access the 141 ski runs. It’s characterized by more advanced terrains, and the beginner and intermediate runs make up only 33% of all the runs. It is renowned for its difficulty and could provide a decent challenge for more experienced skiers. Plus, it’s an excellent spot for some friendly competition, so it would make the perfect trip for you and your ski bum friends.
Between Innsbruck & Salzburg, Austria, you’ll find the Kitzbühel mega-resort, which has 54 lifts and 179km of slopes. It’s best experienced by intermediate to advanced level skiers, and most of the terrain requires at least some level of expertise.
The massive ski area has over 60 mountain huts and restaurants to rest and get some grub after taking on one of the resort’s 188 ski runs. The resort has many accommodation options for people who want to extend their stay beyond a one-day ski experience, and actually, we recommend it. There’s no way you can see all the resort offers in one day. It also has tons of engaging side attractions that even non-skiers can enjoy.
Last on our list is the Cerro Catedral Alta Patagonia, located in Argentina. It’s a 30-minute drive from the San Carlos de Bariloche airport, and is one of the most scenic places in all of South America.
The skiable terrain is up to 3,000 acres making it the largest ski resort in South America. It also has a vertical drop of 3,773ft and an elevation of 7150ft. It is made up mostly of intermediate ski runs, which are about 60% of Cerro Catedral runs, while beginner-level runs make up only 15% of the 47 available runs.
The resort has 37 lifts of different varieties and is also surrounded by good accommodation close to the skiable terrain.
The snow in Argentina can get quite wet and slushy, so skiers are advised to pack specialty gear when they visit Cerro Catedral.
These are some of the best ski resorts around the world, all with their own unique features to fit your personal preferences. Whether you want luxury status, advanced terrain or proximity to non-skiing activities, you’ll find an option on this list!