The Big Six: Modern ski hotels

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Hotel Zhero, Austria

This week, the temperature drops to Zhero in the Austrian Tyrol. The eagerly awaited hotel is due to open near the mountain village of Kappl on Wednesday. Expect 78 rooms and suites with a smooth, contemporary finish, four penthouses with butler service, a grill-style à la carte restaurant with executive chef Klaus Brunmayr, and a luxurious spa. Ski services will include an in-house shop for equipment hire and activities, plus a free daily shuttle to the slopes of Ischgl.

Hotel Zhero, Wiese 687, Kappl, Austria (00 43 5445 20 111 12; Doubles start at €109, room only.

Hôtel Avenue Lodge, France

From the outside, Hôtel Avenue Lodge appears to fit in with the traditional Savoyard feel of Val d'Isère. Set on the main street of Avenue Olympique, it has a classic chalet-style exterior, with sloping roofs and slate walls. Step within, however, and the space opens up to reveal hip interiors by Jean-Philippe Nuel, a neon-lit lounge bar, cowhide chairs, antler sculptures and 51 rooms with scarlet side tables and abstract photography.

Hôtel Avenue Lodge, Avenue Olympique, Val d'Isère, France (00 33 4 79 00 67 67; Doubles start at €365, with breakfast.

The Alpina, Switzerland

The Alpina opened this week in the German-speaking Swiss mountain village of Gstaad. The services inside speak with a global accent: there's Japanese cuisine at Megu, a Cuban cigar room with Havana's finest in stock, a Swiss-style Stübli restaurant and an Asian-inspired Six Senses Spa. The 56 high-end rooms are all roaring fires, hand-carved furniture and crisp mountain views, with snow-sure glacier skiing and 220km of pistes waiting in the Bernese Alps beyond.

The Alpina, Gstaad, Switzerland (00 41 33 888 9888; Doubles start at Sfr850 (£573), B&B.

Copperhill, Sweden

This Brutalist beauty peers down from Mount Forberget in the Swedish resort of Are. Designed by the American architect Peter Bohlin, who's known for some eye-catching Apple stores in the US, Copperhill stands out from the picturesque peaks with a stark charcoal-hued exterior. The look is softened inside with earthy tones, intriguing sculptures, bath products by Swedish-born Kerstin Florian and Scandinavian design pieces. An expanded spa for this season adds to the overall comfort.

Copperhill, Are-Bjornen, Sweden (00 46 647-143 00; Doubles start at €200, with breakfast.

Eden Hotel, Italy

Eden opened last season in the resort of Bormio, bringing a chic modern flavour to this ancient spa town. Styled by the furniture designer Antonio Citterio, it offers 27 rooms spread through four narrow larchwood buildings. The buzzword here is harmony, with interiors intended to reflect the natural surroundings. Soft leather couches, vintage photographs and old-fashioned snowshoes dot the space, framed by woodland art panels and full-length windows which look on to serrated scenery.

Eden Hotel, Via Funivia 3, Bormio, Italy (00 39 0342 911 669; Doubles start at €200, with breakfast.

Le Kaïla, France

The Dallery family has been building chalets in Méribel since the Sixties. On 20 December, it opens its latest. Raised at 1,459m, Le Kaïla professes to be the resort's first "five-star family hotel". It promises interiors by Catherine Mâle, a Nuxe spa and gourmet restaurant. The 38 rooms will be decorated in soothing chocolate and ivory shades, with sheepskin throws and wintry canvas prints. An on-site children's club and ski shop should help meet the demands of family skiing holidays.

Le Kaïla, Route Albert Gacon, Méribel, France (00 33 4 79 41 69 20; Doubles start at €430, with breakfast.

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