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The Big Six: Swiss ski retreats


Cordée des Alpes, Verbier

This exclusive escape opened this season in the heart of Verbier. It offers two types of accommodation wrapped up into one: the Hôtel (composed of 34 rooms and suites) and the Résidence (home to 14 private apartments). There’s a free shuttle bus to the lifts for all guests, a spa with sauna and hammam, a pool and hot tub on top with mountain views. Owner Marcus Bratter has opted for traditional Alpine architecture on the outside, but the look within is polished and decidedly modern.

Cordée des Alpes, Route du Centre Sportif 24, Verbier (00 41 79 468 21 10; cdaverbier.ch). Doubles from Sfr370 (£249), room only.

Tiger’s Nest, Valais

This luxury lodge stands in Les 4 Vallées – Switzerland’s most expansive ski area. It has four storeys, five doubles, a host, chef and driver – all topped off with views of the Pennine Alps (which, as Wikipedia says, are not to be confused with the Pennines). The people behind it are a Hong Kong-based British family that wanted to emulate the service and style of Asian hotels, but in a chic mountain setting. There are six ski lifts within a 15-minute drive, making for the ultimate winter escape.

Tiger’s Nest, Chemin des Jadaneys 17, Valais (00 852 9183 0667; tigersnestlodge.com). Weekly rental from Sfr2,300 (£1,550) per person, full board. Sleeps 10.

Giardino Mountain, Silvaplana

Giardino Mountain offers 78 dreamy rooms and suites with draped white curtains and coffee-coloured throws on the scenic shores of Lake Silvaplana. Three restaurants cover Michelin-starred fine dining, Italian-inspired gastronomy, and traditional Swiss fare in a cosy wood-panelled setting. After a day on the slopes, head to the hotel’s spa where Dipiù and Aveda cosmetics are used in treatments from hot-stone massages to thermal mud packs.

Giardino, via Maistra 3, Silvaplana  (00 41 800 333 315; giardino-mountain.ch). Doubles from Sfr370 (£249), B&B.

Riders Palace, Laax

This fun and affordable base beckons snowboarders to the slopes of Laax. It’s managed by the group behind the new Freestyle Academy – Europe’s first indoor training hall, where skaters, bikers and boarders can test their skills on a series of daring ramps. Rooms come as dorms, doubles or spacious suites, with plasma televisions, PlayStations and playful design throughout. For a slice of après-ski, hit the Riders Palace Club, which has recently had DJs John Doe and Digitalism take to the decks. 

Riders Palace, Talstation, Laax  (00 41 81 927 97 00; riderspalace.ch). Dorm beds from Sfr29 (£20), B&B.

Backstage Vernissage, Zermatt

Head Backstage to glimpse the decadent world of artist and hotelier Heinz Julen. Poised above the snowy rooftops of Zermatt, it features doubles and “cube lofts” with handmade furniture, velvet couches and quirky artworks. There’s a Belle Epoque-style café, a sports shop for ski rental and an adjoining Vernissage cultural centre that hides an art gallery, design shop and cinema. During the Zermatt Unplugged festival, the hotel also doubles up as a music venue.

Backstage Vernissage, Hofmattstrasse 4, Zermatt (00 41 27 966 69 70; backstage hotel.ch). Doubles Sfr210 (£141), B&B.

Badrutt’s Palace, St Moritz

To experience all the glitz of St Moritz, check into Badrutt’s Palace. The historic grande dame has been welcoming guests since 1896, when it opened on the shores of the resort’s main lake. More than a century on and the hotel is still owned by the Badrutt family which carried out extensive renovations in 2000 to preserve the hotel’s grandeur. Rooms are as opulent as ever with butler service and crystal chandeliers. Six restaurants, a cigar lounge and a nightclub offer off-piste distractions.

Badrutt’s Palace, via Serlas 27, St Moritz (00 41 81 837 1000; badruttspalace.com). Doubles from Sfr490 (£329), B&B.