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Unique ski-slope escapes

There are ski holidays and then there are ski holidays with a twist. Powdery runs, crisp alpine air and a cosy chalet to thaw out in. Sounds nice, right? But what about sleeping beneath the stars in a glass-covered pod, or arriving at your luxury hotel by private cable car? Swap the armchair for a swish spa, or dine out on world-class gourmet cuisine while you’re immersed in nature. Check out seven of the best in piste-side finds. You’ll find them all on

Whitepod – Monthey, Switzerland

These eco-friendly pods are nestled into Les Giettes’ mountainside with 7 km of snow-shrouded slopes on their doorsteps. After a day of turns and tricks, unwind in the onsite spa, or continue the outdoor adventure with a rip-roaring dog sleigh ride. In a cosy chalet, Les Cerniers Restaurant dishes up hearty mountain fare with a side serving of stunning views. Be at one with nature and enjoy the 20-minute snowy wander back to your secluded pod.

Tschuggen Grand Hotel – Arosa, Switzerland

This five-star, luxurious spin on a traditional ski hotel offers all you would need after a day of tearing up Schanfigg Valley’s pistes. You’ll be transported by private cable car 1800 metres above sea level, where you can unwind in your Carlo Rampazzi-designed room, soak in the opulent spa area, or peruse the menu from one of their four restaurants. Take your Alpine adventure to new heights with a paragliding session or a hot-air balloon flight, or spend a day snowshoeing or sledging.

Hotel La Perla – Corvara in Badia, Italy

La Perla is steeped in history and warm with its welcome. The 18th-century family-run dwelling is loved for its homely, uniquely decorated rooms just 50 metres from the nearest ski lift. Prop up your skis and relax in front of the log fire, or check out one of the spa’s wine-based treatments. Two restaurants serve Tyrolean cuisine, while La Stüa de Michil delights diners with Michelin-starred meals in an intimate, candlelit setting.

Hôtel Alpen Ruitor – Méribel, France

Hôtel Alpen Ruitor looks out on the Three Valleys from its lofty setting in Méribel-Mottaret. A sprawling chalet with easy chair-lift access, its après-ski options are plentiful. The spa specialises in treatments thought up with skiers in mind, along with stone massage and invigorating scrubs. Local specialities and Argentinian-style meat cuts are served in the hotel’s two restaurants, while the inviting surrounds of the bar and south-facing terrace are hard to resist.

The Green Leaf – Niseko Village, Higashiyama Onsen, Japan

The Green Leaf is nothing short of spectacular with thoughtful design that reflects its captivating scenery. Niseko Village’s ski slopes are on its doorstep, while the Basecamp area offers equipment hire and lessons, as well as the occasional outdoor film screening. The stylish room décor is matched by the cool surrounds of the rooftop bar – ideal for kicking back post-piste and soaking up the views of Mount Yotei.

W Verbier – Verbier, Switzerland

The W sits in the middle of Verbier, offering all the discerning skier would want – on and off the slopes. Dash off the snow – the nearest ski lift is within 100 metres – and into the state-of-the-art spa and gym. Once the unwinding wraps up, the party begins at W Off Piste nightclub, as mixologists brew cocktails in the lounge-style bar, complete with a DJ. Feast on Carve’s sushi creations or Eat-Hola’s more-ish tapas, or sample something from closer to home in the W Kitchen.

The Arrabelle at Vail Square, a RockResort – Vail, USA

The Arrabelle’s turreted tips couldn’t be better placed in the midst of Vail’s soaring, ski-friendly peaks. Hop off the Eagle Bahn ski lift and store your equipment in this vast winter palace. Inviting lounges beckon you in with log fires, while the outdoor decks keep out the cold with glowing fire pits. Looking out to the Rockies, the rooftop is home to great views, a hot tub and pool, while downstairs you’ll find a spa, alpine restaurant and a deck.