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I’M ADDICTED to skiing – if I don’t get my annual fix then you might not want to be around me during the winter months. Thankfully, for those of us who can’t escape for seven days (or more) on the slopes, it’s getting easier to slip away for a few days and still find the perfect package. Here are six of the best around.


For powder hounds


For an out-of-this-world powder experience, Pure Powder are experts in off-piste and heli-ski breaks for discerning clients. If you’re feeling brave, try their four-day trip to Le Grave. Just 40 minutes from Les Deux Alpes, it offers the best lift-served off-piste skiing in the world, with deep powder and the area’s legendary couloir. Accommodation is in the comfortable Hotel Edelweiss with rustic French cooking. The hotel’s biggest draw is its serious ski clientele and its Black Diamond test centre, where you can try the latest skis for free. Fly to Grenoble for a 90-minute transfer. Prices start from £1,145. www.purepowder.com


For being spoiled


If you prefer a ski break where you can slot in relaxation and pampering, try the small owner-operated company, CK Verbier. Raved about by everyone from Tatler to Harper’s Bazaar, they offer boutique luxury a cut above others and can tailor-make trips to suit pretty much anyone. Try a three-day weekend in their six-person chalet Les Esserts in Verbier, with champagne reception and beauty treatments on arrival. Following your first day on the slopes, you can relax over rosé champagne and canapés by the fire before your evening meal. And if you want to arrive home feeling relaxed as well as revitalised, they can even arrange private ‘Skilates’ lessons. Transfer from Geneva is two hours. Prices start from £1,000. www.ckverbier.com


For luxury


Nowadays, the term ‘luxury’ is used to describe all ski chalets, many of which often don’t live up to the tag. Not so with The Luxury Chalet Collection, who offer 20 of the very best chalets in the Alps, including The Lodge, Richard Branson’s mountain retreat in Verbier, which even has its own ice rink. For a three-night stay, try the amazing ski-in-ski-out Aurelio


Clubhouse in Lech, Austria. It can sleep up to 18 and has a 23m swimming pool and private wine cellar. Fly to Sion for a 90-minute transfer. Three nights cost from £3,354 based on full occupancy.


www.theluxurychaletcollection.com For gourmet skiing


If your idea of a good ski getaway includes leisurely lunches and sampling the best of mountain cuisine, not just time spent on your skis or board, then try Gourmet Guiding by luxury chalet company Mountain Exposure. As well as operating high-end chalets in Saas Fee and Zermatt in Switzerland, they offer this optional service, where they will reserve the very best of the mountain eateries, and guide you


December 2010/January 2011 businesslife.co 57





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