And the winner is… the 2020 World Ski Awards


Every year the ski industry get’s into a tizzy as the results of the 2020 World Ski Awards are eagerly awaited and announced. In an industry that has an absolute plethora of fabulous luxury ski chalets and hotels situated in even more fabulous locations the judges are spoiled for choice. But, make a decision they must. These are the lucky recipients of the ski industries version of the Oscars.

World’s Best New Ski Chalet: Chalet Marmottière, Verbier, Switzerland

Chalet Marmottière is a luxurious, unique and modern property and is a worthy winner. The interior is incredibly spacious, bathed in natural light with heavenly views of the mountains from the floor to ceiling windows. Using a mix of natural materials and modern bespoke design and furnishings, the interior creates a dramatic and sophisticated atmosphere.

Set across two chalets, linked by an exterior path and also internally through the garage, Chalet Marmottière sits at the pinnacle of luxurious mountain living. It has nine bedrooms which sleep up to 18 guests, and includes facilities such as an indoor swimming pool, outdoor hot tub, 3D cinema, bar and a bowling alley. Each area has been meticulously designed and crafted, creating a most outstanding private home.

The top floor of the main chalet is dedicated to the two impressive master bedroom suites. Both suites have their own individual style and design, and the level of care that has been taken to create a relaxing and restful atmosphere is apparent throughout. The first bedroom has a sumptuous king-sized bed, a small living area with open fireplace and state of the art entertainment system, an en-suite shower room and a walk-in wardrobe. The second suite has the same superb facilities, the only difference being an en-suite bathroom. The pair have private balconies from which you can admire breathtaking views of the snow-covered mountains.

On the first floor, you will find the striking split-level open plan living and dining area with double height ceiling. Furnished with elegant fabrics and furniture in a warm and neutral colour palette, it is a sublime space, perfect for entertaining. During the day, the room is bathed in sunlight that pours through the large sliding doors, which provide access to the fantastic wrap-around balcony. There are also four en-suite bedrooms, an office and a service kitchen on this floor.

The entire ground floor in the main chalet is dedicated to entertainment. The focal point is a 17m indoor swimming pool set against floor to ceiling windows which have privacy blinds if desired. A floating stone path leads to the sunken outdoor hot tub where you can relax with the sensational views as a backdrop. You will also find a well-equipped gym, sauna, hammam, bar and billiards area, gaming room, poker room with panoramic wine cellar, games area, and an extraordinary bowling alley. There is also a large professional kitchen with service elevator on this floor.
The second property is set over three floors and was recently completed and finished to the same high standards. It has three chic en-suite bedrooms, an open plan kitchen, living and dining area, 3D cinema with Atmos, conference room, massage room and ski room.

Interestingly, out of the 11 Luxury chalets nominated for this award, 9 were French.

Switzerland’s Best Ski Chalet: Chalet Peak, Zermatt, Switzerland

Chalet Zermatt Peak is a luxury 5 star superior chalet perched high above the village of Zermatt, with magnificent views overlooking the village and of the iconic Matterhorn. Centrally located, yet utterly private, it is just a few minutes walk from the heart of the village, with its many bars, restaurants and boutiques. Situated in one of the world’s most desirable locations. Set over six floors, each with floor-to-ceiling windows, the chalet fuses traditional alpine charm with modern design and architecture. In addition to the luxurious setting, guests enjoy an award winning fully-inclusive package with full compliment of staff including private gourmet chef, concierge and service staff.
The modern open-plan layout boasts a larger corner-seating sofa under a glass roof, library area with real open fire, seated dining and open kitchen. The balcony off the lounge offers additional outer space and of course, fantastic views. The living areas include many bespoke pieces of furniture and unique artefacts and artwork.

The library area offers additional cosy fireside seating, perfect for afternoon tea and relaxing after a long day on the slopes. Floor-to-ceiling windows combined with under floor heating and feature fireplace create a unique warmth in this luxury living space.
The chalet has five individually designed bedroom suites, all offering deluxe double beds, seating and dressing areas and spectacular panoramic views. All rooms have HD cinema TV’s with digital surround sound and Bluetooth connection, in addition to remote controlled lighting, curtains and audio-visual, and balconies or terraces
The wellness spa at Chalet Zermatt Peak has everything to offer guests, regardless of age or fitness. Enjoy either a dry Finnish or a wet Swedish sauna, a bio steam in the hammam, or relax in the bubbles and jets of the Jacuzzi whirlpool. On warm, fine days, the windows can be completely removed to encompass the terrace space, and the Jacuzzi extended to the outside.
Brand new in 2018 is a state-of-the-art TechnoGym®. Here you will find all the latest equipment, with integrated TV’s and Bluetooth connectivity. Finish your workout with power-showers to refresh and revive.

World’s Best Ski Hotel: W Hotel, Verbier, Switzerland

W Hotels is an upscale lifestyle hotel chain owned by Marriott International. The W Brand is marketed toward a younger age group. As of June 30, 2020, W operates 59 hotels in 25 countries with 16,494 rooms and is continuing to expand both domestically and internationally with 34 hotels with 8,276 rooms in the pipeline. W Hotels’ first alpine escape offers a full slope side stylish experience. They certain hit the bulls eye on the first attempt by scooping this prestigious award.

The W in Verbier offers action packed days that mirror energy fueled nights at this stunning Verbier ski resort, with ski in/ski out access. Perched at 1’531 meters, just steps away from the main Verbier ski lifts, W Verbier is open all year round and offers immediate access to more than 400 kilometers of ski, biking and hiking terrain.

The stylish 123 rooms and suites, each with fireplace, Signature W bed and private balcony are perfect for an intimate escape after an exhilarating day outside. Open all year-round, the hotel offers 6 restaurants and bars including the bistronomic W Kitchen and the exclusive Eat-Hola Tapas Bar, a relaxing escape in the Away® Spa and 300 square meters of flexible event space. W Hotel Verbier steals the scene and offers everything under one roof. Whatever guests need to amp up their stay, all they need to do is ask. From the W Mountain Concierge, to the renowned and exclusive Whatever/Whenever service, W Verbier team is available to make it happen 24/7.

The W in Verbier beat off strong competition from fabulous hotels in such diverse places as New Zealand, Argentina, USA, Australia, Canada and Japan.

World’s Best Ski Resort: Val Thorens, France

Val Thorens is located in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie, French Alps, at an altitude of 2300m, Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe. It is located in the commune of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville in the Savoie département. The resort forms part of the 3 vallées linked ski area which, with over 600 km of piste, is one of the largest linked ski areas in the world.

In the 1960s Val Thorens was starting to be transformed from summer pasture into a location for a purpose-built ski area. The development of Les Menuires at 1850 m was begun in 1967. In 1969 the access road was extended up to Val Thorens so that development of the resort could start. In 1971 the first of three drag lifts was installed, followed in 1972 by the opening of the first ski school. Like many 1960s purpose built resorts in the French Alps, Val Thorens suffered from a lack of architectural guidelines in the early days, leading to an over-dependence on concrete. New and renovated developments now have to meet much stricter design guidelines and the use of traditional materials is sought. Val Thorens was founded almost 50 years ago and the founders were told that their plan to build in the highest ski resort in Europe wouldn’t work because it was too high. However, Val Thorens is now one of the most successful resorts in the Alps.

Given the high altitude of Val Thorens and the Glacier de Péclet the often large volume of snow means that the resort is usually open from mid-November until early May. The highest ski-able peaks are Pointe du Bouchet (3220 m) and Cime de Caron (3200 m), with its cable car of the same name, one of the biggest in the world with a capacity of 150 passengers.

Many of the slopes in Val Thorens face north and north-west, providing for good snow conditions. This means that the slopes are not as sunny, so the resort tends to attract a crowd more interested in skiing than “terracing”. However, the resort itself faces south, and many people enjoy sitting outside in the sunshine when they have finished skiing. Val Thorens has a total of 68 marked runs, and several terrain parks. The main snow park sees top level freestyle competitions every winter as it hosts a stage of the national SFR Slopestyle Tour, and the ski cross arena is frequently visited by the FIS Skier X World Cup. Jean-Fred Chapuis, who won the Skier X event at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, hails from Val Thorens and the ski cross track is named after him.

Val Thorens is the most visited international ski resort in France: more than 70% of its visitors are foreigners. While one will find people from all over the world in Val Thorens, British, Scandinavian, Belgian, Dutch and German tourists make up the majority.

Val Thorens is part of the 3 vallées ski domain, which is connected by a common ski pass. Jean Beranger set up the first ski school in Val Thorens: The ESF, and the Club des sport and the Tourism Office in 1972. Beranger is a former coach of the French women’s ski team. He is now deputy mayor and president of the tourist office, and one slope in Val Thorens is named after him.

Danny Frith is Director at SkiBoutique. SkiBoutique is a luxury ski chalet agency based in Switzerland.

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Comments (6)

  1. Jack says:

    And I wonder how long the world’s best new ski chalet will be booked ahead for?

    • Dan Frith says:

      Hi Jack,

      To answer your question, the World’s best ski chalet is not fully booked, there are weeks available.

  2. Sue West says:

    Having a 17m indoor swimming pool would be great. I’d like to have a swim to start the day to loosen up aching muscles after skiing from the day before. That would be such a luxury and it would really help my skiing.

  3. Cinar Meyers says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to Verbier because I’ve heard so much about it from friends who’ve been there. Chalet Marmottière looks divine in that picture. I also had to search for more pictures online and saw how well designed the interiors are. And how light! I can’t wait for travel bans and restrictions to be over so I can finally have a proper vacation. Too bad, I saw that they are currently on quarantine for about 10 days. Hopefully, things will get better soon for all.

    • Dan Frith says:

      Hi Cinar,

      Thanks for your comment. Everything you’ve heard about Verbier is true. Chalet Marmottière is better in the flesh, the photos, although wonderful, don’t fully do this stunning chalet justice. There’s light at the end of the tunnel although we’re not out of the woods just yet, to mix metaphors, but i’m optimistic that things will be back to normal in time for the 21/22 ski season.

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