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The 2020 Legend Awards are meant to serve as inspiration for future travel—when it is safe to do so. Learn more about this year's awards on our methodology page.
A luxury snow experience starts and ends off the slopes. That means offering all the information guests need to track conditions, the highest-end amenities to keep their equipment dry and warm, and of course, a sumptuous breakfast before heading out to the mountain. In terms of actual on-snow experience, we lean toward the resorts that offer access and variety; namely, access to exclusive alpine terrain and variety in runs and levels of difficulty. We don’t want to just ski the north face of one mountain all week—we want to see more terrain and maximize our time on the slopes.
For this Legend Awards category, we decided to honor both sprawling ski resorts, which can encompass multiple hotels and mountains, and specific luxury ski hotels. The hotels are primarily set at the base of stunning mountains and offer ski-in, ski-out access and incomparable après-ski amenities, from five-star spa treatments to craft cocktails. The resorts, on the other hand, have enviable skiing, dining options in the mountain village, and luxury lodging either at hotels or via high-end ski vacation curators.
These are our Legend Awards honorees for best ski resorts and hotels:
Aman Le Melezin, France
Arguably the most luxurious resort in Courchevel, Aman Le Melezin has exclusive ski-in, ski-out access to the Bellecoste piste. Their state-of-the-art ski room has heated boot racks and Ski Butlers to provide advice and expertise on equipment. And Aman guests have access to private lessons with expert ski instructors.
Vail Mountain Ski Resort, Colorado
Colorado's Vail Mountain Ski Resort gives guests access to more than 5,000 acres of skiing. After a day of skiing the pristine peaks, guests can enjoy après-ski in picturesque Vail Village. For those looking for luxury accommodations in Vail, find a high-end lodge through Inspirato, a leading travel curator in the area. All guests working with Inspirato have access to the luxurious Inspirato Member Lounge at Solaris.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offers access to year-round entertainment. The winter months offer world-class skiing and snowboarding, and in the summertime, the resort is perfectly poised so visitors can enjoy hiking in Grand Tetons National Park and Yellowstone National Park.
Le Massif Courmayeur, Italy
Le Massif Courmayeur is a luxury ski destination in the stunning shadow of Mont Blanc. Le Massif is focused on curating an extraordinary experience on the slopes; skiers can pick up their passes upon check-in, and there are ski rooms to keep your equipment dry and butlers to attend to your needs as soon as you step off the slopes.
Montage Deer Valley, Utah
Located in Park City, Montage Deer Valley offers ski-in, ski-out access to Deer Valley Mountain. The resort is just a short distance from Main Street where guests can enjoy Park City’s restaurants and shops.
Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, Switzerland
The Kulm Hotel St. Moritz is one of Switzerland’s most picturesque winter resorts. The hotel offers easy access to Engadine St. Moritz’s four peaks, as well as cross-country skiing and ice skating. Night skiers can swoosh down the longest lit trail in Switzerland when the Corvatsch peak is open for Snow Night.
Niseko Village, Hokkaido, Japan
Hokkaido’s Niseko Village is one of Japan’s top skiing destinations and offers guests access to some of the most consistent powder around. Each winter the area gets about 59 feet (18 meters) of snow. The Niseko Village is located at the base of Mount Yotei, offering guests ski-in, ski-out access to the mountain’s trails. The best five-star chalets in Niseko can be booked through The Luxury Signature; we’re partial to the two-story Glasshouse.
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa, Colorado
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa, in Colorado, is just outside of Vail. The resort offers ski-in, ski-out access to Beaver Creek Mountain, which has nearly 1,800 acres available for skiing and snowboarding. Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa is the area’s most luxurious hotel—we like to stay in the 1,600-square-foot Jack Scott Suite, overlooking the Rocky Mountains.
Fairmont Tremblant, Quebec
Driving distance from Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, Quebec’s Fairmont Tremblant is a winter paradise near Mont Tremblant. Guests of the 314-room property can ski and snowboard at Tremblant, or instead go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or dog sledding, before indulging at Moment Spa Fairmont Tremblant.
Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
New Mexico may not be your top-of-mind skiing destination but Taos Ski Valley will change that. Their snow sport school offers a week-long immersive experience for beginners. With 110 trails, you’re in for a delightful ski excursion. Taos offers nonstop private flights from Austin, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
Four Seasons Resort Whistler, British Columbia
Four Seasons Resort Whistler offers guests easy access to Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Each of the guest rooms has a fireplace and balcony, and skiers benefit from the on-property Four Seasons Ski Concierges, who offer rental fittings, report on the day’s conditions, and must-ski runs, and will store and deliver your equipment when you need it.
An iconic ski village, Verbier caters to luxury clientele (it’s a favorite of Princess Eugenie’s) and is known for stunning terrain, over-the-top accommodations, and lavish après ski experiences. Stay with Leo Trippi while in Verbier, their multi-bedroom chalets tend to come with heated indoor swimming pools and meals prepared by acclaimed chefs on request.
Madonna di Campiglio, Italy
Madonna Di Campiglio is a resort located in the Brenta Dolomites, which in addition to being a luxurious European ski destination, is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Madonna Di Campiglio is set between the stunning peaks of Adamello and Presanella Mountains, with easy access to nearly 150 kilometers of iconic trails. The area is home to high-end chalets, like Alpen Suite Hotel, which gives guests a sampling of Alps luxury and small-town Italian charm.