Fancy a winter ski weekend? It's not even December, but already some of Europe's top ski resorts are enjoying record snowfall with more than 5-feet of snow having already fallen in the southern Swiss and northern Italian Alps this month. Weather experts are also predicting an El Nino weather pattern in north America, meaning equally optimistic conditions in both the Colorado Rockies and Sierra Nevadas. Look for some exciting upgrades at many destination resorts as well of a handful of new openings - mostly in the European ski markets.
Audemars Piguet is planning glam new ski resort Hotel des Horlogers in Vallee de Joux in western Switzerland designed by architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) that will also be home to a watch museum to watch - but only in 2020. Le Massif will have to do for now, at the foot of Mont Blanc in Italy's Aosta Valley, where this ambitious new five-star hotel is home to three eateries and starry chalet-style rooms. And the party crowd can also fete La Folie Douce in Chamonix (pictured), a new boutique hotel brand set in a 1900s chalet created by the trendy apres-ski company - purveyors of far too many a winter hangover. Currency players will want to ski Canada this season, taking advantage of a weaker Canadian Dollar and improvements like Whistler Blackcomb's brag-worthy new three-gondola connection that means fewer crowds even on prime holiday weekends.
In the US, the pro-skier sanctuary of Jackson Hole invests in better beginner and intermediate ski experiences with the debut of Solitude Station, a 12,000-square-foot mid-mountain lodge with double eateries and Mountain Sports School. In Deer Valley you will find the newly expanded Stein Eriksen Lodge with new pool and outdoor deck that's a showstopper. Our beloved Big Sky in Montana gets a much-needed new eight-seat, high-speed lift that cuts the travel time to Shedhorn Peak in half. Mammoth, perhaps the best ski mountain in the United States and yet so utterly under-developed and under-stylized, gets a new daily nonstop flight from Denver. And the evolution of Snowmass Village grows by leaps worthy of its snowboard park with new 99-room slope-side outpost of Aspen's eco-chic Limelight Hotel. And be sure to check out the iconic lobby, living room and Chair 9 Apres-Ski Bar at Aspen's The Little Nell one last time, theyÂ’ll all get a full refurbishment next April by Champalimaud Design - meaning things might get even a little wilder this season at our favorite stateside ski hotel.