Travel

Top ski retreats: It doesn't get cooler than this

Hit the slopes and take in the snow at these top ski retreats in Japan and Switzerland

KIRORO

The resort destination in the heart of Hokkaido that regularly sees over 20m of snow each year invites skiers, boarders and winter enthusiasts to book the perfect winter vacation.

Known around the world for its consistently perfect powder, small crowds and gorgeous setting, Kiroro boasts 23 ski runs, hundreds of acres of tree skiing and dozens of alpine activities from snowshoe tours through the winter forest to onsen in a natural caldera spring.

Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort has 140 guestrooms and suites along with two restaurants right at the base of the slopes, while The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio hotel, Hokkaido offers 282 guestrooms with mountain vistas from every room.

The Kiroro Ski Package and Kiroro Winter Fun Package at these accommodations start from JPY18,500 (S$232) and JPY19,350 respectively, for at least one night’s stay for two in the room of your choice, from December to May 6, 2020.

HINODE HILLS NISEKO VILLAGE

The highly anticipated hotel with 79 luxury rooms and suites opens for arrivals on Dec 1, the latest addition in luxury accommodation to join YTL Hotels’ Niseko Village, alongside the Green Leaf Niseko Village, Hilton Niseko Village and Kasara Niseko Village Townhouse.

Situated at the base of Mount Niseko Annupuri, it occupies a prime position at the heart of Niseko Village with stunning Mount Yotei views, ski-in ski-out access, an in-house onsen and a host of ski services available on property.

The hotel is also strategically located adjacent to the Upper Village Gondola, which provides guests with the convenience of mobility around the mountain with easy lift access.

Hinode Hills’ first snow special offer starts from JPY36,800 (S$462) nett per suite per night, and enjoy 20 per cent off when you book in advance for winter.

It is valid for stays between Dec 1 and 15, for a minimum of two nights’ stay.

POWDER BYRNE

This Chinese New Year, take to the slopes with a luxury ski holiday in the picturesque alpine village of Arosa in Switzerland with the specialist UK tour operator.

From Jan 25 to Feb 1, Powder Byrne is launching its first Chinese New Year programme in the chic Swiss ski resort, catering for guests and families based in Asia.

Located in a sunny valley in the heart of Graubunden, Arosa has long been a favourite of skiers due to its high-quality hotels, varied skiing and traditional alpine ambience.

Falling between the high-peak seasons of Christmas and Western half-term break, the new programme presents a golden window of opportunity for Asian travellers to visit Switzerland and experience the perfectly groomed, quiet ski slopes without a queue in sight.

Prices start from £2,185 (S$3,820) per person for seven nights, and includes pre-travel service, airport transfers, access to award-winning childcare and ski programmes and in-resort services, such as complimentary ski guiding and private driver service.

SCOTT DUNN

The luxury tour operator has created the ultimate ski and sun twin-centure itinerary, combining the best in luxury from Switzerland to the Maldives.

It begins at The Chedi Andermatt, renowned for its first-class service and super cool interiors, where sophisticated bedrooms feature roaring log fires and sheepskin rugs. Indulge in a ‘Fondue Under The Stars’ experience too from a secluded, rustic Alpine hut.

Once snow bunnies have had their ski fix, they will take a private helicopter transfer back to Zurich Airport to board their direct flight to Male for non-stop sunshine.

After a short hop by scenic seaplane, arrive to the turquoise tides of Milaidhoo island, set in Baa Atoll’s beautiful Unesco Biosphere Reserve, and check into the breathtaking 475 sq m Ocean Residence, a multi-storey, thatched-roof villa with unparalleled views.

To conclude the trip, enjoy an exclusive castaway experience which begins with a sunset dolphin cruise aboard a traditional Maldivian sailing boat, before arriving at a secluded sandbank where a four-course dinner under the stars is served.

Scott Dunn’s 10-day festive trip is from £40,000 (S$69,945) per person, based on two people sharing. The package includes return private helicopter transfers to Zurich, VIP arrival service in the Maldives, all international flights and private transfers.

TOURISM & TRAVEL