Thanks so much for your messages, replies and etc. I am learning a lot about skiing in Europe but I still hope that LL will include US ski destinations also. I keep checking weekly to see any new additions to the snow & ski destinations.We are certainly going to consider a Europe destination also.
I'm guessing that the combination of higher European costs plus the dollar-Euro exhange makes Europe less attractive. (It's better value for us to go from UK to Canada skiing than the Alps!)
May I ask if you are interested in family/kids holidays or couples/luxury? (Not to exclude family luxury!)
If you are looking for a family experience, consider Club Med. Their "all-in" package makes sense if you have a few people in the party who want to socialise with Europeans and especially if you have youngsters (or energetic adults) who need a good calorie supply! Food and drink is plentiful and good quality - including wine, soft drinks and lunch (often at their mountain restaurants) which avoids the astonishing prices of a coke (try 5 for a small coke - tiny coke!) or a coffee (ditto) at altitude.
It's hard to compare prices because their packages really are inclusive.
Have a look at the Cervinia ski area. It is a rather vast area, especially, if you consider that you can also ski into Zermatt. We skied Zermatt one summer, strictly summer skiing, and were unable to cross over to the Italian side at that time. In late May a year ago, on the way to Cogne (Grand Paradisio Ntl Park) we stopped off in Breull, the base of Cervinia ski area to check out the Hotel Hermitage (R&C property) but they were still closed. The area looked very nice, but I have no first hand knowledge of skiing there. It would be nice if LL could include the R&C property of the Hermitage for a LL winter package..... LL Moderators please take note......
Let me know if you come up with something good in this area, we might consider Cervinia as well. Thought perhaps of looking into Zermatt for next year......
I always thought that if a country or city was granted the Winter Olympics, they likely have 'the best that there is to offer', and are working furiously to make everything function at a world class level. That said, as Torino (Turin) hosted an exceptionally well managed Olympics in 2006 you may wish to aim forsomeplace that was part of the Turin 06. There is lots in that part of Italy. If you head alittle farther North West from Turin, into Valle d'Aosta region, you are deep into the Italian side of the Alps, things are cheaper than on the French side, and itsthe other side of Monte Rosa and Monte Bianca. Nice Relais and Chateau ppty in Cogne, HotelBellevue, not fantastic skiing in the immediate area, but less than an hour drive away I was in Chamonix. (I was fortunate to be in Italy, and was at the Ladies Hockey Gold Medal game... Canada won! I am a Canadian. It was grand! Not impartial at all. )
If you want value for money, and great skiing, Whistler BC and the Banff, Alberta areas of Canada will always be excellent options. Fairmont Hotels are in the LL portfolio as 'a la carte'. I suspect that if you call the hotel directly, sometime in the summer, you'll get a better 'ski package' than otherwise offered on websites. Whistler will host the 2010 Winters, and knows what that means. They are enhancing the entire area now. Banff and Calgary hosted the 1988 Winters, and did an excellent job. Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise are all reliable ski destinations. We tend to 'know snow' in Canada.
Didn't think of the Turin area. Are you familiar with the ski areas there? I am sure there is great skiing there since, as you said, the Olympics were held there. Turin is a big city though, what about ski-in and ski-out areas? What about Courmayeur? any ski-in ski-out places there?
i'll get back to you on that in mid July. am packing, heading to Australia and NZ on business for a few weeks, and catch a flight in a few hours. If you revisited the Turin Winter Olympics site, or the Turin tourist office (likely both google-able) you'd probably get lots of info. Courmayeur is an excellent first choice. When I drove past in the spring, enroute to Chamonix (searching for sun) it was obviously a ski village. Lifts, Gondolas, everything looked in order. But i wasnt there to ski. I was hoping to white water raft in the icy cold run-off from Mont Blanc. Certainly cheaper than Chamonix.
Thanks for your suggestion on the Turin Olympic website. I will google it and do some further research on it. If you have some further input let me know when you get back. In the meantime, have a fabulous time in Australia and New Zealand. Like to hear all about it when you get back. We will be back in New York by then, but I will be working on our next year's ski vacation. Bon voyage
I would only consider Cervinia if you're looking for easy intermediate skiing. If you have teens that are good skiers I think they would be bored by that ski area. It is wide open and fun, but not challenging at all. Personally, I like that type of terrain, but it's more suited to a family day trip.
If you're going all that way, please consider Zermatt. The scenery is amazing! Weather permitting, you can ski over to Italy, which is what we did a couple of times. Also, the village in Zermatt is wonderful, so picturesque. The food is great, the people are nice. I think if you stayed in Cervinia and skied over to Zermatt you might be disappointed that you didn't do it the other way around. Just a thought.