I have looked at your suggested links. The only one I have not been to is the Vigilius property - their offers are listed below:
Advanced skier already? Hungry for breathtaking ski-runs in South Tyrol/Italy? Take the cable car down to the valley enter the shuttle bus and off you go to the ski area Schwemmalm-Ultental. Gladly our ski guide will accompany you once a week tothe Gardena Valleyand the unforgettable Sella tour in the Dolomites. A wonderful mountainous panorama is waiting to be marvelled at. As well as ski-runs in all degrees of severity. Put on your skies and down the slopes you go. Everyday life seems forgotten. Fresh air. Sunshine on your face. Freedom. Pure ski sensation. A day that should never end! Nevertheless, a wonderful tiredness and satisfaction spreads. Back to the vigilius. Can skiing get any better?
5 nights (between Sunday and Friday until the end of march), including
Breakfast with a marvellous panorama view
Ski pass for the Vigiljoch mountain
Shuttle bus to the ski areas Schwemmalm-Ultental and Gardena Valley
Ski guide Sella tour
1 vigilius all over mountain massage (50 min)
990 in the Superior Single
1475 for 2 persons in the Superior Room
1561 for 2 persons in the Deluxe Room
2574 fr 2 persons in the suite
(not included are the ski passes Schwemmalm-Ultental/Dolomiti Superski)
In conjunction with the move & explore program, ski days are offered once a week (on Tuesday and Thursday) independent"
However, I have been to Merano and know the area some what. This is definitely not a ski-in - ski-out place. You have to take a shuttle bus and drive quite far to the Val Gardena where skiing is good but from what I have seen struck me as some tame. They claim they have all grades of severity.The sceneries are breathtaking however. The package unfortunately is only for 3 days, so you would have to auction 2 packages to make it worth your while to come to Europe to ski. They do provide a guide which is nice, both for ski touring and downhill skiing. Price is reasonable but gets higher if you action 2 LL packages and add on one extra night from the hotel to make to make it a 7 night ski-package
The Hotel Bellevue package is great for ski touring, but the ski area is miniscule and the runs are very short. We are going back to the Bellevue this June, it is a wonderful place for hiking. The drive there is tough, even in the Spring, and it necessitates definitely a rental car.
The Arlberg Hospiz is a wonderful hotel. There is a short walk across the street to the gondola and you can ski back to the hotel, but everybody funnels through a small gully to get to the hotel. Price is some what on the high side and dates are limited, so watch your blackout dates.
The Hotel Kristina in Lech is very plush, but no ski-in and ski-out to lifts. Walk to main lift is manageable. Package is not a 7-night package, so you need to add on nights which is quite expensive. Also meals there tend to be expensive.
We decided to go back to the Hotel FitzRoy in Val Thorens. Last year, they were a disaster and upon complaining to LL I was refunded a porton of our LL package price and they got kicked of the LL portfolio. They did not deserve to be on the LL list. However, they are a true ski-inski out-hotel. You put on your skis at the hotel and you are on your way. After long deliberation, I called the hotel, and they assured me they have taken up an extensive renovation.Have created 15 brand new rooms, replaced all the non-functioning jacuzzis, recarpeted the hote. Freshened up the lobby, replaced all the non-working plumbing and televisions and hired a new chef with a good reputation. So, we are giving it another try. The price however has climed to a stiff 360 Euros anight. Not cheap.... Let's see if they merrit a return trip this time.
Hi lhb - thanks for the info. I did look at the Vigilius website also. We're not looking to take a cable car to a bus to get to a ski area. There is supposed to be skiing right from the hotel, but there is no indication that it's tied into a lift system to access other areas.
There are some other options for ski properties a la carte, such as Squaw Valley, and the Fairmont hotels in Canada (Chateau Whistler, Chateau Lake Louise, Banff Springs and Jasper Park Lodge).
With the exchange rate as it is, I would really like to see a good package for a property in the western U.S.! (Yes, I've seen that one for Montana, but that's not a major ski area). If nothing pops up soon, I think I'll try Squaw Valley. But want to explore all options....
I'm taking another looking at the package to St. Moritz. Has anyone been there?
Just got a reply back from Vigilius. They have a small ski area, 20 m from the resort but it is really small, 3 slopes, 3 lifts. For the rest you need to take the shuttlebus to Val Gardena. And the bus ride is a good hour and a half from what I remember when we drove from Meran to the Val Gardena this past summer. Scenery is breath taking there, but I am with you, I want to ski, not riding a bus to get there.
We are looking for ski packages in Europe because we happen to spend 6 month in Europe from Jan to July 2008. I have not been to the St. Moritz one, but I have investigated it. The hotel is in town, and again, you will have to take a shuttle bus to the various ski areas. St. Moritz is a wonderful ski town with lots to do, sleigh rides, ice skating, cross country skiing, but if you are looking for ski-in ski-out you won't find it in St. Moritz.
The true ski-in ski-out we have found in Val Thorens, France, or in Hoch-Soelden, Austria. If I were in the States over the winter, I might try Whistler, I have heared a lot of good things about it.
Hi lhb, Thanks for this info. I think if we go back to ski in Italy, we want to be skiing distance away from the Sella Ronda. On our last trip, weather prohibited us from making that circuit. I read that the Crystal Hotel in St. Moritz is a short walk from a lift, but you would need a shuttle to other ski areas. Haven't ruled that out yet....
Yes, if you're in this part of the world, Whistler is great! We have been there twice. The Chateau Whistler offered on LL is an excellent property, right at the base of Blackcomb mountain. There are many good hotels a short walk from a lift. We did consider Whistler or Banff, but due to the exchange rate I was really hoping for a good package in the U.S.
I agree with thie ski package comment. I wanted to suggest that LL add some weekend (3 day packages) for ski resorts or chalets that include lift tickets. I'm moving to europe this winter and I would LOVE to take some short ski-trips to Switzerland, Austria, Italy etc... May I also suggest some group holidays in the mountians as well. I find ski trips are often more fun with a group or friends, so perhaps you could ad some offers for ski chalets for 4-6 people. That would be great!
I agree with copahc, a package with lift tickets would be over the top! We also ski with friends and would be very interested in accomodations for a small group. For anyone interested, I poured over the offerings and found a couple more ski destinations.
Have you made up your mind where you age going skiing this winter? After breaking my wrist this past November in a bad spill from my bicycle, we canceled our ski vacation in Val Thorens this January. Now that 10 weeks have past and I am feeling pretty good, we reinstated our reservation in Val Thorens and we are off skiing next week. Hopefully, I will stay up right on my skis without reinjuring my wrist or anything else. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Let me know where you are finally winding up.
Hi lhb, Glad to hear you're on the mend and can take your ski trip! That's great news. I look forward to hearing about Val Thorens.
We decided on Lake Tahoe. I booked the Resort at Squaw Creek on LL, a la carte. I was hoping for an auction package that would work for us, but didn't find anything suitable. We had been to the southern end of Lake Tahoe (near Heavenly) a couple of years ago, and wanted to go back and stay on the northern side. Not going until March, but I'll post a report after the trip.
Wishing you a safe trip - I'm sure you'll have a great time!
We just returned from our ski trip to Val Thorens, France and had a fabulous time skiing. We stayed at the Hotel FitzRoy (www.hotelfitzroy.com) after they put a Million Euros into renovation, but it still does not qualify, in my book, as a 4-star luxury hotel. They put in 15 new rooms, increased the dining area and public lounge area and the ski cellar area. We were offered one of the new rooms with a glorious view of the building next door, and an extra mezzanine big enough for 4 people, but no sun and no view of the mountains. We opted for one of the sunny slope side rooms where they had replaced the carpet and drapes, but it still looked like a dump, they kept all the old beat up furniture. They had real problems with their spa. The shower in the spa area was broken and the only way to get a shower was to leave the spa area and go to the spa treatment area to shower, but here too, the shower attachment was broken and the door handle missing.... The swimming pool also had no shower before entering the pool, and when I saw babies with diapers in the pool, I figured, the pool was probably not too clean and was to be avoided. This said, there is a 3-star hotel called Les Val Thorens. They claim they are a 3-star hotel with a 4 star service... we will probably try that next year.
This said, the ski area of Val Thorens is fantastic. It has the real ski-in and ski-out concept. Or call it ski-to-your-door... Whatsoever, nothing could be more simple than skiing in Val Thorens. With its ideal position, wherever you are staying in the resort, the skiing is always on your doorstep. With a pair of skis you have access to an amazing ski area without losing any time !
Located in the heart of a large circle dominated by 6 glaciers, Val Thorens is, at an altitude of 2300 m, the highest resort in Europe. It is also the top of the 3 Valleys, the largest ski area in the world, (600 kms of pistes, 200 ski lifts, 25 mountain peaks). There are amazing sceneries
Val Thorens offers exceptional snow quality and breath-taking sceneries with 8 skiable peaks or passes over 3000 m high. From the "Cime de Caron" among others, you have a direct access to the largest panoramic scenery in the Alps: more than 1000 peaks are in front of you (see our 360 panoramic visits).
Even for beginners or average skiers, Val Thorens offers the unique opportunity to discover in all simplicity such an imposing environment thanks to a perfectly adapted and ultra-modern ski lift network.
Val Thorens, the highest ski resort in Europe at 2300 m altitude, is also the summit of the 3 Valles, whose culminating point is the "Epaule du Bouchet" at 3230 metres.
Les 3 Valles, largest ski area in the world, offer you an exceptional range of landscapes and a great diversity of skiing, with - among others - very easy links between the different resorts. Thus, anyone can ski the 3 Valles. And concerning off-piste possibilities, there's just no limit...
For more details, for example a remarkable interactive route map, don't forget to visit the official website : les3vallees.com.
Here are a few figures in order to give you a good idea of how exceptional the 3 Valles are :
Altitude minimum: 1300 metres - Altitude maximum: 3230 metres
16 villages and resorts: more than 600 km of mapped-out pistes
328 pistes (56 green, 120 blue, 115 red, 37 black) on 400 km2
200 ski lifts, 25 summits which can be joined on skis, 6 glaciers
124 km of cross-country skiing, 1,500 ski instructors
1 500 snow cannons, 75 grooming machines
50 nationalities represented, 3 altiports