In Chamonix, the centuries-old Refuge Montenvers (montenvers.terminal-neige.com), with its dramatic perch at the foot of the Mer de Glace glacier, has been sensitively restored into a stylish, romantic bolthole with a fabulous restaurant and mesmerising views.
Global brands are gaining a footing in the Alps this winter too, with Hard Rock Café launching in the Swiss resort of Davos (hardrockhotels.com/davos), a Radisson Blu opening in Andermatt (radissonblu.com) and the Hyatt Group launching its first alpine destination in La Rosière (hotellarosiere.com).
Lift passes are also cheaper: An Epic Pass (epicpass.com) bought by 19 November for 9 (£675) grants unlimited, season-long access to 15 North American resorts, including Vail, Breckenridge and Whistler Blackcomb, and up to 21 free days in 30 alpine resorts, including St Anton, Val d’Isère, the Three Valleys and Verbier.
That’s cheaper than a seven-day lift pass to just one of those resorts.
Last minute bookings do not necessarily secure the best value ski holidays – the early ski bird catches the worm, particularly if you’re limited to travelling during school holidays.
Check out ski tour operator websites over the next week or so and you’ll find 45 per cent discounts on trips to Whistler (bookable by 15 November through Ski Independence; ski-i.com) and up to 45 per cent off select Easter breaks to Scandinavia (bookable by 8 November through Ski Safari; skisafari.com).
This winter brings with it a plethora of hotel openings across the Alps.
There’s something for every taste and budget, from the quirky H0o36 Hostel (ho36hostels.com) in Les Menuires, with rooms that sleep two to 10 people from €35 per night, to the new Four Seasons Hotel Megève (fourseasons.com/megeve), complete with a two Michelin-starred restaurant and swanky spa.
In Val d’Isère, France, work has started on the £170m Coin de Val project, set to redevelop the resort centre over the next five years.
A new piste and underground moving walkway will connect the slopes directly with the heart of town while a new shopping area, restaurants, apartments, a hotel, bus station and welcome area will also be created.
Celebrating 35 years of organising British family ski holidays, Esprit (espritski.com) is launching a pop-up destination this Easter: The high-altitude Austrian resort of Kühtai is ideal for families with older children who don’t require Esprit’s full childcare services.
Finally, the plush new Club Med Grand Massif Samoëns Morillon resort (uk) combines ski-in/ski-out, all-inclusive convenience (including all-day childcare, ski/snowboard tuition and other activities like snowshoeing) with three restaurants, a swimming pool and spa.
Skiers burn up to 3,000 calories per day so it’s essential to replenish that energy with delicious food.