Top 5 Ski Spa Destinations in Europe

Written by Alexa Owen • Nov 15, 2016

Skiing and spa-going have gone hand in hand since the beginning of time -- or at least since the 19th century.

source: Kulm Hotel

Europe, of course, is the place to go for the ultimate ski spa vacation. From the crystaline waters above St. Moritz to the luxury spas of Courchevel, Europe knows how to do the spa getaway. This is great news for non-skiers with an affinity for pampering, hard-charging powder hounds in need of serious self-care, and anyone who prefers herbal steam in their sauna and cucumber mint in their water. In Europe's world-renowned spas at these stunning ski resorts, you'll find everything you need for versatile ski spa getaway. Keep reading for the top 5 ski spa destinations in Europe:

St. Moritz

source: Kulm Hotel

The Engadiner Museum in St. Moritz chronicles the history of the area as a health and wellness destination that drew visitors to its mineral waters as early as 3,000 years ago. The natural springs have among the highest concentration of carbonic acid in Europe, and bathers draw benefits like increased circulation and reduced arthritic pain from the waters. In 1832, the first guesthouse was built next to the spring; 30 years later, as many as 450 guests would flock to the area during the summer months to escape city life and cleanse in the mineral springs and fresh mountain air. Today St. Moritz draws skiers to its slopes and wellness buffs to its spas, many of which still incorporate the natural spring water into its treatments. St. Moritz is one of the most luxurious ski destinations in the Alps, and the top ski spa hotels are 5 star oases for indulgent self care.

 

Kulm Hotel

The Kulm Hotel created the concept of a winter spa vacation in St. Moritz when founder Johannes Badnutt invited summer guests to stay through the winter in 1864. Today the luxury resort boasts swimming pools, steam baths, infrared sauna, and the most progressive body treatments in the world. The hotel is a 5-minute walk from the SMBB funicular.

When you go:

Stay…in one of the luxury-clad rooms overlooking the valley.

Dine...at The K for classic French cuisine prepared with fresh, local ingredients.

Detox…in a hydro massage bath, the 252 nozzle therapeutic treatment that integrates muscle release and systemic cleansing.

Get Fit…with group yoga and pilates classes in the spacious fitness studio overlooking the lake.

Don’t Miss…the Alpienne honey peeling treatment, which incorporates mountain crystals to promote circulation and stimulate metabolism.

Kempinski Grand Hotel des Baines

The Kempinski is a St. Moritz mainstay that boasts 184 luxury rooms, 3 gourmet restaurants, and a 2,800 square meter spa. Several recently upgraded rooms offer balconies with mountain views, and slopes and shopping are short walks away. The spa is known for its signature beauty treatments, which include hydrofacials and a “lose a dress size in 90 minutes” body wrap.

When you go:

Stay…in a deluxe room for spacious comfort and mountain views.

Dine...at Enoteca, whose menu boasts housemade pastas, local beef and cheeses, and a comprehensive international wine list.

Detox…with Kempinski’s specialized 7-day program; personal trainers craft a week-long set that includes nutritional counseling, group fitness classes, and therapeutic body work.

Get Fit… with a personal training session in the fully equipped weight room.

Don’t Miss…the Alpine Rejuvenation treatment, which includes an herbal steam bath, crystalized quartz body peel, and personally customized massage.

Interlaken

source: Victoria-Jungfrau

Interlaken itself is not a resort: the name comes from the German translation meaning “between the lakes,” it is situation between the beautiful Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. The town has primarily served as a summer vacation destination; but as a central (and affordable) jumping-off point for major ski resorts like Grindelwald, Mürren and Wengen, the name has become more notable among skiing enthusiasts. The scenery is spectacular: arguably the most stunning in this region of the Alps. The Jungfrau Region is linked by bus and rail, and the Top Ski lift ticket offers access to all three major resorts in the region. Zermatt is a close day trip. The luxury spa hotels popped up as a complement to the enthusiastic outdoor adventure scene in the region: they’re modern, high-end, and pair well with active days on the slopes.

Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa

The 19th century Victoria-Jungfrau Hotel is steeped in modern luxuries that include 2 fine dining restaurants, 224 rooms, and a 5,500 square meter spa that includes treatments inspired from across the globe. It’s centrally located in Interlaken; a 7-minute walk to the Interlaken West train station that offers access to major regional destinations and activities.

When you go:

Stay…in the Bel air suite, which offers garden views and direct access to the spa.

Dine...in the ultra elegant La Terrasse, whose menu and decor draw inspiration from the Mediterranean and south of France.

Detox…with a “Contour & Firm” body treatment that assists in flushing excess fats from the body.

Get Fit…with a few sets on one of the 2 indoor tennis courts.

Don’t Miss…an opportunity to heal with sound and touch during the Singing Bowl Massage.

Beatus Wellness & Spa Hotel

Hotel Beatus embodies the epitome of the spa vacation destination – with access to slopes of the Alps to boot. It’s located on the shores of Lake Thun, so that rooms offer either mountain or lake views. The spa includes an indoor pool, saunas, steam rooms and full treatment menu. Downtown Interlaken is 20-minutes drive away, while ski resorts like Grindelwald are under 1 hour.

When you go:

Stay…in the Spiez Room, a sun-washed junior suite with balcony and south-facing lake views.

Dine...at Le Belair for meats and seafood prepared in traditional Swiss-German style.

Detox…in the 90*C Finnish blockhouse sauna.

Get fit…in the training room, which has access to a small but diverse selection of weight training machines.

Don’t Miss…the hot stone therapeutic massage after a day excursion to the slopes.

Courchevel

source: Cheval Blanc

Courchevel is where the summer regulars of St. Tropez go to vacation in winters, and the luxury pervades everything from the cobblestone streets lined with high-end boutiques to the multiple Michelin 2 star restaurants tucked inside exclusive hotels. The resort boasts great skiing: 150km on-piste terrain, and more off-piste that can be explored with or without a guide. The village areas are distinct in their elevations, the most popular being Courchevel 1850, where the spa hotels on this list are located. Spas themselves offer full treatment menus, and often boast hair and beauty salons.

Cheval Blanc

One of many luxe hotels located in Courchevel 1850, Cheval Blanc sets itself apart with individually designed rooms and modern refinement. The hotel boasts a luxury spa, classic French restaurant, and ski-in/ski-out access. There’s also a bar lounge featuring live music every night at 7: a casual way to unwind after a day on the slopes or at the spa.

When you go:

Stay…in one of the 10 deluxe superior rooms, which are flooded with light from southern exposure and offer the best views of the Saulire.

Dine...at Michelin 2-star Le 1947: the cuisine is classic French excellence, and the all white interior a beautiful dining space.

Detox…in the Turkish baths, followed by lounging with specialty herbal tea selections by the pool.

Get Fit…with some laps in the stone and birch surrounded infinity edge pool.

Don’t Miss…an anti-aging skincare treatment in the Orchidée Salon.

Grandes Alpes Hotel

The Grandes Alpes Hotel in Courchevel 1850 offers ski-in/ski-out access, spacious rooms with clean lines of wood and stone, and an in-house Japanese restaurant with phenomenal sushi. You’ll get a boutique experience here, with friendly staff and cozy atmosphere. The spa is small but elegant, and even offers special indulgences – like the Cinderella Treatment – for kids.

When you go:

Stay…in the single bedroom suite for longer stays: the 110 sqm living space is worth it.

Dine...at Le Bizan, the hotel’s contemporary Japanese eatery led by sushi master Massahiro Adachi.

Detox…with the Banya Detox Ritual, which includes exfoliation, body wrap, and deep tissue massage to purify and tone.

Get fit…with afternoon swim routines in the Grandes Alpes pool.

Don’t Miss…the Bisses Purity body scrub, which incorporates Sea Buckthom oil, apricot kernels, and mineral salt.

Val d’Isère

source: Hotel les Barmes de l'Ours

At the end of the Tarentaise Valley, Val D’Isère marks a hot spot for European ski vacationers and a destination resort for big mountain skiers and luxury ski vacation enthusiasts alike. It’s linked with neighboring Tignes, and together these resorts boast over 300km skiable terrain. There’s no shortage of high-end hotels, each with its own character and flair. Expect to pay big bucks here for everything from a morning coffee to the junior suite: Val d’Isère is a place to indulge.

Hôtel Christiania

A 4 minute walk from the resort and in close proximity to shopping and town life, Hôtel Christiania boasts the rustic chic look that most ski vacationers are looking for in a getaway to the Alps. Rooms and suites are outfitted with wooden décor and warmly toned furniture; there is one restaurant offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as fitness center and full spa services.

When you go:

Stay…in a west-facing Junior Suite, which offers extra space and cozy nooks for reading and lounging.

Dine...at the Hôtel Christiania restaurant; chef de cuisine Phillippe Meyzin crafts classic French cuisine served at elegant tables with mountain views.

Detox…with an Ayurvedic massage – it hails from ancient Indian traditions and uses generous amounts of hot oil to stimulate muscles, fascia, and skin.

Get Fit…in the workout space: you’ll find treadmills, bikes, ellipticals and rowers.

Don’t Miss…the Hydravance Intensive Treatment for total rehydration of the facial skin after exposure to high alpine air.

Hôtel les Barmes de l’Ours

This homey 5-star retreat is nestled at the base of the Bellevarde Express Lift, offering slopeside access to the expansive terrain of Val d’Isere. Hôtel les Barmes de l'Ours boasts 76 rooms and suites across four floors, each individually themed for specific tastes. The 1,000 sqm spa offers traditional alpine treatments, as well as Thai massage, Lomi Lomi, and Scandinavian inspired therapies.

When you go:

Stay…on the third floor, where rooms are themed in the traditional Savoyard mountain chalet style.

Dine...at La Rôtisserie, where chefs prepare simple, traditional dishes specializing in choice cut meats.

Detox…with a Lymphatic Drainage massage, which stimulates the lymphatic system to expedite the release of toxins from the body.

Get fit…out on the slopes: the hotel itself has not indoor fitness center.

Don’t Miss…the Gourmand Bear Signature Ritual: an 85 minute comprehensive treatment that includes a granite scrub and fresh fruit body wrap.

Cervinia

At the foot of the majestic Matterhorn, Cervinia shares a border with Zermatt and boasts terrain suited to every ability level (although intermediates will have the most to choose from). Before it became a major ski destination, the town was a base for mountaineering enthusiasts. Today, it offers a slightly less expensive alternative to neighboring Zermatt – and fantastic Italian food to boot. Expect friendly locals and quaint restaurants among the luxury ski spa hotels.

Hotel Hermitage

The Hotel Hermitage setting is quiet and set apart: located at the base of the Matterhorn, it offers some of the best views of any hotel in Cervinia. The hotel was the first of luxury lodging in the valley to create an on-site spa, and has since set the standard for luxury ski spa getaways in Cervinia. Spa highlights include sauna, Turkish bath, heated swimming pool and therapeutic whirlpools fed by local spring water.

When you go:

Stay…in one of the antique-furniture clad rooms with mountain-facing terrace.

Dine...at La Chandelle, the 5-star in-house restaurant boasting fine Italian dishes like venison fillet with pumpkin gratin or risotto creamed with toasted bread and fontina cheese.

Detox…in whirlpools sourced from local mountain spring water.

Get Fit…in the Technogym fitness area, which offers a small selection of modern gym equipment.

Don’t Miss…an opportunity for a personalized therapeutic body treatment based on your specific needs and requests.

Saint Hubertus Resort

Saint Hubertus specializes in the wellness retreat: therapists offer 3- and 6-day detox programs, while guests wishing to simply use the facilities have access to state-of-the-art spa, health club, and cosmetic teams. The décor of the hotel blends tradition with modernity; it’s located 5 minutes from Cervinia’s village and 9 minutes from the nearest ski lift.

When you go:

Stay…in one of the 60 sqm classic apartments, each with its own fireplace and mix of granite and wood floors.

Dine...at under the arched stone ceiling of the hotel restaurant, which boasts homemade pastas, local farm cheeses, and an evolved wine cellar.

Detox…with a Dead Sea salts scrub in the Thermal Cabin.

Get fit…out on the slopes: the hotel itself has not indoor fitness center.

Don’t Miss…the warm candle wax massage for soothing sore muscles after a day on the slopes.