If you’re the type that can’t resist branded clothes, then you can live in label nirvana at The Arena, a snowboarding hotel where you sleep in rooms designed and dressed to match your togs.
The Arena’s charming yet slightly dowdy timber and stone main building dates back to the swinging sixties. In 1983 the manager of the hotel cunningly appropriated a second building right on the slopes, and built a warren-like tunnel underground to connect the two. In typical modernist style, the outbuilding was designed to mirror the jagged beauty of the surrounding Swiss Alps. Instead it just looks angular and pointy, with triangular balconies and a peaked roof. But you can’t always judge a hotel by its exterior as these unremarkable two buildings belie funky and cutting-edge interiors.
In the newer part of the hotel, the vibe is younger and hipper, with rooms fitted out by snowboarding brands such as Nikita, Vans and Nitro. Burton is also joining the fray this winter with a handful of rooms designed in its trademark laidback yet cooler-than-thou attitude. Each room has lashings of atmosphere and represents a slice of the big-brand lifestyle. The Vans room has footprints up the wall and the Nitro room indulges in some refreshing lime green paintwork, while the Nikita room is all golden and girlie for board babes.
In the older sister building, you can take full advantage of the boozing facilities: a bar and basement club to rave it up in. Off the subterranean tunnel corridor there are a spa facilities to soothe your muscles after a day exploring the resort, which is home to one of the world’s best half-pipes, 220km of groomed pistes, as well as host of the most important event on the UK snowboarding calender – the Brits. No wonder Flims-Laax is a snowboard mecca.