Ultima Thule Tebay Lodge, Alaska, USA
Deep in America’s largest National Park, with four mountain ranges, and 13 million acres of virgin Alaskan powder to explore, the New Ultima Thule Tebay Lodge is perhaps the ultimate ski touring base. The only catch is that no heliskiing is allowed in a park which is as big as Vermont and New Hampshire combined, rising from the ocean all the way up to the 5,488m high Mount St Elias. The Ultima Thule lodge gets around this by partnering up with Pacific Alpine Guides and flying its guests to the park’s powder bowls and untracked stashes by ski plane. After each day’s pow adventure you can return to the cosy, hand-built wilderness lodge to relax in the sauna or hot tub before swapping stories over a hearty Alaskan meal. Naturally, with only six guests at a time able to be accommodated and only April dedicated to skiing spaces are hard to come by.
Price: £7,352 pp for 5-nights all-inclusive, including daily plane assisted drop offs
Cabanes Entre Terre Et Ciel, France
Located in the Val d’Arly, just a few minutes from Megève and La Clusaz, with private and breathtaking views of Mont-Blanc and the Aiguille du Midi, the Cabanes dans les Arbres Entre Terre et Ciel (a long-winded way of saying ‘tree houses’) is a bijoux collection of three beautifully finished tree house chalets.
Pictured opposite is the Cabane Mont-Blanc, which – apart from being five metres off the ground with a tree through the middle – is built in luxurious traditional Savoyarde style. The chalet has a huge 30-metre square terrace, where you’ll find a barrel sauna and hot tub. Inside is a second double loft bedroom – all heated with a cosy wood burner.
The other two properties are Le Nid (the Nest), which looks just like one, 9m up in the trees. The third is the Cabane du Ruisseau (The Stream Cabin), which has its very own tunnel slide to take you from the 5m high deck to the ground.
Price: From £310 B&B per night
Chalet Matterhorn, Les Collons, Switzerland
Views don’t get more iconic than the one you’ll get of the famous Matterhorn from this chalet on the edge of the Les Collons ski resort. Big picture windows, a wrap-around balcony so you can follow the sun and a slope that drops away from in front of the chalet mean you’ll be able to take in sweeping views of the Bernese and Valaisan Alps by simply moving your head. Wood built but modern and sumptuously luxurious, the Chalet Matterhorn touts a Gaggenau-equipped kitchen, sauna, outdoor jacuzzi and five beautifully finished bedrooms. Assuming you can tear yourself away from your picture window framing the Matterhorn, the 410km of pistes in the 4 Vallées-Verbier ski area can be accessed by just a 900m walk to the quaint hamlet of Les Masse and its high-speed Les Masses-Les Collons chair lift.
Price: Whole chalet From £4,072 per week, sleeps 10
Mistaya Lodge, Canadian Rockies
You don’t get much more blissfully remote than this luxury lodge in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Family-run, Mistaya Lodge is a helicopter-accessed backcountry lodge for both alpine hiking in the summer and guided ski touring in untouched Rockies powder in the winter.
Your adventure will start at Golden Airport, where you’ll be whisked in a Bell helicopter to the Lodge, just 18 minutes away in Wildcat Creek Basin close to the Continental Divide. You might have only travelled 60 km but the solitude and tranquillity here is absolute, surrounded by sub-alpine and alpine terrain, and bordered by the Wapta Icefield, as well as Yoho and Banff National Parks. As you can imagine, the possibilities for guided ski touring in this vast natural playground are uncountable, with backcountry powder, glades, open tree skiing and seven glaciers in the vicinity. Certified guides will ensure you get back safe to the lodge’s sauna and hearty dinner.
Price: From £960 pp for 3-nights all-inclusive, including daily guiding and helicopter transfers to lodge
Le Pi-Maï, Serre Chevalier Vallée, France
Sitting isolated among the pistes of Serre Chevalier, at the foot of the Cucumelle valleys, the Pi-Maï chalet, hotel and restaurant is the perfect spot to stay on the mountain once everyone else has left. With just five bedrooms and built of traditional smoked wooden planks, this mountain retreat sits at an altitude of 1,985m. You can reach the chalet with a 5 minute ski-in or 15 minute snowshoe from the top of the Fréjus gondola or catch a lift on the chalet’s own cat ski. Either way, by the time you kick back with a vin chaud in hand at the end of a long day exploring Serre Chevalier’s 250km of pistes, the only thing you’ll hear will be the crackle of the roaring log fire and the chatter of the other lucky guests around it.
Price: From £116 per room H/B
Aladdin’s Lamp Hut, Silverton, Colorado, USA
Sitting under Grand Turk peak at an altitude of 3,208m, with breathtaking views of Colorado’s Weminuche Wilderness and the Grenadier range, the Aladdin’s Lamp Hut is the perfect wilderness base from which to explore the San Juan mountains. A quarter of a mile from highway 550, between Durango and Silverton in the south-west of the state, this idyllic little chalet is surrounded by old growth forest that’s perfect for gentle backcountry skiing or snowshoeing, with steep chutes and deep fluffy white powder for more advanced ski tourers. Cosy but by no means ‘luxurious’ the hut sleeps eight in an upstairs one-room sleeping area, with the cooking, eating and social area downstairs heated by a rustic woodstove.
Price: From £154 per weekday night
Mazot Jaune, Les Houches, Chamonix, France
You won’t get closer to the piste than this small but perfectly formed wooden chalet above the pretty alpine village resort of Les Houches. Inside you’ll find a double bed, plenty of four-season feather bedding, a cute kitchenette, a dining area, large leather sofa, shower room with toilet, a TV and even Wifi. Perfect for a romantic escape for two, you’ll have the Mazot to yourselves yet know that you’re just a 400m ski from the three main lifts of Les Houches down the blue run outside your door. You’re also just a 15 minute walk from the village centre, where there are buses to Chamonix and the other four ski areas in the valley under the Mont Blanc Massif, should you get lonely.
Price: From £54 per night
Das Almnest, Hochfügen-Hochzillertal, Austrian Tyrol
Nestled at 1,500m above the glorious Zillertal Valley, this secluded 55-metres square spa cabin is nonetheless at the heart of the Hochfügen ski area. Enjoy your own private views of the Zillertal from the outdoor pine-log heated hot tub and either use its kitchen to self-cater for ultimate privacy or venture down to the four star Hotel Almhof 100m below, where you’ll find the extra luxury of a restaurant, as well as spa area with sauna, steam bath and jacuzzi, plus a ski school and ski rentals. When you’ve had enough isolation, you can always take the gondola to the Hochzillertal area, opening up 155km of glorious lift-linked ski terrain.
Price: From £173 per night
Skyfall Penthouse, Arlberg Region
Out on the outskirts of tiddly St Christoph - feeling worlds away from the hubbub of neighbour St Anton - the Skyfall Penthouse is the newest building in the village for half a century. Built out of the rocky mountainside, the property has doorstep skiing to a lift, which whisks you up from the ground floor into 273 square metres of pure penthouse luxury.
Once inside, you’re greeted by a medley of traditional timber, modern art and large windows letting in glorious daylight and looking out to gorgeous surrounding peaks. Catering can be provided in-house by a professional chef, and with a cinema, Hammam and sauna, plus a spacious living area with a log fire, there’s little reason to leave this four bedroom hideaway. Apart from skiing the Arlberg, of course, which awaits with 305km of pistes and off-piste totalling a mammoth 200km.
Price: From £1928pp for four nights, including chalet catering, ski instruction for two days and a driver service