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With exceptional snow quality and some fantastic ski pistes that allow for great spins down the mountain, the Swiss Alps is known for its skiing holidays the world over. But the truth is, the Swiss Alps offers far more than just skiing. For those who love a spell of fashion, enjoy culinary delights or like to kick their heels up in a wild night out, Switzerland’s top ski resorts don’t fail to deliver.
Outside of traditional skiing there are heaps of winter sports that are extremely fun and certainly worth a shot. Go snowshoeing along a winter trail, with absolutely no coordination necessary bomb down a toboggan run or take a more elegant scenic sleigh ride through the mountains. Well off the mountains, visit the city of Geneva and enjoy a boat ride along the lake that meanders through the city. Take a day trip to charming Lausanne and bask in the delight of its many cultural treasures. Switzerland is a winter holiday paradise and if offers certainly more - than just ski.
Having the title of home to the largest alpine shopping facility, Crans Montana is one of Switzerland’s most glamorous, wealthy and trendy ski resorts. A haven for fashion and lifestyle seekers it has a century long history of offering the best and finest to the world’s most glamorous jet set. There are a plethora of 5 star hotels, health clubs, fashion boutiques and top rated restaurants. While fashion and style are high on the winter ski season’s weekly agenda, there are also 4 health centers, squash and tennis courts, 2 ice rinks, bowling alleys and cinemas.
While the resort could be charged for not being the cheapest place to eat out, like the old saying goes “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”. Likewise, the quality of the food here is nothing less than capital. From traditional classic restaurants such as La Cave and Le Mayon, to the trendier variety of Zerodix and Le Mont Blanc, there are others with an international fusion such as La Piccolina and Le Thai, yet there are still more cafes and restaurants to cater to every whim and preference.
On nightfall, the resort’s nightlife shines bright. Lively bars open up, including one with a casino, if you’re feeling game. The more popular venues are perhaps the cosy and hyper exclusive, La Grange and Bar Amadeus that have a relaxed and yet artsy atmosphere. Cloaked in your glamourous evening wear try the classy and sophisticated piano bars. But after the strike of midnight, the towns turns to its wild side, where the bars and nightclubs see the town through to the next morning’s rays.
Davos is arguably Switzerland’s most well renowned ski resort that holds interest to those both focused on the ski, and for others who are more interested in the après-ski. Skiing and other snow sport records have been made in Davos, as it has been the host location of many highly competitive winter sports events and international championships. The name ‘Davos’ may certainly sound familiar, as it became famous in the 90s for hosting the World Economic Forum. An annual winter gathering of politicians and financiers, who consolidate the interests of a transnational elite.
With more than sufficient demand necessary, Davos has developed a well cultivated and thriving après-ski nightlife. Start your night at Ex-Bar where they are known for their rocking and wild parties. The Chämi Bar is a little more high brow where more elegantly clad folk dressed in penguin suits, gather to see and be seen, drink expensive wines and do little else. For something warm and sweet and made to make you feel good, an excellent chocolate pie is to be found at Café Schneider in Davos-Platz while Café Weber in Davos-Dorf can serve a chai tea that will melt you down to your elements.
Although it was geared to a younger lot, we really enjoyed a visit to Cabanna Club, beating with techno music and rock, there was a great fun vibe that we quickly fell into. At the other end of the age spectrum was the Piano Bar in Hotel Europe, while definitely more ‘grown-up’ still had an evocative mood. We heard two women, one a violinist from Wales and the other a black singer from Atlanta. The crowd hung onto the melody of the music as they sat by the bar or sunk in comfort on the lounges.
For something new and entirely cool (no pun intended), check out Zermatt. Zermatt is surfacing as one of Switzerland’s trendiest ski resorts, not sure what took so long as this very pretty little village has been in existence for centuries, however only recently has it been noticed for its great snow quality, superb ski and luxurious chalets. With this as the town’s foundation, a nightlife has emerged to match the charm of the town. Today, Zermatt is a skier’s arcadia, with everything you could possibly want.
Fully pedestrianised, you arrive at Zermatt via a short train ride from the hamlet of Täsch. People get around in Zermatt via the free electric buses that connect all the main lift stations on the valley floor. Yet for destinations off the pistes, there are float-style electric taxis that are available for hire or horse drawn carriages, whichever tickles your romantic fancy, (I certainly know which one i’m going for!).
The nightlife is honestly tough to beat, with over 100 restaurants to choose from, dozens more restaurants located amidst the nearby mountains and heaps of bars and nightclubs to steal away the night. With Michelin starred restaurants amongst the great culinary offerings available, you’ll be easily tempted by a variety that includes traditional Swiss and Asian flavours. Nothing short of a magical wonderland of tall spired chapels and beautiful Tudor homes, all under a warm golden glow of Christmas lights, strung up on every street and boulevard.
With these ski resorts offering all the inspiration necessary to book your Switzerland winter holiday, hire the Porsche Cayenne to ensure you arrive in perfect panache to match that found on the glitzy resorts themselves. The Porsche Cayenne is the SUV with excellent sporting credentials, built with a twin-turbo V8 engine and 8-speed transmission, it’s fast, but more so, powerfully efficient. Available to be rented from any of Switzerland’s international Airports, your champaign on Switzerland’s most glamorous ski resorts is waiting for you, and getting rather crispy cold.
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