For some people, luxury accommodation with fine dining, sophisticated après-ski and, of course, great skiing is no longer enough. They need some of the world’s most scenic views and a hot tub from which to take it all in.
We’ve selected five of our favourite high-altitude hot tubs. Few hot tubs can compare to the scenic beauty of these ones, located in the finest ski resorts spanning the globe.
But, first some health and safety tips. Consider wearing a toque (or comfortable narrow-brim hat). Why? It’s cold in the winter and keeping your head and body warm is more comfortable. Sandals will help you to not drag dirt into the tub. Go slow on the alcoholic beverages. Because the warm water in a hot tub may cause your blood vessels to dilate, you get drunker faster.
Septième Ciel, Verbier, Switzerland
Verbier is home to some of the world’s most luxurious ski accommodations including Virgin boss Richard Branson’s ‘The Lodge’. But of the many wonderful spas in this famous ski resort, the tub at Septième Ciel, another remarkable chalet which is available to rent through the Oxford Ski Company has some of the best views.
The chalet, which sleeps up to 12 and costs from £15,450 to rent, is located on the Savoleyres side of Verbier high up above the resort. The hot tub’s lofty perch away from other man-made buildings and light pollution, boasts unobstructed views across the valley and gorgeous nighttime stargazing.
Deer Lodge, Lake Louise, Canada
Lake Louise has a rightful reputation not only for world-class skiing but also for some of the most awe-inspiring views of the magnificent Canadian Rockies right from the slopes. But what if you would rather take the views in from a hot tub for a change?
Well thankfully one of the resort’s best-loved accommodations, Deer Lodge, has stepped up to the plate. More than a century after the hotel was first built from huge local tree trunks to make comfortable stays in Canada’s newly opened West a practical reality, the current operators have shown the same vision as its founders and built a hot tub on the roof.
Putting the tub up high gives users some wonderful 360 degree views of the surrounding peaks and glaciers including Mount Lefroy, Mount Victoria and Mount Fairview and also provides for excellent stargazing on clear nights.
Rifugio Scoiattoli, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Take the Cinque Torri chairlift up from Italy’s chic Cortina ski resort and you’ll find the Rifugio Scoiattoli. Surrounded by the jaw-dropping scenery of the Italian Dolomites, this mountain restaurant was built at 2,255m in the late 1960s by famous mountain guide Lorenzo Lorenzi and is still run by members of his family.
You can eat lunch here or have an après ski dinner. If your dinner lingers over, you can either get a lift back down on a snowmobile or stay over in some basic but comfortable on-mountain accommodations.
However long you stay, the important thing is to take a dip in the amazing hot tub here and soak up the views of the gorgeous 5 Torri (five towers) peaks. The hot tub is in fact a giant wooden barrel heated by a wood burning stove underneath and you should call at least 24 hours ahead to book it. Overnight stays start at 54 Euros and include your evening meal and hot tub access.
Riverrun, Cardrona/Treble Cone, New Zealand
New Zealand, the famous location for the Lord of the Rings and now the Hobbit movies, has some of the southern hemisphere’s most remarkable views — attracting visitors from all over the world. Combine this with some of the planet’s best skiing at ski areas including Cardrona and Treble Cone, and you have quite the holiday.
You can stay in the heart of it all at Riverrun beside Lake Wanaka, which is at the heart of a 500-acre private estate and located about one hour’s drive from ‘outdoor capital of the southern hemisphere,’ Queenstown.
Riverrun has beautiful ski lodges with hot tubs made of cedar wood and offering great views of the Southern Alps, but Riverrun has thought about more than just the view from their very private tub. They ensure you get the full experience with huge fluffy towels and a roaring log fire to relax by for your ‘apres tub’ experience, getting around the usual problem faced by users of great hot tubs — forcing yourself to get out.
Iglu Village, Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt is another one of the planet’s most iconic ski destinations for stunning scenery, with the mighty Matterhorn as its backdrop. There are more luxury accommodations here than almost any other ski resort, but for a truly unique hot tub experience — a rather different option is available.
Iglu Village is an award-winning chain of on-snow accommodations that are also actually built of snow above half-a-dozen of Europe’s top resorts every autumn. Each one takes around 3,000 tons of snow to build and they all open on Christmas Day each winter. Unlike the famous Ice Hotel in the Arctic circle of northern Sweden, the igloo villages provide separate snow rooms of various types including the ‘Romantic’ snow suites.
In the Zermatt Iglu Village you have the amazing opportunity of sinking into a hot tub located nearly 10,000 feet up, high above the village on the Gornergrat, opposite that world-famous peak. It doesn’t get much better than that.