Forget spending New Year’s Eve at home this year. You could be blasting around the mountains and diving into deep powder at OnTheSnow’s top New Year’s ski resorts.
Check out our pick of best resorts to ski for New Year. Check their websites early for special package pricing.
St Anton am Arlberg, Austria
St Anton is party central. You’ll likely experience a week of non-stop revelry and a two-week hangover but in the name of fun – needs must.
Of all the legendary bars, the Mooserwirt is the most infamous and manages to serve 5,000 litres of beer a day (and probably just as much jagermeister) to a riotous crowd looking to have a good time. It’s come a long way from its inception as a cowshed to its current status as… a rather nice cowshed with a stylish boutique hotel next door. This latest addition means that if you’re so inclined you can bypass the intoxicated revellers and relax in the surprisingly serene hotel.
If on the other hand you long to join the throng of people swigging steins of bier then we recommend the “KK” – Krazy Kanguruh, which is a pre-Mooserwirt destination – Murrmel or the Kandahar. All of these bars will be celebrating the New Year the only way they know how – epically! At midnight, join the hordes on St Anton’s main street for a big countdown and an awesome firework display.
Top snow cover and party vibes make choosing Tignes as your New Year ski resort a cinch. The resort, which is one of the highest in the French Alps, is made up of five villages. Each has its own unique character, but if you’re focused on night-time activities then we recommend Val Claret and Le Lac. Both of these are well integrated into the lift system and much of the accommodation has easy ski-in ski-out convenience.
Le Lavachet has quieter nightlife than Claret and Le Lac and is therefore a good option for families. As for Tignes les Boisses and Tignes les Brevières, these two villages are prettier than the other three, have cheaper accommodation and are well linked to the ski area by lifts and buses. With over 60 bars to choose from, nearly all of them will have activities lined up for the New Year.
The main event is a Pop-Rock New Year’s Eve concert, held in collaboration with RTL2 radio station, where you’ll be throwing shapes on Europe’s highest outdoor dance floor. Head to the area outside the Maison de Tignes where you’ll join hundreds of revellers to count in the New Year together. As the clock strikes 12, fireworks shoot into the sky creating an explosion of glitter for you to marvel at!
In remote Ruka, buried deep within the Arctic Circle, the anticipation of Christmas and New Year fills the air months before the festivities hit. Of the plethora of activities on offer, highlights include reindeer feedings and huskie rides, picking wild berries in the forests, and ice fishing (a very Finnish hobby) where you first drill a hole in the lake and later prepare your catch on an open fire.
For New Year’s Eve, our pick of the events is a wonderful dinner hosted in Kontioluola. The restaurant, which sits in a cave and holds a massive 350 people, is located in the middle of a beautiful forest. Inside, a large cracking fire, hundreds of candles and relaxing music create a memorable dining experience. At 11:55 pm, a torch-lit ski show will take place down the Front slope complete with fireworks to ring in the new year. For proper Finnish partying, head to the Karaoke Bar where dancing on tables and swinging from the ceiling is encouraged and expected!
Kloster’s unpretentious air makes it a firm favourite with understated poshos. This brilliant New Year ski resort is known for its quality slopes and quirky traditions. Top of these traditions is the annual piglet race which takes place on New Year’s Day and, as its name suggests, sees lots of pigs running through the village. The whole town comes out to place bets and cheer the pigs on and local farmers bring meats and cheese to sell. Local wine too flows in abundance.
Après is more subdued here than at other resorts and parties take place in the privacy of cosy chalets. It’s a special resort with a winning formula, which is, simply, great skiing, nice restaurants and a welcoming community. It’s a perfect place to spend a low-key but quite magical New Years. If you have teenagers in tow, they’ll be perfectly happy dancing the night away at The Casa Antica.
Glamorous Aspen has a heaving social calendar with many a fabulous party to ring in the New Year. Start the festivities at the luxurious St. Regis Resort, which is hosting a New Year’s Eve warm-up party in the Shadow Mountain Lounge – cocktails will be served between 4-9pm.
The Sky Hotel, famous for its annual NYE party, is throwing a vintage Hollywood Soiree – if ever there was an opportunity to dress like a starlet this is it. Another VIP night will be taking place at the Little Nell Hotel where you can enjoy an exquisite food at Element 47 followed by the hotel’s Dom Perignon Party. The exclusive celebration takes place throughout Chair 9, the living room and element 47’s bar and outdoor lounge. Access includes bottomless Dom Perignon, an open bar, food stations replenished throughout the night and two musical acts from Elan Artists. The talented Los Angeles-based band, Project M, will get the crowd on their feet with rock, pop, Motown and more in Chair 9 while violinist Katarina Visnevska and DJ Valida will perform together in the Dom Perignon Lounge at Element 47. The party goes from 10pm-1:30am with a fireworks display over Aspen Mountain at midnight.
Vail, in central Colorado, is mega-awesome (all 5,289 acres of it) so it would only follow that its New Year’s Eve operations are equally awesome.
The biggest party will be taking place in Dobson Arena where DJ Logic will be spinning the decks. The Bronx born DJ, known for his jazz-infused beats will be playing some top hip hop, along with DJ Golden and Ramona – this promises to be an epic event. For a platinum VIP ticket, you’ll even get the chance to dance on a side stage, midnight champagne toast, complimentary food and upgraded party favours.
Ski in the New Year at Grindelwald next to the spectacular Eiger and Wetterhorn should be on every skier’s bucket list. On 31 December, from 10pm–4am, the roads are closed and the main street is transformed into a festival. The locals actually ring in the New Year by going from bar to bar with cowbells!
One of the main events taking place in January is the World Snow Festival. Every January, Grindelwald displays weird and wonderful ice sculptures on the natural ice-rink in the village centre. The World Snow Festival will take place in January.
Don’t forget to try the traditional sweet bread, Dreikönigskuchen, which has a token hidden inside of it. Finding the token is a lot more exciting than it sounds – children will love it if they nab it, as that means they get to be crowned King for the day!