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The Travel File:        Hit the Pistes

The Travel File: Hit the Pistes

It's cold outside, huh? Chapped lips, dry skin, higher electricity bills, wearing so many layers that you start to look like a Russian doll, and so on. Maybe you should take advantage of the winter weather and find some spots to go skiing (or if you're like us, sport a very thick sweater and relax in front of a roaring fire). While you're out there, there are some new Moncler goggles that you can sport confidently, both on and off the piste.

The Hotel Almhof Schneider in the shadow of the Alps
The Hotel Almhof Schneider in the shadow of the Alps

HOTEL ALMHOF SCHNEIDER, LECH, AUSTRIA

Where do you think of when someone mentions skiing? It's the Alps, a mountain range that stretches across eight countries, so choosing a holiday spot is hard. We're going to go for the Austrian farming village of Lech, which remains a terrifically well-kept secret well, as much a secret as a royal family hotspot can be. The superior luxury Hotel Almhof Schneider is a link to the area's history — standing on land that's belonged to the Schneider clan ever since the 1400s — while maintaining hyper-contemporary levels of comfort. And yes, of course, there are the Alps: try out the White Ring, a 22km circuit with an 8000ft high point.


Image: courtesy of Hotel Almhof Schneider

The Chalet del Sogno hotel next to the Dolomites
The Chalet del Sogno hotel next to the Dolomites

CHALET DEL SOGNO, MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, ITALY

If you're going to trust anybody with designing an exceptional ski resort, you'd probably go for those with experience of being in the snow. (And an architect, duh.) Alberto Schiavon didn't just design the Chalet del Sogno hotel — he also curated the wine list, drawing on his training as a sommelier. While we're envious of the former Olympian's multi-tasking, we're not at all mad at his hotel's closeness to the Dolomites, a jagged Natural Heritage site.


Image: courtesy of Hotel Chalet del Sogno Campiglio

The Red bar of the QT Queenstown
The Red bar of the QT Queenstown

QT QUEENSTOWN, QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND

We pride ourselves on at FLANNELS on being transparent, so here goes: before we started writing this post, we didn't even know you could ski in New Zealand. Sorry, everyone. Before you leave in a huff: allow us to inform you about the QT Queenstown, a hotel that overlooks a mountain range so remarkable that they called it 'The Remarkables'. If you take a trip by helicopter, you can find some near-untouched powder in the Queenstown backcountry — and maybe go bungee jumping. (Queenstown: home of the world's bounciest extreme sport.) The team at FLANNELS appreciate your forgiveness.

Image: courtesy of QT

The Caldera House fire pit
The Caldera House fire pit

CALDERA HOUSE, WYOMING, UNITED STATES

Jackson Hole is a fascinating example of the United States' sprawling landscape, with wild elk and bears grazing in the shadow of the Treton Range's snowy peaks. Considered the American skiers' ultimate mountain (arguably more so than Aspen), it also attracts many movers and shakers thanks to contemporary hotels like Caldera House. Glance out over the landscape in between attempts on the pistes, warming up amongst warm wooden floors, two acclaimed restaurants and an exclusive gallery space. Also, a private ski valet to get you up on the mountain before anyone else. Pretty, pretty good.

Image: courtesy of Caldera House