Not really bothered too much on the price, maybe hoping about a grand for the week. But want to go away for Christmas this year with some friends skiing/snowboarding and was wondering if anyone here has personal experience with a European destination for this time of year.
So not thinking Poland (Zakopane), Andorra or places generally not guaranteed actual snow. But rather Austria or France, Switzerland or something. I wasn't big on Italy but if anyone knows anywhere, I'd really appreciate some conversation to get deciding
I've always thought a chalet would be great for Christmas! Which kind of narrows down your search a bit. France, some parts of Austria and Switzerland. But then I think Austrians really do Christmas well, so that would narrow it down for me.
In general, "de Europeans" put more effort into New Years than Christmas. If memory serves me correctly, the slopes will be open as normal on Christmas day, but service will be reduced on New Years day (lift operators & hangovers don't mix). Ditto for ski school - I'm pretty sure they don't do New Years day because they will be under the weather, but will do Christmas day.
We were in Zermatt last Christmas and while I wasn't able to ski at the time, I got the train up the mountain and met our party for Christmas dinner up the slopes. The restaurant was just doing 'dinner' - they had nothing special at all laid on for Christmas. This was a posh place and not a self service one which would do the same food day in, day out anyway.
We stayed in a Chalet with Inghams - flying from Belfast. The fact that the chalet was manned by UK staff meant that *they* put on a bit of a do for Christmas, so that might be worth considering. If you go to one of the more traditional hotels you run the risk that they either don't do anything at all for Christmas day or else they put on one of their gala dinners which last for *hours* and aren't quite as much fun as you might think. Of course, they will save the real celebrations for New Years Eve (St Sylvester, I think they call it in Austria) when there will be a serious party.
Inghams chalets might be a good idea - we found ours to be good value - I think it was something like £700 all in (over Christmas) which included your meals, wine at dinner, afternoon tea/buns, etc . . . It wasn't quite the James Bond sort of Chalet - this was much more functional, but given that most hotels in Zermatt were about twice that price this was just fine with us.
NB - lift passes (and ski school) in Zermatt were *savage* prices, so don't necessarily choose there.
Try Norway, the resorts are not as big as the ones on the continent, but there are some very nice ones with cozy towns and really nice modern log cabins you can rent out.
You can fly to Oslo with ryanair for pretty cheap and catch a transfer bus to one of the big resorts like Trysil or Hemsedal.
Have been to Austria 3 times, love it.
Don't forget, many European countries celebrate Christmas on the 24th, not the 25th. Where I go, lifts and ski schools in Austria tend to close early (about 3) on the 24th. 25th is a regular day.
Excellent cheers lads. Yeah Austria is my fav by far, so far anyway. I suppose those sort of heights are important. That's one thing that would put me off to the lesser known/regarded ones. At the same time though hoping to find one with a good bit of activity around the place in the evenings.
I'd recommend the grand hotel in zell am see austria, excellent for christmas, only prob the snow can be unreliable at times, at least kaprun for glacier skiing is nearby
I've stayed in the Hotel Neue Post (also in Zell am See) with my gf and its by far the best hotel I've stayed in while on a snow holiday. We loved it. Very central too.
Skiing in Czech Republic; Christmas week in Spindleruv Mlyn followed by the epic party that is New Year in Prague.
Easy and cheap bus transfer from Prague to "Spindl"
I never stayed there the better half demanded grand hotel for the spa as she was expecting but i agree neue post great for food. Talking last night she reckons st.anton would be snow sure. Might be a better idea