Get Your Ski Degree! Know the ropes then hit the slopes!
That's the aim of this month's feature - helping you identify which of the many and varied ski holidays works best for you.
It's been created with our friends at Ski Independence. They are award-winning specialists with two decades of experience, making them the perfect partner.
From non-skiers and nervous first timers to seasoned skiers, families and lovers of luxury, here's some essential snow-how.
Whether it’s the first time on the slopes for your little ones or you have a pack of tiny shredders putting your skills to shame, we know that there are a few things to consider when it comes to creating magical memories.
Nobody likes carrying their skis on their back, not least little people. So to avoid tantrums we recommend ski-in/ski-out accommodation, everyone is happy and the slopes are on your doorstep.
A second essential to consider is ski school: give your kids the best start with tried and tested ski schools across North America and Europe, able to help regardless of ability.
If there’s still energy in those little legs for some après-ski, our resorts have a huge selection of activities to keep the family entertained: indoor water parks, zip lines, horse-drawn sleighs and bowling included.
Our favourite family resorts: Avoriaz and Les Arcs for their excellent self-catering accommodation offering ultimate flexibility, and Whistler because there is an après-ski activity to suit everyone.
Maybe you’ve already had a long ski holiday and you’re chasing fresh snow, or perhaps you are limited on the holiday time you can take. Nothing feels like getting away from it all more than a short ski break.
We understand that you want to maximise your slope time and that’s why we recommend early morning flights plus a resort with a short transfer - that way you can have an early breakfast in London and be on the slopes by lunchtime!
Our top destinations for a short break are Les Gets, Morzine and Villars because they not only offer a beautiful alpine setting but their short transfer and excellent hotels make them them an obvious choice.
3 nights in Les Gets, Departing 16 March 2017. Stay at 4-star Hotel La Marmotte on B&B basis. Includes flights from London Gatwick and shared transfers to resort. Based on 2 sharing. Price: £760pp.
You’ve ticked off most of your ski bucket list and this is not your first gondola, so you want to try something different (and make your ski friends jealous). We get it!
Escape the beaten track with a heli-ski adventure, finding the best untracked snow with the best local mountain guides, or maybe take on a twin centre itinerary in North America, checking off little-known gems as you go.
Or maybe you want to go East? Japan is a powder hounds mecca with over 60ft of snow per season - you’ll be waist deep in the fluffy stuff.
We love Niseko because of the powder, hospitality and the onsens; Jackson Hole because it’s gnarly and exciting and Chamonix for the endless choice and big challenges.
9 nights in Niseko, Japan, departing 25 February 2017. Stay at the M Hotel. Includes Flights from London Heathrow to Tokyo then Tokyo to Sapporo, plus private transfer to resort. Based on 2 sharing. Price: £2400pp.
A skiing holiday is about so much more than just the snow. It’s a chance to get away from it all, to sample food and wines from some of the world's best chefs and to indulge in spa treatments at stunning slope-side hotels.
It’s cozying up beside the fire in your mountain-view suite and sinking into a bubbling hot tub on your own private balcony. We know how to make your trip away extra special; whatever your requirements, we’ll help to make it happen.
We love The W, Verbier because of its alpine feel; The Four Seasons, Whistler because of the service (and Sidecut Steak restaurant) and The Little Nell, Aspen because it’s discreet and unassuming on the outside and filled with sumptuous indulgence on the inside.
5 nights in Verbier. Departing 14 January 2017. Stay at 5-star W Verbier in Wonderful King Room on B&B basis. Includes flights from London Gatwick and shared transfers. Based on 2 sharing. Price: £1945pp.
The mountains are not just for those who like to hurl themselves downhill with planks strapped to their feet. There is another breed of mountain lover who prefer to take things a bit slower. We know the best spots to ensure you can still make the most of the mountain air.
Whether it’s snow shoeing or just taking the time to sit in the hot tub with the views and a book, there’s a resort to suit you.
Some resorts are particularly good for getting up the gondolas to meet the skiers in your party for lunch – we can tell you about them.
We love Andermatt because even the skiers want to stay in the hotel all day (cheese cellar, anyone?); Chamonix because it’s a real town with shops and cafés to keep you entertained and Banff because the scenery can keep you transfixed for a week – plus add on a stopover to Vancouver and maximise your time away.
7 nights in Chamonix, departing 10 December 2016. Stay at Boutique Hotel Le Morgane on B&B basis. Includes flights from London Gatwick and shared transfers to resort. Price: £650pp.
For more ideas, head to our skiing and boarding selections or challenge us to create your perfect holiday.