Elite Escapes7 of Europe's most luxurious ski chaletsLaura Binder, for CNN • Updated 8th January 2014FacebookTwitterEmail(CNN) — Your own hammam, a personal chef and a chauffeur to smooth your way to the slopes — they're all part of the package for the ultra upper-crust skier.In fact, the après-ski's so tempting at these sumptuous retreats you might be tempted to skip the skiing altogether.
Chalet Bella Coola, Verbier, Switzerland
If you seek your thrills off-piste as much as on, this is the place: goodies include a hammam for rapid defrosting, a 10-meter heated indoor pool and a Champagne bar.The crisp Swiss air should cure any effects of overindulgence — and the chalet's setting, sandwiched between the Medran and Savoleyres lift stations, puts you on top of the main network of pistes above Verbier. You could plot your entire day's skiing from the floor-to-ceiling windows, the view extending to that toasty pool.Chalet Bella Coola; +41 79 412 7398; from CHF31,700 ($32,650) a week
Chalet Le Coquelicot, Courchevel 1850, France
Britain's Prince Harry, the Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev and assorted Russian oligarchs might, based on reported past attendance, be among your fellow skiers at so-called "Paris in the snow." Where to retire from all the paparazzi, gawkers and generally less fortunate people when you've finished skiing for the day?Prime pick is the ski-in/ski-out Chalet Le Coquelicot. 10 best cities for a winter vacationThe 10-meter private pool, plus steam and massage rooms should soothe any aching limbs.But it's the lavish extras, including butler and private-jet transfer (if needed), that seal its elite status.If you only had your own private mountain to ski on, too, you wouldn't have to mingle with ordinary people at all. Chalet Le Coquelicot; +44 203 465 9130; from $52,945 a week
Chalet One Oak, Megève, France
Megève may have lost out to Courchevel as the premier luxury ski resort but, with lodgings such as Chalet One Oak, it's hardly slumming it. The tiger skin on the black slate floor and the Harley Davidson in the entrance hall make for a décor that's more rap star cool than classic chalet chic, and if Jay-Z hasn't already checked in he should be given a freebie for promotional purposes.Doubtless he'd appreciate the black-granite surrounds of the "rain shower" in the master suite, plus Jacuzzi and log fire. And if he considered skiing rather than shooting his next video on site, the chalet's mere minutes from the resort of Megève, with 124 slopes — or 30 mountain restaurants, depending on your preference. Then again, Chalet One has its own chef. Chalet One Oak; +44 1242 547705; from $24,135 per week
Chalet Artemis, St Anton, Austria
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are among the A-listers to have been papped at St Anton, a destination blessed with good snowfall at low latitudes. The hexagonal Chalet Artemis is plugged as the resort's "flagship" chalet — though with four floors it feels more like an entire boutique hotel. There's a lift to the L-shaped living space on the top floor, but it's on the lower ground level where the fun really begins: the "wellness area" there includes a swimming pool, sauna, in- and outdoor hot tubs and a massage room with beauty therapist on call. Top travel destinations in 2014Plus there's a private 12-seater cinema for when you've toweled off. Step outside and you'll find yourself in the resort suburb of Nasserein, a 10-minute drive from the action.Not that you'll need to walk — residents get a chauffeured 4×4. Chalet Artemis; +44 (0)208 682 5050; from $3,415 per person, per week, based on 12 sharing
Villa Gella, Pamporovo, Bulgaria
As one of Europe's most southerly resorts — and among its sunniest skiing spots — Pamporovo is on the up. The Rhodope Mountains rival the Alps on looks alone — and that's before you consider the excellent snow falling from December to April. Newcomer Villa Gella might not quite compete with the most exclusive Swiss and French resorts but this is a sweet retreat, nonetheless.15 lesser-known ski resorts to check out this winterBeside the inevitable pool big enough for a neighborhood gym, there are six bedrooms with en suites and piste-view horizontal windows that look like the widest widescreen TVs you can imagine.The wooden dining table stretching along the al fresco terrace — which overlooks distant Plovdiv, one of the world's oldest cities — provides a rustic touch but, don't fret, you needn't cook anything.The in-villa manager and chef free guests from lifting ski-tired limbs unnecessarily.Villa Gella; +359 888 566 872; from $11,780 week a week
San Lorenzo Mountain Lodge, Dolomites, Italy ver
Voted Italy's Best Ski Chalet at the last World Ski Awards, this former hunting lodge mingles cozy with chic. Creature comforts at the 16th-century retreat deep in Dolomites forest include a Finnish sauna, Turkish bath and vast stone wine cellar with vintages from South Tyrol and beyond. Snowbirds flock here for the cross-country and alpine skiing around Fanes Nature Park and the Plan de Corones.Hands-on owners Giorgia and Stefano can arrange alternative activities including winter paragliding and Porcini-mushroom hunting — the top onsite chef will cook your foraged finds. San Lorenzo Mountain Lodge, 39030 San Lorenzo di Sebato; +39 474 404042; from $3,260 per day based on two guests (plus $135 a day per additional adult)
Solhyllan Lodge, Björkliden, Sweden
Set in the wilderness of Swedish Lapland, 250 kilometers inside the Arctic Circle, remote Björkliden suits the more intrepid skier. Its 25 pistes include four black and 10 red runs, as well as easier slopes. The Black diamond runs and off-piste trails are for the truly firm-thighed; heli-skiing and snowmobile safaris are also on the menu.But even this testing terrain needn't preclude a little luxury — or a lot. Solhyllan Lodge, part of the Hotell Fjällby, has the de rigeur sauna and Jacuzzi beneath the stars, as well as a dedicated chef preparing gastronomic five-course meals. Higher levels of luxury — literally — are available at the same hotel's Låktatjåkko Mountain Lodge. At 1,228 meters above sea level, it's Sweden's highest-set mountain abode. Hotel Fjällby; +44 1483 425 465; from 24,990 SEK ($3,838) per weekWonderWhere the next adventure beginsSee all Wonder
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