It’s as simple as stepping out your door and stepping into your skis!
Ski in ski out resorts are becoming much more of a priority over more traditional resorts where you have to lug your equipment or take a bus to the lifts and slopes. The ease of also skiing back to your accommodation just in time for afternoon tea makes your ski holiday much more relaxed and hassle free, especially if you have young children.
Find out more about the best ski in ski out resorts to maximise your time on the slopes!
Best ski-in ski-out resorts
Val Thorens, France
Val Thorens is the highest resort in the Alps, sitting at 2,300m. The resort is purpose built and although its appearance is not always liked compared to the picturesque resorts of St Martin de Belleville and Meribel in The Three Valleys, it was built to maximise skier’s convenience. The pistes and ski lifts cut through the resort with many of its chairlifts journeying up and over the resorts buildings. Skiers simply step out of their accommodation and ski down the gentle slopes to the lifts each morning and ski back to their accommodation at the end of the day thanks to its compactness too which makes it easy to get around the resort. The majority of its buildings are high, at least five storeys and if booking a chalet in resort it will most likely be part of a complex so fit it with the architecture of the resort - high rise blocks, sloping roofs and wood cladding.
The archetype of the purpose built resort, Tignes offers high altitude and glacier skiing with the majority of its accommodation ski in ski out. Tignes resort consists of Tignes Le Lac, Val Claret (the heart of resort) and Le Lavachet at 2100m, Les Boisses at 1800, Les Brevieres at 1550m. Le Lac, Val Claret and Lavachet consist mainly of apartment blocks whereas the others are more scenic communities lower down from the main resort. Tignes in this respect is a contrast against its upmarket neighbour Val d’Isere, but it provides more budget friendly accommodation as a base to explore the epic Espace Killy. Again, far from pretty as characterised by its clusters high rise buildings, some still of concrete, if it’s the hassle-free skiing you’re wanting then Tignes is the prime resort.
Although a purpose built resort, Avoriaz is unlike many others in France as it isn’t a hub of concrete buildings. Avoriaz is designed to blend into its surroundings with its architecture consisting of wooden clad apartments, chalets and hotels. The resort sits on a cliff above Morzine in the Portes du Soleil ski area and is entirely pedestrianized with horse drawn sleighs as its mode of public transport. Avoriaz has a unique and easily identifiable architecture of high rise buildings with angled roofs to mirror its jagged mountains. It is very much a Marmite resort with visitors either loving or hating its design. But the resort is ideal for families and those looking for a lively après and nightlife as it’s so easy to not only walk from bar to bar but to also ski back to your accommodation. Most of its accommodation is ski in ski out apartments and aparthotels with a few chalets available.
Les Arcs, France
One half of the Paradiski area, Les Arcs is designed for ultimate convenience. Les Arcs 1600 is the more traditional of its villages; Les Arcs 1800 has the liveliest nightlife and après scene whilst Arc 1950 and Arc 2000 are the best options for ski in ski out properties. Arc 1950 is the most recent of the villages designed with prime access to the slopes as well as its bars and restaurants. Built in the early 2000s, although its purpose built village design was its priority, its Savoyard style architecture makes it a lot more pleasing to the eye and its clever design means you can ski in and ski out from all of its accommodation, shops and restaurants. The futuristically named Arc 2000, although situated at 2100m, features large apartment blocks built in the 1970s and has the easiest and quickest access to the more challenging slopes higher up the mountain.
Le Village Apartments Arc 1950
Snow sure and entirely ski in ski out, Hochsölden is located in the valley above Sölden and linked by lift and piste to the Sölden glaciers of Rettenbach and Tiefenbach. Hochsölden is the resort to stay in if you are looking for prime access of Sölden’s slopes with uncrowded and untouched pistes in the early mornings. The resort is primarily hotel based with only a few shops and bars, so if you are looking for the après ski then Sölden down the valley is the best for that. The resort also is situated in a sunny location and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains looking towards Obergurgl and Innsbruck valley.
Where to stay – Glanzer Homes Hochsölden
Lech is a stylish resort in the valley below Oberlech which is a completely ski in ski out location. The resort is ideal for intermediates and has a beginner’s area right in the centre of resort whilst offering prime access to the challenging resort of St Anton also in the Arlberg ski area. In addition, its snow record is excellent, situated at 1750m and lying between the 1st and 2nd highest snowfall locations in the Alps, Warth and Zürs. Directly access Lech via cable car to visit its restaurants, bars and shops as Oberlech does have a limited number so it isn’t an ideal hub for non-skiers. Oberlech is also car free so visitors can focus on taking in the amazing views across the valley. The biggest plus to staying in Oberlech is the chance to ski on Lech’s slopes before the crowds.
The Europe’s first purpose built ski resort back in the 1930s, Sestriere has the combination of fantastic ski in ski out accommodation and affordable prices. Sestriere was developed by the Fiat boss Giovanni Agnelli who wanted to construct a world class resort close to his home city of Turin and in turn it pioneered the modern design on ski resorts. Although its architecture is not to everyone’s taste, its position is ideal to access its shops, services, slopes and its neighbouring resorts in the Milky Way ski area. It sits at a high altitude of 2035m and its north-west facing slopes and snow making capabilities on 60% of its pistes, makes it a great snow sure ski resort. Sestriere is the perfect resort if you are looking for accessibility over architecture, but if you’re looking for a more authentic feel then staying in the villages of Borgata or Pragelato are the best options.
Big White, Canada
Big White in British Columbia is a purpose-built resort and Canada’s largest skin in ski out resort. It is also a traffic free resort centre with much of its accommodation slopeside modern condos which are ideal for families. Its slogan ‘It’s the snow’ perfectly describes the essence of Big White – for skiers looking for prime snow conditions and the ease of accessing the slopes. It’s a resort for keen skiers looking for maximum time on the slopes and minimum hassle. Although a great resort for powder skiing, it also caters for all skiing abilities and those looking for expansive ski terrain. The resort also has amazing snow conditions, known for its dry powder its perfect for those wanting to powder ski but it also creates ‘snow ghosts’ which are snow encased trees which last throughout the winter.
Club Med Pragelato Vialattea