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Air Partner - 06 Sep 2016

It’s coming around to that time of the year again, when we stop daydreaming about beaches and bikinis, and start thinking ahead to crisp mountain air and soft white powder. With that in mind, Air Partner has pulled together a list of some of its favourite resorts from around the world, which are guaranteed to have something for everyone – whether you are there to hit the slopes, or just the apres-ski.

Verbier, Switzerland 

With a long-standing reputation for glamour, luxury and some of the best skiing in the Alps, Verbier is still our Swiss destination of choice. Having reinvented itself back in 2008, the resort offers far more than white powder. For a day off the slopes you can choose from a wealth of restaurants, nightlife, shopping, bars and cafes. For the more expert skiers, Verbier’s challenging terrain is perfect for improving your piste performance, or why not try your hand at heli-skiing?

Where to stay?

The Lodge, Richard Branson’s chalet, of course! A team of 15 will look after your every need during your stay in this nine-bedroom mountain haven. The interior is modern with an open-plan feeling, but still maintains a cosy alpine atmosphere. Whether you opt for a spa treatment, a relaxing jacuzzi, a dinner party courtesy of the Michelin-star trained chefs or an après-ski session in the party room, you are guaranteed the perfect end to a hard day of skiing. 

Where to land?

Arrive by private jet at Sion airport, which is just 45-minute drive away – all of which can be organised for you by Air Partner.

Saariselkä, Finnish Lapland 

If you are looking for a skiing trip with a difference, why not look a bit further afield than the usual European haunts and head to Finnish Lapland? Saariselkä is Finland’s most northerly ski resort, located just 250km inside the Arctic Circle. While it lacks the glitz of some of Europe’s best known resorts, it boasts breath-taking natural scenery and is one of the best places to see the northern lights. It's renowned for its incredible cross-country skiing in the winter months and also boasts Lapland's longest toboggan run at 1.2km. And for those feeling less energetic there is always the option of a husky sled instead!

Where to stay?

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is an absolute must for travellers looking to really immerse themselves in the beauty of this incredible area and is just a short distance from Saariselkä. We recommend staying in one of the kelo-glass igloos: here you get all the warmth and cosiness of a traditional chalet but with the added twist of a glass-roofed bedroom from which you can take in the beauty of the northern lights. Talk about sleeping under the stars! Make sure to visit the resort’s smoke saunas too – one of which is the largest in the world – as well as visit Santa at his ‘home’.

Where to fly?

Fly straight into Ivalo airport, less than 30 minutes away from Kakslauttanen by car.

Whistler, Canada

Whistler has long been one of the world’s most favoured resorts and it’s little wonder. The ski area is one of the biggest on the world, boasting some 8,000 metres of piste and 1,610 metres of vertical, and the powder is legendary. It’s also a fantastic destination for non-skiers, with an abundance of spas, restaurants and activities on offer. We would suggest taking a scenic helicopter tours over the Coast Mountains to discover ancient glaciers, hidden lakes and incredible rock formations. There’s also a non-stop line-up of events and festivals throughout the season so if you like your holidays jam-packed, this is the resort for you.

Where to stay?

The ski-in/ski-out Fairmont Chateau Whistler boasts one of the best locations in the whole of Whistler, with direct access to Blackcomb Mountain. The hotel is known for its excellent service, so you can look forward to being met by a ski valet at the bottom of the slopes each day. In fact, nothing is too much trouble for the staff here, and you can even bring your pets to share in the fun. With four restaurants and a world-class spa, guests will certainly not be left wanting.

Where to land?

Air Partner can you fly you into Vancouver airport and arrange your transfer to Whistler. 

Hakuba, Japan

It’s not an area usually associated with snow sports but Japan has emerged as a must-go ski destination over the past few years – and with good reason. Hakuba is a long valley floor connecting ten ski resorts in the Japanese Alps, covering thousands of acres, so it’s suitable for all abilities. And if the skiing’s not enough for you, there’s mountain hiking trails, mountain bike paths, paragliding, canyoning, canoeing, rafting and firefly night paddles on offer too. As well as being able to sample traditional Japanese cuisine at the vast array of restaurants in the area, visitors can also pay a visit to the famous hot springs after a hard day's skiing on the slopes. It’s skiing – but not as you know it!

Where to stay?

If you are looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, then One Chalets is for you. You can choose from two chalets – The Phoenix One and One Happo – for the ultimate in James Bond-style luxury. Whether you choose to work out in the state-of-the-art gym, chill out in the sauna or shoot some hoops on One Happo’s personal basketball court, you certainly won’t be at a loss for things to do. And with each chalet sleeping 10, you can share the experience with your nearest and dearest. What could be better? 

Where to land?

You can land at Toyko Narita or Matsumoto airport and take a short transfer to the mountains. 

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