Slope off for a ski holiday

Alta Badia

It’s not long before the ski season kicks into action - and if you really want to grab the best offers available, it might be an idea to book early.

Exciting new hotels and facilities are opening across the slopes, and many operators are dropping prices for those eager to lock down dates now.

We’ve picked out a few of the most interesting deals.

Best for a short break

St Anton, Austria

Although close to the fashionable party strip, Hotel Montjola, pictured, is far enough removed to allow for peace and quiet. It’s been recently renovated, with the addition of flat screen TVs and hot tubs, and some family rooms feature a separate living room and kitchenette.

VIP Ski offers four-day stays, ideal for those who want a quick taste of the slopes without having to spend too much time or money. Book by October 31 to save up to £100pp. A four-night stay at Hotel Montjola, arriving January 3, costs from £649pp (was £836 - saving £187) based on two people sharing. Includes flights from the UK to Friedrichshafen, coach transfers, accommodation, four-day half-board catering and ski and snowboard hosting. For more information visit vip-chalets.com or call 0208 875 1957.

Best for a luxury family stay

La Plagne, France

Open for the ski season from December 16, this popular resort has a host of new activities, restaurants and hotels.

Last winter, a family ski run opened as the longest in France - and now there are plans for an extension with bridges, tunnels and jumps. The resort also has an exciting new piece of kit for beginner skiers. Originally designed for those with disabilities, the Go to Ski device reproduces the eight movements made by a skier’s feet, making it easier to remain steady while you learn the ropes.

Families planning a holiday might want to consider the newly renovated four-star Araucaria Hotel & Spa, opening in time for Christmas. Children’s facilities include a Treasure Island-style pool, arcade games and a play area with an igloo. A seven-night stay costs from E1,390 (£1,229) room only, based on a family room of two adults and two children sharing.

Best for a Christmas break

Dolomites, Italy

If you’re planning to spend the festive period abroad in a suitably snowy location, Inghams is offering a seven-night stay in northern Italy’s famous UNESCO-listed Dolomites. The scenery is fairy-tale-like, with frosted swathes of forest and jagged, white-streaked peaks.

Hotel Antares in Selva is ideally located for access to the Sella Ronda, a ski route that loops around the massif of the Sella mountain range. Four main points are linked by lifts, with a total distance of 40km, ideally suited to medium/advanced skiers. But there are also plenty of other pistes perfect for all abilities.

Departing December 23, a half-board holiday for four costs £1,359pp (saving £220pp), including flights from Manchester or London to Innsbruck and transfers. Visit inghams.co.uk/ski-holidays or call 01483 791 114.

Best for a gourmet adventure

Alta Badia, Italy

With more Michelin stars than any other slope in the Alps, this ski resort in the South Tyrol is ideally suited to fans of fine food and wine.

This year, 13 Italian Michelin-starred chefs (including Giorgio Locatelli), have been paired with a different mountain hut and tasked with creating a recipe inspired by their childhoods.

The dishes will be available from December 10 and served throughout the season for E15 (£13), including a matched glass of wine.

Following a successful first season, Sommelier on the Slopes will also be back with seven dates between December and March. The sessions, costing E28 (£25)pp, include guided skiing accompanied by a professional sommelier, stopping off at three different mountain refuges to taste South Tyrolean wines. Buy tickets from altabadia.org.

Travel with Powder Byrne (powderbyrne.com) over the weekend of the Gourmet Ski Safari from December 8-11 (3 nights) from £1,099pp. Includes a double room at the Ciasa Salares Hotel on a half-board basis, flights and transfers.

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