As Socrates said, when choosing his ultimate ski trip, “know thyself.”
When choosing the ultimate Valentines Day gift, “know thy partner!”
Read on for 8 perfect Valentine’s day presents designed by SNO >> decide which couple “type” you’re most like, then go rethink the bling and bouquet… Because you know you can do better…
This one’s for the lovers:
The ONE OF A KIND couple
Last year you: gazed at the stars, and into each others’ eyes, at the Royal Observatory.
If you’ve never exactly played by “the rules”, and like to use special occasions as a chance to tick items off your bucket list, make the Snow Village near Levi a stop on your Valentine’s adventure. Hewn entirely out of ice, the hotel, restaurant, bar, slide and chapel here melt every summer and are carved anew in different and impossibly intricate designs. It’s like Narnia, with Tom Collinses. Bring your beau for winter magic (sans Santa); a romantic weekend on ice that’s lit up like the Northern lights which, incidentally, are just a sleigh ride away.
The CINEMA SWEETHEARTS
Last year you: re-watched your favourite Scorsese with a bottle of Sangiovese.
If you both first bonded (like a Goldberg film reel) over a shared love of classic film, chances are you’ll fall hard for each other in the revolving restaurant on the Schiltorn. Besides bathing in cinematic views, this was the dastardly Blofeld’s hideout in Bond flick “On Her Majesty’s secret service”, in which George Lazenby tears down the sides of the mountain with henchmen at his skis. When you’ve exhausted the behind-the-scenes footage in the 007 museum, hit the restaurant and sip on Bond cocktails – the classic dry martini for him and the Bond Girl for her, and let your love flow…after all, the latter cocktail is a bubbly homage to Diana Rigg, the only Mrs Bond in film history.
Top it off: With an evening in the Vernissage, Zermatt‘s finest cinema, complete with chandeliers and balcony seating. Make a meal of it: tickets can be combined with a Cine Dinner from gourmet chef, Ivo Adam.
The HOPELESS ROMANTICS
Last year you: dined by candlelight to the tinkling of a grand piano.
If you’ve ever been known to buy rose petals, teddy bears or Chandon, chances are you’re a bit of a traditionalist. Spice up your romantic repertoire with a trip to the bona fide masters of mush, in Italy. Hot foot it to the Aosta valley where Mongolfiere’s hot air balloons will be lifting off from the Piazza Chanoux on the 14th (as well as at weekends and on holidays the rest of the year). When you come back down to earth, a shuttle will whizz you away to his and hers spa treatments, a midnight swim and the kinds of blatant aphrodisiacs only an Italian would ply you with.
Top it off: for a culture injection, make your way to Fort Bard, the impressive fortress at the gates of the valley, on the evening of the 14th. As darkness falls, panoramic lifts take you in, soak you in views over the lamp lit medieval village of Bard, and disject you for a happy finish at the top with champagne and strawberry toast in the ancient chapel. Then you’re off – on a couples’ tour of 100 different Montserrat masterpieces; while soft music flows in from an orchestra in the courtyard. And they say romance is dead…
The TASTING TEAM
Last year you: dedicated 4.5 hours to the Fat Duck tasting menu.
If you spend your weekends concocting fabulous feasts, treat your loved one to an evening at Simon Taxacher’s Rosengarten hotel in Kirchberg. Indefatigable diners can upgrade to 11 courses of the most award-lavished food in the continent and meet the master chef himself with a cookery course in the penthouse studio.
The SNOW LOVERS
Last year you: treated your beau to new Bollés, and tested them out in Tignes.
If your idea of romance consists of racing one another down your favourite black run, how better to celebrate your love than taking the heli-trip you’ve always dreamed of? Standing alone at the top of the world, soaring down some of the most exhilarating terrain you’ve ever set a ski to, and if you’re lucky, being taken up the couloir to do it all again – you’ve never had a love like this before.
Alternatively: make a break for Chamonix and enlist Adam Johnston, ski photographer to the stars, to capture action shots of you both out in the snow. He’ll bring a projector to your chalet for you to flick through the finished results over fondue.
The TIME TRAVELLERS
Last year you: spent a romantic Night at the Museum.
If for you a listed building in Bath trumps a sky-scraper in Dubai, you’ll enjoy taking a ride back in time on the stunning Golden Pass line (hop on at Interlaken and alight in Gstaad). Soft music is piped through the elegant Belle Époque carriages to accompany an elegant table service.
Alternatively: head to St Moritz, the cradle of Alpine skiing where, every day from February 14 to 16, there’ll be moonlit trips on the Rhätische Bahn. Departing at 6pm, and winding its way through the pine forests of Pontresina, it arrives back in St. Moritz at 11 pm. Top it off: at the Kulm hotel where a Saturday Gin ‘n’ Jazz night in the feted Sunny Bar will take you both back to the jazz bars of 1920’s New York.
The DANCE PARTNERS
Last year you: grooved à deux to 80’s love songs in Kensington’s Bodo’s Schloss.
If you consider vodka, tonic and disco the prime reasons for your long standing virility, make a pilgrimage to this après ski legend together for a real relationship boost. There’s nothing like throwing cares to the wind and getting up on the tables with 500 others who are having just as good a time and just as many Jager bombs, to make you realise you’ve eyes only for one another. St Anton‘s MooserWirt claims to sell more beer per square metre than anywhere else in Austria (5000L in peak season) through 39km of subterranean beer pipes. Wash yours down with more potent concoctions, like the Jäger tea (sweetened with rum, red wine, and several shots worth of schnapps).
Alternatively: Swap Bodo’s for their partners in rhyme… La Folie Douce in Val d’Isere and make sure you get engaged; someone’s sure to buy you Moet to celebrate.
The VALENTINE’s DAY DENIERS
Last year you: avoided shops, cinemas and society… like the bubonic plague.
If you don’t dig the commercial hullaballoo of the 14th of Feb – why endure diabetes-inducing adverts and overcrowded restaurants? Instead switch the phone to flight mode and hunker down in a quiet resort together while it all blows over. If you do want to celebrate in splendid isolation, do it the silent alpine wilderness while scaling a world famous mountain like the Matterhorn (Zermatt) or Mont Blanc (Chamonix or Courmayeur). There won’t be any sickly sweet tunes up there. As you’re standing alone atop the world, feeling unbelievably alive, don’t blame us if you spontaneously propose.
And there’s still time if you want to book a Valentine’s ski holiday!
(or bag a bargain from the last minute ski deals)
If your favourite’s all booked up (it is also Feb half term after all) make it an awesome Valentines in blighty >> by presenting holiday tickets on the big day >> the ultimate Valentine’s Day present (booking now, to going in March or April is cheaper and sunnier).
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