Sun, snow and smashing ski hotels: maybe Spain isn't the first country to spring to mind when you think of destinations for a luxury ski holiday in Europe… But pop it on your radar and you're in for a pleasant surprise.
Sunny Spain does ski days differently – starting with luxurious lie ins (so ski early and the mountain’s yours), then onto feel-good skiing (and awesome heli-opportunity) before après wine and tapas (fondue? What fondue?).
When you’re not gawping over the Pyrenees from your chair lift - which you could well be sharing with a Spanish royal (HRH Juan Carlos has a house here, and the family ski here regularly) - you’re zooming around Baqueira Beret’s 151km ski area, or sitting back and sipping bubbly at the Moët & Chandon Winter Lounge.
Big name hotels have been cropping up in Sierra Nevada of late, but don’t let their pools and spas distract you from the insanely scenic ski area, which looks out over the Med and Morocco up top. Spain’s south coast is within driving distance for a spontaneous beach day, and Granada’s even closer for a catch up on culture at the cathedral or working your way through the Michelin guide’s noted eateries.
If you want luxury accommodation in Spain's ski resorts, look to the awesome hotels.
Rated 4 stars and up, these come with thousands of square metres dedicated to spas – to pamper and prepare you for a fine day on the hill.
Upgrade your room and wake to wonderful mountain views, with more space to spread out in. And when hunger strikes, find chic tapas bars and a la carte restaurants under the very same roof.
Hotels hog the limelight in Spain, while chalets are few and far between – you'll want France or Switzerland for the most magnificent mountain lodges on a catered chalet package. Of course that's not to say there are no high end houses in Spanish Ski Resorts (we doubt the one owned by the royal family's too humble an abode...), they just tend to be privately owned or booked out before you can bag them.
Most of our packages feature hotels over apartments, but that doesn’t mean you can't self-cater in Spain and enjoy a touch of lux while you're at it. Access to swimming pools and wellness centres take Spain's ski apartments up a level, as do spacious rooms and fully kitted out kitchens where you can whip up whatever you fancy.