Built for quality, fit for royalty and terribly attractive, the Swiss ski resorts are a lot like Swiss watches. New Year's week is what you'd expect in the country where it all began for skiing: full of dizzying peaks, top-shelf après and some weird and wonderful local traditions.
Whether you're in the market for hanging-from-the-rafters après or just a cosy New Year's Eve in, stay in a chalet and you'll have a fireside of new friends to share the count down with. Housework's a thing of the past with breakfast, lunch and dinner provided; plus you're not paying extra to eat in Switzerland's fine establishments all week. Look out for New Year's Eve menus, champagne breakfasts and hot tubs - and sit back for a week in mountain heaven.
Take in Verbier's firework display from penthouse Chalet Caprice or head down the Place Centrale for your viewing… just prepare to be sprayed with champagne and pulled to Farm Club – where you might just find yourself sharing well wishes with the royals.
In Zermatt, herald in the evening with a glass of red at the palatial Zermatterhof. Chalet Mazot's just a 2 minute stroll away, so it's easy to step out again after dinner to the Omnia's floating glass “cavern”.
For a touch of the traditional, meanwhile, join the strong family crowd in Nendaz. In properties like Chalet Hautes Cimes, you won't be far from the traditional New Year's Alphorn performance and cannon fire in the square when the clock strikes 12.
If you like a grand affair, the gala dinners held by many hotels are a must for New Year's – saving you the burden of squeezing a table out of a local restaurant (any other day, a table at Arola in W Verbier is a must, but on December 31st? Like getting blood out of a stone…).
In St Moritz, Club Med packages usually include all meals – leaving your savings for the boutiques on Via Serlas or, perhaps, to bid at the New Year's pig auction. There's something about Switzerland and pigs at New Years: base yourself in one of the hotels in Klosters - we like the Piz Buin - and you'll be able to watch the January 1st piglet race, featuring 10 specially trained oinkers…
You'll be better off in nearby Davos if your agenda's to ski hard and party harder. From the Hotel Grischa, you're in stumbling distance of their legendary Big Bash party, which usually features 1000 sq ft of lasers, confetti cannons and DJs.
If R&R's your priority, somewhere in Arosa like the Waldhotel National may be more your cup of tea - take to Mt. Tschuggen for a lovely New Year's Day walk and some stonkingly good Swiss scenery.
If you book self-catered accommodation here, you've landed a much cheaper way of enjoying that heady Swiss quality. That's not to mention a New Year's week of total privacy, cooking up a snowstorm with friends and family and the freedom to explore local restaurants (you can't top a New Year's Day fondue…).
For Zermatt's combination of old-town charm and awesome, high altitude skiing, the Perle Apartments are right in the village centre. Saas Fee's also well worth considering if the quality of snow's your top priority. You could bet your beanie on the snow conditions here and we've heard sonnets about the views from the Allalin Apartments.
Families will love the run of a Roossihuus Apartment in the centre of Wengen. After a traditional night of fondue at Chez Meyer's and fireworks in town, spend New Year's Day on the iconic train journey to the summit of the Jungfraujoch. Grindelwald's Eiger Apartments are a great option too, less than 5 minutes from the ski school meeting point.
Not all self-catering accommodation comes in a sky-scraping block: bunker down in Verbier's self-catered Palermo chalet or The Napoli (each sleeps 6) and you're yards from the Medran lift and some of the best off-piste in the world.
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