As much as we love a hotel with a spa or star-spangled restaurant, it’s proximity to the piste that really matters.
Putting you in schussing distance of alpine adventure, doorstep-skiing’s when you just want to get up and go.
'Doorstep skiing' conjures images of opening a front door, extending a leg and gliding straight onto a piste. And while this dream is reality in a lot of ski hotels, there can be a bit more to it than that. Hotels anywhere up to 250m from a run use the term; others are moments from a lift rather than the slopes.
Follow these tips to finding your perfect piste-side pad > >
1. Know your level
The doorstep label's so general; the nearest run to your hotel could be a black – one man's morning thrill, another's waking nightmare – so you need to tread carefully here. Most with “skiing to the door” are accessed via “unpisted track”, a short dash - mostly manageable for a good skier, which might vary wildly with snow conditions. Even when access is to a set of lifts rather than a run, it's worth finding out what colours the trails at the top are - in Alpe d'Huez having doorstep access to the GDE Sure lift's no good when you need the Les Bergers beginners area on the opposite side…
2. Find out the figures
Pay close attention to the number of meters yours is from a piste or a lift, and how hilly the walk is. 50m might feel like a trek for tired legs in ski boots if it's an uphill climb, where 150m of flat could be a lot more manageable. If you can't find the details, ask our experts to do some digging.
3. Can't live without doorstep skiing?
We're the first to admit – after a week staying piste-side, anything further out sounds like a drag. But if you find a fantastic place that's not on the piste, a short morning commute isn't so bad – especially if you book ski lockers. Leaving skis, poles and boots at the lifts overnight and walking to and fro in comfier shoes makes a mighty difference (and often lockers come free with ski hire).
4. Widen the search
If you have a daily school run to be on time for, proximity to a lesson meeting point will be invaluable. And there are lots of benefits to staying closer to the action in town… Particularly if you're staying with non-skiers, or want to make the most of the night life.
Other good options are hotels with their own shuttle service - these deliver you fresh to all the main ski spots, without the chaos of the public ski buses.
5. Pick a purpose built resort
Not all resorts were created equal in the ski in / ski out stakes. If ease of access is important to you, purpose-built snow sanctuaries like Avoriaz, Flaine, La Plagne and Val Thorens are going to have much more to offer than lower places that look pretty.
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