Nothing beats whisking a loved one away to a cosy retreat in the mountains, whether it’s for a surprise proposal, because let’s face it nothing beats snow-dusted peaks as a backdrop, or simply a romantic couples getaway or ski honeymoon.
But don’t panic if you’re pining for the pistes this Valentine’s Day while international travel remains off limits – we’ve come to the rescue with a guide to the most romantic slope-side properties to escape to when the time is right.
Chalet le Nid
Saint Martin de Belleville, France
Book this one-bedroom love nest for the best of both worlds – easy access to Les Trois Vallées, paired with the blissful solitude of a tiny farming village. After a hard day’s skiing, head to the balcony and soak up the views from the sheepskin-lined chairs, and when hunger strikes, make a beeline for the village’s Michelin-starred La Bouitte restaurant for a candlelit dinner. We recommend requesting a table in the Baroque Room, with its enormous chandelier. Our favourite bit? The two chubby cherubs dangling from the ceiling.
Airelles Val d’Isère, Mademoiselle
Val d’Isère, France
This five-star hotel feels like a Bavarian castle, with fireplaces larger than most people’s bathrooms and blood-red sofas crying out to cushion weary limbs after a day on the slopes. Bag the Junior Suite Prestige if you can – you’ll have your very own jacuzzi on your balcony. The hotel has countless nooks and crannies to snuggle into, although we recommend heading for the Guerlain spa (it’s the largest in Val d’Isère) for the couple-friendly Kingdom of Snow treatment.
Refuge de la Traye
A former mountain refuge, the six-bedroom Refuge de la Traye hotel, which can be hired in its entirety, opened in 1982, although there aren’t any communal bathrooms or bunkbeds – a recent makeover transformed it into one of Les Trois Vallées most sought-after properties. It feels wonderfully secluded – nestled on the slopes above Méribel, in a tiny hamlet where chalets cluster around a chapel dedicated to Saint Bernard. When night falls, crank up the cosiness by cuddling up in the chalet’s cinema room or soaking in the outdoor jacuzzi.
From £744pp per room night, booked direct with refugedelatraye.com
Alta Badia, Italy
This one-bedroom bolthole is a brilliant option for couples who love fine dining – there are four Michelin-starred restaurants nearby, although we’d forgive you for staying put. The chalet’s huge wood-burning fireplace is our favourite spot, and you can ramp up the romance by playing your favourite tracks on the Sonos sound system. We also love the panoramic windows, designed to provide spectacular views of the Dolomites’ Enrosadira – a phenomenon which turns the mountains red, pink and orange at sunset, how romantic.
From £3,922 per week, booked with leotrippi.com
Book a romantic break at the W Verbier and you won’t have to worry about room-related disappointment – every room has its own fireplace. Feeling flush? Splash out on the Sublime Penthouse Suite, which has an enormous balcony and a den-like lounge tucked into the upstairs mezzanine level. If you can drag yourself off your red velvet sofa, head to the spa for the couple’s package, which includes a facial, massage and two glasses of prosecco. Cheers!
Aman Le Mélézin
Nothing takes the edge of a romantic week on the slopes like the stress of struggling into damp ski gear in a sweat-scented boot room. Not so at Aman Le Mélézin, where ski butlers lay out your kit in the morning and place your boots on heated racks in the evening, allowing you to head straight to the terrace to snuggle under blankets by the firepit. The entire property feels wonderfully serene, with just 31 rooms and a huge, two-storey spa.
From £1,055 per room per night, booked direct with aman.com
A former gondola station, the Chetzeron has the feel of a sexy, sleek James Bond lair, complete with a stunning rooftop pool and proposal-worthy views of Mont Blanc. This 16-bedroom hotel, nestled in the mountains above Crans-Montana, feels wonderfully remote, and can only be accessed on skis or via snow cat. Our favourite bit of this high altitude hideaway is the beautiful restaurant – we recommend the langoustines with artichoke puree.
The Little Nell
Lovebirds at this five-star hotel can book Veuve Clicquot picnics (you’ll get a bottle of fizz and a cheese and charcuterie board, packed inside a Veuve Clicquot-branded backpack) or the Valentine’s Day Meal To Go – a decadent feast which includes oysters, chocolate torte and a bottle of Ruinart Rosé. Failing that, simply retire to your room (all of the rooms have fireplaces, as well as heated marble floors), but don’t miss The Little Nell’s bar cart, which embarks on its nightly tours of the hotel at 4pm, pushed by a barman who’ll whip up cocktails at your door.
Stay at the luxurious Fairmont Chateau Whistler and you can swoosh down the slopes straight up to the cosy outdoor firepit (after handing your gear to the resident ski valet, of course). Failing that, hop into the outdoor cedar barrel sauna, or celebrate a successful day on the slopes with a five-course dinner in one of the hotel’s Snowglobe Dining Domes – heated geodesic domes perfect for romantic meals.
Airelles Courchevel 1850
What could be more romantic than a mock Austro-Hungarian castle, perched above Courchevel? The interior is a sensual explosion of velvet, tassels and silk, although the rooms have a cosier vibe: think antiques, low-slung wooden beams and roaring fireplaces. Head to the spa to cuddle up in the snow cave, or to the beauty salon for pre-date night mani-pedis. Bonus points if you manage to book the most sought-after experience – a jaunt in the hotel’s horse-drawn Hermés sleigh.
From £1,095 per room per night, booked direct with airelles.com