Once you’ve tried skiing or snowboarding, chances are that you will want to go back again and again. To beginners, skiing might sound daunting and expensive, but in reality, there are plenty of beginner slopes and ski resorts available for every type of budget. A ski honeymoon is not only fun and adventurous, but you will also get to ravel in the fresh air and majestic scenery the slopes bring you. In this issue, we will cover the top ski resorts and best ski destinations for your honeymoon. We will also share when is the best time to visit these ski resorts!
Top Ski Resorts & Best Ski Destinations 2020
Table of Contents:
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1. Hokkaido, Japan (late Dec to March)
Japan’s reputation of abundant, deep, light, powdery snow is the reason you see many come to hit the slopes during winter. There are over 500 ski resorts in Japan, from northern Hokkaido to the southern island of Kyushu. While there are no ski resorts in Tokyo, you can take a quick day trip to Yuzawa in Niigata Prefecture. You will also find a couple of small ski resorts on Mount Fuji. The best ski resorts and snow conditions will be in Hokkaido and Tohoku, as well as the mountains along the Sea of Japan coast (Niigata and Nagano). Habuka Valley in Nagano is also another well-known ski resort in Japan. Japan’s snow is incredibly light and dry, making it very fun to ski or snowboard, especially for beginners. After a day out on the snow, you can soak and relax your muscles at the onsen. Their welcoming culture and mouth-watering food will make for a perfect ski resort holiday.
When to go skiing in Japan:
The ski season in Japan is from late December to March, and in some areas run till May. I would suggest visiting during Mid-February to end March for good snow with sunny days and lower prices. If you are not seeking the deep powder snow and want to save more, you can consider going in Spring from late March to April. This crosses into the cherry blossom season so you will see beautiful sakura in the towns.
Related Read: The Ultimate Japan Honeymoon Guide 2020 >
Top Japan Ski Resort: Niseko Ski Resort
Niseko Ski Resort in Hokkaido is by far the most well known and popular ski resort in Japan. Its frequent and abundant snowfall leads to many resorts average 600 inches and upwards of snow each winter! Niseko ski resort is split into four resort areas: Annupui, Niseko Village, Hirafu, and Hanazono. Do check out the Niseko trail map and Niseko Ski resort map. If you are not hardcore about skiing and just want to give it a try, you can try this 1-day Rusutsu Resort skiing experience in Niseko. Click here to find hotels in Niseko.
Recommended places to stay in Niseko:
Luxury Pick: Aya Niseko
AYA Niseko is a luxury condominium hotel that features contemporary Japanese design. This luxury alpine home is located next to Niseko Grand Hirafu Ski Resort, one of the most popular ski resorts in Niseko. AYA Niseko’s ski valet service offers ski storage and a heated boots rack for you to dry your equipment before heading out on the slopes again. Being in the heart of Hirafu Village will also allow you to be close to where the action is – restaurants, boutiques, and supermarkets are all minutes away. A perk: It has its own in-house AYA Onsen for all hotel guests to enjoy. Make sure to book early, as they tend to sell out their rooms very quickly.
Affordable pick: Always Niseko
If you are seeking a more affordable ski resort, check out Always Niseko. Located between Niseko Grand Hirafu Ski Resort and Niseko Village Ski Resort, heading to the slopes is convenient. The hotel provides a free shuttle bus to Niseko Grand Hirafu Ski Resort that takes less than 5 minutes to reach.
2. New Zealand (late June – October)
New Zealand, well known for its beautiful snow-capped mountains is one of the best ski destinations to go. A combination of postcard views, slopes for all levels and a buzzing atmosphere will ensure a great ski holiday. Mt Ruapehu, an active volcano in the North Island is New Zealand’s largest ski field. In the South Island, Queenstown and Wanaka are home to epic ski areas – The Remarkables (many wide runs, good for beginners), Coronet Peak, Treble Cone (largest in the South Island), and Cardrona Alpine Resort. These alpine towns also present many off-mountain activities that you can enjoy. For those in the Christchurch / Canterbury area, head to Mt Hutt – it has been voted New Zealand’s best ski resort twice in a row!
Related Read: The Ultimate New Zealand Honeymoon Guide 2020 Edition
When to go skiing in New Zealand:
New Zealand ski resorts usually open in late June to early July. This is the start of the snow season and so you might want to wait a month or two for the snow to pack up. July is the school holiday season and you will find many families on the slopes. I suggest going from August to September. August is the month where you get deep snow and powdery conditions, and you will get to enjoy spring skiing from September to October – longer days and warmer temperatures.
Top Ski Resort in New Zealand: Coronet Peak
Coronet Peak is a 30-minute drive from Queenstown in New Zealand South Island. It has varied terrains catering to both beginners, intermediate and advanced. Advanced skiers are welcome to try heli-skiing. Click here to find hotels in Coronet Peak. An hour’s drive away from Coronet Peak is The Remarkables mountain range, also another great ski destination for you to try. Click here to find hotels in The Remarkables.
Recommended Places to Stay:
Luxury Pick: Millbrook Resort
Millbrook Resort is a stunning, luxurious 5-star resort surrounded by mountains and stylish serenity. On top of luxurious accommodations, the resort features a 27 hole golf course, an award-winning day spa, and splendid dining options. Millbrook Resort’s location is 10-minute away from the international airport, 20-minutes from Queenstown. A 30 or 40-minute drive will lead you to top ski resorts – Coronet Peak and The Remarkables.
Affordable Pick: DoubleTree by Hilton Queenstown
Staying in one of DoubleTree by Hilton rooms or suites will provide you with scenic views of Lake Wakatipu or the Remarkables. Set in a contemporary stone building, this polished hotel provides a comfortable stay for all guests. A 30-minute drive will lead you to either Coronet Peak and The Remarkables for a great ski session.
3. South Korea (November to April)
Though Korea does not instantly come to mind when thinking about ski destinations, mountains actually constitute 65% of Korea. The Gangwon-do province (where ski resorts Yongpyong and Alpensia are located) in the eastern part of the country has excellent snow conditions. While there are several ski resorts in Korea, the most famous (and biggest) would be the Yongpyong Resort (3-hour drive from Seoul). If you wish to try night skiing, go to Daemyung Vivaldi Park in Honcheon (2-hour drive from Seoul). Other ski resorts in Korea include High1 Resort, Konjiam Resort, Muju Deukyusan Resort, Alpensia Resort, and Phoenix Park.
When to go skiing in Korea:
Go skiing in November or early December just before the peak season hits.
Top Ski Resort in New Zealand: Yongpyong Ski Resort
Yongpyong Resort used to cater only to locals, but since hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics, it has exploded to fame. Yongpyong is the biggest ski resort in South Korea and has the widest slopes in the country, so you need not worry about crashing into other skiers. Home to 28 varied slopes across all levels, it has something for everyone. Beginners need not worry as the slopes are relatively gentle and slunts at only 12 degrees. The Rainbow (highest at 1,210 meters), Gold and Mega Green slopes are the most popular. The Rainbow Paradise course is the longest course at 5,600 meters. For Yongpyong, the ski season does operate slightly longer till late March. Nearby attractions include the Daegwallyeong Sheep farm and also the Hanwoo (Korean beef) village. Find hotels near Yongpyong Alpine Center.
Recommended Places to Stay:
Luxury Pick: Intercontinental Alpensia Pyeongchang Resort
Intercontinental Alpensia Pyeongchang Resort is a 5-star resort that features elegant rooms and stunning vistas of Mount Balawang and Alpensia Lake. This luxury alpine resort is located at the foot of Alpensia ski slopes, and a short 15-minute drive to Yongpyong ski slopes, making it a haven for ski-lovers.
Affordable Pick: Yongpyong Resort (Dragon Valley)
Also recommended by Tatler, Yongpyong Resort is located at the foot of Yongpyong ski slopes and provides a ski-to-door experience. Rooms are simple and furnished with hardwood flooring.
4. Switzerland (January to March)
Every skier dreams of conquering The Swiss Alps, whether it is due to the varied terrain, pristine snow, and dramatic scenery. Switzerland is home to the world’s greatest mountains, including the Matterhorn and the Eiger. Its deep roots in skiing make it a haven for ski lovers (and beginners) worldwide.
When to go skiing in Switzerland:
Winter season starts late December to late March in Switzerland, with January being the coldest month. That being said, with climate change, winter is starting to get later, so if you are looking for guaranteed snow, your best bet would be between mid-January to mid-March. Christmas to the start of January is a very busy time, so prices will usually peak.
Top Ski Resorts in Switzerland: Zermatt & St. Moritz
World-famous ski resorts Zermatt and St. Mortiz needs little introduction. Nestled at the majestic Matterhorn, Zermatt remains a magical ski resort destination. Their slopes are high, snow is reliable and village, charming. Click here to find hotels in Zermatt. St. Mortiz, having hosted the Olympic Winter Games twice in 1928 and 1948 is renowned as Europe’s #1 ski resort and winter destination. This ski resort holds a high standard of glamour, elegance, and class, with many international jet-setters visiting in search of the good life at this world-famous ski resort. Click here to find hotels in St. Mortiz.
Recommended Places to Stay in Zermatt
Luxury Pick: The Omnia
The Omnia is extraordinary. With only 30 rooms including 12 suites, the service offered here is incredibly personal, which leads to an unrivaled online rating. Perched high on a rock and only reachable by a private elevator, The Omnia exudes exclusivity and offers a fantastic view of the Matterhorn, overlooking the charming village and swathes of forest. For skiers looking to get away from the stresses of everyday life, The Omnia no doubt is the perfect ski resort to stay in Zermatt. Perk: The Omnia is only 550 meters away from the nearest ski lift, giving you a seamless ski in ski out experience.
Affordable Pick: Best Western Butterfly Hotel Zermatt
located in the heart of Zermatt, Best Western Hotel Butterfly enjoys a convenient but quiet location. Just 2 minutes walk from the Gornergratbahn train station and 450 meters from the ski lift. The wellness area features a Finnish sauna, an infra-red cabin, a steam bath and a solarium for you to enjoy. Rooms are clean, spacious and updated.
Recommended Places to Stay in St Moritz
Luxury Pick: Carlton Hotel St. Moritz
Built-in 1913, Carlton hotel has undergone a complete refurbishment in 2007 and now welcomes guests to enjoy unparalleled luxury and 5-star privacy in their spacious and glamourous suites – with views of the lake of St. Moritz and the picturesque Upper Engadine beyond. Room rates include a CHF 100 food and beverage credit to be enjoyed in their restaurants – be sure to try the Michelin star-awarded Da Vittorio. The hotel is situated 1km from the ski lift. If you prefer a ski-to-door experience, book Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski.
Affordable pick: Hauser Swiss Quality Hotel
Located in the heart of St. Moritz, Hauser Swiss Quality Hotel is situated close to the ski lifts, just 150m away from St. Moritz Dorf-Chantarella. The cable car to the ski pistes can be reached on foot in 5 minutes. Family-run by the Hauser family, the hotel is well known for its fine home-made confectionery and desserts – be sure to try its Engadine Nusstorte (nut and caramel pie).
Other affordable hotels in St. Moritz include Hotel Languard, Unique Hotel Eden, Hotel Arte, Hotel Monopol art boutique, Hotel-Restaurant Bellevue (these hotels are rated 9.0 and above, and are close to various ski lifts)
We will be continually updating this guide with more top ski resorts and ski destinations, so stay tuned. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends! We appreciate you stopping by, and thank you if you have clicked and purchased through any of our links above – you are the reason why we can still write and share what we love! =)