When planning a family snow holiday, your accommodation is just as important as your itinerary. From hand-carved ice hotels to luxury ski chalets, it doesn’t get any cooler than these one-of-a-kind stays, writes Imogen Wilhelmi.
The world’s coolest snow hotels for kids
Make everyone’s winter dreams a reality with a stay in an igloo at Iglu-dorf Kühtai.
This unique hotel boasts a custom-built igloo village, as well as a restaurant, bar and sauna. You will find it nestled in the Tyrolean Mountains not far from the beautiful city of Innsbruck.
The igloos are rebuilt and decorated each winter by international artists. Each room is decked out with thermal mats and expedition sleeping bags to withstand temperatures as cold as -40ºC. So there’s no need to worry if kids will be warm and comfortable.
This bucket-list family adventure wouldn’t be complete without a snowshoeing tour, tobogganing, and an igloo-building workshop – all available at the hotel
Hotel Riffelhaus, Zermatt, Switzerland
Take in fresh air, mindblowing scenery and nostalgic Swiss hospitality at Riffelhaus in Zermatt.
Dating back to 1853, this historic hotel shines as a comfortable ski-in, ski-out establishment with charm, tradition and awe-inspiring vistas. Sitting at the foot of the world-renowned Matterhorn, which pierces the skyline and demands attention from every angle, Riffelhaus is accessible only by mountain rail.
The hotel features traditional guestrooms that have been painstakingly restored and renovated as well as a restaurant, bar, sun terrace, lounge, library and wellness area. And did we mention that it’s ski-in, ski-out? A bonus for a family full of enthusiastic skiers or riders.
Montage Big Sky, Montana, USA
Just 45 minutes from the rugged beauty of Yellowstone National Park, Montage Big Sky oozes luxury and alpine charm. The resort features a range of artfully designed guestrooms and an array of experiences for every season.
Montage Big Sky offers ski-in, ski-out access to Big Sky Resort, world-class fly-fishing, a private 18-hole golf course and an in-house spa. Kids can get involved with making evening s’mores, locally-inspired arts and crafts, and an interactive Montage Merits program where kids can earn badges for taking part in local experiences.
Take family games night indoors and bond over darts, bowling and arcade games at the onsite pub and recreation centre.
Hoshino Resort TOMAMU, Japan
In stunning Hokkaido, Hoshino Resort TOMAMU showcases some of the best ski slopes and accommodation Japan has to offer.
The super-resort boasts a winter wonderland ice village and the biggest indoor beach in Japan – complete with a wave pool and balmy temperatures to rival a summer’s day. For little ones, there’s also a shallow splash pool.
To stay, choose between RISONARE Tomamu, and Tomamu the Tower. The Tower is best for families that want to be in on the action as it’s situated close to restaurants and the golf course. For luxury lovers, RISONARE offers spacious suites with saunas, spa baths and views of the entire resort.
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Canada
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is utterly picturesque. It has breathtaking views of the majestic Victoria Glacier, soaring mountain peaks and a glistening emerald lake right in front.
Located in the iconic Banff National Park, the 539-room resort provides all the luxuries your family could desire. The interior – and atmosphere – is polished yet relaxed, and there’s a host of children’s adventure camp activities on offer.
Your kids will love taking part in the pyjama parties, winter games, skating lessons, science, crafts and s’mores roasting. Plus, there is a complimentary shuttle to the nearby Lake Louise Ski Resort. Happy days!
Spend the night in the world’s first ice hotel and art exhibition. Icehotel, located in the small village of Jukkasjärvi in the north of Sweden, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for families, and the kind that creates unforgettable memories.
Each winter, artists gather and hand-sculpt a unique version of the resort and in spring it’s left to melt back into nature. Your stay will be jam-packed with icy fun, with the option to book northern lights safaris, ice sculpting workshops, dog sledding tours, ice fishing and snowmobile adventures. For parents, Icehotel offers a number of spa and sauna treatments, as well as the famous Ice Bar which serves drinks in carved ice glasses.
Stein Eriksen Lodge, Deer Valley, USA
Situated on a mountain amid the alpine serenity of Deer Valley, Stein Eriksen Lodge is utterly picturesque. The European-style resort effortlessly blends contemporary sophistication with a touch of nostalgia. Highlights include oversized leather chairs, crackling fireplaces, an entertainment centre, a movie theatre and a welcoming ambience. You can access the slopes from right outside the ski valet and return to award-winning dining, indulgent spa treatments and entertaining après.
Stein Eriksen Lodge has 180 units consisting of 60 suites and 120 guest rooms. To really spoil your family, consider staying at the new Stein Eriksen Residences, with a choice of private mountain homes or 39 exquisitely appointed condominiums. No matter which one you chose, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll receive five-star service.
The Rees Hotel, Luxury Apartments & Lakeside Residences, Queenstown, New Zealand
The panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range are enough to win hearts over at The Rees Hotel in Queenstown. Yet, this five-star hotel matches its location with exceptional facilities and service. Multi-room apartments and residences are ideal for families, offering plenty of space, a terrace, movies and a gas fireplace. On your doorstep are four great ski fields: Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Treble Cone and Cardrona.
Astra Falls Creek, Victoria, Australia
Set on a mountain in the heart of Victoria’s Falls Creek, Astra Falls Creek caters to the family market with style and service that goes the extra mile. The chic lodge offers a long line of facilities, including a library with beautiful mountain views; a magnesium swimming pool, spa and sauna; a kids room filled with games and puzzles; and award-winning dining with complimentary marshmallows for the kids to roast over the open fire. Families have the option of interconnecting rooms, studios and two-bedroom suites – many with impressive alpine vistas.
Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono, Japan
With stunning views across the Annupuri ranges and Mount Yotei, Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono provides all the luxuries you want in a hotel. Situated in the heart of the family-friendly resort that is Hanazono Niseko, rooms include large living and dining spaces. At the spa, guests can unwind in the pool and onsen before enjoying the hotel’s multiple culinary offerings. During the day, kids will have a ball in Hanazono. There’s everything from lessons and activities at Kamo’s Camp to climbing walls, adventure trails and ball pits at the Galaxy of Kidz activity centre.
The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler, Canada
This charming luxury hotel, nestled in the Coast Mountains, is the perfect base to experience all that Whistler has to offer. After a day on the slopes, exploring the Olympic Village or wandering through town; a spacious suite awaits with stunning mountain views, which you can admire while keeping warm by the fireplace. Once you’ve recharged, take a dip in the indoor pool or treat yourself at the spa before sampling local specialities at the hotel restaurants: FireRock Lounge and Grill & Vine.
Hotel Annapurna, Courchevel, Europe
Hotel Annapurna is one of only two luxury hotels in Courchevel, France, that is still owned and managed by the same family who founded it, including current World Champion Alpine racer Alexis Pintarault. It seems panoramic views are everywhere you turn at Hotel Annapurna – even the Jacuzzi faces out to the surrounding peaks. The rooms are cosy with oak wood and plenty of natural light. A kids’ club and teens games room is available to keep all ages entertained between ski runs.
Element Basalt – Aspen, Colorado, USA
Standing in the heart of the Roaring Fork Valley, Element Basalt is the perfect hotel for families wanting an escape from the hubbub of Aspen. After fuelling up on a complimentary hot breakfast, it’s less than half an hour by car or bus (you’ll find the bus stop directly outside the hotel’s front door) to Aspen’s world-class slopes. Skiing isn’t the only option at Basalt, though: fishing, hiking and snowmobiling are all close by for adventure-loving families. Post-snow, kids will love the hotel’s free Wi-Fi, while weary parents relax by the outdoor fire pit or hot tub.
AYA Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan
AYA Niseko is a stunning ski-in, ski-out property with easy access to the Ace Family quad chairlift at the Grand Hirafu ski resort. Most of the apartments and penthouses feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views to Mt Yotei, the ski resort or the forest. Families are in seventh heaven at AYA, with the Niseko Kid’s Club located in the heart of the building. Reception can also arrange for kids to head off on lessons with GoSnow ski school, which has a dedicated learning zone just outside the hotel. Lessons for all levels are available in English.
After a day on the slopes, the ski valet will look after the gear so you can go straight for a soak at AYA Onsen or an après-ski drink at the restaurant, which also serves delicious fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Families can choose between studio apartments, two- and three-bedroom apartments, two residences that can sleep from eight to 10, or the truly spectacular penthouses that sleep up to 10.
Mountain Lodge Telluride, Colorado, USA
Mountain Lodge is an elegant, rustic hotel, with slopeside convenience, upscale amenities and gracious service. The lodge treats guests to panoramic views of the majestic San Juan Mountains and over Telluride’s corduroy slopes. Post-skiing, guests can soak in either the outdoor swimming pool or two hot tubs. For something warmer, board games can be found in the magnificent lobby warmed by an immense river-rock fireplace. Guests also enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, a grocery shopping service, a free shuttle to Mountain Village and the free gondola that links the mountain hub with the historic town of Telluride at the base.
Mountain Lodge offers one-, two- and three-bedroom condos and 10 freestanding cabins ranging from three to six bedrooms. Guests will also have ski-in, ski-out access to Telluride Ski Resort’s 810 hectares of terrain and 148 ski trails. That includes the spectacular Revelation Bowl.
The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Hokkaido, Japan
The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Hokkaido is a relatively undiscovered five-star alpine resort destination in the heart of Hokkaido, and the property sits right at the base of the slopes. Just 90 minutes from New Chitose Airport, the hotel caters for snow lovers with 281 guest rooms and suites. As well as six restaurants and easy access to the rental shop, ski valet and the ski and snowboard academy.
After carving up the slopes, relax at the hotel’s indoor pool, the Kiroro Onsen or the Kitanoyu Bath. Or take the kids sledding, tubing or snowshoeing; go for a ride on a banana boat, buggy or raft across a snowy field; or build snowmen in Kiroro’s Snow Park.
Browse our selection of great family accommodation options around the world