Slope off

for food­ies Three af­ford­able ski ho­tels

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Three af­ford­able ski ho­tels for food­ies

Ge­or­gia

Any­one who has vis­ited Ge­or­gia can con­firm that the lo­cal food is one of the many highlights of this trend­ing des­ti­na­tion at the cross­roads of Europe and Asia. Hap­pily, at Rooms Ho­tel Kazbegi, a new de­sign ho­tel high in the Cau­ca­sus Moun­tains, you can spend your days hit­ting the slopes, then re­turn to fuel up on tra­di­tional Ge­or­gian dishes cooked with con­tem­po­rary flair.

Housed in what was once a gov­ern­ment guest­house, the ho­tel’s 156 gue­strooms take an old-meets-new ap­proach to style, their sleek mod­ern fit­tings pep­pered with brightly wo­ven wing-backed arm­chairs and cosy throws. Most have panoramic views of the snow-shrouded peaks of Mount Kazbek. As well as show­cas­ing in­gre­di­ents plucked from the sur­round­ing moun­tains, river and pas­tures, the ho­tel’s chefs also give im­promptu work­shops and cook­ery classes. Don’t miss the chance to sam­ple khinkali (dumplings), the rata­touille-like ajap­san­dali and a glass of the lo­cal qvevri wine.

Dou­bles start from 72 per night, b&b ( de­sign­ho­tels.com).

More info: ex­plore­ge­or­gia.org

France

Cauterets, in the Hautes-Pyrénées, is a French spa town graced with Belle Époque build­ings, a glut of food shops, fine restau­rants and easy ac­cess to the slopes. Also the Ho­tel du Lion d’Or, a fam­ily-run French ho­tel with blue shut­ters, em­broi­dered ei­der­downs and a homely feel – they wel­comed us with a home­made gin­ger­bread and or­ange loaf, and a jug of fresh lilacs.

As a fam­ily of four, we stayed in the ho­tel’s self-ca­ter­ing apart­ment but used its restau­rant for break­fasts of gateaux myr­tille (blue­berry muffins), home­made jams and merveilles (‘won­ders’) – lit­tle dough­nuts – and din­ners of pan-fried trout. If you’ve worked up an ap­petite on the slopes, make room, too, for beef served with bone mar­row at L’Abri du Ben­ques ( ben­ques.com) and chops of rare-breed pork cooked at nearby Le Vis­cos ( ho­tel-levis­cos.com). Self-ca­ter­ing at the Lion d’Or costs from 800 per week for four ( ho­tel-cauterets.fr). More info: pyre­nees-hol­i­day.com

Switzer­land

You won’t find many other tourists in Chan­dolin, a tiny, un­der-the-radar vil­lage in the Valais can­ton, high in the Swiss Alps. Very high. Set at an al­ti­tude of more than 2,000m, it is one of the most el­e­vated vil­lages in Europe that’s in­hab­ited all year round. This win­ter that pop­u­la­tion is set to ex­pand slightly – 25-room ho­tel The Chan­dolin is stay­ing open through­out the colder months in or­der to host its first-ever ski sea­son.

As a guest you can wake up to views across a pine- and larch-dap­pled valley be­fore fill­ing up on a break­fast of cured meats, cheeses and yo­gurts. Head out for a day on the slopes then re­turn to the ho­tel for a din­ner of suck­ling pig at its restau­rant. The wine list is im­pres­sive, too, with more than 400 choices. In fact, there’s a wine bar where you can taste your way around the re­gion by the glass, and or­der plates of cheese and char­cu­terie to go with your drinks.

Dou­bles start from 150 per night, b&b ( de­sign­ho­tels.com). More info: myswitzer­land.com

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