for foodies Three affordable ski hotels
Three affordable ski hotels for foodies
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
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
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