Ski Report: Europe

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The design of the Bentley Lodge Kitzbühel is heavily influenced by the car company’s interiors.
The design of the Bentley Lodge Kitzbühel is heavily influenced by the car company’s interiors.

The 2015-2016 winter ski season is getting underway, and we’re turning our gaze to the Continent to check out the latest hotel updates and tips for foodies. 

Car enthusiasts may wish to check out the new Bentley Lodge Kitzbühel in Austria, which we previewed back in September. Managed by the luxury car brand in partnership with hotelier Richard Hauser, the property takes design cues from Bentley’s car interiors, with traditional Tyrolean stone pine wood and natural stone from the Upper Tauern region used throughout the hotel. In keeping with the motor theme, one of the latest Bentley models is available at all times for the use of guests. 

Traditional Tyrolean stone pine wood and natural stone from the Upper Tauern region are used throughout the property.
Traditional Tyrolean stone pine wood and natural stone from the Upper Tauern region are used throughout the property. 

With accommodations limited to eight people, the lodge is a good fit for families or small groups. There are three double rooms and one single room, as well as a living room with fireplace and a fully equipped kitchen. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property to stay in touch. 

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In terms of activities, the lodge offers bespoke test drive experiences hosted by the property’s “Bentley Boys.” Available Thursday through Sunday, guests need simply let the Bentley Boys know the models they are interested in, and the Boys will make the necessary arrangements to set up a test drive. 

Guests at the lodge also have access to the Kitzbühel Country Club, which offers a spa, gym, pools, a cigar lounge, and a private movie theater. Inside the spa is a natural rock pool, sauna and stone pine relaxation area, as well as fitness, yoga and massage services. The Country Club also has two restaurants – the main restaurant, which serves seasonal dishes with international influences, and The 4 Stuben, which offers four themed drinking and gathering spots. Country club guests can also enjoy hunting, fishing, horse riding, mountain biking, climbing, golf, tennis and skiing. 

The lodge is a five-minute walk from Kitzbühel city center, which offers a variety of winter sports opportunities. Skiiers can enjoy 54 cable cars and lifts, as well as over 105 miles of slopes, including “The Streif” – a world-famous downhill ski race track. The track underwent alterations in the summer of 2010 to make it possible for the public to ski next to it during preparation for the Hahnenkamm downhill ski race in January, as well as during race weekend. (Some sections are still closed for race preparation from January 6 onward, but disruption is kept to a minimum.) Skiiers looking to brave The Streif must contend with a maximum angle of 85 percent and a final jump – “Mausefalle” – of over 260 feet. For guests of a less advanced skill level, the Family Streif offers the chance to negotiate some sections of the racecourse on the descent back to town by following the “Red 21” on the Kitzbühel ski map, while cutting out the more extreme terrain. Kitzbühel also offers opportunities for winter hiking, cross-country skiing, ski touring and more. 

The lodge has three double rooms and one single room.
The lodge has three double rooms and one single room.

In addition to the Hahnenkamm, Kitzbühel also plays host to a few other winter events that guests of the lodge may wish to see. The Snow Polo World Cup is the world’s largest polo tournament on snow, and takes place from January 14 to 17, 2016, in town. Admission is free, but tickets to a Saturday VIP “Polo Player’s Night” in a tent on the polo field are sold locally. On January 1, 2016, during the 62nd Great New Year’s Day Fireworks | Ski Show, the ski instructors of the “Red Devils” and “Element3” ski schools welcome the new year with a traditional torch journey that includes ski jumps over fire, music and a fireworks display. Admission to this event, which starts at 5:30 p.m., is also free. 

The Bentley Lodge Kitzbühel can only be booked for a whole week or three consecutive days, and a 20 percent pre-payment is required to secure booking. Rates are seasonal -- from December 19 through January 8, rates are from €1480 per night for whole week (Monday through Sunday) bookings only. Rates are €1080 per night from January 9 through March 31, June 1 through September 30, and December 1 through December 18. From April 1 through May 31, and October 1 through November 30, rates start from €780 per night.  

Kitzbühel lies in the central eastern Alps, a two-hour drive from Munich Airport and a one-hour drive from Innsbruck Airport and Salzburg Airport. A direct train link is also available from Innsbruck Airport.

Advisors looking to make reservations or with questions should reach out to [email protected].

L’Apogée Courchevel is opening a new Japanese restaurant, Koori, this season.
L’Apogée Courchevel is opening a new Japanese restaurant, Koori, this season. 

New Tips for Foodies

Off the slopes, nothing completes a ski vacation like some good food – here are two quick tips to share with clients. 

At the Oetker Collection’s L’Apogée Courchevel, a new Japanese restaurant, dubbed Koori, is opening this season under the supervision of Executive Chef Jean-Luc Lefrançois and Pastry Chef Eve Moncorger.

Koori will host up to 50 guests and serve a menu with dishes such as The Koori Carpaccio or black cod in miso sauce, along with a selection of sushi and other Japanese specialties. Pastry Chef Eve Moncorger will offer a menu of sweet delicacies, including Pearls of Japan in coconut milk with fresh mango cubes. A selection of sake and tea will also be available. 

Koori will be open every evening for L’Apogée Courchevel’s 2015/2016 winter season, from December 11, 2015, through April 2, 2016.

At The Alpina Gstaad’s Sommet restaurant, guests are in for a sweet surprise. // Photo by The Alpina Gstaad/Reto Guntli
At The Alpina Gstaad’s Sommet restaurant, guests are in for a sweet surprise. // Photo by The Alpina Gstaad/Reto Guntli

At The Alpina Gstaad in the Swiss Alps, guests in the hotel’s one Michelin star restaurant, Sommet, can sample an unusual new offering: the property’s first honey, produced this summer in new beehives in the resort’s garden. The honey was produced by Audric de Campeau, an urban beekeeper from Paris, from Carniolan honey bees, a variety that flourishes in the long alpine winters of an area ranging from Italy to Slovenia. Production is small – each honeypot is numbered with the date of collection by hand. 

For more information or special requests at the Alpina Gstaad, agents can reach out to Director of Sales Dennis Eenhuis ([email protected]). 

Guests at Club Med Val Thorens can take advantage of a new one-on-one ski instruction package.
Guests at Club Med Val Thorens can take advantage of a new one-on-one ski instruction package. 

Ski School Update

For guests looking to hone their skills this winter, Club Med Val Thorens will be offering an Active Ski Boost package that includes a personalized assessment and private lessons from an Ecole du Ski Français instructor, as well as a daily fitness and relaxation session, a treatment at the Club Med Spa by CARITA and a wellness box gift. 

The package, which is available as an add-on to Club Med Val Thorens’ all-inclusive rates, can be booked for three days at EUR 370 or five days at EUR 580. The three-day package includes two one and a half hour sessions and the five-day package includes three one and a half hour sessions. Guests must be 18 years of age or older to book, and may be of any skill level. 

At the Alpina Gstaad, new “Gold Ski Retreats” offer fitness assessments, dry land ski conditioning and classes with a ski instructor. For relaxation, guests also enjoy activities such as a massage or float therapy in the property’s Six Senses Spa and a re-hydration smoothie. The package is available for three days starting from 4,758 CHF and for five days starting from 8,870 CHF. Package rates include accommodations in a Deluxe Room with breakfast, all taxes and VAT plus all activities, instruction and spa treatments.

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