From its earliest days, skiing has attracted some of the most well-known faces in the world. Hollywood stars, European royalty, business dynasties and rock gods have all flocked to the mountains at one point or another. Here, we take a look at a few of the ski resorts around the world where seeing a famour face on the slopes is the norm, rather than the exception!
Who? The Beckhams, The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, Roman Abramavitch
Why? The "Playground of the Oligarchs", as it is known, has become the French ski resort of choice for European Royalty and the wealthy elite. With absurdly luxurious hotels, more Michelin stars per square metre than anywhere in the world and its own airport - to make sure the drive from your private jet to your 7 star chalet - is as convenient as possible, it isn’t hard to see why this is the place the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge chose Courchevel for their first family ski holiday. Add in some football royalty - the Beckhams - to make it THE ultimate skiing destination.
Who? Madonna, James Blunt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Richard Branson, Sarah Ferguson & Prince Andrew, Prince William, Bono, Pippa Middleton
Why? Perhaps the most well-known of the ski resorts on the list, Verbier regularly pops up in the pages of newspapers and magazines as the desitnation of choice for much of the British Royal Family (Prince Andrew & Fergie own a chalet here, and Princes William & Harry as well as Princesses Beatrice & Eugenie are regulars on the slopes). Singer (and Twitter extraordinaire) James Blunt has a ski lift named after him and Madonna regularly visits with her family. With the perfect combination of adventurous skiing and laid-back luxe, it is often the choice for those who place a premium on great skiing and excellent après.
Who? Robert DeNiro, Tina Turner, Robbie Williams, Pippa Middleton
Why? Full of old-world glamour, St Moritz was the go-to resort of the superstars of the world in the 1960s. Frequented by celebrities such as Brigitte Bardot, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo and Alfred Hitchcock, the Swiss ski resort still attracts the same calibre of stars today. And why is this? The hotels are the epitome of classic luxury (the Suvretta even has its own ski lift), streets are lined with designer boutiques and you are more likely to eat at a Michelin restaurant than in any other ski resort in the area. The famous lake hosts a myriad of events including skating, curling, golf, horse-racing, polo & cricket, and to top it off, having hosted the winter Olympics twice in its lifetime, you just know the skiing is out of this world.
Who? Princess Diana, Arnold Schwarzernegger, Royal Family of Monaco
Why? Picturesque Lech has it all – luxurious hotels, incredible skiing, stunning scenery and understated elegance. Before fictional character Bridget Jones made it famous, it was a firm favourite of Princess Diana and her two young sons, Princes William & Harry, Lech has long been the Austrian ski resort of choice for European Royalty. All of the 5* hotels are still family owned and run and whilst the nightlife leaves something to be desired, the bars of nearby Zurs are a firm favourite of the European footballers looking for a night out!
Who? Tom Cruise, Pippa Middleton
Why? Known as "The Paris of the Alps", Megeve was created by the Rothschild family as France’s answer to St Moritz when they deemed the Swiss resort "too commercial". Since its opening in the 1920s, the French ski resort has been a firm favourite with European Royalty and Hollywood superstars. Many of the people walking around the cobblestone streets and dining in the Michelin restaurants come from families who have been visiting for generations because once you have skied Megeve, you will never want to go anywhere else. The charming town centre is home to many designer boutiques and some of the most gastronomic restaurants in France. Even in the height of the winter season, many people don’t ski until the afternoon so if fresh tracks are your thing you will have pick of the draw here – just make sure you are dressed to the nines no matter what you do, Megeve is nothing if not stylish.
Who? Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Phil Collins, David Bowie, Sting, Robbie Williams
Why? With stunning views of the Matterhorn, a picturesque car-free village and some of the most luxurious chalets and hotels in Switzerland it is not surprising that Zermatt has become a favourite celebrity haunt. The streets are lined with chic-bars, Michelin restaurants, designer boutiques and the skiing is some of the best in the world. The ski lifts rise to a high altitude of 3,880m ensuring good snow, and if the Swiss are cramping your style, you can always pop over to Cervinia in Italy for a few turns, though make sure you get the last lift back, or you could be in for an expensive taxi ride.
Who? George Clooney, Pippa Middleton, Frank Sinatra, Tina Turner
Why? Nestled in the dramatic limestone peaks of the Dolomites, Cortina is where everyone who is anyone in Italy comes for their ski break. Without question Cortina is Italy’s most chic skiing destination and the vibe here is distinctly different to other ski resorts in the Alps. Centred around a huge green and white bell tower, the streets are lined with stunning 19th century mansions – quite a different look from the chocolate box chalet style towns in the French or Swiss Alps. Whilst the skiing is excellent, Cortina really comes alive when the sun goes down as people fill the main pedestrian street to enjoy the beautiful boutiques and restaurants.
Who? Beyonce, The Kardashians, The Obama’s, The Kennedy’s, Kate Hudson, Mariah Carey, Cameron Diaz, Jack Nicholson, Bill Murray
Why? No country does celebrity culture like the USA, and Aspen is where you will find the most famous faces in the world once winter rolls around. The small local airport is one of the busiest in America, and more celebrities own homes here than in any other mountain town (Kevin Costner, Goldie Hawn, Antonio Banderas & Charlie Sheen to name a few). The central village is alpine luxury at its best – 5* hotels, restaurants run by the worlds most famous chefs, beautiful boutiques, art galleries and to top it off the roads are heated, meaning that if you happen to be staying slightly out of the centre, the drive home is guaranteed to be ice free making life significantly easier!
Spotted a celebrity in a ski resort? We'd love to hear where so get in touch.
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