Après-ski, spa or an alternative – what would you choose?

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A corporate winter event or ski weekend isn’t just about your time on the slopes or enjoying other winter activities in the snow, it is also about what you do after skiing! No corporate ski event would be complete without at least one après-ski session. But what are the alternatives? Nearly every ski resort now offers spas in some form and many people are attracted to other activities such as outdoor skating or floodlit tobogganing. But what would you choose?

Après-ski

 So what, exactly, is après-ski? Après-ski describes the short but often intense party session directly after skiing. Depending on where you are in the Alps, this can be a relaxing demi-beer, a whole host of blonde beer, a vin chaud or glühwein, shots you may only drink in the mountains or an old school indulgent hot chocolate.

Almost as important as the skiing or snowboarding itself, après-ski can start as early as 3.30pm, but is often wrapping up by 7pm when happy skiers are making their way back to their accommodation getting ready for some much needed dinner. Many resorts offer high-octane après-ski, whilst others have a more chilled après vibe. Austria is well known for its jolly and busy après-ski – think crowds, loud music and dancing on the tables. Other countries do it a little differently, but whatever your group is looking for, we can point you in the right direction.

Best resorts for après-ski:

 Although when in a corporate group you can often make your own fun, we have outlined some of our favourite resorts for après-ski:

 St Anton, Austria – When you hear ‘The Final Countdown’ on the slopes head to the Mooserwirt, après starts early and the party continues throughout town until the early hours

Verbier, Switzerland – Can offer a more sophisticated après-ski vibe, cocktails at W Off Piste or a mixed crowd at the Farinet

Val d’Isère, France – Home to the original Folie Douce bar with dancers and a DJ

Kitzbuhel, Austria – Traditional umbrella bars at their best, finish at the Hahnenkamm Pavillon at the base station & play the log nail hammer game, what could possibly go wrong

Spas

 For those who prefer not to party, but want to be treated on their ski weekend, spas are a fantastic way to relax after a day on the slopes or out in the snow. Spas are also a great option for non-skiers in the group, who may opt to hit the spa earlier in the day. Aside from feeling pampered after a session in the spa, a few hours in a spa can often help with the fatigue and leg tiredness that comes from a day on the slopes.

There are two types of spas in ski resorts – spas hosted in hotels, often with swimming pools and spa treatments on offer, or there are resorts with natural thermal spas. The natural spas often date back to Roman times and can offer a session with slightly more ambience. Saying that, if you choose a hotel with a spa, there is nothing better than slipping on your bath robe after your spa session and creeping back up to your room for an extra spot of relaxation.

Let’s be honest, following a long day on the slopes, there is nothing better than a dip in the soothing waters of a pool or warming up and removing the toxins in an alpine sauna.

Best resorts for spas:

Although most resorts will have a few hotels with good spas, some resorts stand out if spas are your thing:

Courchevel, France – Aquamotion is a large aquatic centre with indoor & outdoor pools, wave machine and wellness area. Something to suit everyone

Soldeu, Andorra – Sport Hotels have a fabulous spa open to non-residents, 5000m2 over five floors with views over the slopes

Courmayeur, Italy – a short drive away is the famous, natural outdoor spa in Pre St Didier. A place to relax and rejuvenate with views of the Mont Blanc

Gstaad, Switzerland – pure luxury awaits you at Le Grand Bellevue, interconnecting aromatic saunas, salt rooms and ice caves await you at the 3000m2 wellness sanctuary

Alterative après activities

 For those in your group who just can’t get enough of the snow, many ski resorts now offer a whole host of alternative après-ski activities. Think ice skating outside in a winter wonderland, floodlit toboggan tracks, a horse-drawn sleigh ride or something a little more high-powered such as ice driving.

If you are organising a short corporate winter event and want to pack in all the activities, you might want to consider planning in some alternative après-ski offerings. This can be a great way to introduce some team building or bring the group back together after a day on the slopes. We can help you organise a group activity – whether that is something as simple as an outing to the ice rink for a lesson in curling, or we can organise a bespoke evening activity such as floodlit toboggan experience after dinner in a traditional mountain restaurant.

Best resorts for alternative après-ski:

Val Thorens, France – Val Thorens has an excellent ice driving circuit and a new outdoor ice rink opened in 2020

Davos, Switzerland – for small groups we can arrange for a horse drawn sleigh ride to dinner & organise a curling lesson on one of the towns ice rinks

Morzine, France – a good selection of indoor and outdoor activities on offer. We can arrange husky dog tours, snowmobile adventure & introduction to ice climbing. Morzine-Avoriaz has a semi-professional ice hockey team, it can be fun to watch a game as the team have a lot of local support so it always makes for a good party

Ischgl, Austria – With a length of 7km and a difference in altitude of 950m, it is one of the longest and craziest floodlit toboggan runs in the Alps

Chamonix, France – an abundance of alternative après here, cross country skiing, snow shoe hikes and husky dog sledding are just a few.