The best ski resorts of 2013
The World Ski Awards is an annual competition rating winter ski resorts around the globe based on the quality of the overall service of the resorts, the number and levels of ski slopes, and the quality of the hotel and accommodation that resort has to offer. Votes for the winners of the awards are voted by professionals working within the ski travel and tourism industry - senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators, agents and media professionals, and of course, travellers themselves.
This year, there were 80 countries that participated in the competition, 20 of which were selected for the final vote and were in the run to win from 4 main categories: the best resort, the best hotel, the best boutique hotel and the best chalet.
The winners this year were: French resort, Val Thorens, who took the prize for best resort, recognised as the best hotel was the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch in the US, the best boutique hotel was Austrian Aurelio Lech and finally the top chalet was Bighorn Revelstoke in Canada.
Buro 24/7 rounds up 8 of our favourite resorts chosen from the winners and nominees of the WSA.
1) Val Thorens, France - winner of the World Ski Awards Best Resort 2013
Located in the French Alps the resort not only features the highest slopes in Europe, but also forms the largest ski area in the world with a total of over 600km of trails. Val Thornes offers numerous chalets and small winter cabins, next to the best mountain slopes.
There are three valleys of slopes, and a system of interconnected lifts allows you to cover all three while skiing. With 99% of the ski area situated above 2,000 meters, Val Thornes offers a skiing experience that no one else can.
2) Deer Valley Resort - winner of the World Ski Awards Best Resort in the US
In the heart of Utah lies the luxury resort, the Deer Valley Resort. Open since 1981, the resort is known for its revolutionary ski area and its service both on and off the slopes. With over 101 tracks and 6 large slopes to glide through, the Deer Valley Resort is a must see for any winter sports enthusiast.
They will host the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup from January 8 - 11 2014, where thousands of spectators will watch the best freestyle skiers from around the globe.
3) LAAX - winner of the World Ski Awards Best Resort in Switzerland
In the heart of the Swiss Alps covering 235km of slopes, four snow parks, Europe's largest half pipe, a Freestyle Academy and first indoor freestyle hall, LAAX known as a hot spot for snowboarders.
Enjoy 60 trails that cover a total skiing area of 10000 sq. m as well as their world renowned freestyle snowboard park.
4) Åre - winner of the World Ski Awards Best Resort in Sweden
Åre is known as being Northern Europe's cosiest and chicest mountain village. Tourists can enjoy many different winter sports including skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, horseback riding, dog races, reindeer sledding, and snowmobiling. With a unique mood and atmosphere the small picturesque village is the core of Scandinavia's cosmopolitan skiing culture.
5) Niseko - winner of the World Ski Awards Best Resort in Japan
Known as the largest ski resort in Hokkaido, Niseko not only attracts a large number of tourists from Southest Asia, but also from the Europe and North America. A record number - for Japan - of 16m of snow falls every year around the resort.
The ultra modern resort consists of four different ski areas, all interconnected with single lift systems. The town turns into a super-cool hot spot at night with lots of entertainment to enjoy.
6) Garmisch-Partenkirchen - winner of the World Ski Awards Best Resort in Germany
Located in the tiny town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the German resort is perfect for a private and quiet getaway and little weekend of luxury with a top spa-health wing.
Enjoy the views of Germany's highest mountain Zugspitze, while skiing through more than 60km of skiing slopes with the perfect snow from November to May.
7) Ruka - winner of the World Ski Awards Best Resort in Finland
Located in the North Eastern part of Finland, near the Arctic Circle, lays Ruka. Home to Santas Clauses Lapland.
Enjoy 34 slopes that spam over 20km, 21 lifts - including a unique high speed lift with 6 seater chairs, called the RukaExpress - a snowboard park, a freestyle mogul center and 500km of cross country skiing.
8) The Lake Louise Ski Resort - winner of the World Ski Awards Best Resort in Canada
One of the largest ski resorts in all of North America is this Canadian resort. Located near the beautiful Lake Moraine, the picturesque scenery decorated the Canadian $20 bill during 1969 - 1979.
The resort offers over 139 slopes with all degrees of difficulty - anyone can enjoy this winter trip up North. The accommodation and landscapes beauty cannot be compared to anything you have ever seen before.