European ski areas are principally focused on a town whose older quarters have been around for hundreds of years but are now overwhelmed by modem hotels, condominiums, chalets, and shopping centers. In the Arlberg, even the newest hotels are architecturally harmonious with buildings 200 years old. In France, the newest are dramatic structures harmonious with the Alps.

Housing facilities have undergone a remarkable change over the years. On my first ski trip to France, in the 1970s, skiers stayed only in hotels or pleasant pensions, the European equivalent of a B&B. Today, modem condominium complexes are widely available. But be aware that
when Europeans claim an apartment sleeps six, it will actually be comfortable for four.

Traditional hotels and pensions, small by American standards, are awarded up to five stars according to the number of amenities offered. As a rule of thumb, choose a facility of three stars or higher.

You’ll normally get the best deal at a hotel if you accept it’s breakfast - dinner meal plan. Generally, the manager will allow you to substitute lunch for dinner on the nights you want to dine out.

More about Skiing:
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Sitting inside the grand palace that is the elegant Sun Valley Lodge, you can look across bathers in an outdoor heated circular pool - the first ever built by a ski resort - to tow

Disabled Competitions

Ski competitions for both standing and sitting skiers are held throughout the country and in Europe. Both Aspen Highlands and Mount Hood Meadows ski resorts…

Mountain Manners

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However, the fact that they did spend time in various ski schools did not eliminate what I feel keenly is the responsibility of all parents of kids on the…

Nonskiing Necessities

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The ancient grandfather of alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, is alive, healthy, and more popular than at any time in his 4,000-year history. True, no longer…

Whistler/Blackcomb - Part 1

Put two great ski mountains side by side, each with more than 5,000 feet of vertical - the most in North America - and you’ve got the first hint of what it’s…

Who Pays the Piper?

If a skier runs into serious difficulty skiing beyond an area’s boundaries, someone will be along to help him. In the United States, this task usually falls to…