We have booked our Ski Trip shortly after Christmas a year in advance (very high season, so had to book early). We are trying to think of a resort to go to in the 2014/15 season. We're thinking of the following - if any of you have been to these resorts, could you pls. post a review? Thanks.
Mottaret - good central location for the Three Valleys so access to massive ski area, Mottaret quieter than Meribel on the nightlife front, purpose built but better looking that many of the purpose built resorts in France. Easy access to Mont Vallon - I love ski-ing Mont Vallon - probably my favourite bit of the whole Three Valleys. Meribel down the valley is VERY British. More ski-in ski-out than the other resorts below.
Val d'Isere - lively town, good nightlife, better suited for more advanced skiers - pistes into town are quite steep for beginners. Also quite a busy resort for beginners/intermediates unless stick to pistes away from the main areas. Well-known as an advanced resort so off-piste gets tracked out quite quickly.
Zermatt - again another very extensive ski area - but skiing more than one area a day is a bit of a hassle, so best to stick to one area a day; expensive, but skiing over into Cervinia for lunch is a lot cheaper than eating on the Zermatt side of the mountain; novel getting a train up the mountain instead of a ski lift - trains were popular way for non-skiers in our group to meet the skiers for lunch.
Verbier - another great ski area - loads of off-piste. Expensive.
Never skied in Austria (but will be this Christmas ) so can't comment on those.
Given the resorts you're thinking off I'm assuming your all intermediate plus skiers who like to like to do quite a lot of mileage?
Agree with Snowgirl1s assessments of the French and Swiss resorts so I'll just add my experience of the Austrian ones.
Kitzbuhel is a very pretty medieval village, good nightlife but low and I've been there at New Year when the entire village has been green. It has more limited skiing than the other resorts you are looking at, certainly for experts (although off piste is pretty good as most visitors stick to the pistes) .
Lech is a better option (although very pricey) but still chocolate box pretty. Most hotels are ski in/out too.
Based on the other places you are looking at though, I'd say your best bet in Austria would be St Anton? It's got lots more skiing than the others and some great runs for better skiiers.
It's an experience. Lots of skiing. I really liked it, but my DH said it had busy, bottlenecked slopes. We went with Ski Total (Esprit's Adult Arm) so wasn't stupidly expensive. Ski School could've tried harder, but after my firends and I vocally moaned about it in a bar within earshot of some instructors, all classes notably improved. Coincidence?
Not many kids around, but lots of women in fur coats, men in Ferraris and everyone has high end sunglasses. But the adage was proved that money cannot buy taste.
In my ski school was a woman who wore 3-carat diamond earring... out skiing FFS! Unexpectedly she was possibly the loveliest person ever.
You have to make a trip to the champagne ice bar - it's on the slopes and literally made of ice. It mostly sells Veuve Cliquot champagne. When we were there, with our tinsy glasses, some lad who looked about 18 handed over his card to pay for a £480 bottle of VC. How the other half live.
That said, The Scheggerai (bottom of the slopes bar/restaurant) is my most fave bar ever. I still miss that place. Classy, homely, great staff and a right little suntrap for lunch.
Conditions weren't good when we went, but def my fave place to ski. (I'm a blue/red gal).
I don't think I'd take my kids, but an absolute experience.
Oh, it's massive downside... where was the eye-candy? There was barely a dishy bloke to be seen all week.