Skiing is a great option for a family holiday, and thankfully Singapore is well placed in the region to access a wide variety of snowy destinations in every compass direction. Here are four fabulous recommendations from bespoke tour operator, Lightfoot Travel.
Located in northern Hokkaido, Niseko with its mighty Mount Annupuri is the most convenient choice for Singaporeans looking for a nearby ski getaway. Famed for the buckets of fresh powder that fall each year, it provides the softest of landings for wobbly beginners and children. Advanced skiers will appreciate the off-piste options, and skiers of all levels will love the onsen experience, sushi, yakitori and quirky little bars in Hirafu Village.
Where to Stay
Families: Ki Niseko is the new ski-in ski-out property next to Hirafu Gondola, featuring apartment-style accommodation with all the services of a hotel.
Couples: With only nine rooms, Kimamaya is intimate and cosy with one of the best bars and restaurants in town.
The vastness of its ski area, the range of alternate outdoor activities and the friendliness of just about everyone you meet are three of the things we love about Whistler. The ski resort is comprised of two mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, connected by a peak-to-peak gondola that makes it very easy to jump between the two. There are countless runs meaning you can ski new routes each day if you choose, including tons of off-piste options and really fun gladed skiing. If you need a break from the slopes, spend an afternoon bungee jumping, zip lining, snow catting or snow shoeing, while the littlest ones will have a ball running around the outdoor snow forts on each mountain. One of the quickest ways to get from Singapore to Vancouver is via a quick stopover in Hong Kong, and then it’s a two-hour drive to the resort from the airport.
Where to Stay
Families & Couples: The Four Seasons Whistler wins out for its signature excellent service, lovely ambience with fireplaces dotted throughout and amazing two- and three-bedroom residences (a splurge, but fantastic for larger families). There are shuttles to the slopes and even a ski concierge who waits at the bottom of the mountains and takes your gear, enabling you to get straight into that amazing après ski at the end of the day.
Queenstown & Wanaka, New Zealand
Keen for a snowy holiday but can’t get away this winter? New Zealand is a great option for skiing in the middle of the year (Southern Hemisphere winter). The snow is much better than in nearby Australia, and there are a ton of other activities such as dog sledding with Siberian and Alaskan huskies, glacier exploring, ice luging and curling – laugh all you want, but it’s a great activity for families! We especially appreciate Queenstown’s Japanese-style onsen, given a kiwi twist with a little more privacy than normal and spectacular views. The neighbouring town of Wanaka is an hour away and a good alternative when Queenstown reaches capacity. It’s on the doorstep of family-friendly ski resort, Treble Cone, which caters very well for children, including professional childcare for infants and ski schools for kids of all ages.
Where to Stay
Wanaka: We love Whare Kea, staying either in the main lodge or in its Alpine Chalet which embodies the spirit of the European Alps.
Queenstown: Azur Luxury Lodge is pricey, but worth it for a special occasion with nine private villas and breathtaking views over Lake Wakatipu.
Verbier is one of our favourite ski resorts in the Swiss Alps. Set in a sun-drenched south-western facing bowl, perched high up on a mountainside at an altitude of 1500m, Verbier has it all: incredible skiing, excellent après-ski and top-notch hotels and chalets. There are direct flights between Singapore and Zurich, and then it’s just over three hours to the resort by car, or you can choose to take the train.
Where to Stay
Families: Chalet Max sleeps eight guests in four bedrooms, is situated 50m from the slopes, and features an outdoor Jacuzzi on the terrace.
Couples: Centrally located amongst Verbier’s famed bars and restaurants, Hotel Nevai has its own nightclub and a fantastic spa.
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