Val Thorens has taken the title of World’s Best Ski Resort at the 2017 World Ski Awards. The legendary French resort – the highest resort in Europe – was the big winner at ski tourism’s event of the year which took place at the five star A-ROSA Kitzbühel for the fifth consecutive year this evening, welcoming the elite of the ski hospitality industry to Austria.
Also among the winners was the W Verbier. The W’s first alpine and ski resort in Switzerland, walked away with the title of World’s Best Ski Hotel.
Elsewhere Chalet Les Anges, Zermatt – created by the world famous interior designer, Magali de Tscharner – took the title of World’s Best Ski Chalet, while The Vale Niseko was voted World’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel. Sun Web scooped the trophy for World’s Best Ski Tour Operator, with Leo Trippi named World’s Best Ski Travel Agent.
In a first for World Ski Awards, Rocksresort – whose stone buildings are heated with entirely renewable biomass energy – was voted World’s Best Green Ski Hotel.
Bergbahn AG Kitzbuhel was also honoured during the red carpet event, taking the title of World’s Best Ski Resort Company, while Bella Coola Heli Sports was recognised as World’s Best Heli-Ski Operator and Ski-Lifts picked up the award for World’s Best Ski Transfer Operator.
Meanwhile LAAX was celebrating having been recognised by voters as World’s Best Freestyle Resort, while Ski Dubai scooped the trophy for Best Indoor Ski Resort.
Two of the night’s biggest winners were Fahrenheit Seven and Alpaca. Hip design-led hotel, Fahrenheit Seven, collected the trophy for World’s Best New Ski Hotel while Alpaca, in the French resort of Méribel, was recognised as World’s Best New Ski Chalet.
An extensive programme of events is taking place over the weekend, seeing guests invited to engage in three days of exclusive networking events, private skiing, sightseeing tours and a host of other VIP activities.
World Ski Awards Managing Director Sion Rapson said: “The 2017 World Ski Awards has been our most successful to date, firmly cementing our position as the global benchmark for ski hospitality. It has been a pleasure to recognise so many industry leaders here this evening and I hope their recognition, both by their peers and members of public ski community, will inspire them to aim ever higher in the pursuit of excellence.”
In an unique presentation, the World Ski Awards Academy honoured ski industry stalwart, Hans Grimus, with the title of Outstanding Contribution to Ski Tourism.
The native Austrian, who left his homeland for Australia 56 years ago, was instrumental in constructing the first lifts on Mt Buller – a resort village in eastern Victoria, Australia – as well as building his eponymous hotel.
Voting for the 2017 Gala Ceremony closed at the end of September, with a record number of ballots cast by leading ski tourism professionals.
These were tallied alongside the votes of hundreds of thousands of ski consumers from around the world, with the winners revealed earlier this evening at A-ROSA Kitzbühel.