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Last Updated on March 24, 2023 by Steal the Style
If you prefer paparazzi snaps to peach schnapps when it comes to your après-ski, or you fancy schussing with the stars there are certain ski destinations where you are virtually guaranteed to find those celebrities and famous folk vying with each other to get their off-piste capers in the national papers.
Here’s our guide to the top five favourite ski destinations for celebrities.
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1. Gstaad, Switzerland
Anywhere that looks this good just has to be a celebrity-magnet. Gstaad is like a diamond-encrusted fairy-tale scene. Not only is the place disgustingly beautiful, it absolutely reeks of luxury, darling. No budget accommodation then, but just imagine the après-ski here, bearing in mind that Gstaad has played host to visitors such as Michael Jackson, Audrey Hepburn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Roger Moore, David Bowie and assorted millionaire playboys and members of various European royal families. Admittedly, the celebs are a little more discreet these days than they were when Elizabeth Taylor, David Niven and Richard Burton sat playing cards in a local restaurant but even so, as Gstaad is undoubtedly Switzerland’s most expensive and exclusive ski resort it’s firmly the number one ski destination for celebs.
2. Courchevel, France
The Courchevel valley has become the skiing playground of Russian billionaires in recent times and the resort is host to some of the world’s most famous and challenging black runs. Positively teeming with ski instructors and Olympic-standard athletes, Courchevel is also a very popular hangout for snow-loving celebs. Mr and Mrs David Beckham have been spotted here, as have actors Gerard Depardieu, George Clooney and Ewan McGregor (though probably not together; the tabloid press would go into meltdown). Lionel Richie is a Courchevel regular too, and contemporary composer Jean Michel Jarre likes the place so much he bought a house here! Inevitably, given their love of the slopes and luxury venues, you’ll often find a royal or two heading for the lifts.
3. Klosters, Switzerland
Switzerland again, and another laid-back but highly prestigious skiing resort. What makes Klosters quite so special though is that it is the preferred skiing destination of the British royal family, so be prepared to bump into Charles, Wills and Harry as you whizz down the slopes of the Madrisa. Of course it’s not only royalty who enjoy the relative privacy of a skiing break in Klosters; from time to time you might also find Tara Palmer-Tomkinson (her father was an Olympic skier), Rupert Everett, Katie (Jordan) Price, George Osborne and Duncan James from boy band ‘Blue’. If that doesn’t sound like the greatest celebrity skiing pedigree, then it’s worth bearing in mind that the legendary actresses Deborah Kerr and Greta Garbo lived in Klosters and that the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, was an ardent fan of the resort too.
4. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Take a picturesque valley in the Italian Alps, cover it liberally with pristine powder snow, throw in some fine Italian cuisine and exquisite wines ( to be taken in a Michelin-starred restaurant, of course), add in a selection of traditional but luxurious lodges and hotels and just wait for the celebrities to arrive. That’s pretty much how it worked for the charming Italian ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo and before long it had become a favourite of Bardot, Loren and Hepburn (again). Nowadays you may find yourself in one of the upmarket bars in the company of Sting, George Clooney, and any number of Italian models and actors, although it isn’t clear whether or not Sylvester Stallone has returned to Cortina d’Ampezzo since he shot Cliffhanger here in the early 1990s.
5. Chamonix, France
Arguably the skiing capital of the world, Chamonix, sitting in the shadow of the mighty Mont Blanc, is another favourite haunt of our ski-happy celebrities. Whilst not cheap, Chamonix seems as inclined to cater for those outside the celebrity circle as it does for those within. This is good news for anyone who wants to combine some of the best skiing in the world with taking sneaky snapshots, or collecting the autograph of folk like Kylie Minogue who has become something of a Chamonix regular. Orlando Bloom was a keen snowboarder here back in the day, and you can still catch sight of the likes of Will Young, Fiona Bruce and even the ex-Mrs Tiger Woods, Elin Nordegren.