From Aspen to the Alps

This ski season we decided to take our skiing adventures to Europe. We flew to Geneva and traveled by train from country to country exploring the mountain towns and cultures, taking in the dramatic scenery and skiing the glorious Alps.  

Val D’Isere

The moment we drove into this picturesque village in the French Alps we knew we were starting our European ski vacation in the most wonderful way. Val D’Isere oozes of French charm, attitude, apres, and gourmet everything. It’s amazing how easy it is to acclimate into a culture and lifestyle that is so different from our own. We woke up the first morning in awe of the massive mountains glowing in the early morning light and with our first croissant, we were exclaiming "oh la la", and soaking in the French way of life. 

Where to Stay

Le Blizzard | This 5 star hotel is highly recommended by our ski guide, James. Family owned since 1963, the mountain lodge lives up to my imagination of a ski lodge in the French Alps. Cozy, well-appointed rooms and the infamous Lounge Bar which is known for being a “must do” in Val D’Isere. If you are interested in staying here, book early.

Le Yule | A lovely slopeside hotel where the service is top notch, and the rooms spacious for European standards. Enjoy cocktails in the bar before heading to dinner in the village.

Airelles Val D’Isere | Airelles is for the traveler who wants a 5 Star experience. This elegant “lodge” comes with a hefty price tag, but if you can do it….why not?  The hotel is home to some of the most delicious dining venues in Val D’Isere including Matsuhisha, Lulu, and La Grande Ourse. The renowned Le Spa Guerlain is also located here.

Hotel Altitude | A charming 3 Star hotel and one of our favorites. Not fancy, but very comfy, great breakfast and a wonderful little bar. Easy access to both Bellevarde and Solaise (two of the main mountains) and very close to Cocorico, the apres spot not to be missed!

Le Signal

Image: La Poya

La Grande Ourse

Where to Eat... to name a few!

La Grande Ourse | We loved our evening at this traditional Savoyard restaurant. The raclette was an experience to behold!  A dream meal for me is a decadent wheel of melted cheese, delicious local table wine and ambiance to match. La Gande Ourse did not disappoint! This is also a fabulous slopeside lunch spot.

Le Signal | Dine on French cuisine and wine from the Rhone Valley while overlooking the stunning Fornet ski area. We skied to Le Signal from Solaise ski area. 

La Poya | La Poya (loosely translated as 'climb up the mountain pastures' in local dialect) was a favorite.  A charming little restaurant in the heart of Val D’Isere where the food is yummy and the service over the top. La Poya should be high on everyone’s list!

Pignatta | We skied to Tignes one day to enjoy lunch at this family-owned Italian restaurant. We were graciously greeted by one of the owners and seated next to a beautiful window seat overlooking town. The pizzas were quite possibly the best I’ve ever had. We loved the vibe, and the service as much as the food. And don’t skip the Tarte Tatin for dessert, amazing. We will most definitely dine here on our next trip! 

Where to Aprés

La Folie Douce La Cucucina

The original La Folie Douce in Val D’Isere is the legendary lunch/early aprés ski place in the French Alps. Let me tell you, it lives up to it’s reputation! We chose to eat at La Cucucina, the Italian restaurant located in the venue.  I can honestly say I have never experienced a ski lunch that even comes close to this. The staff dresses in super cool paint splashed aprons. Artists sing and perform Cirque de Soleil style routines while guests dine on homemade pastas and giant bottles of rosé. People party on the deck like there is no tomorrow. Europeans seem to have such class even when they’ve let their hair down and abandon all rules.

Where to Aprés


Val D’Isere’s most happening open air slopeside aprés ski bar. It’s the old school scene of dancing in ski boots to live music and drinking beer after a great day on the mountain. Hit Cocorico after La Folie Douce and you’ll have had a full day, but don’t overdo it, the skiing is too good to miss the next day.

Capricho Tip

  • Hire a Guide | Val D’Isere offers some of the most incredible off-piste terrain, however, it is critical you have an experienced guide to show you the most magical parts of the mountains. There are couloirs, cliffs, crevasses and avalanche dangers that you would not want to stumble upon unwittingly.  Our guide, James, not only kept us safe while taking us down amazing and challenging terrain, but he also helped us with restaurant recommendations and anything else we may have needed, such as retrieving lost luggage from the Geneva Airport! 

Zurs, Austria

Zurs is a picturesque village tucked into the Arlsberg region of Austria. The little town nestled into the austere Austrian Alps is filled with charming wooden chalets, cozy restaurants, friendly people and stunning natural beauty.  

Where to Stay

Hotel Zürserhof | As we entered the lobby to check into Zürserhof, we felt as if we were being welcomed into the Skardarsky family home.

Zürserhof is an established, traditional 5 star hotel and has a formal dress code. Men are asked to where jackets or sweaters to dinner and women dress elegantly in Austrian mountain fashions. Every evening guests meet in the bar for a pre-dinner drink. The owners of Zürserhof are at cocktail hour where they mingle and catch up with the guests who have obviously become friends over the years. After cocktails, guests head to the dining room, where attentive waitstaff meet their every need. After dinner, many of the guests retire to the bar where they are serenaded by Eddie, the Irish piano player of 30 years.

Staying at the Zürserhof felt like stepping into a time machine where the grace and grandeur of the past still lives on in this little Austrian village. Zürserhof is a hotel seeping in tradition, charm and heart warming, authentic hospitality.

Capricho in the Alps

“I traveled with The Black Collection for a chic, European look. The Clarita and Marcella made packing a breeze!"

Where to Eat

Hus Nr 8 | We loved this cozy little restaurant in Lech. The vibe was lively with skiers enjoying a delicious and hearty lunch after a morning on the slopes.

Capricho Tips

  • Skiing with a guide is the secret to the perfect European ski trip. They know how to find all of the powder stashes and turn the day into an epic adventure. 
  • Ski to Lech, St Anton or St Christophe for lunch. One of the most fun things about skiing in Europe is skiing from village to village and rewarding oneself with a delicious lunch upon arrival.
  • Walk to Lech. A 40 minute to an hour walk along a beautiful trail connects Zurs to Lech. Once in Lech stop by the famous Stolz store to do a bit of shopping, experience the apres ski scene, and take the bus back to Zurs. 

We have been seduced by the magic of a European ski adventure and can’t wait to return!

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