One of our favourite things about skiing holidays is finding that “hidden gem”. The run that’s perfect after a fresh dump of snow, the restaurant that serves the Strudel with the vanilla cream, or that après bar that shoots Jäger from the ceiling. And so on.
In a new series, we’ve decided to talk about some of our favourite hidden gem resorts. These are the resorts that may not be as well known as a St. Anton or a Tignes, but will still give you a holiday you’ll never forget.
First up is Lake Louise, in Canada.
With outrageous views of the Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise was voted Canada’s Best Ski Resort in the World Ski Awards 2013 – beating massive resorts like Whistler and Banff. The small village is perfectly positioned – close to the slopes – and also by the beautiful lake. The chilled atmosphere, jaw dropping scenery and roaming wildlife – you may get to say hello to elks and big horn sheep – make this a dream destination, plus endless powder and record snowfalls means the skiing is pretty good too. Lake Louise is close to the ski areas of Sunshine Village and Norquay with shuttle buses running twice a week.
But don’t just take our word for it – we spoke to Darcy – who lives in Lake Louise – to find out why the locals love it so much.
What’s the best run – and why?
Larch Run – located on the far side of the resort. It has a perfect wide, blue-run pitch and has Temple Lodge located at the bottom for a tasty quick snack or a nice lunch.
Best view/photo opportunity?
From the top of the Top of the World Chair, offering 360 degree views. It’s simply stunning. Then there’s green, blue and black runs to get back down.
Whitehorn Lodge Bistro located just under the Gondola about half way up the mountain. The fondue is out of this world, and the views toward the mountains (including the Lake Louise Fairmont Chateau Hotel and the lake beyond) are spectacularly beautiful, even if they are in the medium distance.
Best place for a drink at the end of the day?
PowderKeg Bar, which is located on the upper floor of the Lodge of Ten Peaks. Great atmosphere and great drinks.
Price for a beer?
$5 – $7 Cdn (so about £2.80-£3.95!)
How much off piste is there?
A good portion of the back side of the mountain is off piste – my favourite areas are the Whitehorn chutes, A-I gullies and Brownshirt. You won’t get bored in 7 days of skiing here.
First/last lifts of the day and is there night skiing?
Typically 9am to 4pm, with our First Tracks program giving access a half hour earlier. In spring, lifts stay open until 4:30 pm
How long is the gondola from town to top of the mountain?
From our base area to the top of the Gondola (not the top of the resort) is about 10 minutes. So you’ll be on the mountain in no time.
Well we’re certainly convinced. If you are as well, check out our holidays to Lake Louise – there’s some great deals and some amazing hotels.