If it's good enough for Richard Branson, it's good enough for us. Sir Branson's resort in the Swiss Alps is located 82 kilometres east of Geneva and just a skip away from the Medran lift station. Suites bear some of the skeletal trappings of traditional cabin-like lodgings, but are anything but stodgy and old fashioned. There are wood beams galore, yes, but also a heated indoor pool, futuristic fireplaces, and a Raymond Blanc-trained chef on-hand to fulfill gourmet requests. The sprawling chalet can house up to 18 adults (house party, anyone?) and you can book individual rooms if the entire property hasn't been rented in advance. As you might expect, Bronson-chic doesn't come cheap: you're looking at about $850-900 per night to start.
Perhaps the least flashy choice among the three included in this roundup, staying at Mavida certainly doesn't involve "roughing it." Incorporating new age philosophies of "trust," "harmony," and "gratitude" into its environment, everything about this hotel screams "zen": there's a lot of white-on-white (-on-white) "puristic" decor, rooms boast "wellness showers" (we're pretty sure that's Austrian for "fancy showers"), and its restaurant's brand of haute cuisine is described as "aesthetic" (read: seasonal, local, high-brow). During the height of the season you're looking at about 285.00 euro per night, upward of 430.00 for the property's largest suite.
Naturally, we had to include a hotel in the French Alps on our list. It's the antithesis of those cheesy chalets tourist traps that are ubiquitous around every highly trafficked ski area, offering home-away-from-home—only way better—accommodations with views of the Chamonix peaks, designer kitchens, private saunas in the bathrooms, and shuttle service to the lifts. As the area is home to Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain, this is a must-visit for skiing die hards.