Spotlight on... Incentive Ski Trips

2 May 2019

In March, Inconnection planned and delivered an incentive ski trip for a client in one of Europe’s best ski resorts – Chamonix. Over three days our client’s group enjoyed the best that the resort has to offer, from some of the world’s best skiing and après-ski to a great hotel and exceptional restaurants.

Part travel incentive, part money-can't-buy experience and part pure escapism, ski trips can be a hugely effective tool for incentivising and rewarding exceptional performance, improving morale and strengthening key relationships.

Talk To Us About Your Incentive Ski Trip

Companies with a well-structured incentive programme report that incentives can boost employee performance by almost 45%. The key is the right incentives delivered in the right way, so let’s take a closer look at one of the most effective incentives out there.

Where to Go

UK and Europe-based teams have some of the world’s best skiing hotspots on their doorstep – with many just a short hop from major airports. That makes a world-class ski trip in a long weekend possible, with less time travelling and more time on the slopes.

While Europe boasts endless mid-range, mid-price ski resorts, the right trip booked at the right time can see budgets going further in some of the world's greatest ski destinations, including:

  • Chamonix, France – For our recent client incentive we chose Chamonix. Close to the borders of France, Italy and Switzerland, it sits at the base of Mont Blanc. Its huge runs and world-class après-ski make it an ideal choice for mixed ability ski incentive groups, while cable cars to mountain viewpoints and a breath-taking alpine backdrop make it an unforgettable destination. All just an hour from Geneva.

  • Zermatt, Switzerland – Tucked under the iconic Matterhorn, some of Zermatt’s 223 miles of runs are at altitudes of over 10,000ft, ensuring a long season and allowing corporate clients to take advantage of late-season prices.     

  • Verbier, Switzerland – Verbier has a real sense of glitz and glamour. Great hotels include Richard Branson’s The Lodge, the high-end, minimalist Nevaï, and Inconnection favourite W Verbier.              

  • Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy – Busy, boisterous resorts with legendary après-ski (think France’s Val d'Isère, St Anton in Austria or St Moritz in Switzerland) are great – but Cortina d’Ampezzo is something very different. Just two hours from Venice, this calm, classy resort is hemmed in by the Dolomites and feels a world away from anywhere. Oh, and the skiing is great.

Where to Stay 

A great hotel for an incentive ski trip should be close to lifts and the centre of town. Alternatively, look at ski-in ski-out accommodation – no lugging heavy equipment, no bus rides or walks through town in ski boots, just as much time as possible skiing. 

Our favourites ski hotels in Europe include:

  • Hotel Eclectic Alpina, Chamonix: For our recent client event, we chose the four-star Hotel Eclectic Alpina. The hotel is steps from the Aiguille du Midi cable car, and minutes on foot from central bars and restaurants. It also offered two on-site bars (including one with spectacular views over Mont Blanc and Chamonix), and a spa giving attendees space to unwind, relax, and soothe away any on-slope bumps and bruises.       

  • m3 Hotel, St Anton, Austria: St Anton’s legendary après-ski scene makes it perfect for younger groups. Hotel M3 is a design-led four-star hotel minutes from the nearest lift – the highlight here is the rooftop Sky Lounge - a breakfast room by morning and a buzzing après bar well into the night.   
  • W Verbier, Switzerland: Steps from Verbier’s main lift, W Verbier enjoys an unbeatable location with reliable snow all season. The on-site spa and new restaurant, W KITCHEN, are superb, and the hotel's in-house mountain concierge offers heli-tours, tuition and gear hire without the need for long waits or complex transfers.        
  • Four Seasons Megève, France: The Yin to Chamonix’s Yang, Megève also sits under Mont Blanc around an hour from Geneva. Opened in 2018, the Four Seasons Megève offers just 55 rooms (with open fires and balconies), and dining options including the two Michelin-starred Le 1920 restaurant.

When to Go 

The European ski season runs roughly mid-late November to mid-late April. There are benefits to going at either end of the season:

  • Early in the season almost guarantees good snow and great skiing, buzzing resorts and busy slopes.
  • Late in the season delivers more sun and longer opening hours for slopes and lifts, and more time to soak up après-ski activities. 

January can be the perfect middle ground, with some great deals on flights and resorts, good snow, quiet slopes and short queues for lifts. Courchevel and Megève are both great in January, but low enough to run the risk of poor snow later in the season.

Maximise your budget by making the trip late in the season. Look for resorts at altitude (ideally 10,000ft+) – the higher the better for snow later in the year. Chamonix is a great late-season resort, with its top lift at over 12,000ft. Tignes or Val Thorens in France, Livigno in Italy, and Switzerland's Verbier, Saas-Fee and Zermatt are also great late-season spots.

Après-Ski & Off-Slope Activities

Depending on budget, consider private ski lessons, helicopter tours or evening meals at destination restaurants for your group.

In Chamonix our client’s group enjoyed dinner at Le Caphorn and the Bib Gourmand-winning La Télécabine, which turned from a meal into party as the night progressed.

Après-ski is a huge part of a ski trip, so book a resort or hotel that can deliver. Austria is great for a younger group (the après-ski at Kitzbühel and St Anton is legendary), but most major resorts will offer plenty of options.

Aches and pains are inevitable after days on the slopes, so look for a hotel with a spa or health club to help unwind and recover ahead of the next day's skiing.

Our client’s trip to Chamonix was a huge success, with feedback including: “Thanks for an awesome trip, it was great not having to worry about anything all weekend – you guys ran everything seamlessly”, and “Thanks so much for everything you’ve done to make the weekend such a success. It’s been brilliant!”

Talk To Us About Your Incentive Ski Trip

Inspired? So are we. We've got the experience, imagination and buying power to take your next incentive ski trip to the next level. To talk to us about how, click the button above or call 0161 498 3311 to speak to a member of the Inconnection team.