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February 25, 2011

Snow Business

As the HK summer approaches and memories of unkempt fuzzy hair, steam-room climates and general over-heated, disheveled mayhem come to light, you wouldn’t be alone in reminiscing about the joys of winter.  Well, it’s not too late to indulge in a bit of snow business on a fabulous ski trip before the end of the season.  Whether you want to go regional, continental or across the pond, we have some top notch recommendations for a little fun in the snow.  Buckle up your boots and bring out your snowflake jumpers, it’s time to hit the slopes!

HakubaHakuba – Japan
Less than 2.5 hrs from Tokyo by train and car lies the charming town of Hakuba. Brimming with sweeping snow-capped mountains, fantastic restaurants, and an array of accommodations, Hakuba is home to the most extensive skiing in Asia.  Stay at the newly built Gakuto Villas, just a stone’s throw from the slopes, restaurants and onsens.  Each villa is modernly decked out with a flat screen LCD TV, heated bamboo flooring, fireplace, fitted kitchen and an iPod deck.  Look out onto your winter wonderland from your floor to ceiling windows and take in the breathtaking views. Eat at Kikyo-ya (Tel: 0261-72-3633) for the freshest sashimi and sushi in town and enjoy après-ski at Antlers (Tel: 0261 854 301) an Aspen inspired retreat perfect for drinks pre/post dinner or feast at Uncle Stevens (Tel: 0261-72-7569) which serves up sizzling Mexican food and over 100 types of tequila and beer.  Whether you’re after hot sakes or hot toddies, you’ll find it all at Hakuba! (http://www.ski-hakuba-japan.com)

***Special Dim Sum Deal*** From now until May 31st, 2011 DSTS readers can enjoy an exclusive 50% off rate at the luxurious Gakuto Villas (18,000 JPY / $220 USD per night) for a 2 bedroom villa which fits up to 6 people including a bottle of champagne upon arrival, a hot pot dinner and onsen passes.  Just contact info@createasia.net and mention “DSTS”!

WhistlerWhistler – Canada
This spring, keep your ski gear out until April and swish on over to Whistler Blackcomb in Canada, which has already received a whopping 419 inches of fresh powder this season. After an overnight flight from HK to Vancouver, you can wake up refreshed and take a scenic 2-hour journey by car, airport shuttle bus or even Rocky Mountaineer Train to reach the mighty mountain, which is home to over 200 trails and 38 lifts spread across 3,307 hectares. After your day of skiing ends, a winter wonderland of activities and adventures awaits from zip-lining over the snow-filled tree tops to horse drawn sleigh riding in the moonlight to tubing head first down the bunny hills. But where to hang up your skis, put down your poles and lay your head in style? The Four Seasons Resort Whistler and The Fairmont Chateau Whistler have the perfect luxurious yet cosy rooms right at the base of the mountain along with decadent après ski dining and spa options, and the recently opened Nita Lake Lodge boutique hotel is currently offering special winter packages on its swish suites. One of the world’s top skiing destinations and home to the 2010 Winter Olympics is just a short hop away – it’s time to go for the Gold! (http://www.whistler.com or http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com)

Val d’Isere Val d’Is ère – France
If you’re after both style and substance, head to Val d’Isère for some of the most glamourous skiing and après-skiing in the world.  Here, what happens off the piste is just as exhilarating as what happens on, so rest up and put your detox on hold for some sensational revelry on the slopes.  Stay at Hotel Les Barmes for traditional Alpine decadence, Avenue Lodge for contemporary chic in the heart of the action. Or book in at one of the luxury lodges on offer with Scott Dunn where their charming staff, gourmet food and stunning accommodation will have you wanting to tear up your return ticket upon arrival.  Dine at L’Arolay (Tel: +33 (4) 79000082) for the best fondue in town and play at La Folie Douce, which sets the bench mark for sublime après-ski with their award winning resident DJs, musicians and unparalleled setting. It’s St. Tropez on the slopes! (http://www.valdisere.com)

Whether you’re into skiing, boarding, après- ski, snow ball fights, fondue, hot-tubs, hot toddies or all of the above, there’s something for everyone on a ski holiday.  Bring on the snow and don’t forget to take something (or someone) warm!



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