When it comes to planning a luxury mountain getaway, don’t be afraid to dream big. Whatever elaborate vacation you’ve imagined, it’s within reach. With a little preparation and dedication, that bucket-list ski trip will go from fantasy to reality. But where should you venture on this once-in-a-lifetime journey? The Ikon Pass opens the door to over 40 ski and snowboard destinations worldwide. Whether you want to venture across an ocean or just across the country, there are plenty of alpine escapes to enjoy. What are some of the best luxury ski resorts to visit? Zermatt Matterhorn, Switzerland Matterhorn Ski Paradise, the highest ski area in the Alps, offers some of the best ski and ride conditions for visitors. With over 200 miles of trails to explore, there’s no end to the downhill action you can experience. Spend the day carving down scenic pistes that provide photo-worthy views of the famed Matterhorn. Then settle in for some high-class après at the legendary Champagne Bar Teehäuschen Flora, where you can toast full flutes with the Matterhorn as your backdrop. Nestled in the Valais Alps region, Zermatt is a quintessential Swiss mountain town. It’s traditional charm and character shine through the narrow, car-free streets and historic buildings. And Zermatt’s collection of romantic chalets and gastronomic experiences make it a top luxury destination in Europe. In fact, the city is brimming with GaultMillau point and Michelin Star recipients, guaranteeing gourmet delights around every corner. Complete the luxury ski vacation with a VIP Gondola experience, complete with plush leather chairs and a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne. Zermatt is a quintessential Swiss ski town. Niseko United, Japan Located south of Sapporo, Niseko United is made up of four resorts, each offering a different, but equally opulent, ski and ride experience for guests. Niseko Hanazono Resort, situated on the northeast side of the mountain, is a powder playground waiting to be explored. Hop aboard the 10-person gondola and tackle diverse terrain all day long, before settling into a comfortable suite at the brand-new Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono Hotel & Residence. Get your legs burning at Niseko Village, offering some of the longest trails on the mountain weaving through beautiful scenic forests. Then top off the day with an exquisite meal at one of the many elite dining experiences. Enjoy a theatrical culinary event at Pirka, in the Hilton Niseko Village, as a teppanyaki chef prepares food right in front of you. Or enjoy seasonally influenced dishes at Sisam, featuring set menus and à la carte items created with local produce, meat, and seafood. After days of powder-filled action, you deserve a little rest and relaxation. Treat yourself to a soothing massage or treatment at Wakka Spa, voted one of the top spas in Japan. Savor the culinary flavors at Niseko. Aspen Snowmass, Colorado Known as the ski destination of the stars, Aspen Snowmass is a true luxury mountain escape that’s worth the splurge. Go all out with a stay at The Gant, offering one- to -four-bedroom condos with full kitchens, wood-burning fireplaces, and private balconies. Or nestle in slopeside at The Little Nell, the only Forbes Five Star property in Aspen, which boasts 92 unique rooms and an award-winning food and wine program. Talk about très chic. After plowing through piles of pillowy powder all day, take a break at one of the many upscale dining options on mountain. Stop into the new Alpin Room atop the Alpine Springs lift at Snowmass, and dig into plates of chicken schnitzel, traditional Scotch eggs, and cinnamon carrot cake. Toast to the day at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro with bottles of champagne and scrumptious appetizers like steak tartar, fondue, and charcuterie boards. Cloud Nine is not to be missed - but just remember, you have to ski down after. Deer Valley, Utah Luxury is the name of the game at Deer Valley Resort. Located in Park City, Utah, this ski-only resort boasts a long list of lavish accommodations and four-star eateries that are sure to satisfy any extravagance-seeking adventurers. When looking for lodging, look no further than Deer Valley’s Collection of Luxury Hotels, including the Montage Deer Valley, Stein Eriksen Lodge & Residences, and the St. Regis Deer Valley. Each property offers guests something unique, but you can always expect the very best in guest service and amenities, no matter where you stay. On mountain experiences are also something to be admired. For a more extravagant day on the slopes, you can book a day skiing with an Olympic athlete. The program lets you ski a full- or half-day with one of six snowsport athletes. Add on this exclusive, one-of-a-kind event to your luxury ski vacation. For something truly classy, book a horse-drawn sleigh ride up to Fireside Dining, located in Empire Canyon Lodge. This winter-only restaurant serves a four course, European-inspired dinner alongside a full menu of specialty cocktails, wine, and imported beer. The ski valet is one of the countless luxury amenities available at Deer Valley. How much does it cost to plan a luxury ski trip? The amount you spend on an elaborate mountain vacation depends on a few factors. How far do you want to travel? If you’re heading overseas to ski, you’ll need to factor in airfare, which can vary on the time you choose to go. Booking a regional ski trip within your own country will cut down costs, but keep an eye on airfares over holidays, as those tend to get much pricier. How many people are you traveling with? A two-person trip is more affordable than a family or group adventure. If you’re planning to bring the whole crew, add a couple more months’ worth of savings to accommodate larger lodging options, more group activities, and dining. How long will you be staying? If you’re traveling abroad, you need at least a week (preferably two) to reach your destination, acclimate to the time change and get acquainted with the area. It gives you plenty of time to ski or snowboard and sneak in all the other activities you want to enjoy. Visiting somewhere closer to home requires less travel time, but still plan to set aside a week to fully experience your mountain escape. What kind of amenities are a must-have? If you’re going with luxury, this is no time to be conservative. But if you want to be conscious of how much you’re spending, consider what is a necessity when booking your mountain escape. If you need a private hot tub or plan to eat out every night, budget for it. If you aren’t going to take advantage of a four-bedroom suite with a fully furnished kitchen, then find something a little less lavish that still gives you all the perks you need. How much will you be skiing? Even if you only plan to ski three or four days, a season pass is totally worth the money. Daily lift tickets can be very expensive, and a season pass will pay for itself with just a few scans at the chairlift. Plus, you can share friends and family discounts with the people in your group who may only want to ski one day or are just starting out and can’t commit to a lot of time on the hill. A great day on the mountain becomes even better when you head into town for après afterwards. How far in advance should you plan a luxury ski trip? Determine the time of year you want to visit your desired destination, and then subtract six or seven months from that date. That’s the minimum amount of time you should allow to plan your ski resort vacation. A year is even better, offering ample time to coordinate everything you need, and provide details to your whole group.Winter has begun, the chairlifts are churning, and it’s time to get out on the slopes once again. If you’re ready to book a luxury ski or snowboard vacation, Ikon Pass destinations are ready to welcome you, whenever you visit. Purchase an Ikon Pass to get you on the mountain faster and make the most of your trip.