Olympic Dreams: Ski and sleep at world-class alpine resorts with Olympic connections

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Schuss Olympian-worthy slopes by day and immerse in Olympic history at night at one of these hotels owned by or affiliated with an alpine Olympian.

Egon Zimmermann enjoys schmoozing with guests at the Hotel Kristberg in Lech, Austria. @Hilary Nangle
Olympic gold medalist Egon Zimmermann loves sharing schnapps with his guests at the Hotel Kristberg in Lech, Austria. @Hilary Nangle

Arlberg, Austria

Austria’s sprawling Arlberg, an Olympian incubator, is also famed as the cradle of modern skiing and for its role in the iconic ski movie Downhill Racer with Robert Redford.

  • Christiania Lech, Lech: Othmar Schneider (Aug. 27, 1928-Dec. 25, 2012) won slalom gold and downhill silver in the 1952 games. His wife and daughter now manage the five-star boutique hotel, which contains his Olympic memorabilia, as well as a museum-quality collection of contemporary art.
  • Hotel Karl Schranz, St. Anton am Arlberg: Three time World Champion Karl Shranz (b. Nov. 18, 1938) competed at four Olympics, winning silver in the giant slalom, in 1962. He manages the four-star hotel with his wife and three daughters.
  • Hotel Kristberg, Lech: Egon Zimmermann (b. Feb. 8, 1939), winner of the gold medal in the 1964 Olympic downhill, resigned from competition and began running this four-star property in 1966.
  • Hotel Montana, Oberlech: After earning gold in the 1992 Olympic downhill, second-generation hotelier Patrick Ortlieb (b. May 17, 1967) went on to win the legendary Hahnenkamm downhill, marry, and take over operations of the four-star superior hotel from his parents.

 

French National Ski Jumping team member Emmanuel Chedal updated the family-owned Hotel Altis with his brothers. It provides easy access to the endless terrain of Les Trois Valles, France @Hilary Nangle
Hotel Altis, in Les Trois Vallèes, owned by French ski jumper Emmanuel Chedal, is only a five-minute walk from the Olympic gondola to Meribel Center. From there, the skiing seems endless. @Hilary Nangle

Les Trois Vallées, France

Les Trois Valles, site of the 1992 Olympic men’s slalom and women’s slalom, giant slalom super G, and downhill, continues to host World Cup alpine events.

  • Hotel Altis, Brides les Bains: Emmanuel Chedal (b. Jan. 15, 1983) a member of the French national ski-jumping team, competed in the 2002 and 2010 Olympic Games. The third-generation family owned hotel, which he rebuilt with his brothers in 2013, is a five-minute walk from Meribel’s Olympic gondola.

 

Swiss Olympian Pirman Zurbriggen aims to ski with guests in Zermatt, pictured above, and Saas Fe. ©Hilary Nangle
Gold medal-winning Olympian Pirmin Zurbriggen aims to ski one day each week with his guests in Zermatt. ©Hilary Nangle

Saas-Fee and Zermatt, Switzerland

Snugged against the Italian border, these traditional, car-free villages are only 35 miles apart. Saas-Fe has hosted World Cup snowboard, ski-cross, downhill, giant slalom, slalom, and halfpipe events. Numerous national ski teams train on sprawling Zermatt’s glacier each summer.

  • Wellness Hotel Pirmin Zurbriggen, Saas-Almagell, and Suitenhotel Zurbriggen Zermatt: Often refered to as Switzerland’s greatest racer, Pirmin Zurbriggen (b. Feb. 4, 1963) won gold in downhill and bronze in giant slalom, in the 1988 Olympics. Zurbriggen usually visits with guests at the four-star Saas-Fee hotel, built by his grandfather, once each week and skis with them during special ski weeks. He skis with Zermatt guests one day each week. Both properties are within steps of lifts.
Two-time Olympian and World Cup downhill champ Urs Raber enjoys sharing stories with guests at the family owned hotel with easy access to Wengen's vast terrain. © Switzerland Tourism: swiss-image.ch/Jan Geerk wnhill champ Urs Raber. © Switzerland Tourism: swiss-image.ch/Jan Geerk
It’s easy to ski Wengen from the hotel run by two-time Olympian and World Cup downhill champ Urs Raber. © Switzerland Tourism: swiss-image.ch/Jan Geerk Suisse.

Jungfrau, Switzerland

January 2018 marks the 88th running of Lauberhorn downhill, the world’s longest World Cup descent. It takes place in Wengen, which along with Grindlewald and Murren, anchors the Jungfrau ski region.

  • Hotel Schönbuhl, Wilderswil: 1984 World Cup downhill champion Urs Raber (b. Nov. 28, 1958) competed in 1980 and 1984 Olympics. Now he runs the family owned hotel, where he enjoys sharing stories with guests. The hotel is an easy walk to the trains providing mountain access.

    Andrew Weilbrecht won medals in two Olympic games. When he's around, he often meets with guests at his family's Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid. ©ORDA
    When he’s around, two-time Olympian Andrew Weilbrecht meets with guests at his family’s Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid, NY. ©ORDA

Lake Placid, N.Y.

Host of the 1921 and 1980 Olympics, Lake Placid is a frequent stop for World Cup alpine and freestyle racers.

  • Mirror Lake Inn: Two-time Olympian Andrew Weilbrecht (b. Feb. 10, 1986) competed in the Super-G, racing to bronze in 2010 and silver in 2014. His medals are displayed at the four-diamond inn owned by his family since the 1930s, and if he’s in town, he’s happy to meet guests.

    Courtesy Stein The Stein Ericksen Lodge in Deer Valley, Utah, honors Olympic gold medalist Stein Ericksen. Ericksen Lodge Deer Valley.
    Olympic Gold medalist Stein Ericksen was affiliated with this Deer Valley hotel. Courtesy Stein Ericksen Lodge Deer Valley.

Deer Valley, Utah

Deer Valley hosted the slalom and freestyle events in the 2002 Olympics. Visitors here also can easily access Park City Ski Area and The Canyons, which held other Olympic events.

  • Stein Eriksen Lodge: Norwegian ski phenom Stein Eriksen (Dec. 11 1927-Dec. 27, 2015) won gold in the giant slalom and silver in the slalom at the 1952 games. He later lent his name to this slopeside, five-star lodge.

Tordrillo Mountain Range, Alaska

Olympic double medalist Tommy Moe is a partner in Tordrillo Mountain Lodge,  a remote, luxury, heli-skiing property in Alaska’s Tordrillo mountain range. Moe won gold in the Olympic downhill and silver in the G.S. in the 1994 games in Lillehammer, Norway. When on site, he shares his passion for powder skiing with guests.

Sun Peaks, B.C., Canada

You might have the opporunity to ski with double-medals Nancy Greene when staying at her Cahilty Lodge at Sun Peaks. Courtesy Nancy Greene's Cahilty Lodge
Medal-winning Olympian Nancy Greene joins guests at her Cahilty Lodge for Sunday evening receptions and skis Sun Peaks with them when possible. Courtesy Nancy Greene’s Cahilty Lodge
  • Nancy Greene’s Cahilty Lodge: Despite an injured ankle, Nancy Greene won silver in slalom and, with a 2.68 margin, won giant slalom gold in the 1968 Grenoble Games. Greene and her husband, Al Raine, opened the lodge in 1995. She joins guests at Sunday evening receptions and ski with them when possible.

Canmore, Alb., Canada

Constructed for the 1988 Olympic biathlon, cross-country, and Nordic combined events, this venue also hosts World Cup races.

  • Paintbox Lodge: Kick back and relax at this intown, five-room inn run by Sara Renner (b. Apr. 10, 1976), who won silver in the 2006 cross-country team sprint, in partnership with World Cup Champion Thomas Grandi.