Not all ski resorts are made equal. While some offer everything an avid skier or boarder could want, others throw unwanted curveballs left, right and center. This could mean poor organization, terrible conditions, or straight-up danger. Thanks to Planet Ware and CNN, we have suggestions on resorts around the world that are surefire bets. While some of these destinations are pricey, you know exactly what you're gonna get... An A+holiday season experience. Or, for you non-skiers, a stellar apres-ski atmosphere.
Contrarily, a variety of other sources, including copious reviews on Trip Advisor have allowed us to determine the ski resorts where you definitely don't want to be going to this winter. Without further ado, here are 10 ski resorts no one should consider this holiday season and 10 worth every penny.
20 Don't Consider: Tiffindell In South Africa
Is it any great surprise that South Africa has one of the worst ski resorts in the world? After all, they're not exactly known for the skiing. Tiffindell is located in the northeast of the country in the Drakensberg range, a place that gets practically zero snow. Last we checked, snow was a pretty important element for the success of a ski resort. While skiing there may be cheap, it's definitely not worth it.
19 Totally Worth It: Whistler/Blackcomb In B.C., Canada
Whistler is a party town with everything a skier or snowboarder could want. It's just a two-hour drive from the insanely gorgeous Vancouver, B.C. The town combines the terrain of two mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, making it Canada's premier ski resort. It offers more than 200 runs and is accessed by 37 lifts. There's even a 3 KM Peak 2 Peak gondola that joins the two mountain tops. Seriously, this place is ideal for every type of skier.
18 Don't Consider: Sun Valley In Idaho, U.S.
Sun Valley, Idaho isn't exactly a snowy place. So, why is there a ski resort? Moreover, there are better places to ski in Idaho than this place. Many commenters on Trip Advisor feels as though the resort is overpriced and outdated. While the resort has politely responded personally to these negative comments, we can't give it the thumbs up.
17 Totally Worth It: Niseko In Japan
Nisko features four interlinked ski resorts about 90 kilometers from Sapporo. For those who don't know Japan, it's located on the northern island of Hokkaido. The resorts offer a variety of terrains that are appropriate for different skiers. The area is filled with natural halfpipes, steep chutes, and virtually unlimited tree skiing. They also offer heli-skiing, cat skiing, snowshoeing, and even have hot spring spas... Um... yeah... time to book a ticket.
16 Don't Consider: Alta Ski Resort In Utah, U.S.
Over-crowding is the biggest issue Alta Ski Resort in Utah has, according to a variety of Trip Advisor comments. The traffic in and out is particularly troublesome. They're also prone to having avalanches which makes this place a tad too dangerous to win our recommendation. Oh, and on top of it all, there aren't enough food and drink amenities to satisfy the guests.
15 Totally Worth It: Aspen In Colorado, U.S.
Want to ski with a girl as gorgeous as her, head to Aspen. It's among several ski resorts in Colorado, but may just be the best. It features a combined terrain of Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass. That means it exceeds over 5,500 acres. It was the location of the 2002 Winter X Games and it's a magnet for Hollywood stars and professional athletes.
14 Don't Consider: Bansko In Bulgaria
Bansko in Bulgaria is one of the worst ski resorts in the world according to numerous Trip Advisor comments. Seriously, there have been so many complaints about the unkempt terrain, unlit streets, and the corrupt managing of the obscenely long gondola lines. On top of it all, guests even complain about the subpar, overpriced food.
13 Totally Worth It: Chamonix In France
You don't get picked for the first Winter Olympics for nothing. Chamonix is one of the best-known and most popular ski resorts in France. It also features Europe's tallest peak thanks to Mont Blanc which reaches 4,807 meters. The altitude is aided by surrounding glaciers which keep temperatures low and the powder beautifully dry. While some of the terrains are only suitable for advanced skiers, other areas at the resort are perfect for newbies.
12 Don't Consider: Arizona Snowbowl In Arizona, U.S.
Ski Area Citizen’s Coalition voted Arizona Snowball as one of the 10 worst ski resorts in the U.S. Comments on Trip Advisor explain that the skiing is horrible thanks to compacted ice/snow. Everything about the resort is disorganized, including the ski and boot rentals. While we're sure some people enjoy Snowball, we definitely can't recommend it this holiday season.
11 Totally Worth It: Zermatt In Switzerland
No, that's not the mountain The Grinch lives on. Although, it does look like it. That's the Matterhorn, the magnificent backdrop of Switzerland's ski resort, Zermatt. The world's highest 3S Lift carries 2,000 skiers an hour to the Matterhorn Glacier, where you can ski year-round. The trail system leading around the mountain and surrounding terrain is varied and outlandishly beautiful. If you head in the right direction, you'll end up in Italy's Val d'Aosta, which borders the resort.
10 Don't Consider: Mt. Spokane Ski And Snowboard Park In Washington, U.S.
Mt. Spokane Ski And Snowboard Park In Washington is another resort that ended up on Ski Area Citizen’s Coalition's 10 worst ski resorts in the U.S. This is due to the resort becoming over-crowded as well as having increasingly pour snow conditions. It's also very expensive to enjoy, which doesn't exactly seem appealing. If you're in the area, go to Spokane instead.
9 Totally Worth It: Vail Mountain Resort In Colorado, U.S.
Vail owns a number of different ski resorts around the world, include Whistler, the home of the 2010 Winter Olympics. But Vail in Colorado is one of the state's most sought after and biggest ski resorts. In fact, it's one of the largest in the world. The resort offers over 5,289 acres of skiing served by 31 lifts. The runs are well-groomed, the hotels are luxurious, and the restaurants are fantastic.
8 Don't Consider: Snowbird In California, U.S.
Reviews on Trip Advisor claim that the runs at Snowbird are poorly maintained. Even on a snowy day, there are moguls everywhere the eye can see. The resort's rooms are even more shabby as guests complain about them not being cleaned at all. Honestly, you may want to do your best to avoid this ski resort in California.
7 Totally Worth It: Mad River Glen In Vermont, U.S.
Mad River Glen in Vermont is one of the most underrated ski resorts in the U.S. The resort may be on the small side, as well as not be supremely convenient for those who need excessive use of the gondolas, but the landscape is tremendous. Additionally, the rates are particularly low, making this an affordable trip this holiday season.
6 Don't Consider: Changbaishan In China
Changbaishan International Ski Center is located in Jilin, China. It offers 40 km of slopes that are serviced by only 9 lifts, making lines exceptionally long. According to SCMP, many skiers in the country are opting to leave China altogether. The increasingly harsh climate is making skiing impossible. The resort, as luxurious as it may be, is poorly maintained and far too costly.
5 Totally Worth It: Telluride In Colorado, U.S.
Yep, this state is filled with fantastic places to ski and snowboard. But Telluride is almost definitely one of Colorado's most popular ski resorts. It's fun for the whole family who can experience the steep trails and impressive vertical expanses. The town connected to the ski resort is also a major tourist destination and offers everything you could want.
4 Don't Consider: Mammoth Mountain In California, U.S.
Enough Trip Advisor reviews make it clear that Mammoth Mountain Resort in California is great for the rich but not for anyone else. For instance, daily lift tickets are $149-plus at the window, while it costs a family of four $1,788 for three days of skiing. Oh, and then there are the $5 cups of drip coffee. On top of the incredible expenses, the mountain tends to close due to high winds as well as a lack of snow.
3 Totally Worth It: Courchevel In France
Courchevel is one of the most popular resorts in France. It's the world's largest alpine ski domain with over 600 kilometers of interconnected runs. The resort has a total of 10 summits that are higher than 2,500 meters and has 150 km of alpine ski terrain which is accessed via 60 different lifts. At the end of a day of skiing, one can enjoy Michelin-starred restaurants, fantastic shopping, and incredible sights at any of the five villages that border this superb resort.
2 Don't Consider: Skyloft Ski Resort In Ontario, Canada
Guests of Skyloft In Ontario have written on Trip Advisor that we should run in the opposite of this resort. Why the prices are good, the runs are subpar and don't even tend to stay open long, thanks to a lack of snow. Additionally, the resort itself seems to be falling apart. Even the skis and boots they rent out are in disarray.
1 Totally Worth It: Cortina D'Ampezzo In Italy
The five jagged peaks of the Cinque Torri give the upscale resort of Cortina D'Ampezzo one of the most beautiful looks of any resort. It's seen as one of Italy's best ski resorts. It was also the site of the 1956 Winter Olympics. There are nearly 400 kilometers of interconnected skiing, as well as an incredibly high-end town with everything you could ever want. This is definitely a place to go this holiday season.
Sources: News.com.au, Planet Ware, CNN