What: A luxurious seasonal bolthole in the heart of the Alps.

Where: At the foot of the famous Olympic ski run and just steps from Val d'Isère's vibrant village center.

Why: Named after the chasms and caverns of the region, locally known as "the bears' caves," Les Barmes de l'Ours is the ideal retreat for indulging one's hibernation instincts. Roaring open fires and rustic chic interiors are a welcoming sight at the end of a day on the slopes, but for an alternative to on-slope action, the hotel's 800m2 spa, which includes a pool and hammam as well as balneotherapy and massage facilities, is as sublime as its Alpine setting.