In the summer of 1864, Swiss hotelier Johannes Badrutt made a bet that would change the course of history for mountain resorts all over Europe. Until then, Alpine towns served as summer escapes, attracting the ladies and gentlemen of Europe with promises of fresh mountain air, breath-taking views and a collection of daring outdoor pursuits. But Badrutt claimed that his guests would find the town of St. Moritz just as agreeable during the winter months, and promised that while much of Europe endured a bitter winter, his mountain village would be bathed in sunshine. He was so confident that he made a bet with the last of his British summer guests that if they returned to St. Moritz for the winter and found it disagreeable, he would cover their travel expenses. Needless to say, Badrutt won the bet, and winter tourism was born. The rest, as they say, is history.
For the last century and a half, resorts across Europe have competed to offer luxurious lodgings, world-class gourmet encounters and one-of-a-kind winter experiences for their well-heeled visitors, making the most of spectacular mountain settings to create year-round destinations. As the travelling community has become increasingly adventurous, other new winter destinations have emerged outside the traditional Alpine regions, enchanting visitors with awe-inspiring natural wonders; confident in their proposition that cold weather is no reason not to travel. With a selection of European resorts, hotels, lodges and chalets that gets more decadent by the year, The Cultured Traveller takes a look at eight new arrivals for 2018/19 to help you plan where to spend your winter season in style.