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DOLOMITES, ITALY Stars and slopes

Early December heralds the start of the new ski season in the Alps. As the first dusting of snow falls on the mountains, chair lifts crank into action and hotels fling open their doors to skiers keen to christen the slopes. But for those who like to ease into things gently, the low-key resort of Alta Badia in the Italian Dolomites makes a great base. Not only will you discover 80 miles of wide open, well-groomed pistes without the crowds of the glitzy French resorts, but this region, the size of Devon, claims the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants of any valley in the Alps. One that stands out is the two-Michelin-star St Hubertus at hotel Rosa Alpina in the pretty village of San Cassiano. Here, head chef Norbert Niederkofler conjures creative dishes, such as eel with camomile, wood-fired pigeon with Swiss chard and suckling pig from the Aurina Valley. Who said post-ski fare was all fondue and spag bol? With tummy full and legs weary from a day on the slopes, the Rosa Alpina is the perfect place to lay your head. Rooms are huge, with deep bathtubs, sheepskin rugs and panoramic views of the toothy peaks of the Dolomites.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - December 2017
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