Snow-capped mountain ranges across Europe are beginning to welcome visitors for a season of skiing and winter sports.
As world-famous destinations such as France's Val d'Isere, the Dolomites in Italy and Zermatt in the Swiss Alps open up, luxury five-star hotels with excellent apres-ski offerings join them in greeting guests.
Here are the major reopenings planned over the next few weeks.
Aman Le Melezin
This Alpine retreat by Aman Resorts in France's Les Trois Vallees, just minutes from Courchevel 1850, is reopening on December 8. The resort offers a range of adventures in the region, from skiing to hot-air ballooning and helicopter rides over the scenic Three Valleys. New this season is a ride at dusk on a snowmobile-drawn sledge and a horse-drawn carriage excursion to Les Pres de la Croix, where you can dine on cheese fondue or hotpot by a log fire.
Until April 7, the hotel is also running its five-night Ski or Spa Escape experience, which includes daily breakfast, lunch or dinner, and either a ski-lift pass for Les Trois Vallees or spa benefits such as a daily 30-minute yoga session.
Two floors of this property are dedicated to wellness and this season it will welcome Traditional Chinese Medicine specialist Dr John Sanchez who will offer a range of treatments, such as acupuncture and reflexology, and mindful movement classes, from yin yoga to tai chi.
Meanwhile, at the hotel's Nama restaurant, there's a new omakase experience that offers a multi-course menu of fresh sushi and sashimi based on the Japanese tradition of entrusting your order to the chef.
More information is available at aman.com
Six Senses Crans-Montana
On December 1, the Six Senses Crans-Montana in the Swiss Alps will reopen its doors and stay open as it transitions to a year-round resort. It offers exclusive ski-in, ski-out access from the south-facing pistes of the 4-Vallees mountain range, which encompasses the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. This includes direct access to more than 140km of ski runs and slopes that range from beginners to expert.
During the off-season, some refurbishments have been made to the property, including the addition of 33 terrace rooms and suites at the front of the building, offering spectacular views.
The hotel, which also has an on-site ski shop, is gearing up to celebrate the festive season, with a Christmas dinner at its Wild Cabin Terrace, located on the final turn of the Chetzeron piste by the main Crans gondola. Japanese restaurant Byakko will also host an omakase experience, while both venues are offering a New Year's Eve dinner.
Experiences being introduced include a guided sunset snowshoe hike to explore a traditional alpine hut used for farming and dairy production, followed by fondue and warm tea before heading back. For the children, a Return to Roots experience allows them to take part in a guided walk at dusk, complete with hot chocolate and gingerbread treats. Ice skating, ice hockey and curling, plus mountain biking and paragliding are also available to book.
The pet-friendly property also offers a Paw Paw Menu for dogs, plus grooming packages in the spa.
More information is available at sixsenses.com
Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski
Also opening on December 1 is the Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski in St Moritz, Switzerland. With 224 rooms and suites, the hotel, which sits in a building that dates back to 1864, offers beautiful views of the Swiss Alps while focusing on wellness through the expansive Alpine Spa, which includes a sauna, indoor and outdoor pools, and a fully equipped gym.
Earlier this year, its fine-dining restaurant Ca d'Oro was awarded a Michelin star. It serves creative Mediterranean cuisine in a stucco-decorated dining room, which reopens on December 12, under the watchful eye of head chef Leopold Ott.
The hotel has undergone a number of refurbishments this year, including the double rooms and five junior suites, as well as the lobby, the Kempinski Lobby Bar and award-winning Main Restaurant Les Saisons.
The new design of the rooms, which are located in a dedicated wing, incorporates alpine style with natural materials, warm brown hues and white and dark Cavelano marble from South Tirol.
More information is available at kempinski.com
Le Refuge de Solaise
Bookings for the highest hotel in the French Alps are now open, as Le Refuge de Solaise is scheduled to greet guests come December 8. The five-star boutique property sits at 2,551 metres in the Solaise ski area of Val d'Isere, offering 360-degree views of the incredible moutainscapes beyond.
Le Refuge has only 16 rooms, plus four private apartments, making it an exclusive experience. On site are restaurants, a spa and 25-metre swimming pool.
Gigi Val d'Isere is noted for its Italian cuisine, while al fresco spot Little Refuge has international selections and Bar du Refuge serves snacks by the fire after 4pm, following a day on the slopes.
Activities available to book include dog sledding, snowshoe excursions, ice floating, snowmobile rides, paragliding and moonbiking.
More information is available at en.lerefuge-valdisere.com
Cervo Mountain Resort
This ski-in, ski-out hotel consists of chalets, suites and rooms that create three different categories of property spread out over one mountain resort.
Nomad, Alpinist and Huntsman offer various experiences throughout the year, with the full property, known as Cervo Mountain Resort, back from November 30 to April 16.
It sits on the edge of the piste in Zermatt, Switzerland with views of the nearby Matterhorn. The five-star accommodation is surrounded by trees, offering quick access to the piste, with a spa offering holistic treatments and activities such as yoga and meditation.
There are a range of packages to book, plus several restaurants scattered about, including predominantly vegetarian Bazaar, which is inspired by the markets of the East; autumnal venue Little Ferdinand, where guests can try traditional Swiss dishes; and Madre Nostra, which celebrates Italy's cuisine with local produce and a Roman chef.
More information is available at cervo.swiss