Early summer sunshine
The Grand really lives up to its name. It manages the tricky mix of luxury and a laid-back air really well. There's a unique log fire lantern hanging in reception which mesmerises you as you relax with a drink in the evenings. Alternatively, try the more traditional bar for a chilled out drink. You won't want to miss the Wine of the Valley restaurant, which features 1,500 (yes, 1,500) wines.
Head to the excellent spa for a bit of pampering and soak those legs in the hot tub or sauna so you're ready for another day on the pistes, There's also billiards to while away the hours with and Wi-Fi is available to keep in touch with the outside world. The staff are known for being friendly and welcoming, and the scenery and views from the hotel are simply stunning.
As one of the highest ski resorts in Italy, Sestrière has got it all - excellent snow conditions, a laid back feel, 400km of beautifully pisted runs and a chilled out aprés-ski scene that visitors love. It's a cosmopolitan sort of place, boasting genuine Italian hospitality and some good shopping too.
The resort sits at 2035m and is just above the treeline. This is the place where you can ski until your legs can't ski anymore - then soak up the sun and have a few aperitivos. Intermediates should try skiing to Montgenèvre in France for the day, a real leg burner!
After hours there is a smattering of nightclubs to while away the hours in with a few drinks and a lively atmosphere. And then there's the boutique shopping, which proves to be very popular.
Area size: 400km
Resort altitude: 1509m
Skiing altitude: 1390m to 2825m
Number of runs: 214
Range of runs: 25% green/blue, 55% red and 20% black
Lifts: 45 drags, 36 chairs, 1 gondola and 1 cable car
Night skiing: No
Snowmaking: 32% of runs covered
Nearest lift: 500m
Tuition meeting point: 500m
Resort centre: 100m
The Grand Hotel spa is quite special and has a refurb for 2018/19. Not only do they offer a sauna, bio sauna, hot tub and a steam room with aromatherapy, they also have a chromotherapy shower, vascular bath in cold water and relax area with a herbal tea corner.
On top of that, the spa's experienced staff can offer beauty treatments for face and body, massages, wine baths and chocolate therapy! Sounds like our kind of spa!
Guests staying in the superior rooms get free access throughout the week, but guests in standard rooms would need to pay approx €10 per day.
Delicious half board meals are the order of the day. In the morning it's a hot and cold buffet breakfast, and in the evening there's a tasty four-course buffet dinner. Your Christmas and New Year meals are also included.
All 100 rooms at the Grand feature a flat-screen satellite TV, free Wi-Fi, a mini-fridge, a mini-safe and a bathroom with a hairdryer. The standard rooms are perfect for couples on holiday, while the slightly larger superior rooms are actually a larger twin room which can take an extra bed and also have a lovely balcony overlooking the slopes. You can also get a single room if you just request it - no supplement is required.
Official rating: ****
Excellent spa facilities
Comfy lounge with log fire lantern
Bar and restaurant
Wine of the Valley restaurant with 1,500 wines
Hotel shuttle bus to slopes available
Departure airports: Birmingham, Gatwick, Manchester & NEW for 2019, Bristol
Departure day: Sunday
Arrival airport: Turin
Flight duration: 1 hour 55 minutes to 2 hours 20 minutes
Transfer time: approx. 1 hour 30 minutes