You don't have to ski (or board) to enjoy a winter holiday in the mountains as many resorts offer stacks of other attractions. Here are six of the best that suit both skiers and their non-skiing companions.
Bad Hofgastein, Austria
Better known as a spa town than a winter sports resort, the quiet town of Bad Hofgastein nevertheless has more than 200kms of varied slopes to keep both beginner and expert skiers entertained while non-skiers can relax in its thermal baths.
Take the 'Gastein Cure' at the town's Healing Gallery, which uses the mountain's thermal waters to effect long-term pain relief, or just chill-out in one of the resort's day spas. The Alpentherme Spa, fed by Gastein's mineral springs, is split into "six worlds of experience" which consist of indoor and outdoor thermal pools, air bubble beds, saunas, a mountain lake, sundecks, family pool with water slides and treatment rooms.
Its glass-domed sky bar offers panoramic mountain views, giving non-skiers all the atmosphere of a ski holiday without any of the effort.
If you can tear yourself away from the massage table, you'll find some retail therapy in Bad Hofgastein's cobbled streets, and the town is close enough to Salzburg for day trips to Mozart's birthplace.
From £555 for seven nights-half-board at the four star Hotel Osterreichischer Hof plus flights, with Thomson Ski.
Levi, Finnish Lapland
A great choice for the end-of-season holiday, this is a magical winter wonderland with a wealth of outdoor experiences to compensate for the relatively limited downhill ski area.
Choices include husky dog sled rides across the Narnia-like landscapes, snow shoeing through crisp forests, reindeer or snowmobile safaris and ice karting or fishing on frozen lakes. There are also 140 miles of cross-country ski tracks.
Spend a night at the Lainio SnowHotel or, for a more comfortable experience, overnight in a thermal glass igloo to raise your chances of glimpsing the Northern Lights.
Visit in December and take the kids to see Santa at the indoor grotto theme park two hours' drive away, or take a shorter excursion to meet the big man himself in his 'secret hideaway', available all season.
The ski area offers just 47 runs, (15 of which are floodlit, as in December the sun barely rises) but on the plus side the snow is reliable and, compared to the Alps, the slopes are less crowded.
From £839 for seven nights half-board at the new the new four-star Levitunturi Spa Hotel including flights and entrance to the Spa Water World with 17 indoor and outdoor pools and saunas, with Inghams (www.inghams.co.uk).
For more than a century France's elite have been flocking to this chic, picturesque village in the French Alps, where the skiing, although extensive, is almost incidental. Indeed, many of Megève's visitors come not for the pretty tree-lined runs or easily-accessible off-piste challenges, but for the fine dining, the über deluxe shopping (think cashmere sweaters, not North Face jackets), the upscale nightlife and just generally to chill in the mountain air, while looking gorgeous, obviously.
By day you can relax in one of the day spas, go ice skating on the outdoor rink, try dog-sledding, snowshoeing, or a horse-drawn sleigh ride. One of the most novel experiences is a hot air balloon ride over the mountains.
To get close to the on-piste action without actually donning skis, take the Princesse bubble up the mountain to the Ideal 1850 restaurant and sit on the sundeck, from where you'll have awesome views of Mont Blanc.
Among the highly-rated restaurants in the village are the two Michelin star-Flocons de Sel, the Cintra and the Brasserie Centrale. There's also a casino and a handful of bars.
From £1,952 for seven nights half-board at the four-star Hotel Lodge Park, including flights and entry to the hotel's Pure Altitude Spa, with White Roc (www.whiteroc.co.uk).
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA
This Wild West town enjoys cult status among skiers as its runs are among the most challenging the US has to offer, but it's equally well-loved for its off-slope diversions, so if the sight of its signature run, Corbet's Couloir, causes your stomach to somersault, fear not, you can get your entertainment elsewhere.
Take a snowmobile tour of Yellowstone National Park where you might spot elk, grey wolves, coyotes, deer, bison and - if you're very lucky - grizzly bears. Or go snowshoeing to see wildlife in nearby Grand Teton National Park.
You can also take a dog sled ride to the Granite Hot, or just stroll around some of the town's 40 galleries and museums.
Afterwards meet up with the skiers in the rocking Mangy Moose, at the foot of the slopes in Teton Village before hitting the saloons in Jackson Hole. Sling your leg over a saddle in the legendary Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, have a quiet drink at the Silver Dollar or go dancing at the Stagecoach in nearby Wilson.
From £995 for seven nights room only at The Lodge at Jackson Hotel including flights with Crystal Ski.
St Moritz, Switzerland
You don't need a millionaire's wallet to enjoy this playground of the rich and famous; it is pricey, but no more so than say Val d'Isère or Meribel, and the lift pass, which gives access to 350kms of runs spread over two mountains, costs the same as in the biggest French resorts.
For the non-skier there's a packed calendar of international events throughout the season, centred around the resort's frozen lake. Next winter will offer show jumping on snow (Jan 15-22), Cartier Polo on snow (Jan 26-29), a gourmet festival (Jan 30 to Feb 3), Cricket on Ice (Feb 2 to 4) and White Turf horse racing (Feb 5, 12 and 19).
You can play golf (with red balls), go ice skating, tobogganing, curling or take a sleigh ride. Men who are up a challenge can go hurtling down the Crest Run toboggan track, though many visitors come here for the more sedate shopping and fine dining or to relax in the yummy health spa at St Moritz Bad.
From £2,460 for seven nights B&B at Badrutts Palace, including flights, with Scott Dunn (www.scottdunn.com/ski)
Banff, British Columbia, Canada
Unlike many ski resorts, Banff has all the infrastructure of a real town - great shopping, a cinema and stacks of restaurants - all set within the backdrop of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains.
Ice walking in the canyons and snow shoeing are popular activities but you can just take a stroll on one of the many trails around the town or hop on the gondola to take in the impressive mountain scenery.
There are plenty of opportunities to see elk, wolves, coyote and very occasionally cougars in Banff National Park. In the evening, combine a wildlife safari with a soak in the natural hot springs or, for a typical Canadian night out, head over to Calgary, 90-minutes' drive away, to see the Flames play ice hockey at the Saddledome.
Winter sports enthusiasts have access to three world-class ski areas, Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise, which are all included on one lift ticket and accessible from Banff by bus. Try Sunshine for the steeps and Lake Louise for powder bowls and great off-piste.
From £821 for seven nights room-only at the Inns of Banff, including flights, with Neilson (www.neilson.co.uk/ski).