Checking In: Skiing star Chemmy Alcott on why she would love to live in Hawaii, and what to do when you meet a Greek starfish

In the latest in our regular series on the travel habits of the rich and famous, champion skier Chemmy Alcott talks the marvels of Maui and what not to eat in Japan.

Favourite childhood holiday? 

When I was three, we went to Crete, and a beautiful starfish floated up to me in the water and wrapped itself round my leg. I felt so connected with the sea.

Top travel tip? 

Stay hydrated, use an eye mask – and enjoy the journey.

Chemmy Alcott: Fond of snow, dreams of Hawaii

Chemmy Alcott: Fond of snow, dreams of Hawaii

Chemmy Alcott: Fond of snow, dreams of Hawaii

What do you never travel without? 

Earplugs. I am deaf in one ear and I find that when I need to really rest, I have to block totally the hearing in both ears.

Where would you go if you could live in any other country than Britain?

Well, it isn’t a country – but the Hawaiian island of Maui.

I have lots of friends there through my best friend, Julia Mancuso. The Maui world revolves around caring for others and having fun; money rarely comes into it.

Most traumatic travel experience?

I stopped in Tokyo, en route to Australia, and asked a local to take me to his favourite Japanese restaurant. Desperate not to offend, I ate everything put in front of me – eyeballs and all.

The next 12-hour flight wasn’t the smoothest ride!

Where did you last go on holiday? 

I spent Christmas in the mountains. The best bit was helping my young nephews master the art of skiing, and also racing around with my hubby, Dougie Crawford.

What destination is on your hitlist and why? 

After Dougie and I got married, we made a bucket list that includes everything from drinking a mojito and salsa dancing in a bodega bar in Havana to sipping chai tea at the Taj Mahal, heliskiing in Alaska, cat-skiing in Japan and ski-touring in Iceland.

Favourite hotel in the world?

I have just stayed at the most incredible chalet in Val d’Isere called Marco Polo – an alpine, Balinese fusion filled with unique art, and with a massive bath made from one slab of beautiful stone.

I didn’t want to leave.

Next big adventure? 

I’m taking part in the world’s toughest ski race in Greenland next month, alongside the Arctic V (endurance experts Max Willcocks, Adam Libbey, Richard Gibbs and Chris Brooks). It’s a 160km cross-country skiing survival event to raise funds for our charity, Ski 4 Cancer. 

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