Top Ski Getaways
Searching for a true winter wonderland? Look no further than the West’s top slopeside resorts
The Arrabelle at Vail Square
An edgier take on the classic mountain lodge, albeit with Vail’s famous Old-World charm, this striking RockResorts hotel at the base of the Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead Village offers 62 guest rooms and more than 25 one- to five-bedroom private residences. Après-ski, check out the mountain views from the rooftop pool, or visit the full-service spa and pair of popular slopeside restaurants.
On the Slopes: Starting December 1, ski in to The 10th, a new 13,000-square-foot gourmet restaurant named after veterans of Colorado’s legendary 10th Mountain Division, centrally located in the mid-Vail area.
Insider Tip: At the Arrabelle, kids are catered to with private ski instructors, campfires and s’mores at the nearby Nature Center, and activities like snowshoeing at Adventure Ridge on the mountain.
From $369 per night, arrabelle.rockresorts.com, 866-614-7625
Sun Valley Lodge
Sun Valley, Idaho
Glam black-and-white photos on the walls tell the celebrated (and celebrity-driven) history of this gem at the core of Sun Valley Resort. Each of the lodge’s 148 guest rooms is done up with French Country furnishings, and amenities include Gretchen’s Restaurant, the Duchin Lounge, a day spa, a glass-enclosed outdoor swimming pool and the famed ice-skating rink, which opened as the country’s first year-round outdoor rink in 1937 and has been drawing famous skaters—and crowds to its acclaimed ice shows—ever since.
On the Slopes: 2,054 acres of terrain on Bald “Baldy” Mountain offer something for everyone. Warm Springs, named for the warm bubbling water at the base of the lift, is a popular area of the mountain for intermediate skiers, and kids can check out the fun new adventure zones.
Insider Tip: Don’t overlook nearby Dollar Mountain, where the world-renowned Sun Valley Ski and Snowboarding School’s 200-plus instructors are available to help you hone your skills.
From $259 per night, sunvalley.com, 800-786-8259
Big Sky, Montana
The concept of ski-in/ski-out accommodations is redefined at Moonlight, where you can literally slip off the slopes and into your outdoor hot tub at super-private luxury cabins, townhouses, penthouses and homes. When you’re feeling social, head over to the Moonlight Lodge and mingle over a perfect meal at The Timbers Restaurant, or soothe skiing-induced kinks at the spa.
On the Slopes: Enjoy practically nonexistent lift lines, major powder (the area receives an average of 400 inches of snow per year), 5,512 acres of terrain—including the slopes at Big Sky, which you can access with The Biggest Skiing in America Pass—and the new Freestyle Forest stash park.
Insider Tip: Book a private chef for in-cabin dining, or make the short drive to Buck’s T-4 restaurant for wild huckleberry martinis, local Moose Drool Brown Ale, “Bodacious” burgers and delicious bison tenderloin.
From $199 per night, moonlightbasin.com, 877-512-9794
The Little Nell
Guest rooms and suites at this luxury landmark, located in the heart of town, have recently been reimagined by famed designer Holly Hunt in “Aspen modern” style. Aspen Mountain awaits outside your door, and there’s always a ski concierge at the ready to wax your skis and warm your boots before you hit the slopes. After, experience the cuisine—featuring local ingredients—and award-winning wine program at the Nell’s Montagna restaurant; the dining experience is among the finest in town.
On the Slopes: Aspen’s four mountains—Aspen Mountain (a.k.a. Ajax), Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass—are just moments away and offer 5,285 acres of terrain, all accessible with just one lift ticket.
Insider Tip: This winter, the Little Nell’s Adventure Program offers snowcat trips to the top of Aspen Mountain for morning or moonlight guided snowshoe treks paired with lunch or a fondue dinner in a cozy mountain cabin.
From $410 per night, thelittlenell.com, 888-843-6355
Montage Deer Valley
Park City, Utah
Book a room at this stylish slopeside retreat at Deer Valley Resort, a sister property to Montage Laguna Beach, and enjoy a unique mountain take on Craftsman architecture and décor. With its 35,000-square-foot Spa Montage, Apex grill, a gastro-pub and a 7,000-square-foot outfitter, the resort is ready to satisfy your every whim.
On the Slopes: Perfectly groomed runs throughout Deer Valley’s 2,026 acres of terrain pair well with some of the best on-mountain dining in the States. Try the mid-mountain Royal Street Café for elevated takes on classic comfort food. And don’t miss pre- and après-ski stretching classes designed to help you tackle the mountain—and recuperate afterward.
Insider Tip: Prices start at just $595 per night when you reserve a room for December 3-16, 2011, and ask for the “Montage Memories” package.
From $845 per night, montagedeervalley.com, 800-604-1301
TOP 10 PICKS
1. Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler B.C. The 77 suites at this luxe boutique hotel just off the base of Whistler Mountain have lake, forest and mountain views. Amenities include a 24-hour concierge, the Ashram Spa, fine dining at Aura and free Land Rover shuttles into nearby Whistler Village. nitalakelodge.com
2. PlumpJack, Squaw Valley Inn, Squaw Valley, California. Fully equipped guest rooms and suites and contemporary dining at PlumpJack Café (sister to Balboa Café in San Francisco, as well as PlumpJack Wines) mix with 4,000 acres of ski terrain at Squaw Valley USA. plumpjackcafe.com
3. Kandahar Lodge, Whitefish, Montana. Situated along Big Mountain Road on the way to Whitefish Mountain Resort, Euro-style Kandahar is a delight, from its comfy rooms to the chef's tasting menu at Café Kandahar to Remedies Day Spa in the Wellness Center. kandaharlodge.com
4. Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa, Avon, Colorado. Just a gondola ride away from Beaver Creek Mountain Resort, this LEED-certified hotel pampers guests with the 23,000-square-foot Spa Anjali and Restaurant Avondale. starwoodhotels.com/westin
5. The New Sheridan Hotel, Telluride, Colorado. Located in the heart of town and with easy access to the slopes, the New Sheridan features 26 meticulously restored Victorian-style rooms, rooftop hot tubs, and local flavor at the Chop House Restaurant, the Historic New Sheridan Bar and The Parlor. newsheridan.com
6. The Bavarian, Taos Ski Valley, Taos, New Mexico. This quaint lodge, situated mid-mountain off the base of the Kachina Quad, offers charming alpine atmosphere. The three-bedroom Neuschwanstein suite sleeps eight, and the restaurant serves up real-deal German fare. thebavarian.net
7. Sundance, Utah. Robert Redford’s famed resort community in Provo Canyon features a variety of beautiful hand-hewn cabins and homes. Hit the slopes or the Nordic Center, take a workshop at the Art Shack, book a Four Winds Massage at the Spa, shop at the General Store and dine fireside in the elegant Tree Room. sundanceresort.com
8. The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, Northstar-at-Tahoe. This elegant resort sits mid-mountain and is accessed via several lifts, including the Highlands Gondola (also the link to Northstar’s Mountain Village). In addition to luxury guestrooms, amenities include seasonal spa treatments and California cuisine by San Francisco chef Traci Des Jardins at Manzanita restaurant. ritzcarlton.com/properties/laketahoe
9. Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood, Oregon. 11,245-foot-tall Mt. Hood provides the dramatic backdrop for this mid-mountain retreat that offers a taste of Pacific Northwest history. Seventy guest rooms, suites and chalets are filled with handmade furnishings, the Cascade Dining Room serves fine regional fare, and 3,690 vertical feet of terrain satisfy even the most extreme snowsports enthusiasts. timberlinelodge.com
10. Elevation Hotel & Spa, Crested Butte, Colorado. Crested Butte Mountain Resort, located just a few minutes up the road from the charming and historic town of Crested Butte, is home to this modern ski-in/ski-out, pet-friendly hotel with a relaxing spa and the 9380 Prime Restaurant & Bar. Just outside, the ski slopes range from novice to gnarly. skicb.com