Ski vacations are a winter staple, but with so many resorts and destinations catering to the snowboard and ski set, choosing the perfect destination and hotel can be difficult. Whether you want to be the first to discover a new spot (and beat the crowds!) or teach the whole family to ski, below we’ve broken down the best hotels and resorts for every type of winter sports traveler:
For the Trendsetter : Hotel Madeline in Telluride, CO
Telluride, Colorado is quickly becoming a favorite ski destination out West. The lift lines are never long, the slopes never crowded, and the town’s après ski ambiance is one of the best in the country – from rustic cowboy saloons to cozy bars with burning fireplaces and live music. Sitting atop the gondola in Mountain Village, Hotel Madeline Telluride features one of the best ski-in/ski-out locations in Telluride. Start your stay at NEVE, an onsite ski valet and outfitter that provides everything from poles to boot warming. Then hit the slopes to explore 2,000+ skiable acres. Telluride offers 84 trails for all skiing levels and individualized instruction through the Telluride Ski School. Advanced skiiers and adventurers can try heli-skiing to gain access to the best untracked powder in the San Juan Mountains. Book early and save with the hotel’s exclusive Book Early Ski Sale, which offers a 25% discount for two-night bookings and a 35% discount for a four-night stay at the resort in Superior King and Deluxe King guest rooms. The package is available to book from August through October 18th, 2013, and for travel from November 22nd to April 7th, 2014. Blackout dates apply.
For the Glamorous Jetsetter: A Winter Wonderland at Gstaad Palace in Switzerland
Gstaad Palace in Switzerland has an unrivaled reputation for refined hospitality and is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Located in the charming chalet village of Saanenland in the Bernese Alps, Gstaad has long welcomed winter sports aficionados. Known for its famous ski and snowboarding trails, Gstaad offers 155 miles of slopes, 62 lifts, elevations over 9,800 feet, as well as sled runs, snow parks, rustic huts, and trendy snow bars like Snoasis with panoramic views of the mountains. Guests at Gstaad Palace can spend their leisure time enjoying one of the new oxygen treatments at the Palace Spa, dining on Champagne truffle fondue at La Fromagerie and finishing the evening at the legendary GreenGo nightclub, the hottest après-ski scene in town. Hotel rates at Gstaad Palace start from CHF 720 (approximately $775 USD).
For the City Slicker: A Day Trip to Courmayeur from Principe di Savoia in Milan
Located at the base of the Alps in Milan, Hotel Principe di Savoia is an ideal location for athletes who don’t want to stray far from the city. The hotel offers a complimentary car service to the nearby ski town of Courmayeur two hours away on the Italian side of Mont Blanc, where all levels of skiers can enjoy the slopes before heading back to the glamour and bustle of Milan. Guests at Hotel Principe di Savoia can take in views of the majestic mountains on a clear winter day from the Club 10 Fitness and Beauty Center, as they relax their muscles with a soothing spa treatment after a long day of skiing. Rates start at $330 USD per night.
For the Sophisticated Sightseer: Nordic Skiing at Omni Mount Washington, NH
“The Bretton Woods ski area at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, NH, is taking Nordic skiing to a higher lever with the addition of a new Nordic high-country terrain on Mount Stickney. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Bretton Woods is one of only a few ski resorts to offer lift-served Nordic terrain, which will provide skiers with early and late season terrain. The $1.3 million investment at New Hampshire’s largest ski resort will continue on the Alpine trails with the addition of 40 snow guns on Crawford’s Blaze and 20 upgraded snow guns to the Ben trails (Ben, Big Ben and Bigger Ben). Book the “Stay Here, Ski Free” package and enjoy accommodations and complimentary ski lift tickets for $99 per person, per night.”
For the Family: Ski Lessons at the Omni Homestead Resort, VA
The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA opened the South’s original downhill ski area in 1959, pioneering the sport in a region known for mild winter temperatures. Today, The Homestead offers more than 45 acres of well-maintained trails for enthusiasts of all levels and abilities, including an expertly groomed downhill slope and full snowmaking capabilities. Known for its wide slopes, it is a family-friendly ski destination and perfect for beginners. Instruction is available at the Sepp Kober Ski School, with private lessons for adults and full or half-day Bunny School programs for kids, ages 5-11. There is also snow tubing, a new outdoor pool open year-round with heated decks, guided snowmobile tours, as well as lessons, guided tours and rental equipment. After a day on the slopes, wind down at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub with a wide range of services including the European water oasis Aquavana®, soothing scrubs and wraps, and massages. Winter rates starting from $175.
For the Artsy Adventurer: The Art of Skiing at La Posada de Santa Fe, NM
This winter guests can experience the “Art of Skiing” in Ski Santa Fe. Located just 16 miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Ski Santa Fe is nestled high in the picturesque Sangre de Cristo Mountains. La Posada de Santa Fe, an enchanting adobe-style resort situated in the heart of Santa Fe, is offering the “Ski Santa Fe” package. Start your day with breakfast at the hotel, then hit the slopes at Ski Santa Fe. Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate will greet you in the lobby upon your return, after which you can head to the spa for a Signature Massage to soothe sore muscles and an Altitude Adjustment treatment incorporating elixirs and oxygen to help the body adjust to Santa Fe’s elevation of 7,199 feet. Post massage, head to the patio for an après-ski cocktail and s’mores to cap off an active day. La Posada de Santa Fe features an extensive Gallery Collection consisting of over 600 original pieces of artwork exhibited throughout the hotel, as well as an on-site art curator. The package includes a room for two, two lift tickets to Ski Sante Fe, breakfast credit of $40. Rates starting from $255 for a weekday and $259 for a weekend with a two-night minimum.
Gstaad Palace Switzerland, www.palace.ch
Hotel Madeline, www.hotelmadelinetelluride.com
Hotel Principe di Savoia Milano, www.hotelprincipedisavoia.com
La Posada de Sante Fe Resort & Spa, www.laposadadesantafe.com
Omni Mount Washington Resort, www.omnihotels.com
Omni Resorts, The Homestead, www.thehomestead.com