From comfortable rooms and luxurious amenities to world-class dining and spa treatments, these elegant establishments offer an array of services unlike their non-ski resort peers. While just about any ski lodge will do at the end of a long day on the slopes, there’s nothing wrong with going a bit over the top.
Cliff Lodge & Spa, Snowbird
Why it’s great: The Cliff’s concrete veneer resembles that of a fortified bunker, but the interior is all class. Expansive windows offer breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, while patrons can enjoy world-class dining at one of the establishment’s three eateries: The Aerie Restaurant and Lounge, The Atrium and El Chanate Restaurant and Cantina. A large swimming pool and three hot tubs are open year-round, while the spa (located on the ninth and tenth floors) offers a fitness center, yoga studio, rooftop jacuzzi and more than 30 different beautification treatments.
What the experts say: “Under the ownership of resort founder Dick Bass, the Cliff Lodge has evolved into a marvel of modern architecture and interior décor—including Bass’ personal collection of hand-woven rugs spread throughout, the largest such collection in Utah” – Away.com
Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff
Why it’s great: This iconic lodge has been open for nearly 125 years, and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Open year-round, the Fairmont serves skiers and snowboarders during the winter and provides accommodations to golfers, hikers and other warm weather recreators during the rest of the year. The establishment offers an array of dining options including Japanese, German, and Italian — and as an added perk, children under 12 receive a 50-percent discount on their meals. If you’re traveling without kids and care to unwind after a long day on the slopes, the Willow Stream Spa (complete with a massive mineral pool) will turn your stiff joints to jelly.
What the experts say: “The hotel retains its historic elegance—not to mention magnificent views of the Bow River—but also boasts many modern amenities” – Fodor’s
Four Seasons Hotel and Resort, Jackson Hole
Why it’s great: The Westbank Grill offers fine dining and a roaring stone fireplace, while the Handle Bar serves up pub-style food to satiate hungry snowhounds. During the summer months, poolside dining is also available. The expansive spa (11,685 square feet) features more than a dozen treatment rooms, a pair of private suites and communal relaxation areas (in-room massages are also available). Guests can also enjoy gym facilities and complimentary yoga classes. And if you feel like exploring the surroundings, Teton Village is a three-minute walk from the front door and Grand Tetons National Park is located one mile away.
What the experts say: “This sprawling resort, enclosed within the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort complex in Teton Village, offers opportunities for golfing, hiking and whitewater rafting; plus the slopes are just steps outside the lobby” – U.S. News & World Report Travel
Stowe Mountain Lodge, Stowe
Why it’s great: Located deep in the Vermont wilderness, Stowe Mountain Lodge combines rustic, log cabin design with first-rate lodging and luxurious amenities. Each of the establishment’s 312 room offers a stunning view of the New England countryside, and every detail — from marble bathroom floors to organic micro-fiber linens — offers guests a first-rate lodging experience. Located on the top floors of the lodge, the Front Four Private Residence Club offers private condos, complete with a personal concierge; mountain cabins are also available. And during the summer months, golfers can enjoy a 36-hole course that Golfweek recently ranked as one of the country’s best.
What the experts say: “A luxurious addition to one of New England’s oldest ski towns, the six-story ski-in/ski-out Stowe Mountain Lodge has transformed the local hotel scene” – Travel + Leisure
Why it’s great: Guests can choose from three different lodgings, from club-level rooms to expansive suites (the largest measures 1,900 square feet). As for culinary options, visitors can choose from the fine French cuisine of Manzanita, the hearty comfort food of MountainBlue or the signature cocktails served up at The Living Room. The North Lake Tahoe spa resort offers extensive workout facilities, a large heated pool and more than 17 treatment rooms. And during the winter months, the hotel offers a variety of guest activities — from moonlit snowshoe tours to telemark skiing workshops.
What the experts say: “The warm and contemporary rooms have drop-dead views of the mountain and the valley, and the spa features copper soaking tubs and more splendid views” – Frommer’s
Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood
Why it’s great: Comfort comes first at Timberline. Guests receive complimentary access to an extensive workout facility (sauna included), whirlpool jacuzzi with a first-rate view of the lodge and a game room to enjoy a game of shuffleboard or ping-pong. The establishment also features five different eateries, including the über-classy Cascade Dining Room and three casual dining spots with awesome pub food. The lodge also hosts exclusive events as part of the Winemaker’s Dinner Series; this Valentine’s Day, Willamette Valley Vineyards will partner with Chef Nick Stoller for a lavish, six-course feast ($175 per person). If you visit this winter, one night’s stay earns free skiing for two people; and if guests who stay any night from Sunday to Thursday earn a complimentary buffet-style breakfast and discounted lift tickets.
What the experts say: “The approach to Timberline Lodge builds excitement, an unforgettable 6-mi ascent that circles Mt. Hood. Now you see it, now you don’t: The mountain teases you the whole way up, then quite unexpectedly, the Lodge materializes out of the mist and you momentarily forget about the snow-capped peak” — Fodor’s