Winter is heaven for those who love to hit the slopes and there’s a plethora of stunning locations all over the world to do just that. But, what if your idea of being a ski bunny is more about hanging in the lodge than shredding some powder? Luckily, some of the top ski resorts offer enough activities to fill an entire winter getaway without riding a chair lift. These are 10 ski destinations for non-skiers.
Just because you don’t want to hurdle yourself down the mountain doesn’t mean you don’t want exclusive access to one. So, how about renting one all to yourself to engage in any non-ski activity you want. Guests of Grand Hotel Kronenhof and Kulm Hotel can reserve the Corvatsch Mountain for an evening filled with champagne, a culinary feast and music on top of the peak. Of course, Swiss specialties including Raclette, Fondue and Fondue Chinoise are included.
Adirondacks, New York
Lake Placid has attracted ski aficionados for years, but there’s more to this seasonal hot spot than snowy attractions. Between James Beard Award nominated restaurants like Liquids & Solids at the Handlebar and world-renowned hotels like the Whiteface Lodge and Spa, you’ll find more reasons to hit the town rather than the slopes.
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
If skiing isn’t your forte, but you’re still itching to get outside Omni Mount Washington Resort offers an array of winter activities like snowshoeing, dog sledding, ice climbing, tubing, snowmobiling and, for the more adventurous, the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour. The tour is one of New England’s longest canopy tours, with 10 zip lines that descend more than 1,000 feet in elevation. Unwind after an adrenaline filled day with a classic horse-drawn sleigh rides and nature-inspired treatments in the stunning 25,000-square-foot spa.
It’s no secret that Telluride is popular for mountain lovers with its spectacular views. Fortunately, you can still take in the vast vistas without a set of poles or skis. Boutique address Madeline Hotel and Residences offers views of snow-clad peaks and 2,000 acres for winter exploration. And for dinner, a snow-cat can pull guests to Gorrono Ranch, a mountaintop restaurant that offers western-style dinners, beautiful views, and a crackling bonfire.
Park City, Utah
There’s more to off slope entertainment in this mountain town than the Sundance Film Festival. Luxury property Montage Deer Valley is conveniently located near Olympic park, where guests can try speeding down the tracks in a bobsled or practicing the figure 8 ice-skating. Or, simply indulge in spa services like the Alpine Body Rescue at Spa Montage without any chill.
With chalet-style architecture and high-end shopping outlets lining the streets of the intimate village of Gstaad, you can see why travelers are attracted to this snowy valley in the Swiss Alps. Gstaad Palace is the five-star mountain-view hotel where you can rest your head after all of that wandering, indulge champagne and black truffle cheese fondue or take advantage of the saunas and steam bath at the opulent Palace Spa. If that wasn’t enough to make you book a room, the luxury property is also reintroducing its popular Igloo Experience, offering guests the opportunity to spend one mid-week night in an actual igloo – albeit, one with a private Jacuzzi – at the nearby Igloo Village.
Burlington is an ideal destination for those wanting a ski vacation atmosphere minus the skiing, and Hotel Vermont is up for the challenge of entertaining winter travelers. Guests can partake in ice fishing on frozen Lake Champlain with the hotel’s expert staff, taking periodic breaks drinking delicious hot beverages in the cozy on-ice shanty. Guests can also embark on one of Hotel Vermont’s signature Beer Tours through the city’s South End, sampling some of Vermont’s famous craft beers with the first ever Beer Concierge while walking through the snowy New England town. Who needs skiing when you have beer anyway?
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Nestled between two of America’s iconic National Parks, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, Jackson Hole is ideal for nature-loving couples. The Four Seasons Resort & Residences Jackson Hole takes advantage of this by employing an on-site naturalist who is able to take couples on romantic forays into the surrounding national parks via walking, luxury car or even by helicopter. They even host “Game Night” where the property’s top chefs teach guests the proper “how-to” techniques for preparing and cooking Jackson Hole’s local game-meats, e.g. elk and bison, etc., followed by a gourmet meal showcases the game meats & other local ingredients.
Mont Tremblant, Quebec
Walking around this quaint village and you’ll feel like you’re in France rather than a ski town in Canada. Mouthwatering dishes at restaurants like Le Cheval de Jade and castle-like accommodations at spots like Hotel Quintessence are just the tip of the iceberg of off slope options. Ice skating, spas and concert series round out your European experience without ever setting foot outside North America.
Mount Naeba, Japan
You’ve heard of the Swiss Alps, Vermont and the Rockies as popular ski destinations, but Japan has some of the world’s best winterscapes. Even if the mountain isn’t called your name, the soaking tubs and hot and cold sake offerings will have you taking on the après ski scene.