The Best Ski Resorts To Beat The 2020 Blues

SkiPhoto Credit: Dinga/Shutterstock.com

Can’t get to St. Moritz or Verbier this winter? Ski the posh pistes at home in America instead.

ALTHOUGH WE LOVE HITTING EUROPE’S SWISS, FRENCH AND ITALIAN ALPS, WITH TIGHT TRAVEL restrictions, it just won’tbe possible this winter. But we’re not stressing. We’ve got glamorous go-to spots like Aspen and Vail right here at home.

JACKSON HOLE

Amangani

Photo Credit: Amangani

STAY AT: AMANGANI    

Those seeking health, wellness and inner peace should check into the mystical, magical Amangani this winter. It’s truly a “peaceful  home” in every sense of the word: a secluded hilltop retreat on the fringes of Grand Teton National Park, adjacent to but separate from the hustle and bustle of world-famous ski destination Jackson Hole with its more than 100 trails. Head to the slopes to get your ski fix in while indulging in the resort’s luxurious private lounge in Teton Village at the base of Bridger Gondola, or depart on the Granite Hot Springs Adventure, a full-day guided excursion via snowmobile or dogsled through the Wyoming winter wonderland. Know that you’ll be returning to a place of incredible beauty, with spacious suites overlooking the Snake River Valley, farm-to-table dining served fireside and a 115-square-foot infinity pool, which allows you to take a quiet, socially distant dip and breathe in the mountain air that envelopes you like a blanket. This winter, Amangani is offering a slew of new high-end experiences, including “Adventures in the Wild,” where guests can take in the abundance of wildlife against the beautiful snowy backdrop via a snowshoe hike or magical sleigh ride; a photographer’s guide to winter in Jackson Hole with local photographer David Brookover; and the “Couloirs to Canyons Journey” with sister property Amangiri in Utah. TheAprès Ski Dream” spa offering is also a must: a luxurious 105-minute ritual commencing with a clearing, indigenous Sage Smudge followed by anti-inflammatory CBD massage oil, a peppermint food scrub, paraffin wax and a massage with warm basalt stones and amethyst crystal, ending with a scalp massage and champagne.

1535 NE Butte Rd, Jackson, WY 83001

ASPEN

Little Nell Photo Credit: Little Nell/Paepcke

STAY AT: THE LITTLE NELL 

There are a plethora of options at your disposal when heading to Aspen, the glitziest of ski resort towns, where you’ll no doubt be surrounded by the rich and famous — plus four separate mountains in Aspen Highlands, Snowmass, Buttermilk and Aspen Mountain — which, this year, for the first time ever, will be creating a 3,000-vertical-foot descent covered with manmade snow. For easy access — and it doesn’t get easier than ski-in, ski-out — stay at the storied Little Nell, which celebrated its 30th anniversary late last year. The gorgeous property debuted a living room and lobby renovation, by acclaimed Spanish architect Luis Bustamante, that includes a screen wall, a wood-paneled bookcase and new décor and furniture, as well as a chic mirrored ceiling in the lobby level elevator corridor. Gone is former après-ski bar Chair 9. In its place is Wine Bar, a lounge inspired by Wally’s of Beverly Hills, Corkbuzz in New York City and Willi’s Wine Bar in Paris. This haute hotel has also relaunched its Little Nell Wine Academy. Slated for April 11 through April 14, the theme of this year’s vino event is Old World Classics vs. American Rivals, with an emphasis on wines from Europe against West Coast favorites. Last but certainly not least, fine arts photographer Gray Malin has partnered with the Nell for a vintage ski photo shoot. His series will be on display at the Sundeck Restaurant. 

675 E. Durant Ave, Aspen, CO 81611

BIG SKY

The Ranch at Rock CreekPhoto Credit: The Ranch at Rock Creek

STAY AT: THE RANCH AT ROCK CREEK 

Not everyone is looking for furs, diamonds and a Michelin-star meal attached to their true luxury. And when the world seems to have fallen apart, sometimes what’s needed is wide-open space and the room to make some happy new memories. There’s no better place to do so than under Montana’s Big Sky and at the Ranch at Rock Creek, a rustic yet oh-so-elegant five-star on 6,600 acres of rugged wilderness on the outskirts of Philipsburg. The Ranch offers an array of rustic yet elegant accommodations, including luxury suites in the Granite Lodge, authentic log cabins and historic barn accommodations. The property also features a 2,000-square-foot spa and a 5,300-square-foot event barn. Guests can enjoy on-property snowshoeing, snowmobiling, horseback riding, horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice skating and sledding, as well as trips to Discovery Ski Area, a quaint alpine ski destination located just 25 minutes away and equipped with a ski concierge available exclusively to Ranch guests. It’s a wonderful alternative for luxury travelers who want the comprehensive Montana ski experience but still want a five-star place to stay (though if you truly want a trip to Big Sky Resort, its 5,800 acres of skiable terrain — and its all-new Early Access program, which allows mountain-goers 8 a.m. access to its Ramcharger lift an hour before opening — are only a three-hour jaunt away).

79 Carriage House Ln, Philipsburg, MT 59858

VAIL

Four Seasons VailPhoto Credit: Four Seasons Vail

STAY AT: FOUR SEASONS RESORT & RESIDENCES, VAIL

If you’re an advanced skier, Vail is the mountain for you: 53 percent of its trails are for expert skiers and snowboarders (its Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster, which whizzes 3,400 feet down the mountain, isn’t for the faint of heart). But luckily, this charming alpine village is for everyone with its European charm and sweet cobblestoned streets, as is its premiere place to stay, the Four Seasons Resort & Residences, Vail. Nestled at the base of the mountain, the hotel offers 121 airy and spacious guest rooms and suites, as well as 24 stunning private residences, perfect for those who want to truly socially distance. There’s also an award-winning spa, complimentary use of a Mercedes-Benz SUV house car, guided snowshoe tours, private personal training sessions and a heated outdoor pool tucked within a sunken courtyard.

1 Vail Rd, Vail, CO 81657

SUN VALLEY

Sun Valley Resort

Photo Credit: Courtesy Sun Valley Resort Photographer: © Steve Dondero

STAY AT: SUN VALLEY INN

In recent years, Sun Valley has gained a reputation as the top celebrity ski spot (watch out, Aspen!), with a slew of low-key stars and billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, Demi Moore, Clint Eastwood, Justin Timberlake and Bill Gates buying up property there. And it’s for a good reason: the gorgeous resort is a good bet for a sunny ski day; the sun shines 120 days out of 150. There are 121 trails and 2,054 skiable acres on two different mountains — including an additional 380 acres of north-facing bowl terrain — which adventure seekers adore thanks to the addition of heli-skiing. Given the sheer amount of celebrities who head here, Sun Valley should be totally tapped out, but it is not. It is the opposite, retaining an old-world charm that simply demands a repeat visit. For a taste of that vintage Wild West experience, book the Sun Valley Inn. Though it opened its doors in 1937, a recent remodel means this historic, Austrian-style ski chalet with quintessentially European décor boasts modern new additions including a steaming outdoor pool, fitness center, new restaurants and lobby bar.

2 Sun Valley Rd, Sun Valley, ID 83353

CRESTED BUTTE

 Scarp Ridge LodgePhoto Credit: Eleven Experiences  

STAY AT: SCARP RIDE LODGE

Those seeking adventure, excitement and a completely unique experience should head to Crested Butte, which has been dubbed Colorado’s last great ski town for its European ski chalet feel and Rocky Mountain style. Scarp Ridge Lodge, Eleven Experience’s flagship property in the Elk Mountains offers the crème de la crème of skiing for those more focused on hitting the slopes than being seen off of them, thanks to a personalized guide and zero lift lines. Each morning, a custom-designed snowcat awaits to whisk guests to 1,000-plus acres of exclusive ski terrain in nearby Irwin, which gets an average of 450 inches of snow per year, with legendary cold-smoke powder. Private guides are available to take guests up and down the mountain to find the deepest powder runs and wide-open alpine bowls or lead them to on-mountain cabins for movies, lunch and après-ski. Scarp Ridge Lodge is a darling blast from the past, but with all the modern amenities one could ask for. It plays up its history as a former Croatian saloon with its old school façade but features an indoor saltwater pool, oxygen-enriched air system, steam room, sauna, gym, media room and rooftop hot tub.

512 2nd St, Crested Butte, CO 81224

BEAVER CREEK

Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch

Photo Credit: Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch

STAY AT: THE RITZ-CARLTON, BACHELOR GULCH 

Colorado has some incredible terrain, and Beaver Creek is hands-down one of the best of its mountain resorts. With an average snowfall of 325 inches, 1,832 skiable acres and 150 trails, there’s more than enough to keep any skier or snowboarder busy. For slope-side access with style, stay at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, which, thanks to its own chairlift, abundance of outdoor space heaters, twinkling lights and comfortable seating, offers one heck of an après-ski experience. Come to hit the slopes, but stay for offerings like its outdoor Moët & Chandon champagne and raw bar, located mountain-side in front of a roaring outdoor fire; limitless outdoor adventures, including fresh tracks snowshoeing; a world-class, 21,000-square-foot spa sanctuary with a heated outdoor pool and hot tubs; and, new for the 2020 – 2021 season, Sakaba, a sushi lounge serving traditional Japanese cuisine, with fresh fish flown in daily from Japan.

0130 Daybreak Ridge Rd, Avon, CO 81620

PARK CITY

Montage Deer Valley

Photo Credit: Montage Deer Valley

STAY AT: MONTAGE DEER VALLEY   

Park City (and adjacent Deer Valley)  is one of our favorite places to ski in the U.S. In addition to two major ski areas in close proximity, there are a loads of luxury resorts and a truly charming downtown area in Main Street, with all the dining (the newly opened Courchevel, named after the French ski resort, which happens to be Park City’s sister city, is a must-try) and high-end shopping your heart desires. It’s also the home of Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival, so enough said. When you’re not busy zooming down the 300 trails on more than 7,300 acres, taking historical skiing tours of the city’s mining past or riding around in a horse-drawn sleigh, take some time to relax at one of the truly staggering winter wonderland hotels. One of our favorite properties is the ski-in, ski-out Montage Deer Valley, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this month. It boasts a world-class, 35,000-square-foot alpine-inspired spa (now featuring Valmont products), the largest in Utah; a Kim Vō salon; a truly amazing art collection, with both local and international pieces; and its own bowling alley and vintage arcade. There’s also a sushi restaurant, as well as the Veuve Clicquot – presented Après Lounge, which offers direct access to the Ruby, Empire and Lady Morgan ski lifts, serving up gourmet bites like caviar, local cheeses and charcuterie alongside the stellar champagne; and, new this winter, the private Empire Lounge, complete with a cozy fireplace that lends ambiance to this private new experience for socially distanced dining. Beyond all these offerings, this is truly one of the chicest places to lay your head after a long day on the slopes: all accommodations are arrayed with estate-quality furnishings; original artwork; Signature Montage 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton bedding and linens; LCD televisions; five-fixture stone bathrooms with separate glass-wall showers; soaking tubs and heated floors; gas fireplaces; scenic alpine views; private balconies or patios; and turndown service with handcrafted chocolates, a homey touch that brings a little extra something to an already resplendent resort. 

9100 Marsac Ave, Park City, UT 84060

LAKE TAHOE

Edgewood Tahoe

Photo Credit: Edgewood Tahoe

STAY AT: EDGEWOOD TAHOE

Heavenly Ski Resort is a blessed secret — 4,800 skiable acres, the most in Lake Tahoe — with a drop of 3,500 vertical feet, which is unmatched on the West Coast, and an elevation of 10,067 feet, the highest in Lake Tahoe. With its 97 trails ranging from wide-open cruisers to plunging, 1,600-foot chutes, it’s truly designed for anyone seeking the ultimate ski experience. Those who want a hotel that rivals the awe-inspiring time they’ll have on the slopes should stay at Edgewood Tahoe, a 235-acre, LEED-certified lakefront resort with the area’s only private beach as well as an 18-hole, George Fazio–designed championship golf course, among other luxe offerings. Edgewood Tahoe offers an endless array of winter activities, from sleigh rides, ice skating and snowshoeing to the property’s signature Veuve Clicquot Champagne Chalet. The resort also offers daily morning mountain yoga programming, private Snowga sessions, signature winter spa treatments, five-star dining and more. For the most luxurious experience of all, stay in the 1,500-square-foot Presidential Suite, which features grand lake views, a private service entrance and indoor-outdoor gas fireplaces, as well as offerings like Frette robes, a rainfall shower, access to a heated lakeside pool, ski valet and Mercedes-Benz shuttles to the mountain.

180 Lake Pkwy, Stateline, Nevada 89449

Ritz Carlton Lake TahoePhoto Credit: Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe

STAY AT: RITZ-CARLTON, LAKE TAHOE 

Northstar, Lake Tahoe’s mountain resort, is a great place to hit the slopes on all levels, though with 3,170 acres of skiable terrain and a vertical drop of 2,280 square-feet (as well as 600 acres dedicated to gladed tree skiing) adventure seekers will not leave disappointed. Tahoe, and neighboring town Truckee, are quintessential mountain ski towns: charming and low-key for those who just want to ski, eat, repeat. Head to Lake Tahoe for some sublime skiing this winter season, and when you’re not hitting the slopes, indulge in your heart’s every desire at the effortlessly luxe five-star resort, the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. In addition to slope-side ski-in, ski-out access from Northstar California Resort as well as après ski experiences, winter packages, and festive holiday programming only accessible to guests of the resort, social distancing is well and truly in order thanks to a new reservation system that limits the amount of guests on mountain per day. Other wintertime offerings include star-gazing, cross-country skiing, the Burton Snowboard Academy, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice skating, scenic helicopter tours over the Lake Tahoe Basin and full moon snowshoe hikes, as well as season-specific alpine-focused facials in its 17,000 square-foot slope-side spa. Or you could just hang out in your luxurious suite with its in-room gas fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows, watching the snow fall. There’s luxury in solitude, too.

13031 Ritz Carlton Highlands Ct, Truckee, CA 96161

TELLURIDE

Lumière with InspiratoPhoto Credit: Tahvory Bunting/Lumière with Inspirato

STAY AT: LUMIÈRE WITH INSPIRATO 

Telluride sometimes feels like an insider secret, one that travelers return to time and time again for its over 2,000 skiable miles and devil-may-care atmosphere (this is no joke — many skiers here thrill-seek by heli-skiing, where they’re dropped by helicopter into the Colorado wilderness). But there’s always a place for luxury, too, and that need has been filled in spades by Lumière with Inspirato. This award-winning property, perched 9,540 feet high, boasts a ski-in, ski-out location at the base of Lift 4 in Mountain Village. Amenities include a hot tub, sauna, warm plunge pool and black-tie ski services, including a ski valet with boot warmers and personalized fittings. It’s beyond. And to keep with the times, Telluride Ski Resort has also introduced something unique in its 20 heated, lighted gondola “dining bubbles,” as well as yurt and outdoor dining experiences mountain-wide. 

118 Lost Creek Ln, Telluride, CO 81435

STOWE

The Lodge at Spruce Peak Photo Credit: The Lodge at Spruce Peak

STAY AT: THE LODGE AT SPRUCE PEAK

While the West is widely known for its incredible runs, the East Coast shouldn’t be discounted, given that it has Stowe in its snow-covered arsenal. Downhill and backcountry skiers as well as snowboarders fall hard for its 18 miles of un-groomed terrain and vertical drop of 2,360 feet, as well as the state’s highest mountain, Mount Mansfield, at 4,393 feet. But where to stay? Again, there’s really only one answer, and that’s the Lodge at Spruce Peak, the only ski-in, ski-out hotel in Vermont. Located in the heart of the elevated slope-side community, this luxury property also features a members-only club for the East Coast jet set, which has its own refined and elegant 20,000-square-foot clubhouse. Stay in one of the penthouses, which include private check-in and lounge, personal concierge services, full gourmet kitchens, private balconies, stone fireplaces, marble-finished bathrooms and floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping mountain views.

7412 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT 05672

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