The Perfect Ski Resort for Every Type of Skier

Plan your ideal winter escape on the slopes.

For the Adventurer: Vail, CO

Getty Images

If plotting a perfect winter getaway that brings your ski dreams to life seems like an uphill battle, take a deep breath and... chill. We've got you covered. Whether you're seeking a romantic trip to the slopes, a kid-friendly getaway, or a luxurious jaunt into the mountains, we've found the ideal resorts for every type of skier.

For the Skier Who Wants Pampering: Gstaad Palace, Switzerland

Gstaad Palace, Switzerland

Courtesy of Gstaad Palace, Christof Sonderegger

Tucked away amidst snowy alpine peaks in the chalet village of Gstaad, Switzerland, Gstaad Palace is a haven for high-end skiing. Beyond its location in the midst of incredible runs, the hotel offers guests access to a private training coach who works with skiers to tailor exercises and stretching routines to their needs and fitness level, prepping you to take on the slopes like a boss. Once you're ready to hit the mountain, you can take advantage of a Ski Butler, who will greet you on the mountain with a hamper filled with sweet treats, savory snacks, and hearty (yes, Swiss) cheeses. Your butler can also bring a slope-side picnic complete with chilled Champagne and bone-warming gluhwein – “glow wine” – mulled with spices and fruits.

For the Intrepid Skier: Four Seasons Vail, Colorado

Four Seasons Vail

Courtesy of Four Seasons Vail Resort

When skiing down a mountain among the masses isn't your cup of tea, head to Four Seasons Vail for a more hardcore experience. The resort has partnered with Paragon Guides to take guests up the mountain via alpine touring gear before the lifts even start turning for a one-of-a-kind backcountry ski experience. Professional guides will take guests on a pre-sunrise ascent of either Bald Mountain or Vail Pass, followed by a sunrise ski down, and ending in a big (well-earned) breakfast back at property. A professional videographer accompanies each group, capturing video and photos for each guest.

For the Apres-Ski Lover: Waldorf Astoria Park City, Utah

Waldorf Astoria Park City

Waldorf Astoria / Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Park City

If your favorite part of skiing is raising your glass during apres-ski hours, get thee to Park City. The  Waldorf Astoria Park City’s new Apres All Day offering, cranks apres-ski up a few notches by extending its joys -- you guessed it -- all day. Apres All Day takes guests on a tour of Park City’s best whiskey, beer and wine offerings including a morning tour (with breakfast and tastings) at Park City Brewery, led by the brewmaster himself, followed by a visit to High West Distillery for a whiskey-pairing lunch and a behind-the-scenes tour of the distillery. You'll wrap up the tour at Old Town Cellars with a wine flight and tasting experience. But the day's not over yet! Guests end the experience with a wine pairing dinner back at the resort's Powder restaurant.

For the Skier on a Romantic Getaway: Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch, Colorado

It's impossible not to feel the love in Beaver Creek; this speck of a village lies wedged into an otherworldly mountainous landscape. Snowcapped peaks and jagged slopes make the perfect backdrop for a spin around the village ice rink. The Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch sits in the middle of this winter wonderland, and gives guests easy access to uber-romantic experiences like dinner at Beano's Cabin. To reach the high-alpine restaurant you'll need to cozy up on a snowcat-drawn sleigh through the snow and above the villages twinkling lights.

Best Slopes Around the World

Argentina

Argentina

One of the world’s prime ski areas, you might not think of heading to Argentina’s Patagonia region for July skiing. The Bariloche ski resort sits on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi in the foothills of the Andes and boasts some of Argentina’s best skiing.  960 1280

Stephane Godin  

Morocco

Morocco

One of Africa’s few ski destinations, the Oukaimeden resort earns high marks from skiers who love the natural and un-Westernized ambience. 960 1280

Christian Aslund  

Israel

Israel

Believe it or not, there’s enough snow in the Golan Heights between January and March to support an active and growing ski resort at Israel’s Mount Hermon. 960 1280

JALAA MAREY  

Tasmania

Tasmania

Australia’s mountainous island state has snow during most of the southern hemisphere’s winter. The ski village at Ben Lomond National Park sits near the mountain’s 1,570-meter peak. 960 1280

Jodie Griggs  

North Carolina

North Carolina

North Carolina’s southern Appalachians are hardly synonymous with skiing, but cross country skiers can enjoy the trails in Roan Mountain State Park, while alpine enthusiasts can ski downhill at nearby Beech Mountain. 960 1280

Joel Carillet  

Iran

Iran

Just 55 minutes from Tehran, Iran’s Shemshak ski resort tends to draw more advanced skiers than the country’s bigger, better-known ski destination, Dizan. 960 1280

Christian Aslund  

New Zealand

New Zealand

If you want to ski between June and October, New Zealand’s got lots of choices. Mt. Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park is home to the country’s highest peaks. 960 1280

Mark Sedon/Hedgehog House  

Japan

Japan

Though it’s rarely sunny, Niseko is considered by many to be Japan’s best ski locale, thanks to its varied terrain and abundant natural powder. 960 1280

Ryan Creary  

Afghanistan

Afghanistan

One of the least likely ski destinations in the world, Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush Mountains require an hour trek on foot to reach the peak. Still, the Bamiyan Ski Club, a charitable organization set up to promote skiing in the area, is attracting more adventurous skiers every year. 960 1280

MASSOUD HOSSAINI  

Slovakia

Slovakia

With 125 ski resorts, 474 kilometers of slopes and 535 ski lifts Slovakia should be top of mind when we think of skiing. Jasná Nízke Tatry is widely consider the country’s premier ski resort. 960 1280

Richard Nebesky  

Courchevel, France
Courchevel (France)

Courchevel (France)

The top of a mountain in the ski resort of Courchevel, France. 960 1280
Whistler Village (Canada)

Whistler Village (Canada)

Whistler Village is a major stop for boarders and skiers in British Columbia, Canada. 960 1280
La Parva (Chile)

La Parva (Chile)

The town of La Parva, Chile, is a winter sports hot spot in the Andes Mountains. 960 1280
Quebec City (Canada)

Quebec City (Canada)

A quiet day on the streets of Quebec City, Canada. 960 1280

By chensiyuan (chensiyuan) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Chamonix (Switzerland)

Chamonix (Switzerland)

Alpine chalets on a steep hill in Chamonix, Switzerland. 960 1280

Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images  

Breckenridge (USA)

Breckenridge (USA)

A skiers' paradise above the town of Breckenridge, Colorado. 960 1280
Mont-Tremblant (Canada)

Mont-Tremblant (Canada)

Some serious ski slopes in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. 960 1280

creative commons  

Lucerne (Switzerland)

Lucerne (Switzerland)

The Lucerne, Switzerland, skyline with the famous Chapel Bridge. 960 1280

By edwin.11 (Kapellbrucke in LucerneUploaded by russavia) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Tubing Hill (USA)

Tubing Hill (USA)

Tubing Hill Recreation Winter Wonderland in Vail, Colorado. 960 1280

iStock / Getty Images Plus  

Sous-le Fort (Canada)

Sous-le Fort (Canada)

Sous-le Fort Street and Château Frontenac in Quebec, Canada. 960 1280

iStock/Getty Images  

Skiing in Snowbird, Utah
Snowbird (Utah)

Snowbird (Utah)

Just 29 miles from Salt Lake City, Snowbird tempts riders with the legendary Little Cottonwood Powder — 500 inches of dry, powdery snowfall each year. 960 1280

Patrick Orton/Getty Images  

Snowbird (Utah)

Snowbird (Utah)

Snowbird also plays hosts to Utah’s longest ski season, from mid-November through May. 960 1280

Scott Markewitz/Getty Images  

Crested Butte (Colorado)

Crested Butte (Colorado)

In the Colorado Rockies, Crested Butte is a small ski village with a flair for adventure. Polish your snowboarding skills on the DC Superpipe, the slope’s crowning 400-foot-long obstacle with 17-foot-high walls perfect for stunts. 960 1280

By Jeffrey Beall (Own work) [CC BY 3.0]  

Crested Butte (Colorado)

Crested Butte (Colorado)

There are also three terrain parks challenging snowboarders at all skill levels. 960 1280

By Peter from Wellesley [CC BY 2.0]  

Mammoth (California)

Mammoth (California)

Serious snowboarders head to the High Sierras for 300 days of sunshine and 400 inches of fresh snow a year. 960 1280

By The Chief from Hollywood [CC BY-SA 2.0]  

Mammoth (California)

Mammoth (California)

This wintry playground includes seven terrain parks and three half-pipes, with beginner-friendly small bumps and jibs at Disco Park and difficult rails, boxes and jump lines at Main Park. 960 1280

By Nandaro (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0]  

Jackson Hole (Wyoming)

Jackson Hole (Wyoming)

Jackson Hole teamed up with the Burton snowboard company to create Stash Park, an all-natural freestyle terrain park crafted out of natural elements using local trees and found objects. 960 1280

By Enricokamasa (Own work) [Public domain]  

Jackson Hole (Wyoming)

Jackson Hole (Wyoming)

In addition, there’s a super-pipe, two terrain parks and snowboarding access on 100% of the mountain. 960 1280

Zach Dischner/Getty Images  

Big Sky Resort (Montana)

Big Sky Resort (Montana)

Enjoy big mountain views from the Lone Peak Tram before making your way down the 4,350-foot vertical drop through fresh powder. 960 1280

By Jim from Lexington, KY, USA (Big Sky resort) [CC BY-SA 2.0]  

Big Sky Resort (Montana)

Big Sky Resort (Montana)

In addition to the beautiful, wide-open spaces contained within Big Sky, there are plenty of boxes, jumps, rails and pole jams where you can master new tricks. 960 1280

For the Skier on a Family Vacation: Smuggler's Notch, Vermont

Sure, most ski resorts have programs that cater to children, but none can call themselves as kid-friendly as Smuggler's Notch, which sets the gold standard for child-specific programing. The resort's has a seemingly endless array of specially designed learning programs for kids ages 3-15, and wins bonus points for offering goodies like GPS trackers to capture miles, vertical feet, and trails skied each day. Don't miss the daily Cookie Race, where kids can show off the skills they learned during lessons, and are rewarded with a big ol' cookie. Wonder what to do after getting off the mountain? Join activities like family karaoke, snow-making lessons, or winter bonfire singalongs.

For the Skier on a Budget: Omni Mount Washington; New Hampshire

Omni Mount Washington

Courtesy of Omni Mount Washington / Courtesy of Omni Mount Washington

The historic Omni Mount Washington in Bretton Woods offers one of the Northeast's ultimate ski-in/ski-out destination deals this season with its Stay Here Ski Free Package. The promotion is valid seven days a week and includes luxe accommodations, two complimentary ski lift tickets per room, per night, and daily meal options for an additional charge. Tired of the same old ski routine? Guests also have the opportunity to take advantage of Omni Mount Washington’s signature winter sports, including Alpine Skiing, Nordic Skiing, Sleigh Rides, and Snowshoeing.

For the Skier Who Wants a Local Experience: Madeline Hotel and Residences; Telluride, Colorado

Get a unique perspective of the mountain when you "Ski Like a Local."

Courtesy of Madeline Hotel and Residences, Whit Richardson

If you'd like an insider's look at the ins and outs of the epic slopes, head to Telluride, Colorado. The Madeline Hotel and Residences invites guests to “ski like a local” with their Ski Ambassadors. The ambassadors offer guided, personalized mountain tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. After your tour, thaw out at the resort's new  Sky Terrace, a year-round outdoor deck featuring a pool, two hot tubs, three fire pits and spectacular views of surrounding snow-capped mountains.

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