The Perfect Ski Resort for Every Type of Skier
Plan your ideal winter escape on the slopes.
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
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
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 / 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.
AfghanistanOne 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
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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
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
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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
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
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.