On-mountain exploits may be the reason most of us head for the hills, but a crop of spectacular lodges have made the post- and pre-ski experience about more than just grabbing a bite and hitting the sack.
Endless amenities – like world-class day spa complexes, valet service for ski gear complete with boot drying and warming, plush guest suites with buttery-soft mattresses, haute cuisine with award-winning wine and cocktail menus, legions of non-ski activities like fireside s’mores and heated pools the size of city blocks – make it easy to forego hitting the mountain entirely.
But their proximity to the mountain itself make it easy to both indulge in that five-star service and get in a few turns. Here are 10 of the best resorts.
Montage Deer Valley | Park City, Utah
The Montage, on the slopes of one of the country’s premier luxury ski resorts, mixes ornate highlights like grand lobby staircases and tastefully tiled columns around the indoor pool with casual elegance, like an on-site ski demo shop and overnight boot heating (to a balmy 90 degrees).
The in-house restaurant features a Burgers and Bourbon annex with the most whiskeys and bourbons in the state and one of the country’s best sushi restaurants. They also lay claim to the Veuve Clicquot Yurt, serving the famed Champagne solo as well as in inventive cocktail concoctions, all dangerously close to the Empire and Ruby lifts.
The spa – one of the largest complexes in the state – includes nutrition counseling. Best of all, the overall laid-back atmosphere and easygoing staff make all this decadent luxury seem entirely unforced.
Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole | Teton Village, Wyo.
In the shadow of the iconic Grand Tetons, steps from the lifts at the base of some of the world’s most challenging in-bound terrain, the Four Seasons bathes guests in a luxurious version of rustic adventure. The hotel bar is classic upscale cowboy, as is the outdoor après stone-terrace area with individual fire pits, cushioned Adirondack chairs and blankets.
A first-rate spa, wildlife tours and robust children’s program round out a top-tier experience.
The Little Nell | Aspen, Colo.
To be the best in Aspen requires an A+ list of accolades. Little Nell has them: Aspen's only Forbes/Mobil Five Star, AAA Five Diamond hotel; ski-in/ski-out access to Aspen Mountain; and award-winning cuisine in two restaurants. Amenities include ski concierge, fitness center, spa and outdoor heated pool and hot tub. Guest rooms begin at 600 square feet and include a five-piece bath, fireplace and more.
Post Hotel | Lake Louise, A.B.
The Post Hotel & Spa, nestled at 4,921 feet in the pristine Canadian Rockies, transports visitors to winter wonderland. Highlights include couples massage, an award-winning restaurant augmented by a cozy 24-seat fondue restaurant, a 25,500-bottle wine cellar, serene Temple Mountain Spa and Roman-style saltwater pool. All of this at the feet of one of Canada’s most scenic ski resorts.
Stowe Mountain Lodge | Stowe, Vt.
Watching over the base of Mt. Mansfield, this six-story, 300-room luxury resort is inspired by early 1900s summer camps of the region. But nothing here will invoke life in a tent. With a façade of woven timber accented by local stone, the lodge is replete with plush seating, much of it near the wood-burning stone fireplace.
Inside, birch bark columns, folk art, a full spa and custom rooms with balconies are designed to soothe. And ski-in/out access makes hitting the slopes for a few runs tantalizingly easy.
Hotel Quintessence | Mont-Tremblant, Que.
With details that exude warmth, comfort and luxury, the Quintessence has earned its role as Tremblant’s preeminent boutique hotel. Views of Lake Tremblant abound, as do views of the ski resort’s slopes rising above the 30-suite hotel. Spa services are highly personalized and relaxed, and the oversized whirlpool and infinity pool allow a full recovery before repairing to the on-site, four-diamond French restaurant and wine bar.
Badrutt’s Palace | St. Moritz, Switzerland
Like a scene from a fantasy film, Badrutt’s Palace sits in the majesty of Switzerland’s Engadin Alps, luxuriating in beauty. After a day of carving the slopes of St. Moritz, choose from eight on-site restaurants and four bars to relax and refuel. Or succumb to the wellness center, where holistic revitalization is accented by local pine and granite from the San Bernardino Pass. A natural ice rink dazzles, and on-site childcare allows parents to pamper themselves worry-free.
Mountain Lodge | Telluride, Colo.
Located in Telluride’s Mountain Village, halfway up the slopes at 9,540 feet, the Mountain Lodge looks like it was carved out of the rugged San Juan scenery. It consists of three log-and-stone buildings and a main lodge, which boasts a mammoth fireplace and a yawning glass front to ensure no scenery is under-admired.
Added touches include a grocery shopping service, outdoor heated pool surrounded by mountains and a menu of on-site spa services.
Übergossene Alm | Hochkonig, Austria
Set beneath a stunning ring of peaks in the Austrian Alps south of Salzburg, the chalet-style Ubergossene includes an 18,300-square-foot spa area with an indoor pool. The hotel sits slopeside at the Hochkönig Ski Area, which boasts miles of trails connecting the towns of Maria Alm, Dienten and Muhlbach.
On-site ski rental and lift tickets add an element of ease, as do balconies, locally-sourced cuisine and several saunas and hot tubs, as well as a modern fitness area.
Osprey at Beaver Creek | Avon, Colo.
With a lift literally right outside the front door, the Osprey stakes claim as the closest hotel to a ski lift in North America. Other gold stars at the 45-room boutique hotel include a gourmet tapas bar and lounge, ski valet, outdoor pool, après heated deck, hot tub, poolside bar and access to Beaver Creek and Red Sky Ranch golf courses. Some rooms even have fireplaces.