You probably don’t need much help imagining the perfect ski vacation. Can’t you already envision a room equipped with its own fireplace, a sunken tub and views of the snowcapped mountains? And don’t forget the ski valet toting your skis, warming your boots and doing whatever else it takes so that you’d don’t have to move a muscle before reaching the high-speed lift a few yards away.
If a similar sounding ski holiday features in your winter travel aspirations, a stay at one of these following Forbes Travel Guide-approved properties should be in your immediate future.
The Little Nell
Situated just 20 feet from Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen gondola, Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star The Little Nell is counted among the finest resorts in the nation for its fantastic location and legendary service. The only luxury ski-in/ski-out property in Aspen, The Little Nell staffs up with 400 additional employees during winter season, ensuring each of the guests in the hotel’s 92 rooms is taken care of.
A team of ski concierges helps with everything from storage and hand-tuning your equipment to booking lessons and plying you with sun protection before you hit the slopes. Advanced skiers can also choose to go off the beaten path by booking a private Snowcat Powder Tour, an all-day guided excursion into the unchartered backcountry terrain.
Apres-ski, it’s all about rest and relaxation at The Little Nell. The property offers plenty of both, be it with snacks on the sun-drenched patio of Ajax Tavern; champagne in the new ski-in/ski-out pop-up champagne bar, The Oasis; or boozy drinks and cozy relaxation set against flickering firelight and fur-lined pillows at the Dom Perignon Lounge.
Dinner at the fabulous Five-Star Element 47, where you can indulge in extravagances such as Royal Kaluga caviar service, by-the-ounce Japanese A5 Wagyu or a chef’s five-course Indulgence Menu, is another highlight at this luxurious snow escape.
Book the Ski Free offer and receive two complimentary ski lift tickets for each full day of the stay when you book three or more nights. Note that ski passes include access to all four mountains in the Aspen area (Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk).
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
One of the wonderful things about staying at this 180-room Four-Star stunner in Avon, Colorado is that its exclusivity does not preclude it from feeling like a home away from home. The common areas all interconnect to the majestic Great Room, which functions like a large living room with plush couches and a massive fireplace framed against a magnificent mountain scenery backdrop. Families will lounge here and play board games. Friends will rendezvous here for coffee. The pooch-friendly resort’s resident St. Bernard, Bachelor, and Bernese Mountain Dog, Belle, might even walk by for a cuddle and pat.
Just outside the doors, you’ll find the ski concierge, who’ll literally do all the heavy lifting — all equipment is ready by 7:30 a.m. — for you. Also conveniently situated between Beaver Creek and Arrowhead is the hotel’s own high-speed, quad Bachelor Gulch lift, which offers centralized access to 1,800 acres of beginner-to-advanced terrain for skiers and snowboarders alike.
For families with children between the ages of 5 and 12, a Ski Nanny service takes care of getting the little ones to and from the nearby Beaver Creek Ski School, relieving parents so they can get in some first tracks on fresh snow in the morning, or even catch some runs on the afternoon of arrival (you get free day-of-arrival lift tickets when you present an airline boarding pass).
After a few hours on the slopes, visit the 21,000-square-foot Four-Star spa (high-end wet facilities, a co-ed grotto, three large Jacuzzis); sample world-class dining at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago Beaver Creek; and try cigars and spirits at the swanky Bachelor’s Lounge.
Book the Hit the Slopes package and receive a pair of two-day lift tickets and four nights’ accommodations.
Montage Deer Valley
Part of the allure of skiing Deer Valley is the ease with which you can get there; the Park City ski resort is an easy 40-minute drive from Salt Lake City Airport. The other part is that it’s a ski-only resort (sorry, snowboarders), which limits access to the number of entrants to prevent overcrowding.
This might explain why Four-Star Montage Deer Valley, nestled in the valley against the Wasatch Mountains, is annually considered one of the finest ski resorts in the nation. Winter program highlights include an opportunity to ski with two-time Olympic gold medalist Shannon Bahrke in the Ski Day with Our Olympic Ambassador promotion or be a part of advanced heli-skiing itineraries that let you jump off a helicopter to shred natural trails in the backcountry.
You’ll find a newly built Après Lounge featuring Veuve Clicquot champagne. Find some time in your schedule for a photography session at the top of the mountain, a few frames in the indoor bowling alley, daily s’mores by the fire pit or a treatment in the 35,000-square-foot Four-Star Spa Montage.
Book the “Stay & Play for Winter” for a three-night stay or more and receive $500 resort credit.