Sure, this time of year is when skiers revel in fresh powder. But why should they have all the fun? Nonskiers can visit luxury hotels in majestic mountain locations and still have a lot more to do than sit by the lobby fireplace with a smoky margarita in hand. Here are five top spots for epic wintertime adventures for those who are electing for spas and snowshoeing over the slopes:
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole
Love animals? Book the Wildlife Art and Sleigh Ride, an eight-hour adventure that whisks guests first to the National Museum of Wildlife Art and then to an elk refuge. Here, you’ll ride on a horse-drawn sleigh and see some of the 7,000-plus elk up close and personal. Once you’ve returned to the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star resort, hit the outdoor hot springs-like whirlpools (heated robes and towels provided) or cozy up near the outdoor fire pit for hot cocoa and s’mores.
Montage Deer Valley, Park City
Utah’s luxury winter playground, Park City, is packed with things to do and see beyond hitting what’s sometimes called the “best snow on earth.” And this Four-Star hotel, located high above the town center in the exclusive Deer Valley Resort community, knows a thing or two about arranging top-of-the-line winter experiences. The expert concierges will put together bespoke adventures that range from snowmobiling through everglades, dogsledding within the Wasatch mountain range and snowshoeing across varied terrain. You can also make like an Olympian and bobsled down the Olympic track just outside of downtown Park City.
Stowe Mountain Lodge
Northern Vermont is where East Coasters can quickly get to for top-notch skiing and winter adventures. But in the event you needed a break from the icy slopes, this rustic-chic 300-room lodge has a deal for you. The Four-Star hotel’s Take a Day Off Day package aims to help skiers get a reprieve from runs by recharging with a guided snowshoe tour and Stowega (a stretching-meets-yoga class), unlimited fitness classes and an 80-minute massage (choose between Swedish, hot stone, deep tissue and more).
Vail Mountain Lodge
One of the largest ski resorts in the United States, Vail Ski Resort has seemingly endless runs and lively hamlets full of places to shop and eat. But guests at Vail Mountain Lodge, a boutique property sitting within the resort’s Vail Village, also have the option to get in some serious pampering and wellness training. The Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel’s Vail Vitality Center has a spa menu full of exquisite treatments (the ache-relieving Moor Remedy, where you’re immersed in 20,000-year-old mud, sure sounds lovely), group fitness classes (such as spinning, barre and yoga), an indoor climbing wall, and other services such as physical therapy and acupuncture.
Waldorf Astoria Park City
Another Park City location, this snow-covered gem is located at Canyons Resort where guests can take an 800-foot-long, midmountain zip line tour through stunning mountain terrain. The Four-Star resort caters to people who want more out of a winter vacation than downhill skiing so much that it even has a promotion specifically for it — the No Ski For Me package includes $150 gift card for boutique shopping on the oh-so charming Main Street, two hour-long nighttime yoga sessions followed with red wine and access to the Four-Star spa, and two luxe robes to take home.