As great as skiing and snowboarding are, going back to the lodge after a long day on the slopes feels almost as good. Indeed, a cozy home away from home is a huge reason people so enjoy winter activities: a cool drink, a hot bath, maybe a trip to a spa — you’re ready for the next day.
We have gathered for you some lodges and inns that should enhance any ski vacation. Some are ski-in, ski-out; others require a short drive to the lifts. All will take care good care of you.
For a slice of Austria in New England, head to the Trapp Family Lodge. Yes, this is the von Trapp family we’re talking about, as in the folks whose story inspired “The Sound of Music.” They settled in Vermont right after World War II and opened a lodge in 1950 (it was rebuilt in the current setting after a 1980 fire). Just under 8 miles from Stowe’s slopes, the lodge is a winter wonderland of its own with 60 miles dedicated to Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. And once you have fully exerted yourself, you can hit the Trapps’ very own brewery.
Rates start at $140 per night (and go up to $156 in January).
INFO 800-826-7000, trappfamily.com
GORE MOUNTAIN, NEW YORK
New York State resorts aren’t famous for their on-slope accommodations, so you usually have to cast a wide net. At least it’s not too wide in the case of the Garnet Hill Lodge, which is less than 20 minutes from Gore Mountain; Garnet Hill even sells lift tickets so you don’t have to stand in line at the resort. Overlooking Thirteenth Lake, the property’s main structure dates back to 1937 and is a good example of a classic Adirondacks log house, complete with stone fireplace. There are 35 miles of trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and a ski shop on the premises that can accommodate your rental needs.
Rates start at $184 per night, including breakfast (they go up Dec. 21).
INFO 518-251-2444, garnet-hill.com
Snowmass may not have the international cachet of its glitzy neighbor (and corporate sibling) Aspen, but it is a top-notch resort in its own right, with particularly good grooming on its miles of intermediate runs — this is a good place to improve your technique. And now the slopeside lodging situation has further improved with the Limelight Hotel Snowmass, which opens this season as part of a major renovation of the resort’s base area. The Limelight Snowmass features 99 rooms and 11 residences, and offers the kind of complimentary amenities that other resorts usually charge extra for: two pool spas, a climbing wall, fat-tire bikes, early access to the slopes on select days, an ice-skating rink right outside. As for the location, it’s hard to beat: the Elk Camp gondola is steps away.
Rates start at $525 per night.
INFO 855-369-2460, limelighthotels.com/snowmass
Some accommodations nickel and dime you for every little perk. Others, like the Mountain Top Inn & Resort, make accounting easier: its rates include taxes and a resort fee that covers the kind of stuff most places charge for. This means that your room includes breakfast and afternoon refreshments, daily use of the sauna, hot tub and fitness center, access to 30 miles of Nordic and snowshoe trails, and a daily shuttle to both the Killington and Pico ski areas. Located on a secluded estate, the Mountain Top Inn is a perfect balance of serene and active.
Rates start at $275 per night (winter discounts on the way, so check the website).
INFO 802-483-2311, mountaintopinn.com
Originally built in 1941, Snowpine Lodge will reopen on Jan. 16 after a drastic top-to-bottom renovation. The new, vastly improved Snowpine should bring luxury to this rugged corner of Utah’s Wasatch Range, with a heated pool and an extensive spa boasting an indoor grotto and an oxygen bar. The lodge, which is against a hill, even has its own lift so you don’t have to hike back up at the end of the day — now that’s exclusive.
Rates start at $329 per night ($352 with breakfast, $422 with breakfast and dinner).
INFO 801-742-2000, snowpine.com
MOUNT SNOW, VERMONT
At first glance, the Treehouse Village Inn is your typical Vermont bed-and-breakfast: warm and homey, and a stone’s throw away from a ski resort — in this case, Mount Snow. But starting this season the property offers an actual tree house in addition to its regular rooms. Designed and built by Pete Nelson, of the Animal Planet show “Treehouse Masters,” the A-frame structure overlooks a pond and features a sleeping loft, a wraparound deck, a kitchenette and a gas fireplace. So you can rough it out in a tree, but not too much.
Rates start at $125 per night for the inn, $300 for the tree house.
INFO 802-348-4377, treehousevillageinn.com
LAKE TAHOE, CALIFORNIA
It used to be a bit of a headache to get to Tahoe from New York, but now that JetBlue has daily direct flights to the Reno-Tahoe airport, the area’s many ski resorts are a lot more attractive. Now operated by Heavenly, Lakeland Village Resort, on Lake Tahoe’s California side, combines the best of both worlds: the slopes are just a mile away (and easily accessed by shuttles if you don’t feel like driving) and there is plenty to eat, visit and enjoy downtown. With accommodations ranging from a lodge to studios to townhomes, Lakeland is particularly good for families and groups of friends where not everybody is into snowsports.
Rates start at $129 per night ($103 for Epic passholders).
INFO 855-802-3133, skiheavenly.com/plan-your-trip/stay/lakeland
The Vail Marriott Mountain Resort — sitting in the middle of Vail Village, near the Eagle Bahn gondola — is undergoing a $25 million “re-imagination.” In addition to the usual sprucing up and fancy improvements to the amenities, the resort is teaming up with Colorado’s Icelantic Skis — renowned for its superb topsheet designs — for a special package where you can demo new men’s and women’s models, and even stay in an Icelantic-themed suite.
Rates start at $549 per night.
INFO 970-476-4444, marriott.com/hotels/travel/whrco-vail-marriott-mountain-resort