Ready to conquer a new mountain or to run your ski’s through fresh powdery snow? We have selected the winter resorts that have the best slopes, staff and surroundings. Yep, the mountains are challenging, the interiors are cozy, and the spa's are amazing. Take a look at who made it on our list.
The Sebastian, Vail, Colo.
Colorado is known for its challenging slopes and adventurous spirit. If you are looking for a getaway or family vacation, then the Sebastian Vail holds plenty of both. When you are not enjoying the adorable ski town or on the mountain itself, we suggest you defrost those fingers and toes in the Frost Bar, which has a very cool faux-ice interior. For a full menu, Block 16 restaurant is a great option offering Spanish style tapas. Of course, what resort is complete without a spa? The spa at the Sebastian is Bloom. The treatment menu ranges from lengthy massages to a quick mani-pedi and right now they are offering the Glam-and-Go package for the growing girls in the family. Mother-daughter bonding time? We think so.
Fairmont Chateau, Whistler, Canada
Did you know that in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics the outdoor skiing and luge events were all held in Whistler? These Olympic slopes at the bottom of the Blackomb Mountains aren’t all black diamond’s though, they have a variety of skiing for all levels. You can learn to ride, take private lessons, participate in cross-country skiing, and there's even an option to be "extremely Canadian" and go free skiing for two days. To warm up, grab some hot chocolate in the Mallard Lounge or watch the mountain by a fire pit on the Mallard Terrace. Here are plenty of restaurants at this hotel to grab a bite, and all of them have a cozy and rustic feel. The Fairmont Chateau also boasts a great spa if you get a bit sore on the moguls!
The Rifflalp Resort, Switzerland
If there is one mountain that any ski fanatic is looking to conquer it's the Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland. Don’t be intimidated though, at the bottom of this mountain is a charming resort not to miss. The Riffelalp Resort recommends making ski instructor reservations for this mountain, whereas I recommend the alpine food at Walliser-Keller, which cooks regional dishes over an open fire. Don’t plan on skiing day and night though, at Rifflalp you can try your hand at curling or, for the more daring, paragliding, heli-skiing or rock climbing. Lots of activity options, just don’t forget this is a vacation. Relax at the St.Trop Alp spa, which offers less arduous activities like lounging, soaking and steaming. That’s more my speed.
The Homestead, Hot Springs, Va.
The Homestead in Hot Springs, Va., is a historic hotel, which has welcomed 22 presidents with elegant southern charm. Located in the Allegheny Mountains, this resort has many options for outdoor activities like ice skating, snow tubing and snowmobiling. If you are looking to go skiing this winter, the Homestead has time and money saving lift ticket, rental and accommodation packages that we recommend. We wish all vacations could be so easy to plan. The Homestead has colonial charm perfect for the holidays, and accommodations that are great for family vacations. Be warned, guests have been known return multiple times.
Les Trois Vallées, French Alps
Better yet, why not get a great ski trip for free? Right now the Les Trois Vallées is offering a lucky couple the chance to win a free holiday by simply following and re-tweeting Powder n Shine on Twitter. Cross your fingers and enter to win an April vacation to this award winning resort in the French Alps. Enter Here.
Any place we missed? Have you been to one of these resorts? Let us know in the comments section below!