While the powder, the bowls, and the crosscountry trails may be exceptional, a number of amenities are required for a complete ski vacation. Here is a listing of American resorts that deliver the goods. Whether you’re traveling with the family, going solo, or embarking on a romantic holiday, your winter adventure will be anything but downhill.
Aside from great skiing, there’s a lot of nature loving in Lake Tahoe. Under clear, blue skies there are trails for snowmobiling and horse-drawn carriage rides. There’s also the annual dogsled races and ice-skating. The Sutter Cabin, which features a kitchenette, a living room with a vaulted ceiling, and a river rock fireplace suited for one to four people at Black Bear Inn in South Lake Tahoe, California (877-232-7466; www.tahoeblackbear.com), is particularly romantic for couples seeking privacy. Or check out the Lakeside Cottages at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in Incline Village, Nevada (888-899-5019; www.laketahoehyatt.com), where each parlor features a wood-burning fireplace and private deck overlooking the lake.
Vail Cascade Resort & Spa in Vail, Colorado (800-282-4183; www.vailcascade .com) offers a choice of guest rooms, suites, condominiums, and private residences. The resort also has a chairlift to carry you to your downhill adventure. There’s great dining, ski shops, and the Aria Spa & Club, which provides a variety of body treatments and wraps. You can also enjoy a number of sporting activities, including tennis, squash, and yoga. This month, it’s also host to the Black Enterprise/AXA Advisors Ski Challenge.
Bring the whole family to Club Med Crested Butte (888-932-2582; www.club med.com), where, unlike many other villages, this resort encourages guests to explore beyond its confines. There are 85 ski runs for children, beginners, and daredevils. Packages include all levels of snow activity for adults and children 4 years and older. The village offers cross-country, snowboarding, dogsledding, and snow cat touring. Off-property you’ll find spas, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.
Chalet Montesano (800-723-9104; www .chaletmontesano.com) is a romantic, sunny, forest hideaway in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico, where the slopes are steps away from the Swiss-Alpine-style inn.
After a morning on the slopes, relax in the chalet’s exquisite solarium where you can enjoy the beauty and activity of the great outdoors from the lap pool, whirlpool, sauna, or fitness room. For added convenience, studios are outfitted with kitchens and wood-burning fireplaces.
Lake Placid Lodge (877-523-2700; www.lakeplacidlodge.com) is a warm and rustic ski resort located in the Adirondacks, offering cross-country, alpine skiing, skating, and sledding. Relax by the large stone wood-burning fireplaces in one of the guest cabins and enjoy world-class dining, with four wine-tasting menus and a 4,000-bottle functional wine cellar.
Off-property, there are some wonderful finds: boutiques, galleries, eclectic restaurants, and museums.
An exciting ski adventure in Alta, Utah, is a given. What you encounter at the Alta’s Rustler Lodge (888-532-2582; www.rustlerlodge.com) is guaranteed to make your winter vacation a luxurious and unique experience. If you’re bringing the kids, they will be well entertained by a variety of programs and events organized by the resort. Adults will enjoy personalized aromatherapy