Ski resorts around the United States have been busy modifying guidelines to keep you safe on the slopes this season. While policies vary, and may evolve, masks will be worn, social distancing enforced and fewer tickets will be sold to give everyone enough space in the snow. Plan and reserve your ski vacation early to make sure you won’t miss an s-turn or apres soirée.
Here are three to consider.
Aspen and Snowmass
You’ll want to train before you visit. That’s because Aspen has two top winter sports—skiing and apres. Once a silver mining mecca, this world- renowned ski area, tucked into Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, encompasses four ski mountains, each with its own highlights: Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass. Aspen Mountain rises from stylish main streets—buzzy walkways that brim with bars, restaurants, and canny shops. Best for better skiers, it offers early morning first track skiing (by reservation only) and pre-ski yoga mountaintop. Put the kids into lessons at Buttermilk, a treasure trove of easy groomers, accessible via a short bus ride. Go to Aspen Highlands for its long ridge and drop off trails, and get thee to Snowmass for its multi-level largesse and powdery snow. Advanced skiers can earn bragging rights at off-piste Highland Bowl, reachable by snowcat, then a 30-minute hike, where a stunning bowl awaits with pitches that range from 38 – 52 degrees. By far the best apres ski happens in Aspen town, when the lifts close, and everybody begins their evening work out.
Once a silver mining mecca, this world- renowned ski area, tucked into Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, encompasses four ski mountains, each with its own highlights: Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass. Aspen Mountain rises from stylish main streets—buzzy walkways that brim with bars, restaurants, and canny shops.
Aspen’s most luxurious stay, literally laughing distance from the gondola, the slope-side Nell manages to be urbane and cozy at once. Tipple after skiing at The Little Nell Wine Bar, overseen by Wine Director, Chris Dunaway and his team of stellar sommeliers. It offers 50 different wines by the glass. Choose the Pfeifer Suite for its 2,000-square-feet of swankiness, plus two mountain-side balconies.
W Aspen and Sky Residences
Chic, tony and design-savvy, this cool kids’ hangout occupies a prime spot slope-side. With mountain views, a rooftop pool, a ski shop, fire pits, colorful common rooms and decor that references Aspen’s mining past, this modern chalet hotel feels like a party. Indulge in one of the 11 jaw dropping Sky Residences, gorgeous two or three bedroom delights, with full kitchens and boast-worthy terraces.
For a unique, yet quintessentially Aspen, hideaway, choose this quiet haven minutes from downtown. Set amid a 40-acres garden, home to hundreds of works of art, built as Bauhaus style architecture, it sports 98 spacious suites with floor-to-ceiling windows. Complimentary airport, mountain and town shuttle services transfer guests to activities. Opt for the one bedroom mountain suite for its views.
Claiming Snowmass’ best address, this ski in/ski residential resort exudes a nostalgic lodge vibe, enhanced by modern amenities. Its Native American-inspired spa makes it a destination in itself. With on-site snowboard/ski rental and ski valet, the retreat offers unique packages, such as Uphill Thrills, an epic back country adventure, complete with guides. Book the 3BR Penthouse, and bring the family.
Don’t Miss: Visit the stunning Aspen Art Museum, designed by Shigeru Ban, which looks like it was molded from bentwood.
Where to Dine:
Float through Utah’s “Greatest Snow on Earth” with a ski vacation to Park City, located just a half hour from Salt Lake City International Airport. Anchored by its charming, refurbished, silver boom town streets, made famous as host for the 2002 Winter Olympics and its annual, celebrity-rife Sundance Film Festival, this nirvana of mountain style (and understated elegance) vaunts three incomparable ski resort experiences. Park City Resort, which became the United States largest ski resort when it merged with neighboring Canyons Resort in 2015, provides 7,300 skiable acres, with 38 lifts, 300 trails and 14 bowls. Adjacent, legendary Deer Valley Resort, reigns with upscale amenities, 2,000 plus acres of wide-open, groomed terrain and a skier only policy. New in 2019, Woodward Park City opened as the nation’s first, all-in-one, year round, ski and sport action retreat. Expect lift-accessed adventure tubing, skiing and snowboarding in season.
Don’t Miss: Bobsled at the Utah Olympic Park for the ultimate thrill.
St. Regis Deer Valley
With its arrival by romantic funicular, this.multi-level resort that evokes a castle amid the pines. A place you’re likely to learn to saber champagne (that’s a St. Regis thing), have a Remede spa treatment, drink a signature Bloody Mary (also a St. Regis tradition) see A-listers in your midst and sleep in luxury, this ski in/sky out retreat stands out as one of Park City’s best. Pampering bathrooms make the one bedroom, slope-facing suites the right choice.
Other Options: Waldorf Astoria Park City, conveniently situated at the base of Canyons Village, offers immense suites and mountain access at the resort’s northwestern side. Washington School House , ensconced in ah historic building, just off Main Street, exudes intimate luxury with just 13 stunning guest rooms.
Where to Dine:
Way up yonder in Wyoming’s far western corner, laid back Jackson Hole beckons. A wild, untrammeled region (expect a moose on the loose), which borders Grand Teton National Park, the hole refers to a grand valley and all it encompasses. Jackson, home to a town square, which holds an otherworldly (and instagrammable) elk antler arch, has a chic western vibe, and one in-town ski area, Snow King, a family friendly resort. A few miles away horseshoe-shaped Teton Village fringes a skiers’ and boarders’ paradise, known for its challenging runs—though there’s always an easy way down. To scare the bejesus out of yourself, plummet down vertically intense Corbet’s Couloir, an expert skier’s coveted badge of honor.
With the coddling vibe of a warm cabin on a cold day, this masculine-intoned den (think: leather, stone, wood) of suavity and charm provides direct access to Rendezvous Mountain and its abundant variety of ski runs. Characteristically opulent, Four Seasons guest rooms and service, a huge outdoor pool for apres ski, and horse drawn sleigh rides, make this Jackson’s epic stay.
Don’t Miss: Granite Hot Springs, less than an hour from Jackson, for a mineral rich soak.
Other options: Try the design savvy Fireside Resort Cabins, inspired by the Tiny House movement for a stylish, affordable stay. And, in Jackson, fans of vintage, will love The Anvil Hotel, a redone 50’s ski lodge.