The Best Ski Resorts For People Who Don't Ski
There's so much to love about skiing — the speed, the thrill, the crisp air in your face. On the other hand, there's so much to dislike about skiing, including the speed, the thrill and the crisp air in your face.
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For those of you that find yourself agreeing with the latter viewpoint, we get it. Skiing isn't everyone's cup of tea. Most of you might be surprised to find out, however, that if you were dragged along on a snowy getaway with friends or family, you could still have an amazing time without ever hitting the slopes. We enlisted the help of Arabella Bowen of Fodor's Travel and Courtney Scott of Travelocity to come up with a list of great resorts and lodges that offer everything you could possibly want from a ski vacation, minus the actual skiing.
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Here's a list of the best places for sipping cocoa, dining fireside, or just generally avoiding any interaction with nature.
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler
Billing itself as an all-season resort destination, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is the perfect choice for people who prefer to stay inside while their friends carve the snowy trails. “The Fairmont Chateau Whistler in British Columbia is just steps from the Blackcomb ski lifts, and offers not just ski-in/ski-out options, but also shopping, an impressive spa, Pacific Northwest fare at the Wildflower Restaurant and the requisite grand fireplace,” says Arabella Bowen.
(The Fairmont Chateau Whistler)
The Village at Squaw Valley
"Snowmobiling, scenic Lake Tahoe cruises, gambling, nightlife, cross country — these are just a few of things that make this place attractive to skiers and non-skiers alike," says Courtney Scott of the area surrounding the Village at Squaw Valley. According to the expert, the resort itself offers fire pits, shopping, more than a dozen restaurants and bars, and "spectacular nighttime scenery" during guided moonlight snowshoe tours. Guests who book a trip before April 13 can get a fourth night free through Travelocity, adds Scott.
(The Village at Squaw Valley)
Westin Snowmass Resort
The Westin Snowmass Resort overlooks the picturesque village of Snowmass, Colorado, and offers ski-in/ski-out access for those looking to tackle the slopes. As Bowen notes, though, "the property is also the ideal getaway for non-skiers." There's a world-class spa and brand-new WestinWORKOUT® fitness center on site, along with a pool and two new hot tubs. "Guests can also relax by the fireplace with a drink from The Vue bar and enjoy sweeping views of Snowmass Mountain," Bowen says. And for shopaholics, the Westin is located only moments away from the shops (and a shuttle ride from Aspen).
The Ferienart Resort & Spa
"The Ferienart Resort & Spa in Switzerland offers some of the best views around," says Bowen. "Located in the center of the village of Saas Fee, the wood-chalet hotel features a wide array of restaurants, from a Tuscan-style trattoria to Asian-fusion." Bowen also urges guests check out their world-class wellness facilities, which feature a mock grotto and a waterfall.
(Ferienart Resort & Spa)
The Hotel Jerome
"J Bar in the Hotel Jerome is one of Aspen's most timeless hangouts. Try the truffle fries and the Jerome Burger and wash it back with a few pints," suggests Scott. Guests of the Hotel Jerome can also enjoy its full-service spa, fitness center, heated outdoor pool or outdoor hot tubs. Just outside the grounds in surrounding Aspen, there's "huge variety of shopping, dining and nightlife," Scott adds. Best of all, travelers who book a retreat by February 1 can save up to 30 percent through Travelocity.
Park City’s Sundance Resort "is a genuine retreat," boasts Bowen. "The resort features owner Robert Redford’s personal collection of Native American art," she says, adding that they also offer both pottery and watercolor classes. The dining options also leave little to be desired. "Try the roasted Utah elk at the Tree Room or a pint at the Owl Bar," suggests Bowen.
The Sun Valley Lodge
The Idaho resort city of Sun Valley boasts fantastic recreational options, like skiing and a year-round ice rink, but those who prefer to stay indoors will appreciate the entertainment and dining at the Sun Valley Lodge. "The resort also boasts the Northwest’s most luxurious Nordic Center — with cross country skiing, snowshoeing and indoor virtual golf," explains Scott. The resort also boasts an on-site bowling alley, as well as weekly comedy or jazz nights at the Duchin Lounge. Scott also recommends eating at Gretchen's restaurant or visiting the lobby's "celebrity gallery" to view pictures of the lodge's most notable guests of the past and present.
(Sun Valley Lodge)
The Gasthof Post
Austria's Gasthof Post is located in historic Lech, but the chalet itself offers plenty of amenities and on-site dining. "The Post Stuben restaurant is one of the best in town, and the Kutscherstuben restaurant, with tables available on the outside garden terrace, serves excellent regional dishes," says Bowen. "The hotel also offers an enormous spa with both indoor and outdoor pools.”
Westgate Park City Resort and Spa
While it's ideal for avid skiers due to its close proximity to 182 ski runs, the Westgate Park City Resort and Spa is a paradise for non-skiers as well. The resort boasts a variety of dining and entertainment options, such as a world-class steakhouse, a sports bar with over 50 beers from around the world, an on-site arcade and Utah's largest indoor/outdoor swimming pool. Scott also suggests pampering yourself at the spa. "The Serenity Spa at Westgate has a 'design your own spa day' special where you can select any two services for $90 and any three services for $120 — a steal for a luxury spa!" Book a stay soon, and you can save up to 30 percent through Travelocity, says Scott.
(Westgate Park City Resort and Spa)