Top 10: best ski hotels & resort in North America

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (November 20, 2017): Top 10 best ski hotels & resort in North America.

It’s that time of the year again, when ski areas across the northern hemisphere are gearing up for their winter season as temperatures cool down. I have previously published a post about the best ski resorts in Europe, and today, we’re heading to North America. While North American ski areas may not be as extensive as their European counterparts in the Alps, they often boast more spectacular and deserted mountain scenery, better powder quality with more frequent snow dumps, less risks for avalaches, and fewer queues at ski lifts. The best ski resorts are found in the USA states of Utah (Park City), Wyoming (Jackson Hole) and Colorado (Aspen, Vail, Beaver Creek), and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia (Whistler) and Alberta (Lake Louise). All of these areas feature a wide range of five star resorts to suit the more discerning travelers, not just good skiers and snowboarders. So, before you head out to hit the slopes, have a look at my top 10 list of the most exclusive ski hotels & lodges in North America.

There is more info (with reviews) below the slide show.  Think I missed one? Leave a comment or take my poll below!

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*** Read: how to get complimentary VIP perks at luxury hotels & save money ***


10. FAIRMONT CHATEAU LAKE LOUISE, ALBERTA

Surrounded by soaring mountain peaks, the majestic Victoria Glacier and a glistening emerald lake, the world-famous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise hotel is located in Alberta’s Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is recognized globally for progressive environmental stewardship and responsible tourism. Originally built as a base for outdoor enthusiasts and alpinists over 100 years ago, the massive Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a year-round luxury mountain resort offering scenic hiking and canoe activities in summer and heli-skiing, dogsledding, ice-skating and sleigh-riding in the dramatic winter months. After a long day on the slopes in the fresh air, you can retreat to the hotel’s excellent spa facilities or enjoy fine dining in one of the many restaurants.


9. SUNDANCE RESORT, UTAH

Nestled at the base of and owned by actor Robert Redford, Sundance is a haven for discovery and inspiration that offers diverse mountain recreation experiences year round. Only an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City and 45 minutes from Park City, Sundance features 95 rustically elegant mountain cottages and 10 mountain homes that echo the simplicity of the natural setting. Each of lodging units is uniquely appointed in a style that integrates with mountain environment, including rough-hewn wood, warm tones and Native American accents. Many of suites include a stone fireplace and a deck or patio. All cottages offer easy access to downhill and cross-country skiing and snowboarding. The award-winning restaurants and spa contribute to the diverse amenities of this quiet mountain village and resort.


8. THE LITTLE NELL, COLORADO

With the city of Aspen at their front door and Aspen Mountain in their backyard, The Little Nell is the only hotel with ski-in, ski-out access to historic Aspen Mountain, and Aspen’s only recipient of both the Forbes/Mobil and AAA Five-Diamond Awards. The Little Nell has 92 spacious guest rooms including 11 suites and three signature suites. From the finest in haute cuisine to the 20,000 bottles of wine in their cellar, from the concierges in the lobby to the concierges on the mountains, and from family adventure to après ski, this hotel is – guests have said – ‘the Aspen of Aspen’. Regular celebrity guests include Jack Nicholson, Kevin Costner, Kate Hudson, Felicity Huffman, Elle Macpherson, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Aniston and Mariah Carey, who has reportedly bought out the penthouse in prior years for a view of Aspen Mountain.


7. FOUR SEASONS RESORT VAIL, COLORADO

Four Seasons Vail offers a fresh approach to alpine style, blending sophisticated contemporary design with cozy mountain tradition. Within a nature-inspired, eight-storey landmark, the hotel offers 121 high-tech guest rooms, including 24 suites – most with mountain and pool views, a furnished balcony, a gas-burning fireplace and a spacious bathroom with free-standing oval tub. With its spectacular view of Vail Mountain, the outdoor, heated pool allows for year-round enjoyment. After an invigorating day in the mountains, the alpine Spa at Four Seasons is the perfect place to soothe, restore and enhance your well-being. You’ll find a variety of dining venues on-site – including the luxe and hip The Remedy Bar – which celebrate deliciously nutrition-conscious cuisine inspired by Vail’s healthful, active lifestyle.

  • Hotel websiteFour Seasons Resort Vail
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast,  $100 USD spa credit).


6. STEIN ERIKSEN LODGE DEER VALLEY, UTAH

Named after Norwegian Olympic Gold Medal skier Stein Eriksen and nestled mid-mountain at Deer Valley Resort, the lodge is a European getaway in the heart of Park City. The hotel more than lives up to the hype, with a 23,000-square-foot spa, world-class dining, legendary service, and ski-in/ski-out access to 2,000 acres of powdery terrain. Each one of the 180 rooms or suites is designed with rich colors, natural textures, and sumptuous fabrics, and each echoing elements of Norway’s traditional style mixed with contemporary American aesthetics. More than 145 stone fireplaces throughout the property, many en-suite, add coziness and warmth to the cathedral ceilings in the well-appointed common areas. Seasonal, locally sourced cuisine at its restaurant Glitretind has made it one of the areas top dining venues.

  • Hotel website: Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast for 2, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD spa credit).


5. VICEROY SNOWMASS, COLORADO

At Viceroy Snowmass, one of North America’s greatest mountains is at your fingertips. Just minutes from downtown Aspen, this spectacular ski-in/ski-out resort resembles a huge fortress that could just as easily fit in the Himalayas as it does here. The resort’s 173 residentially appointed accommodations feature custom-designed interiors, pillow top mattresses with 100% Egyptian cotton bed linens, granite-counter kitchens, and private sundecks. The 7,000-square-foot spa with its waterfall-fed soaking pool offers a selection of wellness experiences, from Ute Native American-inspired therapies to contemporary beauty rituals. Dining choices are inspired, as is après-ski action. And the resort has been praised for its sustainability efforts, helping to preserve the pristine Rocky Mountain playground outside.

  • Hotel website: Viceroy Snowmass
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast for 2, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).


4. FOUR SEASONS RESORT WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA

Home to what is by far the largest ski resort in all of North America, the pedestrian village of Whistler is on Canada’s breathtaking west coast – just north of Vancouver. Guests at the Four Seasons Whistler can choose from endless activities on or off the mountain before retreating to one of the resort’s 273 inviting guestrooms, suites or townhouses, or 20 luxurious private residences. All accommodations are richly appointed in wood – each with their own gas fireplace – and offer superb views of the mountains, forest, valley, pool or courtyard from private balconies. After the rigors of skiing, golf, or shopping, you inhale alpine air while you’re massaged with the clay from a nearby lake or survey the snow-capped peaks while soaking in the outdoor whirlpools. The hotel’s celebrated restaurant, Sidecut Modern Steak, serves Canadian Prime Beef


3. ST REGIS ASPEN, COLORADO

The famous St Regis Aspen hotel is a contemporary version of a Gilded Age mountainside manor, providing an uncompromising base for arbiters of fine food and wine, connoisseurs of culture and adventure seekers. Located just steps from Aspen’s signature slopes and featuring premier amenities and St. Regis service, the resort is surrounded by icy mountain streams, shimmering alpine lakes and majestic snow-capped peaks. Each of the resort’s 179 guest rooms offers stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, inspiring guests to wake at the crack of dawn and hit the storied Colorado steeps. The Remede Spa is open year-round, complete with a 24-hour fitness center. Located in an ideal spot at the base of Aspen Mountain, the hotel is within walking distance to Aspen’s ultra exclusive shops, restaurants and entertainment.

  • Hotel websiteSt Regis Aspen
  • Other accolades: St Regis Aspen also features in my top 10 list of the best ski hotels in the world.
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast for 2, $100 USD food & beverage credit, early check-in, late check-out, and a welcome note accompanied by fresh fruit bowl and mineral water).


2. PARK HYATT BEAVER CREEK RESORT AND SPA, COLORADO

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa is a magnificent chateau-style Vail resort that incorporates the grandeur of its idyllic Colorado Rocky Mountain setting. From the hotel’s winter ski in-ski out access in the village, to the thrill of white-water rafting, hiking and outdoor adventures for all seasons, the best of Beaver Creek is waiting for you, just outside the hotel’s doors. The wood and sandstone interior complements the magnificent Rocky Mountain views, which can be enjoyed through the French doors of each room. The warm accommodations feature wood and sandstone interiors with a signature Hyatt bed fitted with soft linens and down duvet piled atop a plush pillow-top mattress. The hotel offers ski-in/ski-out access, a year-round heated outdoor pool, and an outdoor fire pit for roasting s’mores as the sun sets.


1. AMANGANI, WYOMING

Situated close to some of the USA’s finest ski slopes as well as Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, Amangani is an all-season resort overlooking the beautiful valley of Jackson Hole in Wyoming. Amangani – meaning ‘peaceful home’ – clings to the crest of East Gros Ventre Butte, some 7000 feet (2200 m) above sea level, and affords magnificent views of the Grand Tetons and Snake River Valley below. It was the first Aman resort  in North America and evokes the atmosphere of the American West. Sensitively designed with materials native to Wyoming, Amangani features redwood walls, floor-to-ceiling windows, and woven cowhide chairs. Spacious suites include king-sized beds, a fireplace, and a daybed, with sliding glass doors leading to a deck with mountain views.



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