Everywhere you look is covered in pure white snow – the views in every direction are breathtaking, and the ski slopes appear to be calling your name.
That’s right – You’re in the Rockies!
Every proper ski vacation calls for as much focus on “après-ski” as it does on hitting the slopes. And in the Rockies, luxury accommodations, dining, and entertainment are often found right at the foot of a ski run.
Visitors have their choice of luxury resort towns in the Rocky Mountains, with famed locations like Aspen and Vail, as well as lesser known resort towns, like Jackson Hole and Deer Valley.
Skip the hours and hours of reading reviews on TripAdvisor and Googling the best ski resorts in the Rockies – we’ve already done that for you with this list of the most luxurious ski lodges in the Rocky Mountain region so you can find exactly what you’re looking for to make your next ski vacation one you will remember forever.
The Little Nell Hotel
Credit: @The Little Nell
In a town with so many world-class hotels, restaurants and boutiques, it can be hard to stand out. However, the Little Nell Hotel most certainly does.
This is THE place to stay in Aspen. The hotel, which is so much more than your traditional ski lodge, was named after a mining claim located just uphill from where it sits today. Opened in 1989, The Little Nell Hotel is Aspen’s only 5-Diamond, 5-star hotel. They were originally awarded their 5-Diamond rating in 1991 and their 5-star rating in 1996 – and they have earned them again and again. Plus, the Little Nell is the only hotel that offers ski in and ski out access to Aspen Mountain.
Little Nell is home to Element 47, a world-renowned restaurant featuring an extensive wine cellar, groundbreaking cuisine, and unparalleled service. Element 47 has an annual Guest Chef dinner service series featuring some of the culinary world’s brightest stars.
This winter, Chefs Alex Seidel, Jean-Georges and Cedric Vongerichten will all be gracing Element 47’s kitchen with their skills. And the entrees on your table won’t be the only works of art you’ll experience while dining at Element 47. Artwork by renowned artists such as Michelle Grabner, Cameron Martin, and Philip Vanderhyden adorn the walls of Element 47 for an elegant dining experience like no other.
Aspen might be the most famous “little” ski town in all the Rockies, maybe even in the entire world! Boasting four world class mountains, an average of 246 sunny days and 176 inches of snow a year, it’s no wonder why Aspen has been regarded as a top ski destination for decades.
The Arrabelle at Vail Square
The Arrabelle at Vail Square is the perfect mix of luxury and warm personal connection. They combine opulence with the old world charm the Vail Valley is famous for. From the complimentary ski valet and storage to GoPros that allow you to record every minute of your adventures, your every desire will be met and exceeded.
Their hospitality doesn’t just extend to their human guests, either. The Arrabelle pampers pets, as well, with their own beds, homemade treats and midday walks.
Home to the 1989, 1999 and the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships, Vail, Colorado is one of the largest ski resorts in the world. Featuring 5,200 acres of ski and snowboard terrain, along with seven back bowls, Vail has the most groomed pistes on Earth. Vail averages 184 inches of snow and 247 sunny days a year, making it a skier’s paradise.
Stein Eriksen Lodge
Credit: @Stein Eriksen Lodge
The Stein Eriksen Lodge at Deer Valley has an extensive award shelf to brag about. Among others, their honors include a five-star rating from the Forbes Travel guide and being named the World’s Best Ski Lodge at the 2014 World Ski Awards in Austria.
Once you experience the lodge for yourself, all of the praise will make perfect sense. Upon your arrival, you will be greeted by a glorious chalet entrance with heated walkways leading you to your room. Every room is individually decorated and adorned with exposed beams and a stone fireplace.
You won’t need to look too far for the best dining options, either. The Stein Eriksen is home to the Four-Star rated Glitretind Restaurant.
The Glitretind’s main courses feature locally sourced protein, such as roasted Utah lamb and Rocky Mountain Elk, and are served in a picturesque dining room looking over the Watasch range. In addition to highly lauded cuisine, the restaurant offers more than 750 different wines from across the globe.
About Deer Valley
Located 36 miles east of Salt Lake City, Deer Valley is a world-class alpine ski resort boasting six ski areas, 21 lifts and over 100 runs. With so much terrain and versatility, it’s easy to see why Deer Valley was tapped to host multiple events in the 2002 Winter Olympics. Skiers are treated to world-class weather as well, with over 340 inches of snowfall and 2229 sunny days annually.
Four Seasons Resort and Residences, Jackson Hole
Credit: @Four Seasons Jackson Hole
The Four Seasons at Jackson Hole is a short 30-minute drive from the Jackson Hole Airport, making it easily accessible – yet far enough away from civilization to immerse you in some of the most beautiful wilderness of North America. The lobby of the Four Seasons ski lodge features a large fireplace that is equaled by the warmth of their staff members who will greet you like a long time friend.
The resort’s Westbank Grill serves up its regional dishes like Snake River Waygu, Rocky Mountain Elk Chops and Colorado Lamb, against the backdrop of a roaring fire and breathtaking mountain views. New to the resort is the Handle Bar, a pub-style restaurant that excels in serving elevated pub food – think Ossa Buco, Shiro Miso Ramen, Chimichurri Prawns and more.
The entire resort underwent a room renovation in 2014, and it is just as luxurious as ever. Every room features a fully customizable bed along with Wyoming-specific perks like Cache Creek Apothecary products and all of the usual Four Season amenities. There are three chairlifts offering direct access to the slopes, in addition to a full list of winter activities such as dog sledding and wildlife safaris.
About Jackson Hole
Located in the Teton Range, Jackson Hole is known for its challenging terrain. Over half of its runs are rated expert and it claims over 4,100 vertical feet of skiing, the greatest continuous rise in the U.S.. This variety of terrain explains why Jackson Hole has hosted 3 different World Cup ski races and the first ever national Powder 8 Championship. Jackson Hole gets 459 inches of snow and 212 sunny days per year.
Credit: @Lumiere with Inspirato
Telluride’s iconic mountaintops are as moving as its small town charm. When planning an unforgettable trip to the Rockies, you should definitely consider booking your stay at Telluride’s boutique luxury hotel and ski lodge, the Lumiere with Inspirato,
Situated right at lift four of Mountain Village, Lumiere gives you access to the entire mountain. This prime location creates an unparalleled ski in, ski out experience, while the Lumiere penthouses offer an experience like none other.
Each penthouse features a gourmet chef’s kitchen with a Wolf gas range and Subzero refrigerator, a private outdoor hot tub, a gas fire place, a steam shower, a deep soak tub, and the list goes on. Their focus on creating experiences that last a lifetime has translated into a slew of awards, including a Four Diamond from AAA, a 4-star rating from Forbes, and recognition from several publications, including Vogue, Travel and Leisure, Conde Nast and more.
During the 1980s, Telluride was known as “Colorado’s Best Kept Secret.” Apparently, they are bad at keeping secrets in Colorado. Home to the highest concentration of 13,000 and 14,000 peaks in North America, Telluride has over 2,000 skiable acres. Although famous for its advanced terrain, over 50% of Telluride’s runs are for beginners and intermediates, making it an ideal destination for groups of skiers with mixed skill levels. And with 300+ inches of average snowfall and 300 sunny days a year, it’s easy to see why, Telluride was ranked #1 in the Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Survey for three years in a row.
Now that you know where to stay during your trip to the Rocky Mountains, check out these tips for how to pack so you’ll have everything you need for an unforgettable trip!