The Alps are an internationally renowned ski destination for their singular mix of European glamour and stellar skiing. Few regions match the iconic mise en scène of century-old towns connected by miles and miles of snow-white slopes. Still, we believe few things enhance life more than bold exploration. While Summer always seems a good season to cut ties with the ordinary and set out in search of new sights and shores, we think Winter has just as many titillating destinations to offer. These five ski-destinations bear distinctive beauty and excitement well worth recognizing, not to mention a myriad of après-ski opportunities promising warmth, rest, and a chance to luxuriate our way through the long Winter months. So pack your boots and cashmere, and let it snow! Ski destinations for Winter 2018 / 2019 just got better ~
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Nestled away in the desolately beautiful Grand Tetons, ski destination Jackson Hole provides an escape for those seeking a world away from, well, everything but snow. For the avid, adventurous skier, the mountain boasts some of the most ambitious terrain in the US with wide open bowls barreling into cliff faces and tree shoots galore. However, there’s plenty of tamer terrain for the more recreational among us. While it may be isolated, the town of Jackson still knows how to cater to luxury interests. For a classic midwestern experience, the Jenny Lake Lodge combines old-school status with understated magnificence. Tour the national park by horseback before enjoying a five-course dinner and unwinding in your private, historic cabin. As a contemporary alternative, the western minimalism of the Amangani Hotel reigns supreme. While they’re decor rightfully lets the landscape speak for itself, the service is anything but minimal. For a stellar, low-key evening, head to the Granary Restaurant to take in an unbeatable sunset and hopefully catch some local live jazz.
One of America’s most iconic ski destination towns, Vail loyalists come for the snow and stay for the leisure. Closer to town than the slopes and modeled after an old-school Swiss chalet, the beautiful Sonnenalp hotel is a charming in-between option for the perfect balance of ski and après activities. Looking to rejuvenate? Vail Mountain Lodge, home to the Vail Vitality Center, offers a full-service spa, yoga and barre classes, and a staff of holistic professionals to diagnose and dissipate your every ailment. For the purists among us, you cannot beat the Arrabelle at Vail Square’s proximity to the slopes. Whatever kind of winter bliss you seek, Vail provides a little something for everyone, not to mention some of the most incredible skiing in North America. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen! You’ll likely be skiing in sunshine.
Queenstown, New Zealand
The terrain and vistas of Queenstown will amaze even the seasoned mountain veteran. With four mountains to choose from, featuring wide, open slopes and beautiful lake valley views. There is a reason this ski destination is known as the Southern Alps for nothing! Get your fill of sun and snow before heading to the unparalleled refuge of the Matakauri Lodge. Poised on the banks of Lake Wakatipu, their luxurious Deluxe Suites offer impeccable interiors designed by the acclaimed Virginia Fisher and include a private deck and fireplace. Enjoy ultimate privacy and relaxation with views to make all your wildest, winter dreams come true. Oh, and did we mention they can arrange helicopter tours of the area if you feel like taking a day off the slopes? In other words, a ski trip to New Zealand is nothing less than pure magic.
Hlidarfjall Mountain, Iceland
For the more adventurous, outdoorsy traveler, skiing in Iceland is a truly exhilarating ski destination experience. One of Iceland’s premiere ski areas for the past 40 years, Hildarfjall stands tall at 1,538 meters above sea level, which ensures constant snow during the winter season. Beyond incredible snow coverage and quality, the extensive slopes and cross-country ski trails of Hildarfjall boast one of the best views of Eyjafjörður, Iceland’s most extensive fjord. Expert mountain staff are happy to help you refine and advance your technique, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned expert. Regardless, there’s terrain and fun to be had for all. While a bit of a trek from the mountain, you’d be remiss to pass up a stay at Brimnes hotel, with its rustic private cabins and unmatched view of Iceland’s northern lights. Sample traditional Icelandic dishes at the hotel restaurant, and settle into your cabin for an evening of stunning views after a day on the slopes.
Situated just north of Vancouver, BC, Whistler Blackcomb provides about 200 days of open slopes annually, making it the perfect destination almost anytime of year (not to mention your Vail Epic Pass conveniently doubles as a Whistler Pass). The intimate Nita Lodge is the perfect spot for a romantic weekend or girl’s getaway. Just a mile from the Creekside gondola, and a ten-minute ride from Whistler Village, staying at the Nita ensures you access to the best of both worlds. Ski all day and head into town to explore Whistler’s countless après-ski options and bustling night life, or curl up by the basalt gas fireplace with a glass of wine and unwind before dinner in the hotel restaurant. Either way, your time at the Nita Lodge lets you constantly enjoy the only lakeside view in Whistler. Feeling sore? Escape the slopes for a day at the spa. Feeling adventurous? Take an evening snowmobile tour of the lush backcountry. Anytime November through March, Whistler is a ski destination worth escaping to.
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