While early January was not kind to Vermont—temperatures reached the 60s—the storm clouds rolled in mid-month bringing cold air and snow, allowing Killington—armed with world-class snowmaking guns covering 70 percent of its terrain—to rebound quickly. When Travel Agent was on site recently, the resort had excellent coverage. In fact, at press time, 147 out of Killington's 200 trails and 17 of its 33 lifts were open, including both gondolas, which are great for warming up on your way to the top. Killington stretches 11 miles from border to border, has six peaks—seven if you include Pico Mountain, a 10-minute drive away—and has 3,050 feet of vertical terrain, the most in New England, ranging from beginner to expert. It also has five terrain parks—including early-and late-season parks—with rails and huge jumps.
The 198-room Killington Grand Resort Hotel (www.killington.com/kgsr.html, 877-67-GRAND) is an attractive mountainside property—a short walk from the slopes—offering standard rooms, studios and suites. The one-bedroom suites, which have dining and living areas, a full kitchen and a balcony, are quite popular, while the most-requested premium accommodations are the multi-level two-bedroom suites, featuring everything listed above, plus an additional bedroom and bath—perfect for families. Alternatively, 124 of the property's rooms connect. The top suites are the three-bedroom penthouse suites, which have multiple bathrooms, private balconies, saunas, large kitchens, dining rooms, gas fireplaces and premium TVs. Book units that look out over the outdoor heated swimming pool to Killington Peak, which is silhouetted by the sunset each evening. These can be requested through comments on the GDS, or by calling 877-456-4637. Peak demand is during the ski season, which runs November through mid-May; book well in advance for weekends and holidays during this time. The foliage season, September through early October, is also popular.
The Killington Grand Resort Hotel is undergoing a $2 million refurbishment of accommodations, including floor coverings, drapes and spreads, wooden furniture, lighting fixtures, graphics, full-length mirrors and new headboards that feature a silhouette of the seven peaks of Killington. This renovation will be completed by summer 2007.
In addition to skiing and riding, clients can enjoy snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country/Nordic skiing, on-mountain tubing, ice-skating, sleigh rides and indoor rock climbing in the winter. In the spring, summer and fall, popular activities include kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, fishing, trips to the Killington & Pico Adventure Center (featuring two alpine slides), gondola rides to Killington Peak, mountain biking and horseback riding. The surrounding area also offers Vermont arts and crafts, shopping and theater performances throughout the year. The concierge can suggest and map out driving tours including visits to covered bridges, quaint Vermont towns such as Woodstock and various area attractions, including the Billings Farm and the Calvin Coolidge Museum and Historical Site. The concierge has also arranged everything from private cooking lessons at the New England Culinary Institute and private soaring lessons during foliage season in a two-person glider, to hot air balloon rides and day trips to Montreal. Ask about the Killington Music Festival Concert Series, running June through August (www.killingtonmusicfestival.org/mitmts.html).
The Killington Grand has a health club with workout equipment, sauna, steam room and a 75-foot outdoor heated pool with two hot tubs. The spa, completed in 2006, has five individual treatment rooms, including a wet room featuring the area's only Vichy shower, plus an area for manicures and pedicures. It uses Sothys, Integraderm, Creative and Gilchrist & Soames products. For massage therapy, the spa's most popular treatments, request Linda Canepari. Advance reservations for services are encouraged and can be made as part of a Killington Ski and Spa Package or by calling 802-422-1050. The spa director is Eve Greene (802-422-1055, [email protected]).
The Killington Grand Resort Hotel offers 25,000 square feet of flexible meeting space with an additional 15,000 square feet throughout Killington Resort. Complete audiovisual services, recreational activities including skiing and golf, banquet services are available as is outdoor team building.
The property is also a popular wedding destination. It offers a variety of wedding venues, including the Grand Ballroom, with over 8,300 square feet of space, outdoor locations next to the pool and the pond and the gondola-serviced Killington Peak Restaurant with panoramic views from an elevation of more than 4,000 feet. Complete banquet facilities are available, including wedding menus. Recreational activities including golf, hiking, biking and spa services can be included in wedding packages. Contact Karen Testa, wedding coordinator, at 888-64-GRAND or [email protected]
Killington is a three-hour drive from Boston and five hours from New York City. Nearby Rutland has an Amtrak stop and the Rutland State Airport, which welcomes helicopters and private jets, has daily flights from Boston (twice daily Monday through Friday). Visit www.flyrutlandvt.com for flight information, or www.killington.com/packages.html for Fly & Ski packages. In addition to car rentals, taxis and limousine service, there is a complimentary shuttle service that delivers guests to the dining and nightlife venues on Killington Road.
For full-day or half-day daycare, snow play and ski and snowboard instruction for children and youths up to 18 years of age, call Killington Perfect Turn at 800-923-9444.
While the Killington Grand does not allow pets, they recommend the Paw House in West Rutland (www.pawhouse.com).
Killington Dining Options
Hemingway's Restaurant: 802-422-3886
Lookout Bar and Grill: 802-422-5665
Casey's Caboose: 802-422-3795
Wally's All American Diner: 802-422-3177
The Wobbly Barn Steakhouse: 802-422-6171