Come autumn, there's one thing that skiers and riders want to know: What's new at the resorts? Mostly, the news is of new chairlifts, snowmaking and grooming machines, but the coming ski season also brings hotel and spa development from at least four major western resorts.
At southwestern Colorado's Crested Butte Mountain Resort, a $25 million renovation of The Elevation Hotel exemplifies a complete base-area makeover. The hotel has seen various incarnations over the years, most recently as a Club Med. It's rebirth brings new luxury accommodations and re-establishes the property as Crested Butte's sole full-service, ski-in/ski-out hotel.
By the start of ski season, 126 of the hotel's 262 rooms and King Suites will have been renewed with amenities like king beds, refrigerators, irons and ironing boards, coffeemakers and security safes. Bathrooms will have Kohler soaking tubs, showers with extra large showerheads and Gilchrist and Soames Spa Therapy Collection toiletries.
While Crested Butte is best known for its extreme terrain, the resort handles families beautifully. Its outstanding children's ski school and day care operation is complemented by many special activities like tubing and a "Kids' Night on the Town" program. The Elevation enriches that family-friendliness with a swimming pool, hot tub, fitness center and the on-site Atmosphere Bar & Restaurant.
Also in Colorado, Vail Resort's The Arrabelle at Vail Square evokes classic European mountain cities like Innsbruck. Set adjacent to the Eagle Bahn gondola, its four individual buildings surround a central plaza with an ice rink. High-end retail and ski-school operations grace the first level. A glockenspiel signals midday, the closing of the slopes and snowfalls of six inches or more.
Within the complex, The Arrabelle Hotel is comprised of 32 rooms and four suites that range from 409 to 900 square feet. All units have a fireplace, five-component baths (double vanities, soaking tubs, glass showers and private water closet, plus in-bath flat-screen TVs and phones), DVD players, iPod-compatible Bose radios, wet bars, stocked mini-fridges, 600-count linens and lush duvets.
Attending butlers on each floor assist guests with, well, whatever: unpacking, storing luggage, arranging morning newspaper delivery and booking activities and restaurant reservations.
The slopeside ski valet/storage service is replete with boot warmers and a private lounge for changing footwear and sipping hot chocolate. The 10,000-square-foot RockResort Spa—open only to hotel guests, residence owners and members of The Arrabelle Alpine Club—adds the crowning touch.
World-class Terrain in the Tetons
Wyoming's Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is well known for challenging skiing and riding, but it's also rife with luxurious creature comforts. The newest of these is found at the Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa, where a $7 million expansion includes the three-story, 16,000-square-foot Solitude Spa. The pampering takes place in 10 treatment rooms with in-room Jacuzzis and balconies (including two couples' rooms with fireplaces), a wet room with Vichy shower, manicure and pedicure facilities, indoor and outdoor pools, steam rooms, five hot tubs and locker-room Jacuzzis. Other amenities include a rooftop yoga/Pilates studio, rooftop deck, outdoor 24-person hot tub and state-of-the-art fitness room.
Therapies combine alpine and water-inspired rituals using a variety of techniques, organic oils and aromatherapies. For example, the "Skin Indulgence Glacier Body Wrap" includes a footbath, body scrub, mud body masque and massage and Vichy showers. Other treatments include Thai massage, shiatsu, reflexology and reiki in unique combinations.
Ski or Ride Olympic Runs in Utah
Park City, Utah, home to three ski resorts, a historic downtown, the 2002 Winter Olympics Park and the Sundance Film Festival, keeps growing. The Silverado Lodge at The Canyons Resort is its new star attraction.
The Silverado's 200-plus condo-hotel rooms range from studios to three-bedroom suites.
However, when it comes to amenities, size doesn't matter. Each unit has granite kitchen and bath countertops, Jacuzzi tubs, washer-dryers, high-speed Internet access, bedroom fireplaces, slate or hardwood floors in the entryway and kitchen, double bathroom sinks and custom stone flooring for the bathtub and shower. The architecture features nine-foot vaulted ceilings, loft areas and large windows that afford expansive mountain or valley views.
Public spaces evoke a classic mountain lodge by using timber and stone. The two-story arched lobby, decorated with a double-sided stone fireplace and rich leather furniture, contributes to an intimate, welcoming atmosphere.
Silverado delivers all the niceties: full concierge service; attended ski/snowboard and boot storage/valet; a pristine workout facility; an alluring outdoor, year-round pool with hot tubs; and indoor parking. Fine dining is found next door at the Grand Summit Hotel and, while the hotel isn't ski-in/ski-out, it's just two-minutes' walk to the lifts.