It took a while, but Vermont's oldest major ski resort finally has its first slopeside lodging: Guests can now get from the Stowe Mountain Lodge, which opened in June, to the Over Easy Transfer Gondola connecting Spruce Peak to Mt. Mansfield without ever setting boot to snow.
The six-story, 139-room lodge delivers not just location, but a sense of place. Combining mighty cedar timbers and locally quarried granite, the architecture evokes grand Adirondack camps. Soaring windows survey Vermont's vistas, from Mt. Mansfield to Smugglers' Notch. Custom-made crafts from local designers such as Simon Pearce (glass lamps), Charles Shackleton (furniture) and Miranda Thomas (pottery) reflect Yankee ingenuity.
All accommodations - from oversize studios to three-bedroom suites - have gas fireplaces, balconies and kitchens, as well as flatscreen TVs and iPod docking stations. The 24-hour concierge contacts guests prior to arrival about their preferences and will stock the larder with fresh-squeezed juice, single-malt scotch or whatever they might need. For post-piste respite, skiers can book a treatment at The Spa at Stowe Mountain Lodge.
What most guests are excited about, though, is the new Solstice Restaurant, which celebrates farm-to-table Vermont cuisine. After an entrée of rabbit loin stuffed with foie gras and cabbage, you'll be ready for another day on the Front Four. $350–$3,000 per night;