These 15 ski resorts still have room at the inn for Christmas with plenty of holiday cheer and even a deal or two for the savvy traveler.Given the tremendous early snowfall this year, spending Christmas at a ski resort promises to be the ultimate winter vacation. Remarkably, we've discovered 15 resorts where you can still find a few available rooms, even at this late date.
Of course, few discounts can be found as this is one of the most desirable times of the year to be in the mountains and many resorts charge top dollar and require minimum night stays. But if you're determined to go to the mountains this Christmas, several packages can still be had. Rates are per room, per night, unless noted, and are based on double occupancy. Some airfares remain unsold so ask about those when booking, and watch out for those inevitable last-minute cancellations.
Christmas packages are still available in Whistler and they start at $916 US per person, based on seven nights of lodging and six-days of skiing. You get two Fresh tracks breakfast vouchers and round-trip bus transportation from Vancouver International Airport. All the featured properties are in Whistler Village, either on-slope or less than a 10-minute walk from the mountain base and lifts.
KIRKWOOD MOUNTAIN RESORT, CA
Kirkwood Mountain Resort still has two- and three-night minimum stays available during the Christmas holiday, good from Dec. 22-26. Rates range from $199 to $519 per night, depending upon the size and style of the room. Among the highlights will be a torchlight parade and fireworks on Christmas Eve that will be visible from virtually all of the lodging units.
For those with deep pockets, the St. Regis Aspen (888-454-9005) has a special Christmas package but you must stay five nights and check out on Dec. 26. The rate is $3,596 while the regular rack (published) rate for this time is $1,200, or $6,000 total. So you're actually saving $2,404. For skiers of more modest means, there are a few modestly priced condos left in town. The Shadow Mountain Lodge, for example, has studios' available for $48 per person, per night.
CRESTED BUTTE, CO
At Crested Butte, the "December Deal" is good from Dec. 18-26. One package offers four nights of lodging at either the Sheraton Crested Butte Resort for $375 per person or the Manor Lodge for $277 per person. Both deals include a three-day lift ticket. Air is still available during this time period.
The Christmas deal for Keystone allows you to stay and ski for free through Dec. 25. For $109 per person, per night, visitors get a hotel room at the Keystone Lodge, two free lift tickets and free activities, such as holiday concerts, snowshoeing, yoga classes, kids craft nights, cross country skiing and more.
Telluride has been blessed with a lot of early season snow and thankfully there are still places to lay your head after a day in the powder. The newly refurbished Ice House (800-544-3436) is offering lodge rooms from Dec. 20-25 for $175 per night, including complimentary breakfast and apres-ski in Rico's Bar. The Camel's Garden (888-772-2635) is offering luxury hotel accommodations from Dec. 20-25 for $260 per night, including complimentary breakfast and apres-ski wine and cheese. The Inn at Lost Creek's (888-601-5678) "Luxury Ski Holiday Package" starts at $1,455 per person and includes five nights of lodging in a suite with fireplace, jetted tub and steam shower, two four-day lift passes and a $100 gift certificate at their 9545 Restaurant.
Vail is not only SKI magazine's number one reader-ranked resort this year but it's also the first choice for many skiers who want the full Christmas experiencee. While most of the choice lodgings are long since spoken for, Vail Realty & Rental still has a variety of units available through Christmas. Rates begin at $175 for a studio, $550 for a two-bedroom, with a five-night minimum stay required. At the Evergreen a hotel room for three nights and three days of lift tickets is $861.22 per person with hotel taxes and booking fee included.
WINTER PARK, CO
The new Zephyr Mountain Lodge, a ski-in-ski-out property at the base of the mountain, has two-night packages available during the Christmas period. They include two-days of lift tickets in a luxury one-bedroom slopeside condo for $334. For those looking for something less expensive, there are motel and lodge packages that include five-night stays and four-days of lift tickets for $522 per person.
BIG MOUNTAIN, MT
At Big Mountain's Hibernation House, you can find a room from Dec. 22-26 for $102 per person, per night that includes a lift ticket and breakfast. (www.bigmtn.com/html/hibhouse.html). The Alpinglow Inn is offering a similar deal for $110.50 per person, per night. Montana's Finest Resorts (877-862-1505 or www.montanasfinest.com) still has room at Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish for $136 per person, per night and at Kandahar Lodge on Big Mountain for $145 per person, per night. Both of these deals include a lift ticket.
ATTITASH BEAR PEAK, NH
The Grand Summit Resort Hotel has a Christmas Getaway package that begins at $179 per person, per night, including a daily lift ticket. It's valid from Dec. 22-25 and there's a three-night minimum and a four-night maximum stay.
The number one ski resort in the East according to this year's SKI magazine reader resort survey still offers a deal that includes four-nights lodging and four-days of lift tickets. You arrive on Dec. 22 and depart on Dec. 26 and the accommodations are in a luxurious one-bedroom suite. Prices start at $99 CAN per person, per night based on double occupancy, or about $68 US.
DEER VALLEY, UT
The Stein Ericson Lodge is long since booked but amazingly, the week of Dec. 18-26 is still looking good for other accommodations. Deer Valley reports that it still has inventory of everything from single units up to private homes. Contact them for price quotes.
SMUGGLER'S NOTCH, VT
At Smuggler's Notch, there are two- to seven-night stays available, mostly in studios. There's limited availability in two and three bedroom condos. The resort's "Special 7 Night/7 Day Club Smugglers' Celebration Package" is $199 per day, per adult and $185 per day, per youth (ages 17 and under).
There is limited availability at a number of properties at this Vermont resort through Christmas. Stratton requires a five-night minimum and the rate is $159 per night for the room. It does not include lift tickets.
Snowshoe still has availability at Christmas. The resort's Christmas Package starts at $878 per family of four and includes five nights of lodging and five days of lift tickets. It's good from Dec. 21-25. Lodging is at the Inn at Snowshoe at the base of the mountain.