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Okemo has long epitomized the classic, family-friendly Vermont resort—a low-key alternative to the bustle of Stratton and the frenetic pace of Killington. Credit owners Tim and Diane Mueller, who have focused on exceptional service and kept a steady hand on growth and expansion. Okemo is still friendly and low-key, but it’s finally hitting that sweet spot where “comfortable merges with “upscale. The new Okemo is a sleek, efficient machine capable of handling the weekend influx from southern New England and greater New York City. When it comes to lodging, your choices boil down to slopeside or New England quaint, in various flavors of luxury and comfort. Here are our picks.
Luxury: Jackson Gore Inn
This architectural hybrid of a Vermont farmhouse and upscale mountain lodge opened in the winter of 2003—04, raising the bar for luxury at Okemo. It’s slopeside at the less-populated Jackson Gore base area, which means less competition for first tracks. And the inn prides itself on its five-star amenities, such as valet parking, heated walkways and complimentary admission to the new Spring House fitness center, with its indoor/outdoor pool, kids pool and hot tubs. $120—$1,230;
Victorian Ambience: Inn at Water’s Edge
Situated on Echo Lake, about 10 minutes from the ski resort, this 150-year-old Victorian estate offers 11 guest rooms, each different in size, uniquely decorated and furnished with vintage pieces. The inn’s 100-year-old bar, called Doc’s Place, is modeled after an authentic English pub, complete with a pool table and an old wood-burning fireplace. A full country breakfast is included. Expect high comfort in a cushy setting. $175—$300;
B&B: The Governor’s Inn
This eight-room lodge in Ludlow, one mile from the slopes, is what most of us imagine when we think of a Vermont B&B. The vintage 1890 Victorian was built by Vermont governor William W. Stickney. You can count on antiques and period wallpaper, while some rooms boast gas fireplaces or two-person Jacuzzi tubs. A full, hot breakfast is served on antique china daily. Plus the only things you’ll be sharing with other guests are tales of that day’s powder exploits, because thankfully, all the rooms have ensuite facilities. $154—$319;
Slopeside Okemo Mountain Lodge; $153—$197; okemo.com; 800-786-5366
B&B Inn Victoria; $110—$275; innvictoria.com; 802-875-4288
New England Ambience Henry Farm Inn; $105—$155; henryfarminn.com; 800-723-8213