There are skiers, and then there are ski travelers. Ski travelers are those among us who get giddy at the thought of shiny new ski hotels swinging open their doors, complete with amazing amenities like sprawling spas and fitness centers, guest rooms with high-thread-count bedding and fragrant lotions, and whatever else these new lodgings can think up to offer vacationers.
This particular list rounds up new outdoor-minded retreats at or near ski resorts—think sprawling winter wonderlands with snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, sledding, and more. In other words, pack your layers and your sense of adventure.
Montage Big Sky, Big Sky, Mont.
Ski country’s headline hotel opening for the 2021-’22 season is this sprawling luxury resort, the newest in the upscale Montage brand. If it’s anything like its sister property in Deer Valley, skiers can expect no detail left untouched. The Montage Big Sky is scheduled to open in December 2021 with 150 rooms and 39 residences, all with ski-in/ski-out access to Big Sky’s 5,800 skiable acres. In addition to the high-end finishes one would expect from a Montage, guests will also have access to a state-of-the-art, 10,000-square foot spa, a 3,000-square-foot fitness center, six dining options—including the Beartooth Pub & Rec with bowling, darts, and arcade games—and a tubing park complimentary to hotel guests. Just be sure to find time to ski.
On That Topic: When Is Ski-In/Ski-Out Lodging Worth the Money?
Urban Cowboy, Big Indian, N.Y.
A chic, fully renovated property set on a 68-acre sprawl in the Catskills, Urban Cowboy hits the mark for skiers looking for exciting new digs with a remote yet luxurious feel. Formerly the Alpine Inn, an 85-year-old family-owned property inside the 36,000-acre Big Indian Wilderness, Urban Cowboy is an entirely reimagined rustic retreat. Located about 30 minutes from Hunter Mountain and 45 from Windham Mountain, Urban Cowboy comprises five buildings with 28 rooms and suites outfitted with throwback potbelly stoves and clawfoot tubs and adorned with thick Pendleton robes and high-end bedding. Public spaces include the bar and restaurant Public House, where the vegetarian-forward menu features dishes such as beer-battered shiitakes and roasted beets with Ewe’s Blue Cheese, made in nearby Old Chatham. While Urban Cowboys offers much to do on-property, including snowshoeing, sledding, and taking a dip in the natural hot spring, don’t underestimate the restorative nature of just enjoying the ambiance and doing a whole lot of nothing.
Here’s What It’s Like at Urban Cowboy in the Winter
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Wylder Hope Valley, Hope Valley, Calif.
Formerly Sorensen’s, the iconic camp-like retreat south of Lake Tahoe, the 165-acre property was rebranded as Wylder Hope Valley and re-opened in 2019. There’s something for every type of traveler here, from quaint cabins and bungalows to the three-bedroom Hope House, a mountain house for larger groups. You can even park your RV and enjoy the amenities. Set south of South Lake Tahoe about 20 minutes from Kirkwood Mountain Resort and 30 minutes from both Heavenly and Sierra-at-Tahoe, Wylder has 30 cabins, seven yurts, and one rad, fully restored 1951 Spartan trailer with sleeping accommodations for four. Longtime Sorensen’s fans will be happy to know that Wylder held onto the iconic Sorensen’s Cafe, which has been serving home-cooked meals to locals and tourists alike for decades. When you’re not skiing, you can snowshoe on the many trails (snowshoes are included with your stay) then settle into the wood-fired sauna to warm right back up.
Miraval Berkshires, Lennox, Mass.
Despite the popular opinion often put forth on these pages, skiing doesn’t have to be the laser focus of every winter vacation. Case in point: A stay at wellness resort Miraval Berkshires, where skiing at nearby Butternut, 25 minutes away, can prove to be a nice side dish to Miraval’s 20-plus fitness classes, 50-plus seminars, three pools, and more spa treatments than any single property should rightfully offer. Needless to say, this property, which debuted in 2019, puts the “treat” in retreat. In addition to all that there is to do is all that there is to eat. Miraval partners with Williams Sonoma to outfit its Life in Balance kitchen, where guests can learn how to cook new dishes and try state-of-the-art equipment and techniques. Just want to eat? Harvest Moon restaurant focuses on mindful eating with an emphasis on local, fresh ingredients. Aside from nearby skiing (Catamount is also 40 minutes away), winter activities include an intro to cross-country skiing (or guided skiing for the more experienced) and snowshoeing.