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Resort Guide 2022

It’s All About Guest Service at These 10 Eastern Resorts

If you're here to ski but welcome great guest service, check out these resorts.

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Free fresh-baked cookies and complementary slopeside hot cocoa may not be essential to your ski vacation, but you have to agree, they are a nice touch—especially if you’ve got the whole family in tow. If you’re here to ski but welcome nice-to-have amenities, friendly guest service staff, and lifties and ski instructors who go the extra mile to make your day on the hill one for the books, head for these Eastern hills with the best guest service.

Top 10 Ski Resorts in the East for Guest Service

No. 10: Hidden Valley Resort, Pa.

Score: 8.38
Other Strengths: Grooming (#1), Family-Friendly (#2)
Weaknesses: Terrain Variety (#19), Challenge (#19)

Hidden Valley Ski Resort, Pa.
(Photo: Courtesy of Hidden Valley)

What Readers Say

“Hidden Valley is a brilliant resort where they put families first and not après ski. Never too crowded or overwhelming for beginner skiers and the customer service is remarkable.”

“Hidden Valley makes the best effort to prep their slopes for the best conditions possible considering the weather. They have excellent snow-making equipment, and they truly seem to care about grooming to enhance a skiers’ experience.”

No. 9: Cannon Mountain, N.H.

Score: 8.43
Other Strengths: Terrain Variety (#1), Lifts (#2)
Weaknesses: Dining (#18), Lodging (#18)

"Cannon Mountain joins the 2020-21 Indy Pass."
Photo courtesy of Cannon Mountain

What Readers Say

“It’s a great old school mountain. No super fancy offering. Just like I like it. And they welcome tailgating in the parking lot.”

“An icon of Eastern skiing. Watch the weather forecast and hit it on a good stretch. So varied in aspects, so varied in challenge. Great for the whole family. The views of the neighboring mountains still stun me!”

No. 8: Sugarbush, Vt.

Score: 8.46
Other Strengths: Terrain Variety (#7), Challenge (#6)
Weaknesses: Grooming (#15), Family-Friendly (#17)

Sugarbush Ski Patroller
(Photo: Courtesy of Sugarbush/John Atkinson)

What Readers Say

“Sugarbush has decent terrain and a strong commitment to being open when they can. Patrollers spent 45 minutes shoveling snow onto a bare patch to reopen a run for just five more hours of the season. Now that’s service!”

“The staff and town are welcoming and friendly and seem to genuinely care.”

No. 7: Sugarloaf, Maine

Score: 8.47
Other Strengths: Snow (#4), Terrain Variety (#4)
Weaknesses: Access (#20), Dining (#16)

Sugarloaf Grooming
(Photo: Jamie Walter)

What Readers Say

“I’ve skied Sugarloaf since we founded the resort in 1969. I lived in and skied in N.H. for most of my life but found the terrain, snow conditions, and friendly, relaxed environment at Sugarloaf the best in New England…full stop.”

“The skiing here is great and the locals are warm and friendly.”

No. 6: Stratton Mountain, Vt.

Score: 8.56
Other Strengths: Dining (#4), Grooming (#5)
Weaknesses: Terrain Variety (#18), Challenge (#17)

"Stratton gondola and iconic clocktower."
(Photo: Courtesy of Stratton Mountain Resort)

What Readers Say

“Customer service is great, grooming is excellent, amenities are great—it’s always a pleasure to ski at Stratton Mountain!”

“You would be surprised how accommodating they are at Stratton—from kids’ skiing/boarding lessons, friendly lifties, to perfectly groomed trails.”

“The folks you meet in the resort become your friends—both fellow skiers and staff. The mountain operations staff do a great job with creating snow and maintaining the conditions each night when mother nature takes a break.”

No. 5: Jay Peak, Vt.

Score: 8.62
Other Strengths: Snow (#1), Challenge (#2)
Weaknesses: Grooming (#17), Access (#19)

Jay Peak, Vermont
(Photo: Courtesy of Jay Peak)

What Readers Say

“Locals are sooooo proud of their mountain! The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly.”

“SNOW, snow, snow…always the best at Jay. Big mountain skiing without the crowd hassles. The best mountain anywhere. It’s friendly and supportive.”

“Terrain is excellent. People are friendly. Resort is remote. It can get very cold and windy with many wind delays/lifts closed. It gets a huge amount of snow.”

No. 4: Wachusett Mountain, Mass.

Score: 8.72
Other Strengths: Lifts (#3), Family-Friendly (#3)
Weaknesses: Challenge (#20), Lodging (#20)

Wachusett Mountain, Mass.
(Photo: Courtesy of Wachusett Mountain)

What Readers Say

“For what it is, a modest sized ski area proximate to the urban agglomeration of Eastern Massachusetts, WaWa is a gem: from the beautiful setting, to the on-hill product (lifts and snowmaking) to their ski school, junior race program, and guest services. Among the New England ski areas that our family has skied at, it belongs to a very small handful that actually serve food that goes beyond the usual chili/hot dog/burger/limp salad fare. I know, because our kids were in their race program for several years, and we did not have to stop by Dunkin’s on the way there! Yes, it does get very busy at times, but this year’s reservation system helped even out the crowds.”

No. 3: Holiday Valley, N.Y.

Score: 8.88
Other Strengths: Grooming (#1), Lifts (#1)
Weaknesses: Challenge (#16), Terrain Variety (#13)

"Holiday Valley, New York ranks 10th in the East in SKI Magazine's 2020 Resort Guide"
(Photo: Courtesy of Holiday Valley)

What Readers Say

“Excellent ski resort overall, from customer service to mountain host and ski patrols. Great organization, also in this COVID year.”

“Well-rounded resort for skiers of all ages and ability. Great location and a fun town with easy access. Great restaurants and bars for après ski, and service everywhere is top notch.”

“We learned to ski here by lessons. The lesson were well thought-out and fit the level we were at. Instructors were friendly and had the training to teach. Made us feel valued. Had lessons at two other resorts and these lessons left something to be desired. Had one bad experience here and the staff went out of their way to make it right and more. They invest money back into the resort for updates. Another time we stayed there overnight and had a problem with the room. The staff fixed it right away. This resort is the best. People come out on state to ski here. Didn’t realize it was that popular.”

No. 2: Mad River Glen, Vt.

Score: 9.33
Other Strengths: Challenge (#1), Local Flavor (#1)
Weaknesses: Lodging (#17), Grooming (#20)

Mad River Glen, Vermont
(Photo: Tj Greenwood)

What Readers Say

“A truly unique experience! Great ambiance, fantastic lifties, friendly staff, the best local microbrews on tap, affordable, family-friendly, with programs designed to develop awesome little rippers and world class free skiers. The amount of kids as young as 2 on the mountain blows my mind!”

“Mad River has world-class terrain; it is certainly the best in the East. The ambiance is skiing as skiing was originally meant to be. The pub is first-class. The place is as charming and as friendly as it can be. But, it doesn’t make snow, so natural snow is important.”

No. 1: Smugglers’ Notch, Vt. 

Score: 9.39
Other Strengths: Grooming (#1), Family-Friendly (#1)
Weaknesses: Lifts (#14), Dining (#9)

Smugglers' Notch, Vt.
(Photo: Courtesy of Smugglers’ Notch)

What Readers Say

“Family-friendly resort with varied terrain and great customer service!”

“It’s an all around awesome mountain and the guest service crew is top notch.”

“The management is very service-oriented, particularly with families. It just feels good when you’re there at Smuggler’s Notch. It feels like a normal time that you would want to do over and over again. The accommodations that we’ve experienced are better than average to excellent. The transportation system takes a lot of stress off of family life while at Smugglers’ Notch.”

Read More Top 10s in the East from our 2021 Reader Resort Survey: