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While some dread the cold and snow that winter brings, others relish the opportunity to spend time tucked inside a cozy mountain lodge set among a spectacular white wonderland. Whether you want to spend your days taking part in winter activities like skiing and snowshoeing, or just watching the flakes fall out your window as you enjoy the warmth of a roaring fire, these lodges offer the chance for an especially magical winter getaway.
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One of the best U.S. lodges to stay for winter, this award-winning lodge is ideal for skiers looking for a luxurious escape. It’s the only Forbes five-star hotel and spa with mid-mountain ski-in/ski-out access on the slopes of Deer Valley. Each suite has its own distinct look and comes complete with a jetted tub for soothing sore muscles after a long day out on the slopes – and you’ll even have the option to soak in the scenery outside with an outdoor hot tub on the deck. It also features a fireplace, full kitchen and comfy terry cloth robes. If you want to take relaxation a step farther, head to Stein’s world-class spa, which offers a host of treatments and massage along with access to a sauna, steam room, hot and cold plunge. Head to the Champions Club Entertainment Center for a variety of high-tech to old school games or the 56-seat movie theater.
McGregor Mountain Lodge is nestled between Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park, one of the most beautiful places to be any time of the year, but especially magical during the winter with the pristine landscape covered in snow. Here you’ll enjoy amazing views of the terrain and wildlife right from your cozy cabin, with elk and other animals frequently walking by. Take part in activities like snowshoeing, sleigh riding and ice skating during the day and then come back and soothe sore muscles in the hot tub, taking in the gorgeous vistas through huge windows and large skylights. When you’re ready to head back to your toasty retreat, you can cuddle up next to the warmth of your fireplace too.
Yosemite National Park, one of the most scenic and popular national parks in the country, is home to the historic Ahwahnee, set among soaring cliffs and the cascading waterfalls of Yosemite Valley. By staying here, you’ll be in the heart of the park, particularly stunning when covered with a blanket of snow. This is also the quietest time of year here, and it may feel as if you have it all to yourself. Inside, you can relax in the gorgeous interior of the lodge that blends Art Deco and Native American influences and even lie your head down where Queen Elizabeth II once slept by choosing the Mary Curry Tresidder Suite. Outside, look forward to breathtaking walks in the snow, passing frozen waterfalls and watching for wildlife – with the landscape stripped of summer foliage, it’s easier to spot the animals who live here in the winter months. Look for Yosemite’s resident bobcats, foxes, marmots and other furry creatures that scurry about through the thinned woods.
One of the top mountain resorts in the world, Sparkling Hill Resort is renowned for its elegant décor and surroundings that are filled with unsurpassed natural beauty. Over 3.5 million crystals shimmer into the sleek architecture, tucked into the mountains overlooking Lake Okanagan. Winter here is one of the most breathtaking seasons, and Sparkling Hill is one of the best places from which to take it all in. If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you can even embark on a heli-skiing adventure, with trips departing right from the resort’s own helipad, providing access to some of the most amazing high alpine skiing on earth. If that sounds a little too adventurous, skiing is also offered at nearby Silver Star Mountain. Afterward, look forward to relaxing at the luxe spa with its saunas and heated pools. Rooms offer the ultimate in comfort and relaxation too, with stunning views from the floor-to-ceiling windows along with two-person soaking tubs and Swarovski crystal fireplaces.
One of the most magnificent wilderness resorts in Montana, Grouse Mountain Lodge is located adjacent to the winter Glacier Nordic Center. It is known as one of Montana’s finest lodge facilities. Guests enjoy excellent service and luxurious accommodations within a beautifully scenic location that’s just minutes from Glacier National Park and the slopes of Whitefish Mountain Resort, where the top activity is fresh powder skiing. Private shuttle service is provided to and from the ski lifts, as well as activities like dog sledding, snowmobiling and horse-drawn sleigh rides. When you want to stay in, the lodge hosts one of Montana’s top-rated day spas too, offering everything from massage to facials and revitalizing body treatments. You’ll also find well-appointed Western-style rooms with rustic ambiance, outdoor hot tubs, an indoor pool and a full-service restaurant onsite.
In the winter, this pristine land dominated by 14,409-foot Mount Rainier, is a snowy paradise, with much of the landscape and local life sleeping under blankets of deep snow, other than the white-tailed ptarmigan and snowshoe hare that occasionally leave tracks in the fresh powder. There are few better places in the world for people who love the snow – in fact, more than 1,035 inches fell during the winter of 1998/1999. And, Paradise Inn is a fabulous place from which to enjoy it all. This resort that first welcomed guests in 1917 underwent a multi-million dollar facelift, re-opening in 2008 with a more polished interior including glossy fir floors, while the historic ambiance still remains. In the Paradise snow play area, you can enjoy snow tubing and snowboarding, while park rangers offer guided snowshoe walks on weekends from late December through March, leaving from the Paradise Visitor Center.
The ultimate winter wonderland, Maiensässhotel Guarda Val is located in the idyllic, park-like countryside of the high valley of Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Made up of about a dozen converted farm buildings, some of which are 300 years old, it offers the traditions and beauty of the Bundner region with the modern concepts of Alpine design for the perfect refuge away from the stress of everyday life. Each unit is decorated with traditional wooden furnishings along with amenities like an open fireplace, balcony and a spa with a whirlpool and steam bath under a glass dome. The Guarda Sana wellness area features a relaxation pool as well as a block sauna in an ancient hay barn along with the opportunity to indulge in a massage or beauty treatment. In winter, avid skiers, snowboarders and ice skaters can take advantage of a huge selection of rinks, ski slopes and cross-country tracks nearby.
As many as 97 percent of Yellowstone’s more than three million annual visitors arrive during the summer months, which means during the winter, you’ll find the ultimate in peace and seclusion in this over 2.2 million-acre park. One of the best places to fully experience this tranquil winter wonderland is right in the park at Old Faithful Snow Lodge. The lodge offers a variety of snowcoach tours, including trips to the Canyon area where you can view the famous Lower Falls in its frozen state. Right out the front door, the Upper Geyser Basin is truly magical with the chilly temperatures of the season mixing with the steamy hot springs and geysers. You can rent skis or snow shoes and glide across the snow on miles and miles of cross-country trails and then come back to sip a hot beverage by the fire in the lounge, watching the snow fall outside.
There are few things better than soaking in the warmth of hot springs while surrounded by snow, but watching the northern lights from the soothing waters is definitely one of them. At Chena Hot Springs Resort in Fairbanks, you can do just that. With the region’s cold weather producing unusually clear the skies, the dazzling natural light show frequently appears throughout the fall, winter and even well into spring. Just a few of the other activities to take part in while you’re here include dog sled rides, horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice skating and flight-seeing over the Arctic wilderness. You can also tour the resort’s ice museum – the world’s largest year-round ice museum – and sip appletinis in an ice glass.
Located halfway to the summit of beautiful Mount Hood, the historic Timberline Lodge was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977 and is one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions. The timber and stone structure dates back to 1936 and was constructed entirely by hand by unemployed craftspeople hired as part of the Federal Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. Considered an architectural wonder, the 1980 film “The Shining,” used aerial shots of the lodge as part of its opening scene as well as some exterior footage. Today, it’s still being used for its original intent – as an impressive ski lodge and mountain retreat. Rooms feature original artwork and handcrafted furnishings created by the same workers who built the facilities. During the peak of winter, the ground floor is typically buried in snow – guests have access through a snow tunnel. Despite its age, there are plenty of modern amenities, including a year-round heated outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, fitness room and more.
Nestled into the scenic upper end of Washington State’s Methow Valley where the loudest sound comes from the swish of cross-country skis, Sun Mountain Lodge is the first and largest destination cross-country ski resort in the entire nation with nearly 125 miles of meticulously groomed ski trails set among spectacular scenery. The lodge also has a full-service ski shop and expert ski instructors, but that’s not all you can do here in the winter – snowshoeing, ice skating, sleigh rides and alpine skiing are all available too. Guests can stay in the main lodge or in cabins alongside a lake located a little over a mile from the lodge. Each one includes a full kitchen, gas fireplace and a large front porch, ideal for taking in the dark night’s skies with billions of glowing stars – and, occasionally, the aurora borealis.
Triple Creek Ranch is located out in Darby, Montana, and was once chosen as the #1 Hotel in the World by Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards. The ideal place to indulge in a luxury vacation from within the immaculate Bitterroot Mountain Range of the Montana Rockies, this all-inclusive vacation experience has perfectly married rustic elements with sophistication and gourmet dining. Your every need will be addressed by its five-star service, and it’s impossible not to relax from the privacy of their luxury log cabins and ranch homes. What continues to set Triple Creek Ranch apart is their all-inclusive outdoor activities that include sapphire panning, horseback riding, and archery just to name a few.
Surrounded by the majestic Grand Teton Mountain Range, Jackson Hole offers the chance for all types of snow-filled activities, amazing wildlife viewing and the Western spirit of romance combined with some of the most impressive scenery on earth. A stay at Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa provides access to all of that and more, with a rustic, laid-back vibe mixing alpine luxury with western flair in a cozy lodge. Each suite boasts a stone gas fireplace, kitchenette and whirlpool tubs. By choosing one of the two or three-bedroom suites, you can enjoy a terrace for sipping your morning coffee while taking in views of the slopes too. After a day of skiing or just playing in the snow, come back and sit by the fire in the lobby with views of the mountains, relax in the spa or head to the rooftop hot tub to take in even more spectacular vistas of Jackson Hole.
This gorgeous Swiss ski-in lodge offers access to the Four Vallées, with over 250 miles of runs and 89 lifts. Split over two floors and fashioned from local stone and wood, there are plenty of luxurious extras too, including a private funicular that will deliver you from slope to door and vice-versa as well as a sauna and hot tub. The large outdoor Jacuzzi provides private views over the entire valley and the town of La Tzoumaz. Its interior is filled with quirky touches too, including a full-size paper-mâché tiger and white reindeer heads wearing ski goggles. Throughout your stay, the chef will take account of each guest’s likes and expectations.
The picturesque town of Stowe, known as the “Ski Capital of the East,” receives an average annual snowfall of an incredible 22 feet and is the home of The Lodge at Spruce Peak, renowned as New England’s preeminent mountain lodge. Setting a new standard for luxury, it boasts lavish guest rooms, a luxury spa and jaw-dropping mountain views. Downhill skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing are right out your door. The resort even has its own performing arts center, operating year-round and featuring a variety of events, including live music and concerts, theater, dance, comedy, films and more.
Five Pine Lodge is nestled in the beautiful Cascade Mountains of Central Oregon, offering an idyllic winter playground as well as a perfect destination for those who are looking for quiet seclusion. Perfect for couples who want to enjoy some alone time together, the lodge offers the Ultimate Romance and Winter Wellness packages. Cozy cabin’s feature fireplaces, waterfall soaking tubs, plush bathrobes and especially comfy beds with down comforters and pillows. If you can pull yourself away from your cozy room you’ll find plenty of winter fun to be had outside as well, with skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing all nearby.