So, you want to take the kids skiing? We waited until ours could put on their own boots and carry their own skis, and after a few warm-up trips on the East Coast (with way too much rain . . .), it was time to head west! Our favorite family ski resort destination was Steamboat, Colorado. The mountain is accessible, with all slopes eventually leading to the same base (no way to ski to the next town over by mistake!), a great ski school and many lodging options, and an interesting old-West style downtown. I like that it’s a “real” place; we enjoyed watching the local kids practice their ski jumping after school at the ski club downtown, and there’s a fun indoor/outdoor community pool and gym. On the ranches just a few minutes outside town you can go tubing, snowmobiling and sleigh-riding. And, because it’s not very close to any major metropolitan areas (but easy to fly to with a big regional airport), there are no scary day-tripping snowboarders to worry about crashing into your sweeties.
I recently have also fallen in love with Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch, two privately-developed and connected ski areas near Vail, and both great for families. I found the mountain wonderful for all levels of skiers, a decent variety of other activities, and terrific lodging options–some very luxurious! I stayed at the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch which offers residential-style rooms with kitchens and fireplaces, fabulous service (you can get spoiled by the ski butlers very quickly!), great restaurants and ski services, and a ski lift right outside the back door. For post-ski, the outdoor hot tubs are delightfully surrounded by the Aspen trees and the indoor spa is beautiful as well. The club lounge is a great place to grab a quick lunch mid-day and a cocktail with a view in the afternoon.
If you’re looking for a lot of glitz and glamour, head to Aspen/Snowmass! I visited many hotels here in 2014 and can help your family decide whether to stay in Aspen or Snowmass, and what hotel or condo option might suit you best. If you’re great skiers and you want easy access to hip restaurants and bars, shopping, and all that upscale Aspen has to offer, I recommend the little Nell or their residences for convenience to it all. This is an especially good choice for the wine connoisseur in your group, as they have a very extensive and high-end cellar and a world-renown Master Sommelier, Carlton McCoy.
I can also help with The Hotel Jerome, the St. Regis and the Limelight in Aspen, and the Viceroy, Westin and Wildwood in Snowmass.
Let’s go skiing!