The snow has finally started to fall which means that it’s time to take a ski vacation with the family! Whether your kids are future Olympians or have yet to perfect the “pizza,” they probably won’t want to do just that — and hey, you might need a break from the kiddies yourself — so we’ve rounded up the best kid-friendly hotels in our favorite cold weather destinations. After (or in lieu of) a day on the slopes, tots can enjoy numerous kid-friendly amenities — everything from swimming in the year-round pool to bowling to participating in activities at the kids club — at these luxurious resorts.
SKI SPOT: Vail
WHERE TO STAY: Four Seasons Resort Vail
The Outdoor Pool at the Four Seasons Resort Vail; Vail, CO
WHY: The Four Seasons Vail opened in 2011 and has been one of the area’s top hotels since then: All the rooms have stone fireplaces, balconies, and huge marble bathrooms with standalone soaking tubs. (How cozy does that sound?) Not only do families enjoy the beautiful, heated outdoor pool (open year-round), but the Teen Club, with an air hockey table, video games, foosball table, and iMac computers, is also a popular hangout for the young ones as well. Plus, there’s on-site daycare in the kids’ club and young children receive a welcome gift upon arrival.
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You know what New Year’s Eve means: cocktail dresses, wild parties, a midnight countdown, and just hours until your New Year’s resolutions kick in. It can be tough to start in on your new diet-and-exercise regimen — especially after a night of raucous debauchery — so we’ve come up with the top six last-minute active getaways to help you jump start your goals for 2012. You will have never looked or felt better! We have a destination for every kind of woman in every kind of location (with great deals to boot) so getting in shape will be fun – we promise! Whether you like to burn calories whizzing down the slopes or want to start fresh with a detox and yoga, we have a spot for you. Check out Oyster.com’s top picks for active getaways below, or on Shape.com!
The rock wall in the fitness center at the Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa
For the party-girl: Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa Miami Beach in Miami
Some of you will undoubtedly be hitting up the clubs in Miami Beach for a wild New Year’s Eve. So for all you party girls out there, the Canyon Ranch Miami Beach is the perfect choice: It has a slightly more relaxed vibe than other Canyon Ranch resorts (so there will be no judgment for your escapades the night before) and it offers about 40 free fitness classes everyday (so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to burn off the calories from the New Year’s Eve champagne toast). The Canyon Ranch brand is synonymous with good health and the Miami Beach outlet is no different; guests sign waivers that they will not smoke while at the resort, the restaurant serves healthy options off of a menu with detailed nutritional information next to every item, and the massive fitness center includes dozens of cardio machines and a rock-climbing wall. Best of all, starting on January 1st, the hotel offers a four-night Your Stay, Your Way package for guests staying in room types of the Ocean Palm suite or higher, which entitles them to a $400 credit that can be used towards the spa, the shop, and the restaurant. So after a sunset yoga class or a beach conditioning workout, you can order an icy, alcoholic beverage by the pool (albeit low-cal and flavored with acai juice) – hey, you’re still a party girl at heart.
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Everyone promised that you would have skiing down in no time, right? Instead, you got stuck on the “Magic Carpet” and could barely manage the “pizza” while ski-clad tots were gracefully whizzing past you. Trust us, we’ve been there. But after many failed attempts at tricky ski maneuvers like getting off the ski-lift without face planting, we’ve learned a new trick: how to find the coolest non-skiing activities in ski towns. In fact, ski towns have a lot more to offer than just the slopes — we promise! So for those of you who got roped into a ski-centric vacation, check out our favorite non-skier activities in nine ski destinations below.
The Arrabelle at Vail Square, a RockResort
Ice-skate: If you’d rather not hit the slopes, ice-skating is a great way to still get outdoors and get your heart rate pumping. There is an ice-skating rink right out the front door of The Arrabelle in Vail Square, with views of the slopes, the village, and the massive Christmas tree.
The Sebastian - Vail
Go on a Dogsled Tour: While your friends are out enjoying the fresh powder on the slopes, you can be too — but in the comfort of a horse, er, dog-drawn sleigh. Winterhawk Dogsled Adventures runs daily tours in Alaskan husky-drawn sleds; the basic tour explores the expansive grounds of the historic 4 Eagle Ranch, while adventure tours run across more remote terrain at a higher altitude. The concierge at The Sebastian can arrange a tour for you, even ahead of your stay.
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