Vail

14 of the Best Ski Hotels

by Jane Reynolds on January 18, 2013

Skiing is one of our favorite winter pastimes: There’s just something about getting out in the fresh air (and fresh powder) that does a body good. And whether you’re doing the “pizza” down the bunny slopes or have mastered the double black diamond, you’ll be sure to have a great time, especially considering all the other offerings ski destinations and hotels have: gorgeous spas, fabulous shopping, heated pools, you name it. So without further adieu, here’s a roundup of our favorite ski hotels that go above and beyond with amenities such as ski-in/ski-out locations, elegant rooms, and activity-packed itineraries.

Viceroy Snowmass

Viceroy Snowmass

Viceroy Snowmass is easily the most luxurious resort in Snowmass Village, and is packed with top-notch amenities, including a 7,000-square-foot spa with a stunning relaxation room, a solid fitness center, and a lovely pool area with heated saline pool, cabanas, and fire pit. It also offers phenomenal ski valet service (valets will take care of everything from scheduling lessons to putting your boots on for you) and a prime ski-in, ski-out location. There’s a daily resort fee, and you’ll have to pay for valet, but that’s to be expected at a resort of this caliber.

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The IHG Priority Club Rewards is the world’s largest loyalty program and, luckily, one of the easiest to decipher: There are no tiers, no categories, no blackout dates for redeeming points, and points never expire. The rewards program covers all of the brand’s nearly 4,500 hotels worldwide, which include InterContinental Hotels, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Hotel Indigos, Crowne Plazas, Holiday Inns, Holiday Inn Expresses, Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites.

But benefits don’t end there — points can also be used for stays at more than 70,000 properties outside the brand, as well as to buy gift cards and to enroll in a myriad of leisure activities, such as hot air balloon rides and golf lessons with a pro. And just like with most other major loyalty programs, members can also earn miles that can be redeemed on over 400 airlines, including most major U.S. carriers (such as Delta and American Airlines), British Airways, Air China, Air France and Aeromexico. Check out some of our favorite hotels in each IHG brand (both luxury and value) and start planning your next trip with all those points you’ve earned!

InterContinental Hong Kong

Luxurious rooms feature 24-hour butler service, and most have harbor views.

Luxurious rooms feature 24-hour butler service, and most have harbor views.

The 590-room InterContinental is one of the most luxurious hotels in Hong Kong, conveniently situated in Kowloon within walking distance of numerous sights. Its claim to fame is that over two-thirds of the rooms have harbor views, but the hotel has plenty else to brag about, including seven dining options (including NOBU and an Alain Ducasse restaurant), a rooftop pool, a top-notch spa, and gorgeous rooms featuring 24-hour butler service. Rooms are decorated with Asian accents — such as tasseled gold and brown bed throws with calligraphy print — and also feature large flat-screen TVs with DVD players, iPod docks, and marble bathrooms with separate showers and tubs.

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Before they can even think about taking up residence at the White House (or, in Barack’s case, renewing any magazine subscriptions), presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have to earn the comfy D.C. digs. Election season is heating up and the two have been on the campaign trail for months, spending night after night on the road in hotels across the country. And though their campaign accommodations may pale in comparison to one of the most famous addresses in the world, neither contender is losing any sleep at these luxe hotels that line the road to the White House.

The White House is up for grabs, and Romney and Obama are on on the road to Pennsylvania Avenue.

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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

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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It’s chilly out there, and sometimes there’s nothing better than curling up with a cup of hot cocoa and a book — or even just the cocoa. But when you’re staying in a hotel, it can be tricky to find the perfect corner for dozing off reading. That’s where we come in — Oyster.com investigators have stayed at hundreds of hotels with libraries that run the gamut: everything from one-book “lending libraries” to luxurious library-themed bars to entire hotels devoted to the Dewey Decimal System. So pick a book (or turn on your Kindle) and check out our favorite hotel libraries below!

The Book Room at The Jefferson, Washington DC

The Book Room at The Jefferson, Washington DC

For the dignified historian: The Jefferson, Washington DC

After a massive renovation in 2009, this boutique hotel reopened, and regained its place among DC’s elite hotels. The staff went to great lengths to incorporate aspects of Thomas Jefferson’s life that are less known than his accomplishments as a statesman and an author. Jefferson the architect? The custom-made toile draperies in the rooms depict scenes from Monticello and other buildings he designed. Jefferson the book lover? Enter the lovely library, and peruse its impressive collection of vintage hardcovers (Writings of Thomas Paine, The Age of Voltaire, Encyclopaedia Americana). With the blazing fire, the velvet chairs, and the resulting romantic ambiance, any historian would feel right at home in this intimate, luxurious space.

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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.

Vail

The Arrabelle at Vail Square, a RockResort

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

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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If you’re citified but like to hike, a foodie but ride your bike more than your car, or use your Patagonia Solar Wind Jacket for a city blizzard, you can consider yourself Urban Rugged by Oyster’s standards.

These destinations and hotels are rustic-chic with lots to do, whether it’s hiking, cycling, shopping, going to art galleries or eating in top notch restaurants. At these eight hotels, you can always tap into your natural — and metropolitan — side.

The Travaasa Hana, Maui, Hawaii

The Travaasa Hana hotel overlooking Hana Bay delivers rustic luxury in the middle of Maui’s lush, secluded east coast. It has incredible service, a long list of stuff to do and only 70 rooms on acres of uncrowded property. The rooms are large, clean, sleekly furnished — and stripped of TVs, clocks and radios. Though it’s hard to reach, it’s worth the trip. The gorgeous, secluded location near hikes, waterfalls and beaches, excellent cuisine using local products, one of the most beautiful spa facilities on the island and unmatched personalized touches make this hotel one of your best choices in Hawaii.

Travaasa Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Travaasa Hana, Maui, Hawaii

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