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Where to take wife skiing somewhere fancy next season

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
My wife has been skiing a couple years (maybe 5-8 days per year). She came back strong from an ACL injury last year, and is skiing really well and in control at a low intermediate level. She has only skied in the mid-atlantic, and I would like to take her up north or out west next year. Now, I can pretty much live and ski out the back of my car, and we normally rent fairly simple/inexpensive condos when we go away for the weekend. But for this trip, I would like to take her somewhere fancy, where we can stay in a fairly nice hotel/condo, she can get pampered, get a massage, eat upscale food, have a top notch private lesson, etc. My motivations are two-fold: 1) to make it a great experience for her (= continued enthusiasm for skiing), and 2) keep her happy/content while I am out tearing up the expert terrain. We normally ski together about half a day on greens and easy blues, and I spend the rest of the time skiing alone on more advanced trails while she takes it easy (wine, book, fireplace, etc...).

My first thought was Deer Valley, but I got sticker shock when I saw prices of $575-750 per night for even the basic lodging. Given that I can do a whole week in Utah by myself for about $1200 (lodging, airfare, tickets, food), spending $575+ a night is nuts to me. So I am asking for advice here -- is there a reasonably fancy/upscale place to take my wife skiing for 4-5 days that is also not out of control pricewise?? Or am I in denial that luxury skiing is just for rich folks? I would appreciate any input you can offer. Thanks!
post #2 of 52
Europe.
post #3 of 52
Well, I've never priced them out, but if you're looking at the north-east, then my immediate thought was for Stowe, Vermont. They have both the Stoweflake and the Topnotch 'hotels', both of which are four-star rated. There is some seriously fine dining all over the town. And Stowe has Spruce Peak, which is heaven for intermediate skiers.
post #4 of 52
There are some nice places that are smaller in interior B.C. The one that comes to mind first for me is Sun Peaks. There's lots of fancy stuff there, but the prices are not as out of line as the bigger spots. It's still the second biggest resort in British Columbia.
post #5 of 52
I'll mimic Kevin. Stowe, in fact, you may want to consider the ESA Stowe event next season. Both for the instruction provided,the wonderful group rate accomodations, and the social interaction with all the Bears!
post #6 of 52
What price range do you consider "under control"?

My first thought was to go to Jackson Hole and stay at the Snake River Lodge and Spa. We stayed there a couple of years ago, late January, and I think it was about $400 a night. It's at the base of the mountain, not in town. It was very nice, and obviously there is a spa for your wife if she likes that.

We paid for 2 nights out of American Express Reward points and 2 nights out of pocket, so it ended up being "only" $200-ish per night. I don't know if they are still under the Membership Rewards program, but you could check. If you don't use Amex, you could sign up now and probably get at least one night free if not more, depending on how much you use it.

JH has great green/easy blue territory, and plenty of hard stuff. And the prettiest setting of almost anywhere.
post #7 of 52
ESA would be a great choice because of the social interaction.

However, I wouldn't dismiss Deer Valley too quickly. Deer Valley is an attractive pampered experience, but it has never cost me anywhere near that amount to stay there. The key is to ski off-peak days. We have gotten terrific deals there before the X-mas holidays. Beaver Creek also has many attractive amenities.

Both places promote many uncrowded groomed runs which are loved by most intermediate skiers. So if you ski during the mid-week, non-holiday periods, it should be manageable.
post #8 of 52
Dgudaitis has a good point - Peak weeks are for the rich (or those willing to make themselves poor). I have seen deep discounts offered by these super deluxe places during the slow weeks. If you have schedule flexibility and can figure out who to call and negotiate with, you might be able to score a real deal.
post #9 of 52
Telluride....show her how much you really care.



There's a spa at Mountain Village, The Peaks. Fine dining at the village or take the gondola to town (or visa versa). I can hook you up with a 'top notch' female instructor. Maybe a condo depending on timing.

Pre-season at ski swaps, you can get 6 day passes for under $300 or so.
post #10 of 52
Beaver Creek, hands down. Between the massages, manicures, pedicures, borrowed dogs to walk (I **** you not - they'll let you borrow a dog to walk them around!) you could ski for a week, ignore her completely and still not hear any complaining (not that I would ditch my wife @ a spa while I ski....well.. If she decides to ski, Beaver Creek grooms like no other. For you, I'd ignore the folks that love to hate Vail/BC (I'm convinced that they just can't afford it and are jealous because there is some great terrain @ Vail, and BC's not too bad either). The only thing that I found to be obscenely overpriced (besides some of the real estate) were the full day private lessons. I think her day out w/ Hans/Frans/Lars/Nils/Whoever cost me ~$500!

The only PITA is getting there. Eagle is convenient, but has limited flights and bad weather closes it down a lot... The drive from Denver outright sucks. I've never seen such a poor excuse for an interstate highway. Besides the fact that the road surface itself is horrible (potholes that can swallow vw bugs, frost heaves that can get all 4 wheels off of the ground) it is so steep and winding that I have sometimes found myself outrunning my headlights at night.

And since when does an interstate highway have a stoplight in the middle of it???
post #11 of 52
"Fancy/Upscale" and "not out of control price wise" are mutually exclusive concepts. That said, I think you should look to luxury properties that are not ski in - ski out so she will have her spa and luxury and you can drive or bus to the lifts. Packages usually save money. Airline packages on off peak times can offer significant savings and they partner with some of the better but not best spas and resorts. I've found some good deals in February before the spring break crowd hits. The snow should be good and the days are getting longer so it's not so dreary if it happens to be cloudy. I've found that almost any major resort has fancier (more $$$ ) than I'm willing to pay so I think you shop around and see which one needs you business.
PS: Europe is GREAT but as I found out this year, it can be expensive because of the exchange rates.
post #12 of 52
I am a real-life ski-a-holic wife, with an untreatable case of pamperitus. I tear it up 'til the lifts close then am off for hard-core shopping, bistro dining and quality spa-time. Gorgeous condos are a given. These are my qualifications.

I like Beaver Creek. It is actually a better ski mountain than "other" mountain. The village is charming but EXTREMELY small. The shopping is marginal, predictable and quickly exhausted. Dining options are also on the slight side. I found Vail to be a nightmare of aging lodging and so-so shopping. The proliferation of t-shirt shops is disappointing.

Your Deer Valley notion is close to being ideal. Move that concept down the road two miles and stay in Park City (on Main St., near Town Lift-check Caledonian or Lift Lodge...try www.vrbo.com). I was stunned by Park City's Main Street. I expected schlock and found fab. The boutique shopping is exceptional and extensive. I hit it hard for several days and did not see everything! There are more accomplished bistros than you will have nights of dining. I would stay on Main St (NOT at PCMR base), walk to après -ski fun (shopping, dining, clubbing, spa), ski PCMR, Deer Valley (less than thee minute drive to DV lot, free parking, too), The Canyons and a day-trip to Alta/Snowbird. Deer Valley's grooming is a touch higher quality than Beaver Creek, too. However, Deer Valley as an après-ski area is very small and contained. You guys will love skiing this mountain, but I would not stay here due to its limited non-ski fun.

Again, I did not expect to like PC/DV, let alone love it. But, I could not help myself. Ultra EZ access from Salt Lake airport, Park City is the ultimate posh getaway trip.
post #13 of 52
Whistler..Stay at the Pan Pacific Mountianside Hotel..Amazing skiing and a village with 150 stores/bars/restaurants all within walking distance from the hotel..You'll both be happy..
post #14 of 52
Whistler is good for reason above. But the Panner (Pan Pacific as my teenage boys call it) is damn expensive nowadays during the winter. at least $350-$400 or more per night. i have stayed there numerous times and it is great and a stones throw to the lifts. (if you trip coming out of the hotel you may end up ina Gondola) Whistler village shopping is somewhat over rated. A lot of tourist junk stores and really only a few really nice spots. Great Restaurants and lots of them though!

She would love Sun Valley. Stay at the Sun Valley Lodge or Knob Hill Inn.

Knob hill Inn is an authentic Austrian Inn with homemade european pastires and breakfast included very, very nice, owned and operated by a guy from Austria. But it is more expensive.

If you go in early March, and stay 4 nights at the Sun Valley lodge,

(I was just there and did this deal) they have a deal called March madness.

A King deluxe room for 4 nights + 8 lift Tckets was $853.00 including tax. Normally lift tickets are $280.00 for a four of 5 day pass. The price above gave us 4 days of skiing each and the room for a total of $853.00. Dirt cheap!!!!

I think you have to go Monday thru thursday or Tuesday thru friday minimum. And you need to call the Sun Valley lodge. they don't advertise this on the website.

The Sun Valley lodge is very very nice, historic, skating rink, and lots of memorobila and histroic celebrity photos in the halls. the Duchin bar is a great bar right in the lobby. I also believe it was the first chair served lift in the country in 1936.

You don't need a car because they will pick you up from the airport, there is a shuttle going to the mountain every 15 minutes and also to town and they will take you back to the airport.

As far as the skiing goes, Sun Valley isn't called Sun Valley for nothing. it is sunny, groomeing is unsurpassed and the runs are big long groomers. she will absolutly love the skiing. Warm springs is a 3,000 vertical feet straight blue groomer that goes from top to bottom. almost all high speed quads and seattle Ridge is skiers only. the lodges on the mountain are nicer then anywhere i have been except Snowbasin, UT which is owned by sun Valley and are almost identical

I agonized over deciding whether to go to Sun Valley or Whistler and although we like the skiing at whistler better it is hard to beat the 4 straight days of sunshine we ended up with and the price!

the night life isn't what it is at whistler, nor is the shopping as good but there are plenty of cool places in Ketchem and Hailey, llike the famous Pioneer Saloon.
post #15 of 52
As others have posted..go for DV and PC. It's so easy to get to from the SLC airport and these mountains are right on for your wife. They have great instructors and I really think she would enjoy it.

Skiing out west is not cheap but if you look around (VRBO.com) you can get some good condo deals. I have found it's less expensive in PC vs DV. To take a 1st class vacation on a 2nd class budget takes some research. Spend the time and you and the honey will have a wonderful vacation.
post #16 of 52

Beaver Creek

I say Beaver Creek hands down. I just returned from participating in a Ski Technique Week that was incredible there. The Park Hyatt was very nice, the program was well organized and the instruction was top notch. The Park Hyatt just completed a huge renovation of their spa and the services are 5 star.

If you have any specific questions about BC/Vail I would be more than happy to answer them for you.
post #17 of 52
I second Sun Valley. Atomicman has it right. After Years of ski tripping with the wife this is her favorite place. A somewhat older group of skiers, great groomers, a really fun, interesting town and great weather. Also the best on mountain lodges anywhere for lunch or to just hang around. Anoher fine choice for lodging are the condos in the Warm Springs area, the Greyhawk comes to mind, You can walk to the lifts from there. Sun Valley is a bit more hassle to get to, but well worth it.
post #18 of 52
Another vote for ESA at Stowe. We get an outstanding deal at Stoweflake, and my wife comes along just for the outstanding spa, but she has a good time skiing Spruce and Perry Merrill, too. And lunch at Cliff House at the top of the gondola is a nice splurge. However, Atomicman's and Quickfoot's descriptions of the deal at Sun Valley is giving me ideas for next March.
post #19 of 52
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the recommendations so far -- really great info! And I see a lot of common themes emerging around 3-4 locations. It's a good thing I have 9-10 months to plan this...

I have been to some of the locations mentioned, as a single guy back in the 90s, but didn't have a "married guy" perspective on them. So I appreciate hearing everyone's take. Thanks again!
post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
Thanks for the recommendations so far -- really great info! And I see a lot of common themes emerging around 3-4 locations. It's a good thing I have 9-10 months to plan this...

I have been to some of the locations mentioned, as a single guy back in the 90s, but didn't have a "married guy" perspective on them. So I appreciate hearing everyone's take. Thanks again!
With a wife a lot like yours (mine likes to ski greens and easy blues, is usually done at lunch time), I can tell you that she had a good time on our trip to Utah last year, but absolutely *loved* Whistler this year. With the shops, spas, restaurants, scenery, places to walk to, etc. it's a fantastic place for skiers, and also for people who aren't as concerned with the skiing.
post #21 of 52
forget the states if you want up class with perfect massages , saunas and wellness , 6 courses for dinner every night and a fairytale setting that your wife will never forget try Switzerland or Austria. I know that in both countries you can get a gorgeous hotel ,breakfast and dinner included for $2500 usd for both of you .And i'm talking about real luxury. add a couple of cheapie flights and really spoil that special lady in your life!
post #22 of 52
$1200 for a week in Utah!!!!!?

where the heck were you skiing/staying?

I did Utah for a week for $500 and that included airfare, rental car, breakfast/lunch/dinner AND lift tickets.

:0

I would suggest:

Beaver Creek
Vail


Not sure about Telluride, as my experience there was as a temporary local (had a local guide in terms of taking me to bars and restaurants and we hung out where the locals hang out, which ISN'T "The Village"). But I suppose if you were to stay in the Village and utilize the resort's amenities, it would be considered swanky.

Sun Valley seems similar to me, in that if you only stay at the resort it will be swanky. The rest of the area can be cool in a really funky way (I spent a week there 2 seasons ago with a buddy who was a local and had a blast, but I was staying in a yurt for free and only spending $$ on lift tix). The cool thing about SV is that you also have the option for upscale XC skiing at Golena.
post #23 of 52
Being lucky enough to have been able to ski many resorts around the world over the past 30 years, I whole heartedly agree with the people here that are saying Sun Valley. It is, hands down, the best overall ski town and mountain on earth!
post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
$1200 for a week in Utah!!!!!?

where the heck were you skiing/staying?

I did Utah for a week for $500 and that included airfare, rental car, breakfast/lunch/dinner AND lift tickets.

$500? I notice you didn't mention a place to stay, but even so, I don't know how you get a trip for $500... $200 for a plane ticket, $200 for 5 days of lift tickets, $150 for a week of a cheap rental car... that's over $500 already, and I haven't touched food, much less a place to stay.
post #25 of 52
You can ski in/out at Big White or Silver Star for practically less than 100USD per night per condo. I took the lowest priced condo for 80CAD/night at Big White and I was suprised how big it was, the one bedroom condo I had practically can handle 6 with two in sleeping bags. There were 6 sets of silverware and stoneware with HUGH living space/dinning area and I myself took the whole thing. ALL condos/rooms at Big White and Silver Star are ski in/out, and they are GREAT for your wife's skiing level.

You will be paying arms and legs at Snowbird Cliff Lodge for the equivalent. Perhaps $1,000 per night and I am not kidding.
post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackwan1 View Post
You can ski in/out at Big White or Silver Star for practically less than 100USD per night per condo. I took the lowest priced condo for 80CAD/night at Big White and I was suprised how big it was, the one bedroom condo I had practically can handle 6 with two in sleeping bags. There were 6 sets of silverware and stoneware with HUGH living space/dinning area and I myself took the whole thing. ALL condos/rooms at Big White and Silver Star are ski in/out, and they are GREAT for your wife's skiing level.

You will be paying arms and legs at Snowbird Cliff Lodge for the equivalent. Perhaps $1,000 per night and I am not kidding.
The ski in/out is amazing at these places, but with the wife who wants spa treatment and shopping I figured Sun Peaks might be better. All in the same part of the world and with similar costs. Sun Peaks just doesn't have the ski in/out of the other two.
post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sitzmark View Post
Being lucky enough to have been able to ski many resorts around the world over the past 30 years, I whole heartedly agree with the people here that are saying Sun Valley. It is, hands down, the best overall ski town and mountain on earth!
Different strokes for different folks. Sun Valley is one of my least favorite ski places on earth. I'll give the warm springs lift & runs the credit they deserve. And I can imagine it being big fun during the right year & during a non-peak period. And the historic lodge is cool. On the other hand - why get all worked up about a big western mountain that most years depends on artificial snow? And where, for all practical purposes, you spend your life hopping on and off shuttle buses going to and from a small town where you pay too much and get too little?

Heck, if you kicked a soccer ball down any street in Aspen or Park City it'd ricochet off of 3 restaurants that are better than the best I found in Ketchum when I was there 5 years ago.

And the split between the mountains makes the idea of a family easily splitting up and getting together on the mountain impossible. Add to that he absolute lowest quality instruction (a private) for the relatively highest price I've ever seen and the place did not endear itself to me (that's a longer story & connects to the whole "in" thing).

Given the places I know, and what I've heard of others, most of the suggestions here make sense to me - but not Sun Valley. IMO the town and the mountain are vastly overpriced for what you get. Especially if you are not already wired in.
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by keir View Post
forget the states if you want up class with perfect massages , saunas and wellness , 6 courses for dinner every night and a fairytale setting that your wife will never forget try Switzerland or Austria. I know that in both countries you can get a gorgeous hotel ,breakfast and dinner included for $2500 usd for both of you .And i'm talking about real luxury. add a couple of cheapie flights and really spoil that special lady in your life!
I second Europe!

1) Your location in mid-Atlantic is fortunate. From the east coast, you can often get sub-$500 airfair to Europe easily in the winter because it's low season for trans-atlantic flights. Not much more than flying west. It's a 6-7 hour flight... do you get what I'm trying to say?

2) If you're going to Switzerland or Austria, you don't need a car. Just about every ski resorts are reachable by train. (Buses for France and Italy) So, no rental car and gas cost. That's another saving most don't realize.

3) Keep in mind that all the "pampering": great food, private lession, message and such are considerably cheaper in Europe than in the US. Especially food, the quality of an average meal, which is quite reasonable there, are about the level of the most expensive resturants in the western ski town. When you add up those $60/pp wine dinner in Deer Valley and Jackson Hole, you'll find you're better off going "east", over the Atlantic!

4) The scenary is something to behold. "Fairy tale setting", you bet!!!

5) Oh yes, they do speak English. Actually a lot better than the New York City taxi drivers!

I just did a 1-week trip in March. Stayed in a 4-start hotel slope-side, 50 yards to the Gondola, pool, sauna, 5-course dinner etc. Message and private instrution both were half the price of what I saw in US resorts, even with the "poor" exchange rate. A tad under $2000 was the grand total, including stuffing all the corners of my suitcase with Swiss chocolates!

Depending exactly the time and the resort you choose, the price will differ. keir's estimate of $2500/pp is plenty conservative.

Do you belong to a ski club? Most in the New York area do one trip to Europe and the price tag is usually between $1500-$2000 including airfare. I'd be surprise the DC clubs don't.
post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
Different strokes for different folks. Sun Valley is one of my least favorite ski places on earth. I'll give the warm springs lift & runs the credit they deserve. And I can imagine it being big fun during the right year & during a non-peak period. And the historic lodge is cool. On the other hand - why get all worked up about a big western mountain that most years depends on artificial snow? And where, for all practical purposes, you spend your life hopping on and off shuttle buses going to and from a small town where you pay too much and get too little?

Heck, if you kicked a soccer ball down any street in Aspen or Park City it'd ricochet off of 3 restaurants that are better than the best I found in Ketchum when I was there 5 years ago.

And the split between the mountains makes the idea of a family easily splitting up and getting together on the mountain impossible. Add to that he absolute lowest quality instruction (a private) for the relatively highest price I've ever seen and the place did not endear itself to me (that's a longer story & connects to the whole "in" thing).

Given the places I know, and what I've heard of others, most of the suggestions here make sense to me - but not Sun Valley. IMO the town and the mountain are vastly overpriced for what you get. Especially if you are not already wired in.
Sun Valley is a great place to take an intermediate skier! You must not of hit any of the good restaurants!

Food is very reasonable in Sun Valley. You can count on snow since they make a ton of it! And if you can find a deal for two people to ski at a place similar with deluxe accomodations & 8 Lift tickets for $853.00 for 4 days, rock on!

My favorite place to ski, no! But none the less a bargain, sunny and guaranteed snow!

To each thier own! & yeah ya don't go there during Christmas!

Vail, Beaver &whistler are way more expensive and of course no one is at those resorts during peak season and the food & lodging are really cheap too! :
post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
I second Europe!

1) Your location in mid-Atlantic is fortunate. From the east coast, you can often get sub-$500 airfair to Europe easily in the winter because it's low season for trans-atlantic flights. Not much more than flying west. It's a 6-7 hour flight... do you get what I'm trying to say?

2) If you're going to Switzerland or Austria, you don't need a car. Just about every ski resorts are reachable by train. (Buses for France and Italy) So, no rental car and gas cost. That's another saving most don't realize.

3) Keep in mind that all the "pampering": great food, private lession, message and such are considerably cheaper in Europe than in the US. Especially food, the quality of an average meal, which is quite reasonable there, are about the level of the most expensive resturants in the western ski town. When you add up those $60/pp wine dinner in Deer Valley and Jackson Hole, you'll find you're better off going "east", over the Atlantic!

4) The scenary is something to behold. "Fairy tale setting", you bet!!!

5) Oh yes, they do speak English. Actually a lot better than the New York City taxi drivers!

I just did a 1-week trip in March. Stayed in a 4-start hotel slope-side, 50 yards to the Gondola, pool, sauna, 5-course dinner etc. Message and private instrution both were half the price of what I saw in US resorts, even with the "poor" exchange rate. A tad under $2000 was the grand total, including stuffing all the corners of my suitcase with Swiss chocolates!

Depending exactly the time and the resort you choose, the price will differ. keir's estimate of $2500/pp is plenty conservative.

Do you belong to a ski club? Most in the New York area do one trip to Europe and the price tag is usually between $1500-$2000 including airfare. I'd be surprise the DC clubs don't.
How about one minor problem!!!! No freaking snow!!!!!!
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