No judgment here!
Ah, there's so much to love about skiing—the speed, the sharp inclines, the cold air in your face. On the other hand, there's so much to dislike about skiing, like the speed, the sharp inclines, and the cold air in your face.
Each year, almost all ski resorts boast the greatest powder, paramount runs, notorious black diamonds with thrill-seeking turns, and adrenaline-pumping downhill speeds. That's great if you're a skier—or if you have weird hopes of orthopedic surgery.
But for those of you that find yourself agreeing with the latter viewpoint, we get it. Skiing isn't everyone's cup of tea. Even if you're not a keen skier, there are plenty of other activities available for you to enjoy in many resorts without ever hitting the slopes. In order to save you from lolling around while the rest of your party takes on the pistes, we've compiled a list of amazing resorts that offer everything you could possibly want from a ski vacation—minus the actual skiing. Here's a list of the best places for sipping cocoa, dining fireside, or just generally evading any interaction with nature.
This gorgeous, sprawling mountainside resort, situated at the base of Canyons, is Utah's largest single ski and snowboard resort. While it's idyllic for avid skiers due to its neighboring proximity to ski runs, the Westgate Park City Resort and Spa is a utopia for non-skiers alike. The resort flaunts a variation of dining and entertainment options, such as a world-class steakhouse, a sports bar with over 50 beers from around the world, an on-site arcade, and Utah's largest indoor/outdoor swimming pool. Don't neglect to treat yourself to a full-blown pamper; an award-winning and full-service mountain retreat day spa, The Serenity at Westgate has a "design your own spa day" special where you can select any two services for $90 and any three services for $120.
Behold, alpine elegance at its finest. Nestled at the foot of Blackcomb Mountain and billing itself as an all-season resort destination, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is the perfect choice for people who prefer to stay inside while their friends sculpt the snowy trails. Located in British Columbia, it's just steps from the Blackcomb ski lifts, but it doesn't just offer ski-in/ski-out options. You can also appreciate an array of shopping options, an impressive on-site Vida spa, Pacific Northwest fare at the Wildflower Restaurant, and a requisite grand fireplace. Psh, forget skiing when you got afternoon tea, fireside winter fondues, and gourmet picnics to-go.
When you want to spend more time playing and less time stumbling in snow, this is the place for you. Snowmobiling, scenic Lake Tahoe cruises, gambling, nightlife, cross country—these are just a few of things that make this place attractive to skiers and non-skiers alike. Squaw Valley has an utterly charming European ambiance and offers Lake Tahoe's most extensive and exciting night terrain, including the 3.2-mile Mountain Run—all under the light of a specially-made floodlight system. The resort itself offers fire pits, shopping, over a dozen restaurants and bars, and spectacular nighttime scenery during guided moonlight snowshoe tours.
Dustings of snow and dipping temperatures are more than welcome here; this site is a visual treat for all winter enthusiasts. The Westin Snowmass Resort overlooks the picturesque village of Snowmass, Colorado, and offers ski-in/ski-out access for those looking to challenge the slopes. The property is also the epitome getaway for non-skiers due to its world-class spa and brand-new WestinWORKOUT fitness center on site. Guests can submerge yourself in their ravishing pools and exquisite hot tubs. Afterwards, relax by the fireplace with a drink from The Vue bar and revel in sweeping views of Snowmass Mountain. Don't fret shopaholics; the Westin is located only moments away from the shops and a simple shuttle ride from Aspen. To be quite honest, we're pretty sure your skiing friends will be more envious of your decadent escapades.
Holidaymaking here is a fine art. In the heart of the romantic traffic-free village of Saas-Fee lies the Ferienart Resort & Spa, one of the most innovative five-star holiday and wellness hotels in Switzerland. Situated in the center of the village of Saas Fee, this skiing hot spot offers some of the most romantic views around. But the exceedingly posh wood-chalet hotel features a wide array of restaurants, from a Tuscan-style trattoria to Asian fusion. If you decide to take a gander, make sure to check out their world-class wellness facilities, which feature a mock grotto and waterfall.
Replete with historic heritage, this luxury hotel is built with contemporary necessities in mind. Built in 1889 by Jerome Wheeler, the co-owner of New York's Macy's Department Store, Hotel Jerome was designed to emulate Europe's greatest hotels and create an aura of cosmopolitan civility in what was then a raucous mining town. Today, Hotel Jerome has brought 19th Century elegance and ambiance to America's premier ski resort for over a century. A cultural gemstone, the J Bar in the Hotel Jerome is also one of Aspen's most timeless hangouts. Guests of the Hotel Jerome can enjoy its full-service spa, fitness center, heated outdoor pool, or outdoor hot tubs. Just outside the grounds in surrounding Aspen, there's a huge variety of shopping, dining, and nightlife.
It's easy to see why this part of south-central Idaho became the home of the country's first destination ski resort. The profusion of snow makes this one of the best playgrounds on the continent, but it also adds unexpected elements. The city of Sun Valley boasts fantastic recreational options such as skiing and a year-round ice rink, but those who prefer to stay indoors will appreciate the entertainment and dining at the Sun Valley Lodge. Guests can enjoy their on-site bowling alley, along with weekly comedy or jazz nights at the Duchin Lounge. The resort also boasts the Northwest's most luxurious Nordic Center—with cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and indoor virtual golf. Before you leave, we definitely recommend visiting the lobby's "celebrity gallery" to view pictures of the lodge's most notable guests of the past and present (including Marilyn Monroe and Gene Kelly).