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With top-notch resorts such as Bear Creek Mountain in Macungie, Blue Mountain just outside Philadelphia, Seven Springs Resort near Pittsburgh and Hidden Valley Resort in the Laurel Highlands, this state knows how to celebrate winter all season long. Cold weather sports can leave you exhilarated, but physically exhausted, so you’ll need somewhere comfortable to lay your head at the end of a long day of skiing or snowboarding. These hotels offer the best of the region for every type of traveler.
Best Overall: Camelback Lodge and Indoor Waterpark
Located at the base of the Camelback mountain in the Poconos, the Lodge and Aquatopia indoor waterpark have everything the adventurous family could wish for.
Year-round indoor and outdoor activities, including world-class ski runs and a challenging ropes course, will keep the whole family entertained.
Many of the 453 modern rooms and 16 suites here feature all the amenities of a home away from home, including fireplaces, balconies and even full kitchens. Suites have two Queen beds and one Queen sleeper sofa, housing a total of up to six guests. Choose from any of the eight restaurants, cafes and bars to keep your whole crew well fed.
Best Budget: Budget Inn & Suites
Skiing can be an expensive winter sport. All the specialized clothing and equipment, lift passes and lodge dining can really take a chunk out of your wallet, so choosing a budget-friendly place to stay could be a wise decision. This hotel is only 20 minutes from the world-class winter destination of Camelback and after recent refurbishment, it is looking clean and modern. The 112 rooms all have 32-inch flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi and the suites even have in-room Jacuzzis to work out those tired muscles.
The big breakfast buffet on weekends is a local favorite and will fuel you up for a day of winter exhilaration. For dinner, visit the Roasted Tomato on-site restaurant, which has become a popular spot in town.
Best for Families: Hampton Inn Lehighton (Jim Thorpe Area)
Located in the charming town of Jim Thorpe and just a short drive to Blue Mountain ski resort, the Hampton Inn is a great lodging option for the whole family.
The indoor heated swimming pool will keep children entertained after a day on the slopes or if you decide to skip the mountain. Expect a hot breakfast each day of your stay and if it gets really cold, hunker down in one of the 78 spacious modern guestrooms where you’ll find free Wi-Fi, plush comfortable bedding and cable TV.
There is no restaurant, but be sure to visit nearby Through the Looking Glass and sample their collection of Spanish flatbreads.
Best Ski in/Ski Out: Bear Creek Mountain Resort
There is nothing better for the winter sports enthusiast than being able to ski right to the lift from your room. At Bear Creek ski resort, you can do just that on 86 acres of slopes and trails. The country-style rooms feature plaid and checked bedding and bright cheerful colors. The convenience of making your own in-room snacks and drinks is provided with wet bars and kitchenettes in each room. While suites come with your own private Jacuzzi. The on-site spa and outdoor hot tub will be well utilized during your stay, while four resort restaurants will cater to your every culinary desire.
Best Romance: Skytop Lodge
Visitors at this ski and adventure resort are eco-conscious and understand that the winter activities will be weather dependent, so don’t expect to find artificial snow.
Located on West Mountain, the views here over the Pocono Mountains and the Pennsylvania forest are simply stunning. Take a walk with your love through the groomed snowy trails or rent ski and snowboard equipment to get you zooming down the slopes in no time at all. If you prefer to explore nature without the speed, try out the snowshoe trails for a romantic wintery walk. If old man winter is proving to be elusive you’ll still be entertained with the indoor swimming pool, spa, fitness center, rock climbing and shooting activities. The 124 rooms here are decorated in a lush, rich color palette and feature high definition flat-screen TVs and coffee makers. Upgrade to a suite to enjoy a separate lounge area with custom designed wallpaper. For a candlelit supper, grab a table at the Lakeview restaurant where you can enjoy baked stuffed oysters.
Best Luxury: Liberty Mountain Resort
Liberty mountain resort has everything you need for a winter getaway. Located in Carroll Valley, near the scenic Catoctin Mountains where you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, staying right on the mountain allows you to get to the top of the slopes before the other skiers are even out of bed. A towering stone fireplace in the lobby area evokes the traditional ski lodge atmosphere but with modern furnishings and a lightness provided by the floor to ceiling windows. Rooms here are clean and comfortable and offer beautiful mountain slope views. Free Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV will help you to relax at the end of the day
The luxury indoor saltwater swimming pool and whirlpool are a stand-out feature as is the Laventide Salon & Day Spa offering a variety of treatments and services. When you get a little peckish you can choose from four restaurants and even an on-site Starbucks.
Best Boutique: Inn at Jim Thorpe
This historic residence has been open since 1849 and is situated in the heart of the downtown national register historic district of Jim Thorpe. The area has many small shops, live music venues and restaurants, making it a fun place to stay just 30 minutes from the Blue Mountain ski resort.
There are no cookie-cutter rooms here, each is as distinct and unique as the historic building it sits in. Expect to find a comfortable Queen-sized bed, flat-screen cable TV and Keurig coffee maker amid Victorian furnishings. Check out the ping pong table on the ground floor and challenge your family to a match. Also on the same floor is the Broadway Grille restaurant and pub that serves international cuisine. The parmesan and truffle fries are the perfect snacks to warm you up on a cold day.
Best Nightlife/Best for Singles: Log Cabin Lodge and Suites
Just 15 minutes from the Seven Springs ski resort, this accommodation option will let you spend more time skiing and less time traveling. For night owls who enjoy the apres ski activities even more than hurtling down the mountain, Seven Springs offers a variety of activities, including a bowling alley, indoor pool, roller skating, as well as a selection of bars and eateries.
The rooms back at your lodge in the heart of the Laurel highlands are all uniquely designed. Some have cathedral ceilings, fireplaces or whirlpool Jacuzzis. Book the Timber Wolf Suite, which has its own pool table and wood burning fireplace.
Best B&B: Cranberry Manor Bed & Breakfast
This B&B operated by friendly hosts is in a perfect location for skiers. Just 13 minutes from Camelback ski resort, it is also within 30 minutes drive of these other top mountain resorts, including Alpine Mountain Ski, Shawnee Mountain Ski, Jack Frost Ski, Big Boulder Ski and Blue Mountain Ski.
The Cranberry Manor provides a charming retreat in the Poconos mountains. Each room has a cozy gas fireplace, private bathrooms and modern amenities such as a TV, DVD player and free Wi-Fi.
Breakfast here is an event in itself, as your morning crepes, stuffed french toast or egg casserole will be served on fine china, with crystal, linens and fresh flowers. For dinner recommendations, ask your hosts who are more than happy to make nearby restaurant suggestions.