If you're thinking about a romantic winter getaway with your significant other that includes ski time, look for a resort that offers more than just snowy terrain.
Make it a spectacular winter vacation by choosing a resort that has a great setting, fabulous views, top service, rooms so comfortable you won't want to leave, exceptional cuisine, a staff that takes the work out of play, and engaging off-mountain activities.
Each resort on the following pages is located in a gorgeous winter location and boasts romantic amenities that raise it far above average. You'll find each a winter getaway to love — even if the two of you never get around to strapping on skis.
To make sure you don't get closed out and have to settle for less, make reservations for your winter vacation as soon as you decide on dates.
Four Seasons Resort Whistler in Winter
Four Seasons Resort Whistler
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Canada's biggest ski resort, Whistler claims the top spot on Skiing magazine's "Top 25 Resorts in North America" list. And with more than 33.5 feet of snowfall annually, Whistler was well-suited as the Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
In addition to the more than 200 ski trails for downhill skiers at Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, the variety of outdoor activities on and around the mountains is vast, so couples can engage in all kinds of winter adventures here:
- Backcountry tours
- 17.5 miles of cross-country trails
- Ice climbing
- Ice skating
- Glacier skiing
- Heli-skiing down 6,000 feet of powder
- Snow Cat tours
- Sleigh rides with a bonfire stopover
But will you want to leave the Four Seasons Resort Whistler to try any of them? A well-staffed, well-decorated romantic haven with a spa, pool and whirlpools, fine dining, and oversize guest rooms, the Four Seasons Resort Whistler eases your way into whatever you want to do on a winter vacation getaway.
Things that make this resort such a pleasure for romantics is knowing that the ski concierge will transport your gear to the mountain so you don't have to schlep it... enjoying early lift access as a guest... getting an open invitation to sit in on fireside chats held with the Ski Elite team twice a week... signing up for telemarking and snowboarding clinics.... and having a staff that can arrange priority reservations at area restaurants.
Find Out More: Romantic Vacations in Canada
The Little Nell in Aspen in Winter
The Little Nell
Yes, it's a winter ski refuge for beautiful people and boldface names. And yes, it's expensive. But if you want a luxurious ski getaway, you can't do much better than Aspen's The Little Nell. Even if you're not a celebrity, the staff will make you feel like one.
Skiers will appreciate that The Little Nell has the only ski-out, ski-in accommodations on Aspen Mountain. Not only is it steps away from the Aspen Mountain gondola; it has a ski concierge who stores skis overnight and warms boots in the mountainside building in anticipation of your arrival.
Off the mountain, The Little Nell soothes guest with its heated outdoor swimming pool and in-room massages. And the town of Aspen tempts visitors with gourmet restaurants, boutiques you won't find elsewhere, and nightlife that just might make you have to call the ski concierge and tell him you'll be arriving a bit later than planned....
Find Out More: Aspen for Romantics
Equinox Resort & Spa in Vermont in Winter
A year-round resort in a storybook New England village, the Equinox is located between Vermont's popular Bromley (7 miles away) and Stratton (17 miles away) mountains. The latter is southern Vermont's highest peak.
Frosted with snow, the Equinox's 1,300 acres dazzle in winter. Couples can go cross-country skiing, snowmobile, snowshoe, take sleigh rides, and ice skate minutes from the resort.
Founded in 1769, the Equinox tries hard to keep up with the times. When you book, be sure to ask for one of the renovated rooms or The Charles Orvis Inn.
Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Winter
Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch
Nestled on a mountainside in the Rockies, the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch lies between Arrowhead and Beaver Creek ski areas in the Vail Valley.
Outdoors lovers can go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in McCoy Park, the resort's Nordic Center, or opt for snowmobiling tours that include a delicious lunch.
The resorts's free village-to-village transportation provides service to and from Beaver Creek. But if you have the time and stamina, take the scenic route, skiing all the way from Bachelor Gulch to Beaver Creek.
So that you may devote more time to your romantic winter vacation and less to making arrangements, the ski concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch will store your equipment and prepare it for when you're ready to use. After your day on the slopes, he then has your equipment cleaned and stored for the next time.
Since a romantic winter getaway shouldn't be completely focused on skiing, the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch features a number of packages for couples that include amenities such as a rose-petal turndown, Champagne and strawberries upon arrival, and spa treatments for two. (Note: Not all packages are available year-round.)
Many rooms have private balconies overlooking the mountain and national forest, plus a working stone fireplace to keep you warm and cozy till morning.
Omni Mount Washington Resort in Winter
Omni Mount Washington Resort
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
New Hampshire's largest ski area, Bretton Woods in the northern part of the state has many kudos to flaunt: In a recent Ski Magazine readers' pool, it took first place for providing the top snow, weather, service, and lodging in the East.
If you're traveling this far up north, the white-turreted, red-roofed Omni Mount Washington Resort is a worthy historic destination that's a throwback to more elegant times (even though it welcomes families with children, they're usually well behaved).
Omni Mount Washington Resort offers a near-infinite variety of activities indoor and out. In winter, whether you want to ski Alpine or Nordic, go on a romantic sleigh ride, snow tube, or even try dog-sledding, you can do it all here.
For the ultra-adventurous, ice climbing and high-mountain ecotours can be arranged.
Back at the hotel (or the low-key Bretton Woods Inn, which is also on the property and an even better bet for undisturbed romance), you can dine formally in the vast main dining room, casually elsewhere, take a watercolor painting class, hear a concert, and spend evenings in the Cellar, a speakeasy lounge from the Prohibition era that holds The Cave, a bar-band-billiards-and-disco area.
Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole in Winter
Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole
Teton Village, Wyoming
Because it's so remote, Jackson Hole is one of the most uncrowded places couples can choose for a romantic winter ski vacation.
In addition to skiing, Jackson Hole winter visitors can go on sleigh rides in the National Elk Refuge, take a bighorn-sheep herd tour, snowmobile in and around national forests, take a dogsled ride, and snowshoe to hot springs in the Granite Creek area.
Steps from ski lifts, the Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole features a dedicated ski concierge, spa, rental shop, sells lift tickets, and offers ski valet services. The staff can arrange winter adventures such as wildlife safaris.
After dining at one of the resort's slopeside restaurants, guests can savor complimentary s'mores and hot chocolate while soaking in an outdoor hot springs hot tub or the outdoor heated pool. And it doesn't get much more romantic than that.
Find Out More: Visiting Jackson Hole
Fairmont Tremblant in Winter
Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
In Eastern Canada's Laurentian mountains, Mont Tremblant combines French charm with first-class skiing in a picturesque town designed for winter fun.
The walkable pedestrian village contains sports shops and boutiques, bookstores, pastry shops, and even a movie house. Restaurant fare ranges from French (of course) to Italian, Japanese, and pizza.
If you want to stay at the best place in town, book a room at the Fairmont Tremblant, a five-star hotel that boasts its own spa, fully equipped health club with whirlpools, sauna, and indoor pool.
Savor regional or international cuisine in its restaurants or through divinely decadent room service.
Plumpjack Squaw Valley Inn in Winter
PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn
Olympic Valley, California
Located on Lake Tahoe’s north shore some three hours from the San Francisco Bay Area, the luxurous and intimate Plumpjack Squaw Valley Inn stands at the foot of Squaw Valley's Olympic Village.
Here the 1960 Winter Olympics were held, and today guests have the convenience of ski-in/ski-out access.
There's no need to haul ski equipment to Squaw Valley for your winter vacation, either: The Inn Shop rents skis, snowboards, and boots and even offers a demo ski package that allows you to try out more than one model during your stay.
The cozy, romantic atmosphere of Plumpjack Squaw Valley Inn is enhanced with guest rooms that offer fluffy robes and warm slippers, perfect gear to settle in for a cozy night.
All rooms feature flatscreen TVs and wi-fi, but the breathtaking mountain views are likely to distract from them. Outdoor hot tubs set between the snow and tall trees, the "cauldron" fire in the bar area, tasty meals in the PlumpJack Cafe, and the shopping village just steps away all ensure a romantic winter getaway to remember.