No Skis? No Problem
They like to hit the slopes. You prefer to hit the spa. And that’s just fine at these four luxe hotels, all of which offer prime mountain access and a flurry of other ways to let loose, indoors and out.
Haystack Mountain, Vermont
The Hermitage Inn
January rates starting at $236 per night; 25 Handle Rd., West Dover, 802-464-4300, hermitageinn.com.
For Powder Hounds: Guests of the Hermitage get access to the exclusive trails at Haystack Mountain, a private members-only ski club. Recently reopened under new ownership, the mountain features 45 trails and six lifts, including the brand-new Doppelmayr, with heated seats and a tinted pull-down shield for a supremely comfortable ride to the top.
For Non-Skiers: Enjoy the calm of the Deerfield Valley woods two ways: on a 25-minute sleigh ride led by horses Will and Bill, or from the back of a snowmobile on an hourlong adventure led by an experienced guide. Both excursions can be arranged through the inn.
For Everyone: A bowling alley and arcade. A movie theater with regular screenings. A spa and an indoor lap pool. There is quite literally something for everyone at the recently constructed 90,000-square-foot luxury clubhouse at Haystack Mountain. After exploring its four floors, head back to the Hermitage for French-inspired Vermont cuisine prepared by chef Chris Bonnivier. You’ll want to plan ahead and book the wine cellar, situated below the main dining room, to catch a glimpse of the inn’s celebrated bottle collection.
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Omni Mount Washington Resort
January rates starting at $259 per night; 310 Mount Washington Hotel Rd., Bretton Woods, 603-278-1000, omnihotels.com.
For Powder Hounds: Opened in 1902, this majestic snow-capped hotel is just five minutes from Bretton Woods, New Hampshire’s largest ski area. Voted number one in snow quality by Ski magazine readers last year, the mountain boasts 62 trails and three terrain parks for daredevils looking to get some air on their jumps. For those who aren’t ready to come in
when the sun goes down,lifts stay open after dark on weekends.
For Non-Skiers: Ever wondered what it feels like to ascend a frozen waterfall or summit a snow-capped mountain? Book a custom backcountry adventure with Bretton Woods’ Steve Nichipor, who’s been guiding climbers for more than 15 years, and learn the finer points of wielding an ice ax. For a true expedition, hike the 4 miles up Mount Washington and back.
For Everyone: Restore tired muscles against the backdrop of the White Mountains under a starry sky at the Omni’s heated outdoor pool and hot tub, open year round, or unwind in the resort’s 25,000-square-foot spa—the exfoliating Mount Washington Signature Body Ritual is a must-try for thirsty winter skin.
Camden Snow Bowl, Maine
January rates starting at $139 per night; 220 Warrenton St., Rockport, 207-594-2511, samosetresort.com.
For Powder Hounds: Located less than 10 miles from the Samoset, the Camden Snow Bowl is the sole New England ski mountain where you can take in ocean views from the slopes. Modest but mighty, the mountain has in recent years added new glade trails that bring skiers through soft, deep powder in a coastal forest of birch, maple, oak, and beech trees.
For Non-Skiers: The Snow Bowl also boasts an 81-year-old, 400-foot wooden toboggan chute. The only one of its kind remaining in New England, the chute hosts the U.S. National Toboggan Championships every year. Ride times average just 9 seconds, and at $5 per person per hour, you could go again and again. Once you’ve had your fill, head back to the Samoset to take in the splendor of a winter sea: The resort sits on a peninsula and 230 acres of oceanfront property, making virtually any vantage point a stunner.
For Everyone: Cap off the day with a mile-long twilight stroll to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, situated on the Samoset’s grounds, before heading out for dinner and a show: The famed farm-to-table fare at Rockland’s Primo is the perfect amuse-bouche to whatever’s playing at the restored Strand Theatre or the opera house in neighboring Camden.
Bousquet Mountain, Massachusetts
January rates starting at $475 per night; 16 Blantyre Rd., Lenox, 413-637-3556, blantyre.com.
For Powder Hounds: Pretend you’re going for the gold at Bousquet ski area, where five U.S. Olympic downhill skiers once trained. A quick 10-minute drive from the Blantyre, the mountain is known for its Snowsports School, so take advantage with a lesson from one of the skilled instructors.
For Non-Skiers: In winter, the Blantyre transforms its tennis courts into an ice-skating rink complete with lights and music. But the best part may be the hot chocolate menu, essential for that post-skate warmup. Take your mug inside the nearby Warming Hut and get cozy on one of the plush chairs, or by the fire pit.
For Everyone: This May, Mass MoCA opened yet another building on its sprawling campus, making it the largest contemporary-art museum in the country. On display is a new multi-level exhibition by Boston-born, Los Angeles–based sculptural artist Liz Glynn that stretches nearly a football field in length. Or, you know, you could just book a half day at the Blantyre’s newly updated spa and relish the opportunity to do absolutely nothing at all.