2017’s Hottest Ski Hotels

Don’t miss these new and newly renovated hotels when you hit the slopes this year.

2017’s Hottest Ski Hotels

Huus Gstaad in Switzerland

Courtesy of Huus Gstaad

This winter, schussers across the globe slide into a bonafide hotel boom with new builds and massive renovations rejuvenating ski resort villages across North America and Europe. As is common in ski country, many of these new stays lean heavy on luxury, exclusivity, and the philosophy that more is, well, more. But there’s also a clear trend toward “affordable luxury,” an emerging family-friendly segment eschewing gilded glamor for fun, function, and easy accessibility to the slopes. Meanwhile, a sprinkling of hotel-hostel hybrids improves access for millennial and intrepid adventurers requiring affordable digs. Which is right for your 2017 ski trip? Here’s your scoop on the season’s top 11 ski hotels from Lake Tahoe to the Swiss Alps.

North America

Limelight Hotel Ketchum, Idaho
Opens: December 2016

Sun Valley kicks off its 81st ski season touting Limelight Hotel Ketchum, the biggest thing to happen to the old railroad town at the foot of Sun Valley since the resort installed its first ski lifts. In fact, the five-story lodge is the tallest building in town, a LEED Silver-designed complex occupying a full Main Street block. Its design mimics Limelight’s original Aspen outpost with an open-concept, ground-floor fireside lounge pairing après-ski tapas with craft cocktails, locally brewed beer, and sophisticated wines. The 99 guest rooms and suites maximize the resort’s famed rays with big windows, high ceilings, and mountain-view terraces. Expect natural hues, functionally stylish blond wood furnishings, and granite bathrooms. Completing the package is a state-of-the-art, 48,000-square-foot spa and fitness center with indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs, nine treatment rooms, hair salon, and yoga studio.

The Blake, Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
Opens: December 2016

Northern New Mexico’s Taos Ski Valley has long stayed under the ski radar despite boasting two towering peaks blanketed by over 300 inches of powder annually. With the opening of The Blake at Taos Ski Valley, the resort stakes out its spot on North America’s luxury ski scene with slope-side rooms and a hot new restaurant, all part of a reported $300-million investment revamping the entire resort. All 80 guest rooms and suites balance historic Taos influences with the Alpine style of the original resort village—lots of natural wood, aspen print wallpaper, historic pueblo photography, and hits of coral and turquoise. Slide into 192 at the Blake for a New Mexican twist on the après-ski with a massive communal kiva fireplace, a curated wine cellar, and eclectic tapas featuring locally sourced meat, cheese, and produce.

Dunton Town House, Telluride, Colorado
Opens: December 2016

The team behind glamping standouts Dunton Hot Springs and Dunton River Camp get downright civilized at Telluride’s new Dunton Town House, a five-bedroom bed-and-breakfast housed in an immaculately restored Victorian. The property is located across the street from one of the town’s top restaurants, 221 South Oak (order the house-made sausage), and steps from the resort’s gondola. Owner and art collector Katrin Bellinger reached back to her Austrian roots for a Tyrolean focus, and the place is decked out in gallery-quality works from her personal stash. Max occupancy is 10, and all five rooms feature custom wood furnishings, Austrian-imported fabrics, and large en-suite bathrooms. Whether you book a single room or rent the entire place, the on-site house manager is your source for the best mountain guides, top-notch ski instruction, restaurant reservations, and whatever else you require during your stay in the San Juans.

The Stein Eriksen Residences, Deer Valley, Utah
Opens: December 2016

With its manicured groomers, gorgeous glades, and copious powder snow, Deer Valley is a ski resort with a country club feel. Located midmountain with ski trails cascading down either side of it, Stein Eriksen Lodge is long a stalwart on the luxury ski hotel scene, and this winter the property ups the ante with 15 new four- to six-bedroom homes. Each has its own unique style, but look for modern vibes with Wasatch views from floor-to-ceiling windows, floating steel and wood staircases, gas fireplaces, home theaters, hot tub decks, marble bathrooms, and kitted out kitchens. Eleven of the homes are freestanding and four are attached; all have ski-in, ski-out access via the Silver Dollar trail, and a reservation includes the service and amenities you expect from Stein Eriksen Lodge, including pre-arrival home prep services, daily housekeeping, ski valet, bellhops, top-notch concierge, access to the property’s spa and pool terrace, and shuttle service to Park City’s Main Street.

A guestroom at Hotel Talisa

A guestroom at Hotel Talisa

Photo courtesy Hotel Talisa

Hotel Talisa, Vail, Colorado
Opens: March 2017

Tucked along the banks of Gore Creek on Vail’s forested western fringe, Hotel Talisa is an all-new Luxury Collection Resort set in the shell of the original Vail Cascade Resort and Spa. Although it’s a mile or so from Vail’s sceney resort village, the isolation allows for a backwoods feel, and with a private chairlift right out the back door, the hotel is actually Vail’s only true ski-in, ski-out spot. The hotel takes its name from the Ute phrase for “beautiful waters” but it doesn’t take as much indigenous inspiration in the 285 guest rooms. Instead, it opts for steel and blue hues, tufted leather headboards, and white marble bathrooms. At press time, the property was still hashing out the details on its three dining concepts, but you can count on a riverside fireplace lounge for après-ski drinks. Completing the package is a new 10-treatment room spa and revamped 58,000-square-foot fitness center, making Talisa one of the Rocky Mountains’ premier health and wellness escapes.

The Crawford Hotel, Denver, Colorado
Opened: July 2014

Yeah, you read that right. The acclaimed downtown Denver hotel by Sage Hospitality debuted in the former train depot back in 2014. But when Amtrak’s Winter Park Express returns to service this January, the 112-room Crawford instantly becomes one of the hottest ski hotels in the West. Round-trip train service between Denver and Winter Park Resort returns after a seven-year hiatus, and trains run Saturdays and Sundays, with an additional round-trip on Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day. The train practically departs from The Crawford’s back door, and the two-hour chug up a canyon and through the Moffat Tunnel is easily one of the most beautiful rail routes in the country. Winter Park Resort is a 3,000-acre powder playground known for prodigious snowfall and tree skiing in the legendary Mary Jane Territory. Take in the scenery on the way up, shred the gnar-gnar all day, and then enjoy the après-ski scene on the return trip—this is North America’s only après-ski train.

Coachman Hotel, South Lake Tahoe, California
Opened: Spring 2016

With its first summer under its belt, the new Coachman Hotel enters its first snow season as the hip new spot for a Lake Tahoe ski escape. Set in the combined shells of a 1960s motel and an old vacation rental, Coachman has 42 guest rooms, including the sleek three-bedroom fireplace suite carved out of the original motel lobby, and a honeymoon suite complete with heart-shaped hot tub. There’s a steamy outdoor hot tub with fire pits, and the garage of the old vacation rental has been transformed into a wood-paneled communal lounge that starts the day as a Sumptown coffee shop and morphs into a cozy après-ski bar in the evening. The hotel is a five-minute walk from the Heavenly Gondola and Stateline’s flashy casinos, putting all of South Lake’s charms within striking distance.


RockyPop Hotel, Chamonix Valley, France
Opens: December 2016

This quirky spot is a new concept for the Chamonix Valley, combining hostel and hotel accommodations with pop art style and hipster amenities worthy of Portlandia. The first floor is all common space with a video arcade, barbershop, ski shop, and fireplace lounge with photo and DJ booths; the on-site restaurant serves burgers and pizza from food truck-style counters. The 148 rooms sleep anywhere from one in the RockySingle to 12 in the RockyPenthouse. No matter how you bed down, expect lots of tartan with steely accents and built-in blond wood furnishings.

Huus Gstaad, Switzerland (pictured at top)
Opens: December 2016

A modern new option among the gilded old-world hotels that dominate Swiss slopes, the Huus Gstaad is set on a bluff facing jagged Alpine peaks. The lobby, with its massive stone reception desk, opens to a cozy library with a fireplace, and the garden outside holds a stand-alone cheese chalet that specializes in fondue and raclette. Each of the 135 guest rooms features Alpine views through floor-to-ceiling windows and just the right amount of Swiss kitsch to remind you where you are (cuckoo clocks, mountaineering lanterns). Another pleasant departure from other Gstaad lodges: Huus welcomes kids, who get free ski passes, rentals, and lessons.

Hôtel Barrière Les Neiges, Courchevel 1850, France
Opens: December 2016

French brand Barrière has luxe escapes and casinos dotting France and Switzerland, and this winter it opens its first ski hotel in the heart of chichi Courchevel 1850. The latest spin on the traditional mountain chalet fits 22 guest rooms and 21 suites, each paneled top to bottom in pale larch wood and brimming with midcentury mod furnishings, such as fur-upholstered Eames-style chairs and log cross-cut tables. Big windows and terraces bathe rooms in natural light and frame postcard peak and forest views. Barrière more than covers all the requirements of a Courchevel stay, including a new outpost of famed Parisian brasserie Fouquet’s, a slick spa with an indoor lap pool, and a plush private screening room. A full-service kids club dubbed “Petit VIP” rounds out the resort, ensuring kiddos have fun while you après-ski alongside British royals and Russian oligarchs.

A guestroom at Le K2

A guestroom at Le K2

Photo courtesy Le K2

Le K2 Altitude, Courchevel 1850, France
Opens: December 2016 This ski-in, ski-out perch by the brains behind Courchevel 1850’s Le K2 Palace is the rebirth of the resort’s once iconic Hotel le Kilimanjaro. The new Le K2 Altitude has 32 slope-side rooms and suites set in an 11-chalet complex, and it makes good on its name with a contemporary Himalayan design concept blending plenty of wood paneling, silver hues, and rich pops of red evoking monk robes. There is a focus on wellness and fitness worthy of mountain climbers and snow bunnies alike with a full service spa, indoor stone grotto pool, sauna and steam room, indoor/outdoor hot tubs, hair saloon, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. On-site restaurant Le Montgomerie is named after the climber who gave K2 its moniker back in 1856, but the stars of this epicurean experience are chef Gatien Demczyna and pastry chef Sebastien Vauxion, whose gastronomical preparations are works of Alpine art.

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