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Rather than trying to escape the chilly weather this season, why not embrace it? Even in high season, many ski resorts offer lodging deals now, especially for travel on weekdays or toward the end of the season (late March and early April). Winter is also the cheapest time to travel to many cooler-weather metropolitan cities, both in the U.S. and abroad, so, if you can brave the lower temperatures, you’ll also enjoy reduced airfare and hotel rates.
Ski on fresh powder out West at major Colorado ski resorts like Breckenridge and Keystone, where individual condos through ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals start from just $119 per night. Most of Fairmont Hotels‘ 4-star properties throughout Canada offer rooms for 20 percent off this season, including the Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta, which sits at the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Not only can you ski at the nearby Marmot Basin, you can also enjoy ice skating, tobogganing, snowshoeing, and dog sledding. Read more
We surveyed 10 popular U.S. winter resorts and uncovered deep savings at budget ski hotels that are just a hop, skip, and schuss from the slopes. Most tout nightly rates that hover between $100-150, and a couple go even lower than that: A cozy bed at the chalet-chic Stowehof Inn at Stowe, Vermont can be yours for only $78, and a double room at the eco-friendly 968 Park Hotel at Lake Tahoe goes for $109. With the peace of mind that comes with making a smart hotel choice, now you can focus on the slopes. To that end, we also highlight the newest bells and whistles at each ski resort, from high-speed chairlifts and state-of-the-art terrain parks to restaurant renovations and a white-knuckle winter zip line tour. Get a sneak peek of these winter hideaways with our Budget Ski Hotels slideshow.
Head to snowy Vermont this winter and save as much as 40% on current rates at a 4-diamond resort in the popular town of Stowe. As part of their pre-season sale, Topnotch Resort and Spa – a top-rated property on TripAdvisor – is offering rates as low as $139 on most weekdays between December 1, 2012 and April 7, 2013. Most weekends are available for $209 per night. But hurry, you need to book by midnight on September 17 to take advantage of this special offer.
Blackout dates includes the travel periods around Christmas and New Year (December 24 – January 1), Martin Luther King Day (January 18-20), Presidents’ Day (February 15-23), and March 7-10.
The picture-perfect town of Stowe is nestled in a cozy valley and surrounded by majestic mountains. Founded in 1794, it has preserved its quintessential New England charm and features many locally owned shops, a variety of restaurants, and a vibrant music and arts scene. Popular activities in the winter months include Alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, and dog sledding. Or relax in the upscale resort’s outdoor hot tubs, make s’mores, or enjoy a treatment at the Topnotch Spa.
Topnotch Resort and Spa is located on 120 wooded acres three miles from Stowe Mountain Resort and less than six miles from Smugglers’ Notch Ski Area. Area attractions also include the Ben and Jerry’s Factory. Free wireless Internet access is available and guests also received a complimentary newspaper every day.
For more information and to book, visit the Topnotch Resort and Spa website or call 800-451-8686.
See our Stowe, Vermont destination guide for more trip planning information, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on return flights, packages, and more travel deals.
By: Mike Barish and Liz Webber
You probably have your July 4th plans locked down already – the barbecue, the fireworks, maybe a community parade. But what about the rest of the summer? That’s where we come in. There are plenty of free festivals and events taking place across the country this July and August (and even into Labor Day weekend and beyond) that are well worth a spot on your busy social calendar. While we can’t include every event out there (here’s to you, Grainger County Tomato Festival), we’ve picked a mix of the coolest and most unique fests in popular summer destinations. From the country’s oldest free Shakespeare festival to a Jerry Garcia tribute day, from rock concerts on the beach to movies under the stars, mark your calendars for the best free summer entertainment the U.S. has to offer.
The 2012 ski season has kicked into gear, so if you’re looking to hit the slopes with your partner, but are also seeking romantic aprés-ski ambience and excellent dining, here are my suggestions for the best U.S. ski resorts for grown-ups – from the Adirondacks to the Rockies.
Jackson Hole, WY: Combine a funky cowboy-town vibe with world-class resorts – and add in a majestic setting against the stunning Grand Teton peaks – and you have Jackson Hole. Read more
Montage Deer Valley – Deer Valley, Utah
This classic Craftsman resort tucked in to the forested slopes of Utah’s Deer Valley Resort with its ski-in/ski-out access is a truly evocative spot, reminiscent of the great North American mountain lodges from another era.
The resort is a mere 36 miles from Park City International airport and minutes away from the charming and historical town of Park City, the epicenter for cinematic and celeb activity every January with the Sundance Film Festival.
Check in to one of Montage Deer Valley’s 154 guest rooms or spacious 66 suites with gas fireplaces and sweeping mountain views. Then walk out your door and onto the slopes of Deer Valley Resort with its 2,026 acres of skiable terrain on six mountains with 100 exciting trails and an annual drop of 300 inches of fresh powder each year. If you need some ski assistance, simply call the on-site ski-concierge.
With only two months left in a snow-filled East Coast ski season, the Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in Stowe, Vermont is offering rooms from $199 – a 30 percent discount off standard rates! Located below Mount Mansfield, this luxury resort is a mere two and a half miles from both the slopes and downtown Stowe Village, offering the ultimate convenience for those looking to tear up the slopes and hit the small, but lively après ski scene. To complete the offer, the 50,000 square-foot Stoweflake Spa is offering massages and facials at a 25 percent discount! Travel is valid now through March 31, 2011 and is based on availability.
THE VALUE: With regular guestroom rates starting at $289, this offer saves $90 per night!
THE CATCH: Rooms specials available Sunday through Thursday. Spa specials not available on Saturday.
THE DETAILS: To book your stay, visit www.stoweflake.com or call 1-802-253-7355.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find low rates on flights to Vermont.
Take a peek at our Vermont Travel Guide to see all this gorgeous state has to offer!
The Luxury Stowe Mountain Lodge’s ski-in, ski-out location in northwest Vermont makes it easy for powder buffs to schuss the resort’s 100-plus trails, including those on Mount Mansfield, the state’s highest peak. An on-site ski valet can prebook lessons and lift tickets, ship equipment cross-country, and heat boots. The concierge will arrange dinner reservations and stock in-room refrigerators with requested treats. The 21,000-square-foot spa and wellness center can pamper sore muscles. Most of the 312 guest rooms feature marble bathrooms, stone fireplaces, and floor-to-ceiling mountain views.
The Value Readers who book this package by February 28 for travel through March 31 will receive 25 percent off room rates, two one-day lift tickets (worth $89 each), and a $50 spa credit. Rates with the discount start at $194/night.
The Catch This package requires a two-night minimum stay, and holiday dates are not included.
The Details 888-478-6938 (mention code LuxeList); stowemountainlodge.com
From the Winter 2010/2011 issue of Smart Luxury Travel magazine by ShermansTravel.com.
For general trip-planning information, see our Stowe Travel Guide.
The hills are alive – with the sound of clinking beer steins in Stowe, Vermont. Opened last spring, the brewery at the Trapp Family Lodge (founded by the celebrated musical family that emigrated from Austria, www.trappfamily.com) turns out the lagers that Johannes von Trapp enjoyed in his homeland. Try the Golden Helles or Vienna Style Amber.
By: Becca Bergman
Lots of ski resorts offer diversions for nonskiers, but these places stand apart as compelling destinations in their own right. Whether the draw is cultural or culinary, or an exceptional spa, no one is left out. The skiing isn’t too shabby either. Preview our favorite wintry destinations with our Ski Resorts for Nonskiers slideshow.
The Luxury Nestled in serene Stowe, Vermont, just two miles from the slopes, Topnotch Resort and Spa sits on 120 wooded acres. The 68 rooms and suites are decorated to resemble an English country manor, while Norma’s restaurant features organic contemporary cuisine. After a long day of skiing or boarding, indulge at the 35,000-square-foot spa.
The Value Topnotch’s Ski for Free special, starting at $250/night, packages in two adult lift tickets (valued at $89/person) for each night of your stay. Our readers also receive an exclusive upgrade when booking a massage from 50 minutes to 80 minutes, a savings of 33 percent (mention Sherman’s Travel Special when booking the massage). The offer is available through the end of ski season (typically early April).
The Catch Blackout dates include February 11-12 and 18-26, and March 3-5 and 8-9.
The Details 800-451-8686 (mention Sherman’s Travel); topnotchresort.com
For general trip-planning information, see our Stowe Travel Guide.
New Year’s might seem far off, but for powder hounds, it can’t come soon enough – especially when there are deals to be had for booking some of 2011’s roster of gay ski weeks early. Some even start happening before your hangover has had time to subside. Details below.
Never been to a gay ski week? Looking for something more low key? Ski Bums, the nation’s largest LGBT ski and snowboarder organization, runs group trips across the country and select worldwide pilgrimages (Courchevel, France and heliskiing in Sweden are on tap for in 2011), as well as day trips from NYC, creating what amounts to a mini gay ski week in the process. A new California chapter launches next Friday, October 8 at Gym Sportsbar in WeHo, so West Coasters can start feeling the chilly thrills soon. Both black diamond masters and bunny hill newbies are welcome.
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