Splendor on the Slopes

5 indulgent concierge services you didn’t know ski resorts and hotels offered

Crested-Butte-stars

STAR-STRUCK Crested Butte moonlight treks include a dinner under the stars. Opposite page: Utilize the ski concierge at the Four Seasons Resort & Residences in Vail. Photo by Nathan Billow/Courtesy Crested Butte Mountain Resort

You came for the fresh powder, sure. But Colorado’s ski resorts and the nearby hotels offer some pretty amazing extras, too. Whether it’s getting an après-ski warm foot rub or breaking fresh tracks in the backcountry with a guide, consider the, er, magic carpet rolled out for skiers, snowboarders and those who just like the idea of vacationing in the snow.

Chris Linsmayer, public affairs manager at Colorado Ski Country USA, says resorts are continually stepping up to meet the demands of guests. On those winter wish lists? Locally sourced, gourmet dining options (like an elk burger paired with a local craft beer) to replace standard cafeteria fare at ski resort restaurants. Plus, resorts have updated their skinning policies, letting visitors strap skins to the bottoms of their skis to break fresh tracks by making a snowy, uphill trek.

“All of our ski areas do a great job appealing to folks who aren’t interested in skiing but want to go on a snowshoe tour, take a snowcat tour of a mountain or get on the gondola and enjoy the view,” Linsmayer says. (Translation: Bring your friends along on your next ski trip even if they’ve never set boots on a bunny hill.)

From the luxurious to the rugged, here are five concierge services and add-ons to make your powder day that much better.

1. GRAB FINE DINING ON THE GO AT FOUR SEASONS RESORT & RESIDENCES IN VAIL
When there’s fresh powder, you want to be the first in the lift line. This resort will pack you an on-the-go “pocket meal” that’s just the right size for your ski jacket pocket so you can enjoy, say, a breakfast bacon-and-bourbon sandwich with brown sugar or a mini bagel and lox while you’re in the gondola. Plus, the ski concierge service here will warm your boot rentals, which you can later stash in a state-of-the-art locker imported from Switzerland that features a system that air-dries your gear.

2. BOOK AN OMAKASE EXPERIENCE AT VICEROY SNOWMASS
We double dare you to try this one, Type-A types. Translated, “omakase” is the Japanese expression that means “I’ll leave it up to you.” When you choose this package, you’re in the capable vacation-planning hands of Viceroy Snowmass, which will curate a bucket-list experience for you each day complete with personalized surprises. You can choose certain themes to experience— some are spa and wellness-related, while others are activity-based. The idea is to turn over control to the resort specialists and let them wow you throughout your whole trip. Experiences might include helicopter tours, dog sledding, ice karting, taking a snowcat up to dinner at Cloud 9, getting a rare permit to go snowmobiling to the Independence Pass area or paragliding on the Aspen or Snowmass mountains. The starting rate is $6,800.

3. TAKE A MOONLIGHT RIDE AT CRESTED BUTTE MOUNTAIN RESORT
Now, this is how you commune with nature. Crested Butte puts on “Full Moon Parties” where guests skin or snowshoe to the top of Painter Boy Lift: Ten Peaks under a beaming full moon. There, the Umbrella Bar serves dinner and a complimentary beverage under the moonlit sky. Guests then ski or snowshoe back down to the base with a headlamp (be sure to pack one!). Tickets can be purchased at the Adventure Center, and sell out quickly. The next event is scheduled for March 12. Crested Butte also generally offers the full-moon events in the summer, so you hike or bike up rather than ski or snowshoe. Tickets are $40 per person.

4. GO SKIING WITH A PRO IN ASPEN
The Little Nell hotel in Aspen has an epic concierge program. Case in point: Learn to drive a snowcat at its Snowcat Academy or join the complimentary “fresh tracks” program, in which the concierge service gets you to Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen Gondola at 8:15 a.m. before Aspen Mountain officially opens to the public, allowing you to be the first to schuss down the mountain in waist-deep powder. Something remarkably cool is the “Click-In with Chris Davenport” option, a ski camp with the Aspen/Snowmass athlete who has skied the 100 highest peaks in Colorado. You also get other adventurous perks like taking The Nell’s Powder Cat to ski the backside of Aspen Mountain. For schedules and pricing, contact The Little Nell at 855.318.2042.

5. INDULGE IN A ‘BAMBOO MASSAGE’ AT THE PARK HYATT-BEAVER CREEK RESORT AND SPA
One of life’s greatest pleasures is taking your ski boots off at the end of a long day on the mountain. But to make it even better, book an appointment at the Allegria Spa at this Beaver Creek hotel, where treatments are tailor-made for skiers and snowboarders. The “Warm Bamboo Massage” incorporates heated bamboo sticks to give long massage strokes to relieve all that tightness in your legs. The treatment is $65 for 25 minutes. We recommend adding on a climate rescue to your massage package, which replaces massage oil with shea butter to moisturize dry skin.

GEAR GUIDE
Great snow accessories—at your service

zeal-goggles

Zeal Optics HD2 Camera goggles, $499

freeride-systems-jacket

Freeride Systems Antero II Plus jacket, $419

fat-ypus-skis

Fat-ypus D-Sender all-mountain men’s skis, $790

crescent-moon-snowshoes

Crescent Moon Gold 15 women’s snowshoes, $259

scarpa-f1-boot

Scarpa F1 alpine touring boot, $699, at REI locations

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