Winter weather isn’t an easy thing to warm up to, unless you’re experiencing the season’s worst from the safe remove of a comfortable room, with a blazing fire and a bottle of brandy nearby. The Danes have a special word for such contentment: hygge, meaning order, symmetry, coziness. Here are five exceptional mountain lodges where hygge has been refined to an art.
PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn
If style and luxury are a must, make PlumpJack your first choice. The two-story lodge has a snappy, sophisticated look and laid-back sensibility, perfect for the Bay Area cognoscenti who flock here on weekends. Rooms have sumptuous beds with down comforters, spacious bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, DVDs/VCR, stereo systems, and hooded terry robes to wear on your way to the outdoor the hot tubs, which permit for endless gazing at the stunningly beautiful mountain scenery. http://www.plumpjack.com/squaw3.html.
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Where: Lake Tahoe, California
Insider Tip: PlumpJack properties are known for stocking hard-to-find wines from California, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Ask one of the well-informed servers for guidance.
Special Value: PlumpJack’s “Over the Top” package, available now through 3/31/07, includes luxury accommodations for one night, lift tickets for Alpine Meadows ski resort, breakfast each morning, and a welcome basket for $239 single occupancy or $279 double. Click here for details.
The St. Regis is wholly memorable, even by Aspen’s exacting standards. The august reception area is comfortably furnished with overstuffed chairs, soft suede pillows, leather-topped tables, and rawhide lamp shades. The rooms follow suit with dark-wood furniture, muted colors, and such signature touches as bowls of fresh fruit. Luxurious baths are stocked with Bijan toiletries. The resort is rightfully lauded for exceptional and friendly service, and the mountain location can’t be beat for access to ski resorts, snow-mobiling, and mountain- and trail-hiking. Regulars swear by the fine-dining experience here. www.stregisaspen.com.
Where: Aspen, Colorado
Insider Tip: Do spend some time in the beautifully appointed Remède Spa, where you can choose from one of 15 treatments on a lengthy “spa menu” (try the seaweed mineral wrap). Next, head to the reclining oxygen bar for a little fresh air.
Special Value: The “Powder Ski Package,” good April 1-15, includes deluxe accommodations for two nights, two lift tickets, breakfast, and dinner at Olives for $385 per night. Click here for details.
Brooks Lake Lodge
Brooks Lake Lodge combines great scenery with service and amenities. Built in 1922, the lodge has massive open-beam ceilings, spacious rooms, subtle lighting, and log, leather, and wicker furnishings. Each of the lodge bedrooms and cabins has handcrafted lodgepole-pine furniture. Some cabins have wood-burning stoves; the lodge suite has a full kitchen, living room, two-person Jacuzzi tub, and king bed. All cabins have panoramic views of the Wind River Range; some have views of Brooks Lake. There are plenty of activities, if you’re game, but recumbent types can repair to the spa for massage and facial treatments. www.brookslake.com.
Where: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Insider Tip: The lodge is conveniently located 45 minutes from Grand Teton National Park and 25 minutes from Yellowstone National Park. The management can set you up with the right tour for each park.
Special Value: The “Mountain Escape” package includes three nights in a Lodge Room, Suite or Cabin, all meals, one-hour spa treatment, two hours of snow-mobiling; roundtrip transportation to and from Jackson Hole, all taxes, damage waivers, and service charges from $2,515 for two. Click here for details.
Fairmont Château Whistler Resort
The Fairmont, just steps from the Blackcomb ski lifts, is a self-contained, ski-in, ski-out resort-within-a-resort, with its own shopping arcade, golf course, and an impressive spa with exotic Asian and ayurvedic treatments. The lobby is filled with rustic Canadiana, handmade Mennonite rugs, overstuffed sofas, and a grand fireplace. Standard rooms are comfortably furnished and of average size, decorated in burgundies and turquoises, and most have mountain views. Rooms and suites on the Entrée Gold floors have fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, and their own concierge and private lounge. The resort’s Wildflower Restaurant serves fine Pacific Northwest fare against stunning mountain views. www.fairmont.com.
Where: Whistler, British Columbia
Insider Tip: Repair to the Mallard Lounge and Terrace, where you can sip a cocktail (or nurse a Mallard alpine warmer) while admiring the Whistler Mountains from your cozy fireside seat.
Special Value: The Fairmount’s Only One Way package includes accommodations per night for $299 now until April 30, 2007.
Stein Eriksen Lodge
A great experience awaits you at the Stein Eriksen Lodge, named after the legendary Norwegian ski hero. Massive stone fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, and natural woodwork in the main lodge combine with in-room fireplaces, imported European fabrics, and heavy wood furniture to create an old-world Norwegian atmosphere. The service and facilities are impeccable, right down to the heated sidewalks and bell staff who light your in-room fire for you. Rooms have jetted tubs and many have deck hot tubs and in-room steam showers. The Glitretind restaurant offers some of the finest cuisine you’ll find anywhere — our winter favorite is the Canadian caribou served with roasted apples and chanterelle mushrooms. All rooms have cable TV, Molton Brown bath amenities, VCR/DVD player, CD/radio and high speed and wireless Internet access.
Where: Park City, Utah
Insider Tip: Troll Hallen Lounge doesn’t have the extensive menu of Glitretind, but it’s worth a visit nonetheless. There’s a big blazing fireplace, and the bar has a vast selection of wines and spirits. The menu’s Wild Game Chili will take the chill off.
Special Value: The lodge’s Bronze Ski and Spa package, available April 1-15, includes daily breakfast, taxes, lift tickets, choice of one treatment at the spa, and more. Click here for details.
For more great ideas on heating up your cold winter, check out Top 10 Luxury Resort Spas