11:20 AM PST, December 7, 2012
Your cheeks are pink, your nose is cold, your body has been pushed to the max. From hot tubs to hot toddies, here are some great ways to turn up the heat after a frigid day on the slopes.
BIG BEAR LAKE, CALIFORNIA
Take a break from Bear Mountain’s jibs and jumps, and head down to the Scene at the base. The sundeck at this lodge/lounge is great place to warm up with a steaming mug of hot chocolate (and a healthy shot of Kahlua).
At the top of nearby Snow Summit, a barbecue lunch and stunning scenery await you at View Haus, while down the hill you can dine beside a crackling fire at the historic Summit Inn, decorated with midcentury ski artifacts like an old wooden chairlift.
CRESTED BUTTE, COLORADO
The Old West meets the 21st century when you take a sleigh ride to Uley’s Cabin for dinner. Forget horses — this sleigh is pulled by a snowcat. And Uley’s, once a bootlegger’s hideaway, now offers Colorado cuisine with a French touch.
For a truly unique evening, ski or snowshoe along a starlit trail for a moonlight dinner at Magic Meadows. You’ll arrive at a yurt — a circular structure of the type once used by Asian nomads — then enter a warm, glowing space redolent of gourmet aromas. These dinners take place once a month during the full moon, as well on as Dec. 23 and New Year’s Eve.
LAKE TAHOE, CALIFORNIA/NEVADA
Shed your ski clothes for swimwear and head for the pool party at the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa. Combine a lush environment — waterfalls, rock grottos, a hot tub and heated indoor pool — with a deejay and dancing, and you’ve got the ultimate après ski bash.
Got the kids with you? Tamer — but no less fun — is the Village at Northstar. Families can ice skate, relax in a private cabana and roast s’mores at the firepit, even craft candles or stuff their own teddy bears.
MAMMOTH LAKES, CALIFORNIA
Your ski muscles have had the whole summer off, so give those well-earned aches some TLC with a massage at the Double Eagle Spa at Snowcreek Athletic Club. The spa also offers indulgences like aroma body oil wraps, facials and pedicures.
The pine-paneled lobby of Tamarack Lodge will transport you back in time to a past without Wi-Fi or video games. In this intimate room, warmed by a hearth built in 1924, you can sip hot mulled wine or apple cider and enjoy chess, checkers, Parcheesi, Monopoly and a host of other traditional board games.
PARK CITY AND SUNDANCE, UTAH
At Deer Valley’s Fireside Dining at Empire Canyon Lodge, your multicourse meal is served in front of five beautiful stone fireplaces. You’ll be offered raclette, a traditional French specialty served with melted cheese, as well as simmering stews, fire-roasted leg of lamb and dessert fondues.
The spa at Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort utilizes techniques drawn from Native American concepts of healing and offers sublime treatments for body and soul, from reflexology to couples’ massages. It’s an experience in profound relaxation you won’t soon forget.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
At the top of Grouse Mountain is the Ice Skating Pond, an 8,000-square-foot rink with spectacular mountain views. It’s just outside the Peak Chalet, where you can warm up before a cozy fireplace while you sip hot après-skate refreshments.
Gather around the firepit at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for a complimentary hot chocolate, then step into a horse-drawn sleigh for a starlight tour of the snow-covered wilderness. When you return, sit down beside a log fire for a fondue dinner and the pièce de résistance: a decadent chocolate fondue.
—Maxine Nunes, Custom Publishing Writer