Whether you’re more apt to tackle a double diamond or meander at the bottom of the bunny slope, these six ski vacations around the world are perfect ways to embrace the cold this winter. Use these insider tips to take on the best of the runs in three mountain destinations in North America,
With nearly half of its 195 manicured trails gently winding between pine forests or down unhurried bowls, Vail has scenic runs for skiers of all skill levels. While less challenging descents are available for those looking for a gentle back-country experience, advanced skiers must tackle Vail’s infamous Back Bowls, or test their mettle on Vail’s longest run, the 4-mile-long (6.5-kilometre) Riva Ridge. Just take care at its steepest section, named the “Tourist Trap” for good reason.
Right at the base of Vail Mountain, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail is conveniently situated for its guests to experience the best of the Colorado Rockies.
Perfect for families
“Families should consider Adventure Sessions, an offering that’s unique to Vail,” says Danielle Carp, Concierge at the Resort. In this ski school, similarly skilled skiers get to skip long chairlift lines, learn new skills and explore trails together. Afterwards, take a family sleigh ride up Beaver Creek Mountain for a memorable dinner in a cosy log cabin.
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail
With 90 percent of its 133 named trails designated expert, advanced or intermediate, Jackson Hole demands respect from the world’s best skiers. Framed by the Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort combines 2,500 acres (1,000 hectares) of ski terrain. From Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole, at the base of the slopes in Teton Village, skiers look up to Rendezvous and Après Vous mountains.
Book a back-country guide from the Base Camp Ski Concierge to explore some of Jackson’s legendary terrain, like Cheyenne Bowl, Granite Canyon and Corbet’s Couloir.
Hope Maloney, Chef Concierge at the Resort, suggests ending a day on the slopes with a scenic dogsled tour or an evening of stargazing in Great Teton National Park. “Visitors find themselves marvelling at the night sky in Jackson Hole,” she says, “and our Resort boasts a staff astronomer, who offers private viewing sessions combined with a sunset dinner.”
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole
Set in the heart of Whistler, home to one of the largest ski resorts in North America, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler places some of Canada’s best back-country runs in your backyard. In addition to Whistler Blackcomb’s snowy playground, consisting of 200 ski trails, 16 powder bowls and three glaciers, you’ll find an engaging, family-friendly town to explore.
Learn to ski powder with Extremely Canadian, Whistler’s expert back-country guides, on the gentle slopes around Emerald Express and Symphony Amphitheatre before tackling signature runs like Couloir Extreme and West Cirque.
An afternoon off the slopes
The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, within walking distance of the Resort, is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history and culture of local First Nations with interactive exhibitions, live demonstrations, guided forest walks and a craft area.
For the kids
Kids are in their element here, with three outdoor hot tubs, a heated outdoor pool, daily s’mores by the firepit, and fun-packed meetings with our resident dog, Maola.
Swap s’mores for Sauvignon with the daily wine tasting before enjoying a succulent dinner at SIDECUT restaurant or Braidwood Tavern, a warm and lively mountainside retreat, opening December 15.
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler
Set on the shores of Lac Léman and ringed by snowcapped mountains, Geneva is your portal to the Alps, with a host of Swiss and French ski resorts on the doorstep.
For awe-inspiring views of the surrounding glaciers and ragged peaks, visit the iconic resort of Chamonix at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps. It’s just a one-hour drive from Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva. Ski the 20-kilometre-long (12.5-mile) Vallée Blanche – the world’s longest off-piste trail – in France before celebrating back in Switzerland at Il Lago restaurant with Italian cuisine and Swiss wines.
Ride a cable car to the precipitous top of Aiguille du Midi on Mont Blanc for grand views of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps, or experience the best of Lake Geneva by hopping on a boat for the year-round Beautiful Shores of Geneva tour.
Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva
Boasting an annual average of 300 inches (7.6 metres) of snow and 300 days of sunshine, the snowcapped mountains of New Mexico are home to nine ski resorts and some of the most untamed chutes and bowls in North America.
From the more expansive Taos, with 1,294 acres (524 hectares) of fabled terrain, to the more intimate 27-acre (11-hectare) Cloudcroft, the southwestern state spreads a banquet of options before skiers. Just 20 minutes from family-friendly Ski Santa Fe and about an hour away from Taos Ski Valley, known for its steep chutes and dry, powdery snow, Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe is the ideal base from which to explore this expansive ski scene.
Ask the Ski Concierge to arrange a guide to take you down Taos’ side-country run, Big Tesuque (aka “Big T”), which snakes through forests along old park service roads.
The Chipmunk Corner Center ski school at Ski Santa Fe offers childcare for kids 3–11, allowing you to hit the slopes while your children learn how to ski on kids-only trails. The centre has a nursery, too, for children ages 3 months–3 years.
YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS HERE
Choose your favourite mountain resort and start planning your next ski vacation