We talked in a previous post about the relative appeal and trade-off between cat skiing and heli-skiing. And these two forms of extreme backcountry skiing can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But there’s also the other side of the coin when it comes to the Ski Wildhorse site. We also want to discuss and explore what makes fo the best ski resort lodging experience. Not just at Wildhorse Meadows in Steamboat Springs, but anywhere.
Access to Lifts and Slopes: Even if skiing isn’t the only thing you care about, if it’s even one of the things you care about, then you’ll want to consider how convenient the lodging is to get to the lifts and ski runs. True ski-in/ski-out access is, of course, the gold standard, but there are any number of variations on a theme. Some spots may be just ski-out access as you ski down a slope to get to the main resort lifts but then you need to find a way to get back up the hill to your lodging. Moreover, ski-in/ski-out access may mean that you’re more tethered to a single ski area than you might otherwise prefer. A more central, if remote lodging option, can give you reasonable access and transportation to multiple ski areas without switching your lodging choice mid-trip.
Comfort and Amenities: Après-ski is most often talked about in terms of dining and entertainment. However, in recuperating from your time on the mountain and preparing for the next day, the comfort and amenities of your lodging will play a huge role. It starts with a comfortable bed, reliable heating, insulated walls and guest policies to ensure you have a reasonably good night’s sleep. Other restorative and popular amenities for skiers include a hot tub, easy ski storage, and generally responsive hospitality services.
Private vs. Social Vibes: More than the individual room and amenities, the lodging site will have some type of vibe or character that you should consider. Standalone cabins, for example, offer superior privacy and intimacy for your group and experience. Standard hotel floor plans create more shared amenities and entertainment spaces. These types of ski resorts can deliver a more social vibe in which you’ll have plenty of opportunities to mingle and meet new people during the trip. Likewise, some resorts may skew more toward a family-friendly vibe, while others carve out more spaces and policies that are popular with young singles.