The ‘I’m an Expert But My Partner Sucks’ Guide to Ski Destinations
You love skiing. She doesn’t. They don’t.
This is a real problem: Skiing’s not hiking, and you can’t learn as you go.
That means that if you’re going to have fun on the slopes this winter, without breaking up and resigning yourself to a few years on Tinder, you’ll need to practice some serious seduction. Below, five of the world’s best ski destinations for beginners (and experts), whether you’re a duchess or not — and even if you don’t know your black diamonds from the pear-cut variety.
RESORT: Aspen Snowmass
PLEAD FOR NEWBIES: “Aspen has perhaps the best dining scene of any ski town in North America — maybe we can discuss that over a couple Elderflower Margaritas and New Nordic at bb’s.”
YOUR KIDS WILL LOVE: The Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center, 25,000 square feet of supervised play. Send ’em out for group lessons beginning at age 2.
SEND YOUR PLUS-ONE TO: The Beginner Magic Lounge, with lessons on how to choose your gear before hitting the dedicated beginner slopes — even advanced beginners are sent elsewhere, so this is a no-humiliation zone for true neophytes.
RESORT: Deer Valley
PLEAD FOR NEWBIES: “Hey, honey, want to hit Sundance this year?”
LATE JANUARY BONUS: For 10 days (starting Thursday), expect Park City’s Main Street to transform into a slow-motion red carpet zone, with celebrity spotting that intensifies after the sun goes down.
WHERE TO SPOT CELEBS EATING: Grappa
WHERE TO SPOT THEIR ASSISTANTS BUYING GUAC: Fresh Market
SEND YOUR PLUS-ONE TO: Deer Valley offers women-only classes, which cuts down on the odds of learning alongside bros dealing with residual anger at not knowing how to ski.
PLEAD FOR NEWBIES: “Ever wonder where the Duchess of Cambridge skis?”
TOP HOTEL FOR CELEBS/ROYALTY: Hotel Almhof Schneider, one of the most exclusive hotels in Austria and family-owned for nearly 600 (600) years. (Patronized by Princess Diana, among other HRHs.) Double rooms around $1500 per night. (Hey — it’s half board!)
SEND YOUR LITTLE NEWBIE TO: Bocki’s Kidz Area (no, really), with three magic carpets and two lifts.
PLEAD FOR YOUR PLUS-ONE: “Want to go check out the most incredible spa in Switzerland, a country that knows from luxury spas?”
WHERE TO STAY: Tschuggen Grand Hotel Arosa, with a 50,000-square-foot wellness area designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta. Beautifully lit silos rise above the complex like butterfly wings — it’s beautiful, especially in the snow.
SEND YOUR PLUS-ONE TO: The Swiss Ski and Snowboard School – Arosa offers private sessions on easy slopes for beginners who want to embarrass themselves away from the crowds.
AND THEN REWARD THEM WITH THIS: The post-flight (and poorly named) “heavy legs” treatment, followed by a classic aromatherapy massage.
PLEAD FOR NEWBIES: “Skiing is the most fun thing on the planet so will you please just trust me and give this a try?”
WHERE TO STAY: The Wedgewood Lodge
HER PLAN FOR DAY ONE WHILE YOU GET GOING: “Women & Wine,” a half-day lesson followed by drinks around a fireplace
HER PLAN FOR DAY TWO: Day off at the Spa at Breckenridge
HER PLAN FOR DAY THREE: Private snowboarding lesson
WRAPPING UP WITH: Craft cocktails at the Gold Pan Saloon — with allegedly the oldest liquor license west of the Mississippi
See the world from your inbox.
Sign up for The Journey, our Travel newsletter.