The annual ski vacation has a ski vacation problem: namely, that all your slopeside memories start to fade together into an indistinguishable blur if you’ve been doing it long enough.
Yes, there was snow, pine trees and après festivities involving a fire and sore feet. There was a cabin. Or maybe you stayed in that condo that year? Exactly.
The solution: take a better ski trip. Something neither you nor the knee-highs will soon forget. Something with helicopters. Or snowmobile chauffeurs. Or — why not? — dogsleds. Below: five such places. You’ll remember ‘em, trust.
An architectural stunner built into solid rock at 12,200 feet of elevation. Welcome to Tempter House, one of America’s highest homes and Telluride’s most exclusive. Here, it’s all about first tracks in the morning, ski-in-ski-out convenience in the afternoon and après cocktails on the deck at sunset. When the moon rises and the masses return to lower elevations, call ski patrol on the walkie-talkie they left you and get a snowmobile chauffeured ride to dinner at Allred’s, an on-mountain restaurant some 2,000 feet below.
$3,500 per night
The Ranch and Ski Package at The Resort at Paws Up
Greenough & Whitefish, Montana
Stay at 37,000-acre Montana ranch and go skiing? New winter plans: check. First, the ranch, where you’ll spend two or three days housed in a stately cabin and your outdoor time dogsledding, snowmobiling and brushing up on your biathlon skills. Then, transfer to Whitefish Mountain Resort where a slope-side chalet, ski butler, in-home chef and private ski guide await. Lift tickets, equipment, booze and meals included.
Starting at $975 per person, per night
Amangani and Foil Partnership
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Handcrafted in Italy over the course of six weeks with African rosewood finishes and nickel or gold-plated hardware. This isn’t the manufacturing process of a fine sports car — it’s a pair of Foil skis. And they can set you back up to $14,000. If owning your own pair is out of the question, just stay at Jackson Hole’s ultra-luxe Amangani resort, where this winter, Foil skis will be available for use by guests. You’ll be one of the first Americans to ever take them for a spin.
Rooms starting at $800 per night
The White Glove Package at Beaver Creek
Beaver Creek, Colorado
It’s hard to imagine making Beaver Creek — the mountain where chefs hand out warm chocolate chip cookies at 3 PM every day — any more swanky. But then, there’s the White Glove Package. Included: first-class airfare, helicopter transfer from the Vail/Eagle Airport, and four nights in a secluded, on-mountain cabin with private chef, ski guide, gear from Helly Hansen and Smartwool and a Golden Ticket: aka access to the mountain every morning before it’s open to the public.
Matakauri Lodge and Heli-Skiing the Southern Alps
Queenstown, New Zealand
Why ski just one of New Zealand’s top ski resorts when you can ski four in one day? It’s possible with the Four Peaks, One Day Heli Tour from Over the Top. You’ll depart your deluxe suite at Queenstown’s Matakauri Lodge bright and early to catch a chopper to your first mountaintop for the day’s first run. From there, you’ll ski, cut the lift lines a few times, then hop back in the heli and continue on to the next mountain. One down, three to go. Of note: you'll need to wait a couple months on this one, as the coldest months in NZ are June, July and August.
Heli prices start at $5,027, rooms at $668 per person