Top Romantic Ski Resorts in the West

Skiing can be romantic, if you and your partner have compatible ski abilities – OR you make an agreement to ski what you both enjoy independently then meet up for après ski. Here are the most romantic ski resorts, with breathtaking scenery, ego pleasing terrain, challenge too if that’s for you,  a beautiful mountain village, cozy on mountain lunch spots like a cabin or panoramic lodge, and lively après ski bars – dance in your ski boots kind of places, cool culinary spots for a romantic dinner and last but not least – luxury ski in ski out lodging with a fireplace, outdoor hot tub, maybe even a spa. You don’t need night skiing – your evening curriculum should be more horizontal than vertical.

Here are the most romantic ski resorts we have found in Colorado, Utah, California, Wyoming, Idaho, and in Western Canada.

Aspen Colorado is ideal – one great ski town, four Aspen ski mountains to choose from, the most amazing ski to lunch spots like Cloud 9 at Aspen Highlands, Gwyn’s High Alpine at Snowmass, and Ajax Tavern at the base of Aspen – part of The Little Nell. Après ski is off the hook in Aspen from Sky Lounge to The Little Nell. For posh slopeside lodging, the Viceroy at Snowmass has suites with balconies and fireplaces, and the outdoor pool and Jacuzzis have gorgeous beds and fire pits. In Downton Aspen, steps to the lifts, Hotel Jerome is a classic high end western hotel. St Regis is another posh luxury ski hotel in the heart of Aspen, an easy walk to the Gondola at Ajax- aka Aspen Moutnain.

Telluride Colorado is ideal for ski couples, with epic terrain, stellar scenery, an amazing mountain village plus an authentic Wild West mining downtown reached by gondola that runs in the evening for après ski shopping and dining. Ski to lunch at the highest elevation restaurant in North America, at Alpino Vino and you will feel like you are in the Alps not Colorado. Stay at the luxurious Fairmont Franz Klammer Lodge in the heart of the classy mountain village, ask for a fireplace suite. Hotel Madeline is another posh mountain village lodge with a stellar rooftop mountain view pool and hot tub.

Vail Colorado is big and beautiful with a great European style base village – like Zermatt only English speaking. Ski Vail’s Back Bowls by day, lunch at 10th Mountain Lodge, then stroll quaint Bridge Street for Vail après ski – you will find so many shops (love Gorsuch), and fun pubs (Red Lion and Pepi’s) with live music in Vail village. Only drawback, Vail gets busy – so go midweek, off peak for the most romantic setting. Stay at the original Lodge at Vail in a fireplace suite with a view of the slopes or the village, or stay in a gorgeous condo style hotel Manor Vail at Golden Peak steps to the skiing located on the beautiful Gore Creek. Visit Vail during the Taste of Vail event in spring if you love food, wine and a fun party scene.

Beaver Creek Colorado is Vail’s romantic quieter lil’ sister resort. The Beav is posh, with beautifully groomed ski slopes, a charming base village and a cater-to-you staff. Stay at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek steps to the lifts, the outdoor hot tubs are amazing. Lunch at the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch, enjoy the leisurely ski to see this grand Rocky Mountain regal lodge. Après ski at Beaver Creek, skate on the centerpiece ice rink or enjoy Champagne and oysters at CBar.

Deer Valley Utah is award winning for its impeccable service – so couples feel very catered-to from the beautiful lodges, brilliant service and buffed to perfection grooming on the ski slopes. No snowboarders – sorry. The huge five-star hotels at The Montage and St Regis are posh and perfect for skiers, ski-in ski-out. The cuisine at Deer Valley is top notch and the Utah powder and views are pretty nice too. For après ski amusement, the silver mining town turned famed ski resort Park City is right down the road with a motherlode of authentic bars, shops and dining, and Salt Lake City airport is a half-hour away for convenient direct flights.

Alta Utah is for skiers only also… and best for ski couples that enjoy a retro earthy vibe. This is where “real skiers” go. That said, Alta has amazing snow, exciting terrain, a cozy compact village at the end of Little Cottonwood Canyon – so its remote, and romantic in a real authentic way. Be sure to lunch at Collin’s Grill in Watson’s Shelter – don’t worry its fancier than its sounds. For Alta ski-to lodging, Alta Lodge is rustic, the original, cozy and historic. Snowpine Lodge is the newest  luxury lodging with beautiful guest rooms, lounges, apres ski and dining, an indoor Spa and Grotto, and outdoor pool and jacuzzis – with ski slope views. The Rustler Lodge is perfect for the pair that wants breakfast and dinner included, outdoor pool and après ski all in one charming historic place – a truly relaxing ski getaway – although the skiing at Alta is anything but relaxing.

Snowbird is next door to Alta, this immense big ski mountain at 11,000′ has mind-blowing ski terrain for advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders, served by the iconic 2,900′ vert Tram. Cliff Lodge is the place to stay when skiing The “Bird. Its ski-in ski-out, a short walk to Snowbird Village Plaza, has amazing mountain views from most guest rooms, and a posh rooftop Cliff Spa on the 9th and 10th floor for massages, treatments or a decadent apres ski soak with a panorama (and no kids – there’s another outside pool and hot tubs for familes by the ski slopes). Cliff Lodge has everything you need on its ten floors, a ski locker room and ski shop steps to the beginner slopes with quick access to the Tram and other lifts, a top floor Aerie bar and resturatna with happy hour and nightly entertainmen,t and SeventyOne – a retro comfort food 70’s vintage dining spot on the ski slope level.

Steamboat Colorado has beautiful mellow terrain, gorgeous aspen trees, and après ski at the T Bar. Or for a “steamy” ritual, go to Steamboat’s all-natural Strawberry Park Hot Springs after dusk when its adults only, clothing optional. Lodge on mountain at the Steamboat Grand, take a shuttle or walk downtown to shop for a cowboy hat or leather, enjoy après ski and dinner in Steamboat Springs – also known as Ski Town USA. More on skiing Steamboat.

Heavenly in Lake Tahoe California has “heavenly” views of aforementioned Lake Tahoe, vast skiing from  California to Nevada on 4,630 acres. Heavenly typically has plentiful snow, and the town of South Lake Tahoe below which is an après ski party-haven with casinos, dance clubs and swank hotels like The Landing. For the adventuresome couple, you can ski nearby Kirkwood, Northstar, Squaw – now Palisades Tahoe and Alpine Meadows of Olympic Valley, all around the Lake in a ski safari!

In Canada

Lake Louise Banff is so romantic, historic and has great two world-class ski resorts. You can ski Lake Louise and Ski Sunshine, and stay on mountain at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, or at one of the grand old hotels – Fairmont Château Lake Louise or Banff Springs Hotel – among the top ski hotels in Canada. After skiing at arguably the most scenic ski resorts in Canada, mush a dog sled team through the magical snowy forest, skate on Lake Louise, or go for an ice-canyon walk. For a quieter smaller romantic hotel, we love The Post Hotel – very posh and private with fireplace in rooms and delicious dining.

Whistler Blackcomb is a huge happy place for a big ski adventure with your bff. This Epic Canadian ski resort, yes its Vail owned and on the Epic Pass, is vast, over 8,000 acres. Whistler Blackcomb comprises two big mountain peaks with two bustling ski villages at the base. The après ski is as impressive as the glacier skiing. Luxury ski hotels, high speed lifts including the jaw-dropping Peak2Peak gondola, and high octane dining and bars make Whistler a top ski resort in the world. Ski to lunch at Christina’s atop the gondi at Blackcomb for fabulous on-mountain cuisine and amazing views of heart-thumping steep chutes. Fairmont Château Whistler is in the heart of it all for four star ski lodging. Or stay at Nita Lake Lodge on the quiet side of Whistler, Creekside overlooking the Lake, for romance, scenery and solitude. Only warning, Whistler can get Pacific Northwest wether – read: CSS fog, at which point you head to apres ski!

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 “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller