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Best ski lodges

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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North America boasts some beautiful ski areas
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A collection of some of the best ski resorts

For those who take their powder seriously, finding a great ski lodge isn't only important, it's necessary. With numerous resorts ready to cater to the serious skier, how does one choose? Here is some information on the best ski lodges.

ASPEN, COLORADO

Aspen is the place to go if glitz and sparkle -- on and off the slopes -- is what you're looking for. With its four spectacular mountains, Aspen has hills that cater to skiers of all skill levels, as well as an abundance of restaurants, stores, cafes and more to keep you busy après ski. For those who want luxurious accommodations, the St. Regis Resort is top-notch with its lavish spa and personal butler service.

CORTINA, ITALY

The site of the 1956 winter Olympics, Cortina is considered one of the world's most stylish ski areas. The lodge, Cortina d'Ampezzo, in the Dolomite Mountain Range is stunning, and the central village boasts 52 lifts and 85 miles of groomed trails. Bobsledding, snow rafting and high-speed tobogganing are also available, making a stay in Cortina an adventure.

MONT TREMBLANT, QUEBEC

Known across the border as one of the best ski lodges around, Mont Tremblant rivals its more sophisticated counterparts. Only an hour from the beautiful and historic city of Montreal, Mont Tremblant combines great skiing with great shopping, nightlife and cuisine. With its numerous hotel rooms, suites, condominiums and chalets, Mont Tremblant has more than enough room for everyone and something to suit all tastes.

GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND

A playground for the rich and famous, the Chalet village at Gstaad is like a fairy tale with its small shops and traffic-free streets. Surrounded by the Alps, a large castle overlooks the town, and at night the Palace Hotel and every chalet in town are lit up, making Gstaad the best place to stay for a romantic ski getaway.

COURCHEVEL, FRANCE

Located in the Three Valleys of France, Courchevel is the largest ski resort in the world. Four villages comprise Courchevel and activities range from ski jumping and ice skating to ice climbing and night tobagganing. Gourmet restaurants and boutique shops abound in the area, making it the perfect spot for non-skiiers, too. From studio apartments to four-star resorts, this ski resort has accommodations to fit everyone's taste and is considered one of the best ski lodges in the world.

JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING

Although Jackson Hole is also a playground for the rich and famous, this ski resort is more about the skiing. Jackson Hole boasts more than 2,500 acres of steep terrain ski areas, deep powder and plenty of backcountry skiing. Nicknamed "The Big One," Jackson Hole ski resort is one of the best ski lodges in North America and offers something special for everyone.


VAIL, COLORADO

Known across the globe as one of the best ski resorts in the world, Vail is the largest single ski area in the United States and offers nearly 5,300 acres of skiing terrain. The ski village is lined with bistros, boutiques, lavish restaurants and offers visitors snow tubing, nighttime tobogganing and indoor laser tag. The Sonnenalp Resort in the village is the most luxurious place to stay and offers visitors a 5,000-square-foot spa. With art galleries, museums, dog sledding, ice skating, snowmobiling and more, Vail offers visitors the ski vacation of a lifetime.

ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND

The most famous of all the Swiss ski resorts, St. Moritz is known for its luxury. Glamorous and expensive, this ski area is for those with a large budget and a big taste for glitz. In addition to its opulence, St. Moritz offers great skiing with deep powder and ample lake trails for those who prefer cross-country skiing. With its many luxury hotels and chalets, St. Moritz is the place to be -- if you can afford it.

WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA

Boasting some of the best skiing in North America, Whistler is a favorite of ski buffs everywhere. Offering two towering mountains and some of the steepest vertical drops in ski paradise, Whistler is one of the best ski areas in the world. Its charming ski village offers shopping, cafes and more than 100 restaurants, and the resort offers everything from snowboarding and backcountry skiing to snowmobiling, heli-skiing and sleigh riding. The best place to stay is the Fairmont Chateau Whistler where every room comes with a giant soaking tub to get your muscles in shape for the next day on the slopes.

LAKE TAHOE, CALIFORNIA

Tahoe's Squaw Valley hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics and has six separate hills that offer plenty of trails for the expert, intermediate and beginning skier. Condominiums have fireplaces and balconies and every gadget you could want as well as spectacular views and nearby amenities. Offering thrills and great skiing, Lake Tahoe is considered one of the best ski resorts in North America.

LECH/ZURS, AUSTRIA

The official ski resort of the Royal Family, this exclusive and luxurious ski area not only offers great amenities and accommodations but also has out-of-this-world skiing. Only 14,000 lift tickets are issued a day so there aren't any lines The famous Gasthof Post Resort boasts gourmet restaurants and an indoor swimming pool as well as other four-star amenities sure to make your ski trip a memorable one.


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