Love on the Slopes: Romantic Ski Hotels in the Rockies and the Alps
We've watched self-professed "Indiana Jane" Kelley McMillan track lions on safari and jump into waterfalls. This time, the ski aficionado turned her romantic and athletic attentions to the mountains for love on the slopes.
There's nothing quite like snuggling up with your sweetie after a day on the slopes. Add a hot toddy, a crackling fire, and surroundings like high peaks, snow, and solitude — and you might never return to the real world. So grab your honey, hightail it to your favorite ski country in the Rockies or the Alps, and get cozy at one of these five incredible hotels.
Perched at 12,200 feet in the Rocky Mountains, the Tempter House is a private getaway for two atop Telluride Mountain Ski resort. There are no roads to this pad. No, you'll ski right to the door. When the lifts wind down, ski patrol is on hand to whisk you by snowmobile back home, maybe after dinner in town. With a Jacuzzi, a fireplace, and 360-degree views of the majestic San Juans, not to mention guaranteed first tracks and solitude, it may be the ultimate couple's retreat. Then again, the name — "Tempter" — says it all.
British Columbia, Canada
If you like your skiing with a side of luxury, look no further. Mica Heliskiing is one of the world's premiere heliskiing operations, offering first-rate powder and a spiffy new lodge. Though it's hard to go wrong heliskiing — what with a chopper and hundreds of miles of untracked snow at your disposal — it's harder to find a heliski op that can match its service and accommodation with the quality of its skiing. Mica does that, and then some. If a remote mountainside location miles from civilization that requires a helicopter to access, a hot tub overlooking Lake Kinbaskett, and rooms with spectacular views and 1,000-thread linens don't get your juices flowing, then you might be hopeless. Oh, and then there's the snow: up to 60 feet of it per year.
St. Luc, Switzerland
Tucked into an obscure Swiss valley two hours by car from Geneva, the Bella Tola is a refurbished 19th-century mountain hotel that effortlessly blends its history and Alpine heritage with modern creature comforts. Rooms have sumptuous canopy beds, crystal chandeliers, and fresh bouquets of roses. Hit the spa for the steam room, sauna, and indoor pool. (Make like a Euro and go au naturel.) Book Le Mayen, a charming, traditional-style chalet for two — a perfect love nest — on a nearby property. Meals and makings for picnics are delivered daily to your door. You won't have to leave for anything, except for raclette in the main hotel every Tuesday night and to explore the valley's four ski resorts and quaint, 15th-century villages.
La Grave, France
On the old road to Rome, an hour outside of Grenoble, lies the hardcore skier's paradise of La Grave. It's a 12th-century village at the foot of a massive mountain covered in untracked powder, steep skiing, glaciers, and one ski lift. You have to hire a guide to tap its snowy bounty — and stay alive. Spend the night atop the mountain at 3,200 Chalet, a luxury igloo kitted out with cozy sleeping bags for two, candles, and spectacular starry views.
There's a saying in Austria's Arlberg Mountains: You take your wife to Lech, your girlfriend to Zürs, and your skis to St. Anton. Regardless of which village you choose, for all the women in dirndls, secret mountain restaurants, and plentiful snow, you're all but guaranteed to fall in love. Stay at the elegant Hotel Krone, five-star, family-run digs that date back to the 18th century. The food is amazing — don't miss the fondue Bourguignonne — and the rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, mountain views, and luxe furnishings. Return from a day on the slopes to top-notch après ski, a ski valet, and a drawn bath surrounded by candles.