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The Best Places to Sleep in the Mountains This Winter

We can't wait to check out these ten new snow-country huts, lodges, and hotels

The Experimental Chalet opens this December in Verbier, Switzerland and is on our list of the best new places to stay this winter. (Courtesy Experimental Chalet)
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We can't wait to check out these ten new snow-country huts, lodges, and hotels

There’s no shortage of great places to cozy up for a winter getaway, but with amenities like stargazing observatories, wood-fired saunas, exceptional taverns, and winter sports aplenty, these new mountain huts, hotels, and lodges are raising the bar. You may never want to leave.

Sister’s Cabin

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(Courtesy Sister's Cabin)

Breckenridge, Colorado

A new 2,090-square-foot backcountry hut called Sister’s Cabin is opening on the northern side of Breckenridge’s Baldy Mountain. An upgrade from your typical rustic hut, this winter-only 14-person cabin comes with a wood-fired sauna and indoor bathrooms, meaning no snowy midnight treks to an outhouse. Built by the Summit Huts Association, it’s expected to open in January and will start taking reservations via Huts.org soon. Heads up: You’ll need to ski tour or snowshoe about 3.5 miles and climb some 1,500 vertical feet to get there. (From $50 per person per night.)

Mount Royal Hotel

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(Courtesy Mount Royal Hotel by Pursuit)

Banff, Alberta

In 2016, a fire burned down the historic 135-room Mount Royal Hotel. This July, it reopened its doors, and the place has been completely redone, with comfortable new beds, sleek decor, phone-charging stations, gas fireplaces, and a general store for grab-and-go lunches. Oh, and you can order drinks without leaving the new rooftop hot tub. The concierge desk can help arrange outings like Banff-area hikes and skiing at Lake Louise, or you can browse through guidebooks in the hotel’s library. (From $82 per night.)

Eastwind Hotel

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(Courtesy Eastwind Hotel)

Windham, New York

At the new Eastwind Hotel, which opened in the Catskills in June, you can book a well-appointed hotel room, two-room suite with a fireplace and writing desk, or a tiny Scandinavian-style A-frame cabin. Each comes with access to an outdoor wood-barrel sauna and hot tub. Skiing at Windham Mountain Resort is a five-minute shuttle ride away, or head to Hunter Mountain, 20 minutes down the road. Breakfast is served on weekends, and the in-house chef whips up group dinners on Saturday nights. (From $219 per night.)

Compass Rose Lodge

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(Courtesy Compass Rose Lodge)

Huntsville, Utah

Opening in January 2019, the Compass Rose Lodge has an on-site coffee shop, free breakfast, and its own astronomic and lunar observatory that plays host to public star parties. But the best part? Its strategic location in Huntsville means the 15-room farmhouse-style hotel has significantly increased the lodging options near Utah’s remote Powder Mountain Resort. (From $227 per night.)

The Josie Hotel

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(Courtesy The Josie Hotel)

Rossland, British Columbia

The Josie opened at the base of Red Mountain in late November, adding a ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to the otherwise low-key ski area. When you’re finished exploring the powder-choked glades off Red’s Granite Mountain, hotel staff will store your skis overnight, book you a deep-tissue massage in the soon-to-open spa, or point you toward après-ski cocktails in the hotel bar. The hotel is currently offering a package deal where a two-night stay includes a pair of lift tickets for the resort. (From $142 per night.)

Snowpine Lodge

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(Courtesy Snowpine Lodge)

Alta, Utah

Alta has a handful of legendary old-school hotels where every meal comes included with your stay and the shared bathroom is down the hall. When the Snowpine Lodge opens in January 2019, it’ll be the first true luxury ski-in, ski-out accommodation on the mountain. In addition to private rooms, the hotel has dorm-style bunks and everything skiers need, like lockers, a good bar, and hot tubs with views of the hill. (Bunks from $99; rooms from $259.)

Limelight Hotel Snowmass

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(Courtesy Aspen Skiing Company)

Snowmass, Colorado

The Limelight Hotel in downtown Aspen is already a crowd favorite for its laid-back yet upscale vibe. This winter, Aspen Skiing Company is opening another property, Limelight Hotel Snowmass, a 99-room hotel right next to the Elk Camp Gondola. You’ll be treated to ski-in, ski-out lodging, a stellar European-style breakfast spread, live music and drink specials during après, and a free ride to Aspen’s three other mountains. Sign up for the First Tracks program with the concierge and you’ll be on the slopes before everyone else. (From $159 per night.)

Experimental Chalet

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(Courtesy Experimental Chalet)

Verbier, Switzerland

You’ll come to Verbier to ski its world-class steeps, but you’ll stay for the party. This quaint Swiss village, after all, is home to the raucous après-ski at Pub Mont Fort and the Farinet. The new Experimental Chalet, opening in December, is your home base for both. In addition to 39 sleekly designed rooms, you’ll find easy access to the Médran lift, a restaurant run by a chef brought in from Paris, a retro cocktail bar, and a wild nightclub in the basement. (From $208 per night.)

Caldera House

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(Courtesy Caldera House)

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Teton Village, at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, isn’t lacking for high-end hotels, but with the debut of splurge-worthy Caldera House this summer, just steps from the resort’s famous tram, there’s a new king of the hill. Guests can rent lavish two- or four-bedroom suites. Each comes with a chef’s kitchen, a palatial living area with a gas fireplace, and private balconies. You’ll be treated like ski-town royalty with a private member’s locker room for your gear and an on-call concierge who can organize everything from caribou sleigh rides to backcountry heli-skiing. In case you’re not actually royalty, the Southcable Café, in the main level of the hotel, serves coffee, breakfast burritos, and sloshies—the frozen cocktail made famous in Jackson. (From $1,250 per night.)

Red Mountain Alpine Lodge

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(Courtesy Red Mountain Alpine Lodge)

Red Mountain Pass, Colorado

Slated to open in late December, the new Red Mountain Alpine Lodge is an off-the-grid timber-framed backcountry cabin located near Silverton on the 11,018-foot Red Mountain Pass. It’s just 300 yards from the highway, making access much easier than many of Colorado’s other huts. The place sleeps up to 20—rent the whole thing, a private room, or a spot in the loft—and comes with three meals a day, hot showers, a wood-burning sauna, and guided or unguided access to some of the best out-of-bounds ski terrain in the San Juans. (From $134 per person per night.)

Nicolas Henderson/Creative Commons )

San Marcos, Texas

Billed as the world’s toughest canoe race, the Texas Water Safari, held each June, is a four-day, 260-mile jaunt from the headwaters of the San Marcos River northeast of San Antonio to the small shrimping town of Seadrift on the Gulf Coast. There’s no prize money—just bragging rights for the winner. Any boat without a motor is allowed, and you’ll have to carry your own equipment and overnight gear. Food and water are provided at aid stations along the way. Entry fees start at $175 and increase as race day approaches.

The Ring

the-ring-race.jpg
(Courtesy Quatro Hubbard)

Strasburg, Virginia

The Ring is a 71-mile trail running race in early September along the entire length of Virginia’s rough and rocky Massanutten Trail loop. To qualify, you need to have run a 50- or 100-mile race before the event and win a spot through the lottery system. Entry is free. Complete the run and you’ll become part of the tight-knit Fellowship of the Ring and be eligible for the Reverse Ring, which entails running the trail backwards in the middle of winter.

Plaza2Peak

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(David Silver)

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Each spring, competitors gather in Santa Fe’s historic plaza with a simple goal: be the first to reach 12,308-foot Deception Peak, 17 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain away. Competitors run or bike the first 15 miles to the local ski area before transitioning to their waiting ski-touring setups for the final push to the top. Time stops only when they’ve skied back down to the tailgate in the resort’s parking lot, which is funded by the modest entry fee of around $25. To add to the sufferfest, some participants sign up for the Expedition category, in which they strap their skis, skins, boots, and poles to their bikes for the long ride up. Start dates vary depending on snow conditions, but look for the event page to be posted on Facebook in late March or early April.