Ski resorts know that it’s not just the active traveler who frequents lodges these days. Couples looking to rekindle some romance in an outdoorsy setting -- whether rustic or luxe or both -- flock to these cold-weather enclaves for some indulgent private time. So skiing spots across North America have begun to focus more and more on charming features designed to help inspire some romance. Here are some of our favorites:
The Couple-Friendly Feature: Cozy Outdoor Firepit
The Hotel: Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa
This boutique hotel in Jackson Hole is decidedly upscale, featuring rustic chic decor in super spacious, bright rooms (many of which have their own fireplaces). It includes all of the requisite apres-ski offerings: an ornate reading room with heavy leather chairs, a stylish bar manned by knowledgeable mixologists, and a delicious on-site restaurant, Wild Sage. This outdoor lounge deck with a whirlpool and fire pits, however, is our favorite feature for some couple's canoodling.
The Couple-Friendly Feature: A Room with a View
The Hotel: Spring Creek Ranch
This quiet, peaceful resort is set more than 700 feet above Jackson Valley in a wildlife refuge that offers the most stunning views of the Teton Mountain Range in the area. From the highly acclaimed restaurant to the well-equipped fitness center, guests can enjoy these sumptuous vistas throughout the entire property. But the best place to bask in the beauty of "Les Trois Tétons" — as the mountains were so-dubbed by French explorers in the 18th century (translation: the three breasts) — is from one of Spring Creek's immense condos alone. Maybe the view will give you a bit of amorous inspiration, just like it did to those French explorers. Oh la la!
The Couple-Friendly Feature: A Luxurious Spa
The Hotel: Four Seasons Resort Vail
A couple's getaway is all about relaxation — and the spa at the Four Seasons Resort in Vail is a great place to zen out. Couple's treatment rooms come complete with deep soaking tubs and romantic stone fireplaces. The spa also features its own 30-foot indoor hot tub and cold plunge pool, as well as his-and-her relaxation rooms (though couples may just want to return to their rooms, which all come equipped with gas fireplaces, walk-in showers and soaking tubs, and balconies). This high level of pampering does not come as a surprise at this luxurious resort, which opened in 2011.
The Couple-Friendly Feature: Breakfast in Bed
The Hotel: The Sassy Moose Inn
The Sassy Moose Inn is a charming bed and breakfast in Jackson Hole, near Grand Teton National Park and the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The inn has a genuinely homey vibe throughout the breakfast area and living room, and what it lacks in surrounding restaurants and shops it makes up for with stunning views of the Tetons (and, of course, the occasional moose). Rooms vary in style, like most B&Bs, but all feature comfortable beds that you won't want to leave any time soon -- so request breakfast served bedside!
The Couple-Friendly Feature: A Peekaboo Bathroom
The Hotel: Viceroy Snowmass
Viceroy Snowmass is easily the most luxurious resort in Aspen's Snowmass Village, and is packed with top-notch amenities, including a 7,000-square-foot spa with a stunning relaxation room, a solid fitness center, and a lovely pool area with a heated saline pool, cabanas, and a fire pit. It also offers phenomenal ski valet service and a prime ski-in, ski-out location. Rooms are chic and sexy, featuring a glass wall partitioning the bathroom from the bedroom. This does require a certain amount of comfort between couples, but if you're okay with seeing and hearing both the sexy and the, well, not-so-sexy, this is sure to add a little spice to your vacation.
The Couple-Friendly Feature: A Michelin-Starred Meal
The Hotel: Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver
Vacations are a time of indulgence — a time to reawaken all of your senses, if you will. And particularly on a couple's getaway, it's always nice to treat yourselves to a bit of extravagance. MARKET, from three-time Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, is an opportunity to do just that while vacationing at the uber-luxe Shangri-La Hotel in Vancouver. Feast on short ribs with apple-jalapeno glaze followed by warm chocolate cake (an aphrodisiac that will be sure to rev your engines) topped with whipped ice cream. Large rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs with DVR, bedside controls for curtains and lights, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking downtown, and massive granite-and-marble bathrooms with separate showers and tubs, as well as flat-screen TVs.
The Couple-Friendly Feature: Private Ski-in/Ski-out Access
The Hotel: Crystal Peak Lodge
The Crystal Peak Lodge is one of the higher-end properties in Breckenridge, and has a great winter location directly on the mountain, right on the Breck-Connect Gondola line — meaning an easy trip into town for you and that special someone, all while taking in terrific views of the surrounding mountains during your ride. Upscale details can be found throughout the property, including exposed wood beams in the open common area, and stone fireplaces in the big, individually owned condos.
The Couple-Friendly Feature: A Steamy Soak
The Hotel: The Gant
The Gant sits near the base of Aspen Mountain and features 140 one- to four-bedroom condos with Aspen-inspired decor (leather and wood accents, rich colors, and scenic mountain artwork). The hotel is on a large piece of land, and features two heated outdoor pools and accompanying whirlpools, perfect for taking a sexy soak after a long day on the slopes.