For many of us, family ski trips are some of the fondest memories from our childhoods; they often involved fire pits, heated pools, hearty meals, and, well, maybe a few kamikaze-style downhill runs as well. We know from experience that kids always have a great time in the snow, and they’re usually so tired after an entire day of skiing that parents can even snatch some time alone after the little ones are in bed. But there are so many hotels that cater to families and groups that picking the right one can be tricky. No need to fret -- we’re here to help! We've put together a list of our favorite family-friendly hotels in the top ski destinations, so that all you need to do is have some fun!
Top of the Village, Aspen
Located at the top of Carriage Way, a winding road in Snowmass Village, the mid-range Top of the Village offers great ski-in/ski-out access, an outdoor year-round pool, two whirlpools, and a small fitness center. Because the 88 units range from two to five bedrooms, Top of the Village tends to draw large parties and families. The fact that it's the only hotel in Snowmass where you can ski or walk down to the Village Mall, and then take the free shuttle back up, is an added bonus.
- Our favorite family-friendly feature: Some units offer sleeper sofas that can accommodate up to two other guests, so families on a tighter budget can book a one-bedroom suite instead of a more expensive two-bedroom condo, and still have separate rooms for the parents and the kids.
Resort at Squaw Creek, Lake Tahoe
The Resort at Squaw Creek is one of the biggest resorts in Squaw Valley, with more than 400 rooms and a services and amenities offering that is easily among the most comprehensive in all of Tahoe. Its beautiful location means fine views of the mountains and valley, whether guests are swimming, dog-sledding, ice skating, eating at one of the five restaurants, or simply gazing from the spacious rooms. Plus, a ski lift transports guests to Squaw Valley for hitting the slopes.
- Our favorite family-friendly feature: The hotel has a year-round supervised kids' club, which offers daily activities, such as ice skating, arts and crafts, and snow play.
Mountain Lodge at Telluride
Located in Mountain Village, Mountain Lodge at Telluride is a classic Colorado mountain getaway. This log-cabin style lodge offers spacious condo and cabin rentals for groups from two to 14 people. Most rooms have kitchens, gas fireplaces, and private balconies in addition to small touches like humidifiers to battle the dry Colorado air. One highlight of this hotel is the year-round outdoor pool and hot tub with sweeping mountain views. A cozy restaurant, called the The View, has a huge fireplace and plenty of space to lounge while sipping a local beer. Additional perks include a small fitness center, steam rooms, and free Wi-Fi.
- Our favorite family-friendly feature: The apres-ski menu served at the restaurant offers comfort food that even the pickiest of kids will enjoy, including chicken wings, nachos and mozzarella sticks.
Four Seasons Resort Vail
The Four Seasons Vail opened in 2011, and is one of the area’s top hotels. All of the rooms have warm colors, stone fireplaces, balconies, and huge marble bathrooms with standalone soaking tubs, and almost every amenity impresses, particularly the upscale spa (one of the best in Vail Valley), lovely outdoor pool area, and outstanding kids' program. Just note that it's not directly on the slopes -- guests face a 10-minute walk, or a short hotel shuttle ride.
- Our favorite family-friendly feature: The childrens' program is one of the most comprehensive in the area, with free use of baby toiletries, diapers, toys, and flashlights and tents to set up in the rooms.
Teton Mountain Lodge, Jackson Hole
In keeping with its name, Teton Mountain Lodge's 145 condo-style rooms and common areas have a distinct mountain-lodge vibe. If the rooms weren't amply supplied with up-to-date amenities such as flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and new appliances in the kitchens, you might feel as if you were staying in your own remote log cabin. Being that most nearby restaurants and bars are expensive, the full kitchens in most rooms (all but the Lodge Rooms) help to combat the high prices. All areas of the hotel are cozy, including the beautiful lobby, with its two tall, towering stone fireplaces and exposed wooden beams. All guests have full access to the Solitude Spa facilities: two pools, five whirlpools (great for sore post-ski muscles), steam rooms, and a nicely equipped fitness center.
- Our favorite family-friendly feature: All rooms have a selection of games and movies, and all but the Lodge Rooms come equipped with a kitchen large enough to cook a full meal -- perfect for a fun night in with the whole family!
One Ski Hill Place, a RockResort, Breckenridge
One Ski Hill Place is one of the most luxurious lodges in Breckenridge, with attractive condo-style units featuring gourmet kitchens, beautiful bathrooms (almost all with soaking tubs), and moss rock gas fireplaces. It also offers the most features of any resort in the area, including a two-lane bowling alley, a billiards room, and an indoor pool area. It has a ski-in/ski-out location right on Peak 8, but getting to Main Street requires a trip on the Breck-Connect Gondola.
- Our favorite family-friendly feature: The hotel is packed with features kids will love, including two screening rooms and a kid's pool with a gradually sloped "beach entry."
The Grand Summit at Canyons Resort, Park City
The 358-room Grand Summit features rooms and suites outfitted in typical Park City style -- warm colors, Western patterns, and mountain-themed artwork -- but the decor never crosses the line into kitschy. The hotel's location -- right in The Canyons village with a ski-in/ski-out location -- is the highlight, but amenities like a heated outdoor pool, fitness center, nail salon, spa and various shops make it a nice choice for guests looking for more to do than hit the slopes.
- Our favorite family-friendly feature: The kids' club offers ski lessons, sledding, and arts and crafts among other activities.