Here are four resorts where special properties and ski schools understand the art of catering to families more concerned with the quality of a vacation than the cost of the trip. These are popular resorts, so once you decide to visit and lock in a place to stay, have your concierge help you book ski school for the children, private lessons and even restaurant reservations long before leaving home.
This family-friendly resort was designed alongside the slopes, so skiers and snowboarders in many lodges just have to walk a few hundred yards at most, snap on their skis or board and starting sliding. Twenty-one lifts open up 94 trails for all abilities (including a 5.3-mile run) and three terrain parks. Woodrun V and The Viceroy Snowmass are good choices for families. The Viceroy Snowmass is a hotel with sleek-looking studio to four-bedroom units with refrigerators, a pool and a ski concierge to make things easy when heading on or getting off the slopes. The concierge will help you set up ski lessons for the kids, and much more. Ask about the Ski With The Chef experience if you want Executive Chef Will Nolan to show you and the kids around the mountain. Woodrun V consists of two- to four-bedroom upscale condominiums in a variety of configurations. They are built into a slope, so you can walk (or go up or down a few stairs) to a ski slope. Because the units are so varied, chat with Lisa Wilkinson at Woodrun V to see which configuration would be best for your family. The concierge service will help you set up everything in advance and during your stay.
Tell a friend you are going to Deer Valley to ski and they’ll say you are heading to arguably one of the most upscale ski resorts in the country. From the ski valet service at the base to the fine dining in the resort’s day lodges, visitors expect — and get — excellence. There are dozens of choices for ultra-comfortable lodging in beautifully decorated condos and lodges at Deer Valley. The best bet is to speak with a resort representative rather than booking online. Reservations for children’s ski lessons and childcare should be made immediately after booking lodging. Children even have their own ski map here. Try the resort’s Seafood Buffet at Snow Park Lodge, where the Children’s Center is located. The resort is near the edge of Park City’s lively downtown, so you can enjoy all of the off-slope activities there, too.
This resort sprawls over three interconnected skiable areas: Beaver Creek Mountain, Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead. The children’s ski school, highly lauded by parents whose kids love it, is at the base of the lifts rising out of the resort’s main village. Within the village, and lining the lower slopes of Bachelor Gulch, there’s a big choice of lodging. The Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is right at the base, so it’s easy to move kids to ski school and a beginner lift is nearby. During the apres-ski hour, kids gather around the fire pit for s’mores. If your kids are older and you don’t have to carry their equipment, there are stunning private residences at the ski-in, ski-out Chateau Beaver Creek.
Northstar has more than 3,000 skiable acres and the majority of them are on intermediate trails. It’s a low-key area near Lake Tahoe that attracts lots of families. The ski school here has a good reputation. The Ritz- Carlton Lake Tahoe, located mid-mountain, is family friendly. During the apres-hour, you and the kids can enjoy Marshmolgy — the art of s’more making. Put your children in the Ritz Kids, for ages 5-12, some days, or let them join a scavenger hunt one day if they don’t want to ski or ride. The Ritz-Carlton has hotel rooms, a Club Level and two- to four-bedroom slope-side residences.