Virtuoso Traveler - February/March 2018 - 46
Peak experience: Chilling out atop
an ice field with Four Seasons
Resort and Residences Whistler.
Today's top ski resorts tempt travelers with exclusive experiences that go way beyond ski-in/ski-out.
By Larry Olmsted
T USED TO BE THAT TRAVELERS
planning upscale ski vacations prized
slopeside location and easy access to
trails and lifts above all else. But the
ski industry hasn't escaped the current
global luxury-hotel boom, and rivalry
among properties, along with the trend
toward experiential travel, has forced the
best to up their ante. Now it's special or
exclusive touches that make a stay at one
premier ski hotel more memorable than
its neighbor next door.
"There's been such an influx in luxury
ski resorts that, in order to stay competitive, they truly have to go above and
beyond the traditional selling point of
'ski-in/ski-out' to differentiate themselves," notes Vickie Love Greenlee, an
avid skier and Virtuoso travel agency
46 V I R T U O S O T R A V E L E R
owner based in Ridgeland, Mississippi.
Greenlee cites examples ranging from
private skiing with Olympians to caviar
tastings and stargazing sessions as the
type of extras that are now available.
Here, five hotel picks for this season or
the next with signature experiences as
fresh and fun as the powder.
Whistler for All
Four Seasons Resort and Residences
Whistler | British Columbia, Canada
"Travelers today are looking for more
than just skiing, and that's the top reason
I'm sending people to Four Seasons
Whistler this winter," says Shawna Huffman Owen, a Virtuoso advisor from
Chicago. The 273-room resort offers a
delightful way to bask in the beauty of
BC's Coast Mountain Range beyond the
chairlift. Its Glacier Romance Experience
drops couples off via helicopter atop
an ice field, where they spend the day
snowmobiling, playing "glacier golf," and
sipping cocktails handcrafted by a Four
Seasons mixologist - chilled with glacier
ice that's more than 12,000 years old.
The resort's Ultimate Whistler Residential Package is ideal for family vacations
or trips with large groups. Highlights
include private luxury transfers and a
choice of a private, customized ski experience with an Olympian (for up to four
guests) or a three-course, in-residence
dining experience with a renowned chef
(for up to six guests).
STAY: Doubles from $325 (from $256 in
summer); contact your Virtuoso advisor