Recommend April 2017 - 23

A View from the Top

Michelle Marie Arean

Beyond stunning bird's-eye views, crisp air,
and outdoor adventures, mountain vacations
offer a bevy of experiential activities, as
well, including hot air ballooning, Western
adventures and visits to whisky distilleries.

In Vermont
At Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa
in Vermont, the yearly, 3-day Stoweflake Hot
Air Balloon Festival (July 7-9) features over
25 hot air balloons soaring through the sky,
while down below guests can take in live
entertainment, a children's corner offering
an array of activities, chair massages and
facials, or they can swap their hot cocoa for
a treat at the beer and wine garden. Guests
can opt for either a sunrise or sunset launch
through the clouds on a hot air balloon
($275 pp; reservations required), or go for
a tethered hot air balloon ride ($10 pp).
Admission to the festival is $10 pp; kids 12
and under are free.
When not enjoying the festival activities,
guests can partake in a plethora of
summertime fun such as going horseback
riding or taking a horse-drawn carriage ride
through the meadows; hiking or biking on
the Recreation Path; or golfing and tennis.
Though there is both an indoor pool and
outdoor pool, recommend a swim in one of
the natural watering holes around Stowe,
such as the Waterbury Reservoir, or the West
Branch River. And for total relaxation, guests
can head to the onsite spa.

In Utah
Managed by Auberge Resorts Collection,
The Lodge at Blue Sky will be debuting in
the fall of 2018 at Blue Sky Utah, a 3,400acre hospitality and recreational area in the
Wasatch Mountains.
"Our vision for The Lodge at Blue Sky
blends contemporary luxury, a spirited sense
of adventure and an outstanding mountain
lifestyle that truly captures the Blue Sky
motto of 'Luxury with Wild Abandon,'" says
Mark Harmon, founder, Auberge Resorts
Collection. "Blue Sky's distinct point of
view and endless recreation options will
enable us to provide guests with one-of-akind experiences for an unforgettable trip.
Blue Sky offers the glorious solitude of the
expansive West, yet is just minutes from a
world class ski resort town."
The Lodge at Blue Sky will feature 46

Hot air balloon festival at Stoweflake Mountain Resort in Vermont.

guestrooms and suites, plus a camp with four
luxury tents. At the highest point of Blue
Sky, a luxury yurt will welcome guests to a
breathtaking mountain setting with views
that stretch as far as the eye can see, a lake
for stand-up paddleboarding, and hikes in the
wilderness in the summer or alpine touring in
the winter.
Guests will be able to partake in many
outdoor adventures that will "introduce
a modern take on Western adventure,"
according to press materials. Activities
will range from horseback riding, working
cattle, fly-fishing, and championship-caliber
shooting clays, to biking and cross-country
skiing. Plus, there will be an onsite
restaurant, and an Auberge spa offering yoga,
fitness training, meditation and treatments.
Guests can also venture off the resort to
Utah's first whisky distillery since 1870 for
a lesson in whisky-making at the High
West Distillery.

In Canada
"Pleasant Holidays' recently expanded
Canada portfolio features a variety of
mountain destinations ideal for active
travelers looking to immerse themselves in
the wonders of nature," says Jack E. Richards,
president and CEO of Pleasant Holidays.
The brand's Canadian mountain
destinations feature hotels and resorts that
embrace their mountain surroundings.
For example, at Fairmont Banff Springs,
guests can enjoy a drink at the outdoor ice

bar, while Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
offers mountain and lake activities such as
year-round guided mountain tours led by an
accredited naturalist, wintertime skiing, and
hiking and canoe activities in the summer.
And for those guests staying at Fairmont
Chateau Whistler and Fairmont Tremblant,
ski-in/ski-out from the resorts is available for
easy access to the slopes.
For more active clients, recommend
H+I Adventures' mountain biking
itineraries such as the 8-day Wild Yukon. It
takes travelers high into Canada's alpine
mountains where they might come face-toface (sort of) with wild caribou and bears.
Intermediate mountain bikers will follow
the path of gold prospectors and navigate
the 500-mile trail network near Carcross,
plus they'll go canoeing down the Yukon
River, and sample local craft beers at Yukon
Brewing. Accommodation is provided in
a remote mountain ranch. Rates start at
$2,535. Departures available July 8-15, 2017
and Aug. 19-26, 2017.
Agents, keep in mind that for Canada's
150th anniversary celebrations, there are
plenty of events planned throughout the year
your clients can take part in, including free
admission to all of Canada's national parks. ■
Contact Information
H+I Adventures:
The Lodge at Blue Sky:
Pleasant Holidays:
Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa:
april 2017 23

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