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The Ski Guru Blog

At last - swank, slopeside lodging at Stowe

Stowe has always been a favorite of mine. Skiing Stowe’s Front Four, well there is nothing comparable in the East to Goat or Starr, unless you prefer cruising perfect cord under the bright red gondola on Mt Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak.

 

Over the years, Stowe only had one flaw: No on-mountain lodging. Stowe’s Mountain Road offers loads of lodging - Topnotch, Stoweflake, Trapp Family Lodge, Green Mountain Inn to name a few - but no “roll out of bed on to the slopes” places…until now.

 

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Stowe Mountain Lodge far exceeded my long wait and lofty expectations for slopeside digs. From the moment we arrived at the massive alpine lodge, we were treated like skiing royalty. Valet parked our car, while bellmen whisked our skis off to an alpine concierge to be kept (and carried out to the ski racks for first tracks).

 

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The lodge’s immense lobby invited us to linger by the fire on leather couches, amidst copper tables, indigenous stone and birch trees. Our spacious suite was stylishly appointed with bamboo headboard and sheets, a marble bathroom, and a huge deck with views of Stowe’s snowy trails.

 

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We dined at the lodge’s cozy Hourglass, named for an off-piste ski run at Stowe. The culinary treats at the lodge are on par with the exceptional décor, with artisan Vermont cheeses and native beef. Solstice Dining Room offers more formal fare and a knockout wine list, while the Hourglass has casual après ski. After the best cheeseburger in ski country, I was ready to dream of the next day’s skiing on my pillow - there is an international pillow menu for real fussy princesses.

 

Stowe’s Four Runner Quad opens at 7:30 a.m., insanely early. But you have no excuse when staying on-mountain. To ease you into first tracks, the ski valet delivers your skis to the plaza (you do have to BYOB: buckle your own boots), and you walk 100 steps to ride the Over Easy Gondola to Mt. Mansfield.

 

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Our first few laps on fresh powder down classic trails like Liftline, Lord, Nosedive and Hayride were heavenly. There was a strong contingent of Stowe locals getting their 10 by 10 (10 runs by 10 a.m.). At 8:30 we moved to the gondola for more fresh corduroy on Gondolier and Perry Merrill. For lunch, the historic Cliff House atop Mansfield still serves fine food with fabulous views – as it has for decades. A new option, The Cottage, serves chef-created cuisine in the beautiful golf clubhouse. Remove your ski boots and relax if you are spent from Stowe’s skiing.

 

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Stowe’s tag line “same place, new base” is true. Stowe’s terrain is still amazing with challenging runs like Chin Clip and the famous Front Four. But Stowe’s brand new base village has transformed the Spruce Peak side with high-speed lifts, a Spruce Camp Base Lodge, and outdoor fireplaces. The anchor Stowe Mountain Lodge (with an additional wing to open 100-plus more rooms this summer), moves their lodging into a league above anything else in the East, into the Deer Valley/Beaver Creek caliber.

 

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Back at the luxurious lodge, our boots were dried by the ski valet while we soaked in the outdoor pool, part of the three-story Spa and Wellness Center. You have no reason to leave Stowe’s base village anymore, but if you wish to visit the village of Stowe for retail therapy or restaurants, there’s a free shuttle or a Mercedes demo at your disposal. It’s easy to get use to these on mountain luxuries, hard to leave though.

 

For a truly special ski stay, the Stowe Mountain Lodge is a must.  Ask about their special “Ski Fever” package at 50 percent off midweek including lodging, lift tickets and breakfast.

 

For more of Heather’s ski tips and trips go to www.familyskitrips.com. Photos by Greg Burke.

 

 

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