Beautiful, serene and filled with many wonders to entice adventure seekers, Colorado and California ski and snowboard destinations have been the lucky recipients of a powder-rich winter. That means Las Vegas travelers still have time for a mountain getaway. At Snowmass and Mammoth Mountain, they’ll find legendary slopes, fine dining, memorable culture and a few pleasant reminders of home.
The Rocky Mountain resort, just a stone’s throw from Colorado’s ever-quaint (and ever-trendy) Aspen village, boasts one of the area’s most luxurious accommodations, the Viceroy. With a culinary program crafted by Las Vegas-based Blau + Associates, the enclave is perfect for those who seek not only challenging runs on legendary Colorado powder but also the finest food and beverage. And with the mountain not set to close until April 10, there are still a few weeks of fun to be had.
Where to stay: Operated by the Kor Group and designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, guest rooms at the Viceroy Snowmass range from studios to four-bedroom units. The lobby sets a brilliant stage for a relaxed stay, making guests feel as if they have secured their very own mountain getaway. Get comfy on the oversize chairs with a complimentary morning coffee or kick back fireside at Eight K, the Viceroy’s signature restaurant. Pastry chef Ashley Jenkin of Simon Las Vegas fame crafts special sweet takeaways for the lobby as well as delicious finishing fare for both Eight K and Nest, a quaint sushi bar on property. Kelly Wearstler, known for her vibrant designs that have graced other Viceroy properties, was the eye behind Nest and the pool area. Francis Mo, another Las Vegas alumnus, from Shibuya at MGM Grand, is at the helm of this specialized eatery that offers extravagant and creative rolls and noodles.
How to get there: Las Vegas has no direct flights, but you can fly into Aspen after one or two connections for about $400. If money is a concern, check out Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air, which flies to Grand Junction, Colo., twice a week with fares as low as $30. Grand Junction is about a two-hour drive from Aspen.
Beyond the snow: The Viceroy Snowmass closes on April 11 for what locals call “mud season” and reopens May 26. However, it resumes operation for undoubtedly the area’s most lauded event, the Food & Wine Classic, June 17-19 in Aspen. This year, Las Vegas’ newest culinary darling, José Andrés, will teach a class on sexy vegetable dishes.
This is one of California’s best snow resorts, with 3,500 acres of terrain for all ability levels. Tucked on the east side of the Sierra Nevada range, 375 miles from Las Vegas, Mammoth offers a dose of culture for those who love the outdoors, thanks to its Art Park, Snowcat food trucks and the Westin Monache, a palatial ski in/ski out hotel. The Mammoth season is set to wrap up on April 24, but there is truly no telling when this paradise will slow down—the 2010 term lasted until July.
Where to stay: The area’s first luxury resort, Westin Monache, meets the expectations of winter thrill seekers with lodging options ranging from studios to luxury two-bedroom units. Each room comes with a pull-out sofa and a kitchenette (two-bedroom units have full kitchens). Après ski, take a dip in the two bubbling Jacuzzis or stroll to the nearby village with its many dining and drinking options. Debating what to do with Fido while on vacation? Bring him and he can relax in his own Westin Heavenly Dog Bed while taking advantage of a full selection of pet amenities.
Where to party: Hospitality management company SBE recently announced it will bring its Hyde Lounge to Bellagio, debuting New Year’s Eve. But for a taste of what’s to come, visit Hyde Lounge Mammoth, which made its debut in 2009 and is a hip addition to this rustic mountain town. Serving happy hour, dinner and cocktails—and of course offering bottle service—Hyde is for the die-hards among us who just can’t take a break from the nightlife.
Where to eat and appreciate: Mammoth made major cultural strides this season, further earning its reputation as a world-class snow town. Capitalizing on the street-food craze, the all-new Roving Mammoth eateries, which reside inside state-of-the-art Snowcats, serve comfort foods such as burritos and calzones to hungry skiers and snowboarders. Also debuting this year, the Art Park is a remarkable gallery on the slopes where visitors can get their culture without taking off their skis. The Art Park features the exhibit I Am Snowboarding, featuring work by 44 photographers paying tribute to legendary snowboarder Jeff Anderson, who died in 2003 at age 23.