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. To me 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…
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 and boots off to alpine concierge to be kept (and carried out to the ski racks for
The Lodge’s immense lobby invited us to linger by the fire on leather couches,
amid copper tables, indigenous stone and birch trees. Our spacious suite was
stylishly appointed with bamboo headboard and 600 thread count sheets, a slate bathroom, and a
huge deck with views of Stowe’s snowy trails.
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
artisanal Vermont cheeses and native beef. Solstice Dining Room offers more
formal fare and a knock out 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
Stowe’s Four Runner Quad opens at 7:30am, insanely early but you have no excuse
when staying on mountain. To ease you into first tracks, the ski valet hands you
your heated ski boots, and 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, just beyond the
beautiful centerpiece ice rink at Spruce Camp.
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 10am). 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 serves fine food, with fabulous views – as it has for
decades. I recommend the Vermont cheese fondue. Another lesser known 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
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, with ice rink and outdoor fireplaces. The anchor Stowe
Mountain Lodge and Spa is in a league unparalleled in the East, into the Deer Valley/Beaver Creek caliber.
Back at the luxurious lodge, our boots were dried by the ski valet while we
soaked in the gorgeous outdoor pool and hot tubs - part of the three-story Spa and Wellness Center. If
that doesn't cure your ski boot feet, try the relaxation foot massage at the
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.