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There's a lot to love about a ski escape, where days on the slopes transition into cozy nights by the fire. And since it's primetime for skiing, why not book a holiday for you and your loved one to take? We've planned out five different ski destinations to check out. Cuddle up to one of these white-hot destinations.
The Details: All prices are for a double room in peak winter season.
Why here: North America's large ski resort offers something for every level. Neophytes will be happy to hear that recent improvements include more beginner terrain.
Stay here: Spoil yourselves at the stately Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler where amenities include daily wine tastings and fireside s'mores—all a short walk from the lifts.
Ski this: On a powder day, nothing's better than local favorite Spanky's Ladder at Blackcomb Mountain (experts only); for a more intermediate-friendly adventure, cruise Whistler Mountain's seven-mile Peak to Creek, be after it's been freshly groomed.
Off the slopes: Rejuvenate those sore muscles in the outdoor baths, eucalyptus steam room, and wood-burning sauna at Scandinave Spa, set in a forested area. Then head back to town and hop aboard a snowmobile or heated snowcat to a fondue dinner in Blackcomb Mountain's rustic Crystal Hut, elevation 6,053 feet.
The Details: Four Seasons Resort and Residencies Whistler, from $230 per night, fourseasons.com. Scandinave Spa, scandinave.com. Snowmobile/heated snowcat, from $189 per person, canadianwilderness.com.
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Val Thorens, France
Why here: At 7,545 feet in the Alps, the highest ski resort in Europe gets reliable snowpack—even when mild weather yields lousy conditions at lower elevations.
Stay here: Retro-design touches like rotary phones lend a 1970s-era air to the recently opened 107-room Fahrenheit 7.
Ski this: Skirt the edge of the Péclet Glacier on the intermediate Christine run, then try the more challenging Combe de Caron for 360-degree views into three countries.
Off the slopes: Stay in your ski clothes for lunch at Michelin-starred Jean Sulpice. Don't miss the Beaufort cheese mousse with mountain herbs.
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Why here: With cobblestone streets and a quaint covered bridge, this Swiss-inspired village marries world-class skiing with Old World romance.
Stay here: The 285-room Hotel Talisa opens this winter on the banks of Gore Creek, following a $50 million transformation from aging resort to elegant ski-in/ ski-out sanctuary.
Ski this: Opposite the beloved Back Bowls, Blue Sky Basin has a distinct backcountry vibe. Trek here for mountain views, plush powder, and terrain suitable for intermediates and up.
Off the slopes: Lace up some skates for a few laps beneath twinkling lights at the Vail Square ice rink, then warm up over hot cocoa at Rimini Gelato.
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Sun Valley, Idaho
Why here: Uncrowded slopes and an unpretentious attitude give this mountain resort town near Ketchum a welcome air of authenticity.
Stay here: Perks at the new 99-room Limelight Hotel Ketchum include in-room kitchenettes, a complimentary breakfast buffet, inviting outdoor fire pits and hot tubs, and free airport transfers.
Ski this: Get your legs burning on the Warm Springs run, a top-to-bottom descent of Bald Mountain that drops nearly 3,400 feet to the valley floor.
Off the slopes: Borrow free snowshoes from the hotel to explore eight miles of trails at the Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center, which also has 25 miles of Nordic ski paths.
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Why here: Abundant snow, steaming hot rings, and serene volcanic peaks have made the ski area on Hokkaido island increasingly popular among American skiers.
Stay here: Access to the property's rock-lined onsen (hot rings) is included in the rate at the 200-room Green Leaf Niseko Village, located at the base of Mount Niseko Annupuri.
Ski this: Niseko Village has a series of black diamonds that art at the top and go virtually to the base, including the Snorkel, Superstition, and Misoshiru runs. Or access beginner terrain via the new Upper Village Gondola.
Off the slopes: Soak together in the coed area of the onsen at the Niseko Grand Hotel, then refuel at 12-seat Soba Restaurant Rakuichi a soba-noodle spot.
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