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For ski lovers, winter is prime time for getting outdoors and carving into fresh powder. But what if you're someone who isn't a fan of zooming down the side of a snowy mountain? Does that mean you should avoid the best winter destinations? Luckily, the answer is a resounding no as many of the world's top ski spots also have some incredible off-slope activities too. They're even worth booking a trip for.
Sip on Wine at Triple Creek Ranch
Triple Creek Ranch is an outdoor enthusiast's dream vacation all year round with horseback riding in the summer and skiing in the winter. But the colder months are also prime time for wine lovers. The luxury Relais & Chateaux retreat is known for its vintner weekends where renowned winemakers join guests on property for a weekend of informal tastings, special wine dinners, cooking demonstrations, and more. Better yet, it's all included in the regular per night price.
Have a Wellness Getaway at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
While there might be great skiing in the idyllic countryside around Bad Ragaz, the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is known as Europe's leading wellbeing and medical health resort. Guests can trade in their skis for a thermal spa or bath as well as a long list of health and beauty treatments. There's everything from acupuncture and specialty bubble massages to deluxe pedicures to help you get the luxurious ski vacation vibes without the skis.
Experience the Olympics at the Lake Placid Lodge
The Olympics might have taken place in Lake Placid in 1980, but you can still experience the glorious winter games at this American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property—also a Relais & Chateaux hotel (no skiing required). Try your hand at bobsledding down one of America's only Olympic bobsled tracks known for its famous zigzag turn or take the eight-passenger Cloudsplitter Gondola for incredible views nearly 4,000 feet in the air. And be sure to check out the nearby Olympic Center and Museum where "The Miracle on Ice" happened.
Learn to Make Sushi or go Ice Skating at The Lodge at Spruce Peak
With so many apres-ski options at this Vermont ski resort, another American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, you might wonder why you even need the skiing. The property offers sushi-making classes, ice skating, an indoor rock-climbing wall, and dog sledding for those who prefer not to hit the slopes. Plus, there's an underground speakeasy resort that you need a staff member to invite you to.
Enjoy Art at Telluride
The destination itself offers a wide range of off-slope activities, including snowmobile riding trails, snowshoe trails, sledding, fat biking, and ice skating rinks. But the highlight has to be the collection of galleries. The art scene is booming here, and there are organized art walks for visitors to make the most of their time at each location. Add that on to a tasting tour at the Telluride Brewing Company, and you're itinerary is set.
Ride on a Roller Coaster at Grand Hyatt Vail
One of the best parts of skiing is the incredible views you can get from the mountain tops. Well, you can still get those without skiing by taking a Snow Coach Tour that lets you experience the same scenic views and culture of the surrounding area. But that's just the start. The hotel, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, also has the Forrest Flyer Mountain Coaster—a mountain roller coaster that will race you down 3,400 feet of the forested landscape—and Ice Fishing with Vail Valley Anglers complete with a warm portable fishing hut.
Dine in an Ice Cave at Four Seasons Whistler
If you're traveling with both a skier and non-skier, the Four Seasons Whistler—an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property—is the perfect combo vacation. The skier can head out on the slopes with an Olympian to show you the best spots on Whistler and Blackcomb mountains while the other guest can partake in an equally exciting activity sans ski. How? Well, the property will helicopter you to Canada's largest, southernmost ice field where you can enjoy a five-course meal in a hidden ice cave. You'll just have to decide who had the better time.
Indulge in a Michelin-Rated Meal at Palace Hotel Airelles
Les Airelles in Courchevel, France, is the epitome of classic Alps skiing. But you don't need that as an excuse to book a stay at this five-star property. It also happens to be home to one of the best restaurants in the world. Yes, perched in the middle of the mountain is Pierre Gagnaire's restaurant Pour Le Airelles that received two Michelin stars.