The Little Nell
The best après ski experiences once were hot spots, jam packed with skiers sharing stories of the day and bumping elbows with locals. Today a safer approach is in order, but no less playful or stylish.
Luxe ski resorts have reimagined après ski for the winter 2021 season. While the resorts in France, Italy and Germany chose to close, American ski resorts are cautiously firing up the ski lifts, grooming the slopes and welcoming skiers with controlled attendance, social distancing and a new way to ski and après ski.
At ICONIC LIFE, we looked at how some of our favorite ski resorts were reinventing the time-honored tradition of après ski—for some, the best part of the day. Here are the Best Places for Après Ski.
The clear, heated domes offer skiers a chance to enjoy the stunning Deer Valley views, sip some mulled wine and dig into classic Swiss fondue or Raclette.
Stein Erickson Lodge
STEIN ERIKSON LODGE | Utah
Who hasn’t felt that they should literally live in a bubble the last nine months? Now at the five-star Stein Erikson Lodge in Deer Valley, you can maintain the bubble and après ski at the same time. Reserve one of four Alpenglobes on the deck of the Mountain Lodge. The clear, heated domes offer skiers a chance to enjoy the stunning Deer Valley views, sip some mulled wine and dig into classic Swiss fondue or Raclette.
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The Little Nell
THE LITTLE NELL | Colorado
Aspen’s see-and-be-seen The Little Nell transformed its après ski bar, Chair 9 into The Wine Bar for the winter ski season, and it’s the best place. While it is indoors, the space features private seating areas for groups of up to eight people and a DJ spinning tunes behind a glass partition. Oeniphiles will revel in a European-focused wine menu featuring 35 top pours. For a truly decadent après ski, pair the caviar tacos with a glass of Krug bubbles.
Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch
RITZ CARLTON BACHELOR GULCH | Colorado
Leave it to Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Avon, Colorado to offer the ultra chic après ski with its Moet Chandon Champagne and raw bar located mountainside with a roaring fire to keep you warm. At the outdoor Fireside Bar guests can also opt to go lower brow with street tacos and BBQ dishes enjoyed around one of the firepits.
Brush Creek Ranch
BRUSH CREEK RANCH |Wyoming
With three distinct lodging options, including a Relais & Chateaux property, Brush Creek Ranch is a working Wyoming cattle ranch that’s become a closely guarded secret among cool, low-key VIPs. This winter, Brush Creek is turning its recently acquired Green Mountain into a private ski mountain for its guests. The best après ski scene takes place in four private yurts on the mountain.
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VAIL VILLAGE | Colorado
In the past, resorts like the Arabelle were après ski hotspots. But due to the pandemic, many have opted out of this time-honored tradition. This year, skiers in know should look to après ski in the Village itself where new laws allow visitors to grab a drink from a local restaurant, take a stroll outside and pop into a warming tent when needed. The ICONIC Alpenrose restaurant is another après option. Snuggle up under a sheepskin blanket on the outdoor deck and enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a new menu of German favorites.
Editor’s Note: Resort conditions and restaurant openings may change at any time. Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local closings, government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.