Vail Cascade Resort and Spa, Vail, Colo.
This sprawling resort (soon to debut a new look and name after a multimillion-dollar renovation) sits at the foot of Vail Mountain and offers its own link to its slopes—Chair 20 departs from Cascade’s very own doors—but it’s not located at the base area. Set apart from the main hubs of Vail Village and Lionshead, the Cascade Resort feels all-inclusive, with an acclaimed spa, an on-site restaurant, and a fireplace-warmed lobby/bar that’s lively during the après-ski Happy Hour. Its self-sufficiency becomes an even bigger boon on weekends and powder days, when Cascade guests use the on-property chairlift to evade base-area lines.
The fixed-grip quad departs from the edge of the resort, where Venture Sports rents equipment (and stores guests’ gear). Stop in there to grab your boots off the dryers, hit the adjacent ticket office (open 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the same operating hours as the lift), then board the chair. The ride deposits skiers and riders on the western edge of Vail Mountain, amidst such runs as Simba that sits off most skiers’ radar and holds powder for a surprisingly long time.
“We have the best location in the Valley!" according to Vail Cascade's Director of Marketing, Ivie Parker. "I call it the 'best of both worlds' because the Resort sits along picturesque Gore Creek and Vail Mountain with Chair 20 literally less than 25 feet from the hotel and yet we’re a quick five minutes from Vail Village. That’s tough to beat. We truly are the only luxury ski-in/ski-out resort in Vail considering the proximity of the lift to the hotel. It’s right there."