There’s a moment that comes between hopping off the ski lift and slaloming to the base of the run: a moment of awe. It’s worth prolonging as you gaze in wonder at the mountain peaks that form a craggy cradle around you. Why not capture the sight for your Instagram page? We asked ski-town insiders for their favourite photogenic spots, plus their go-to places for warming up after the slopes.
Thanks to its architecture, inspired by European Alpine lodges, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler is quite photogenic itself. But for Executive Chef Eren Guryel, there’s another sight worth snapping: Blackcomb Mountain. “There is nothing like coming across the upper bowl from 7th Heaven Express,” he says. “The view looks over to Whistler Mountain, the Symphony Chair and endless mountain peaks. On certain days you start in the village and all you can see is clouds, and it’s only when you make your way up to 7th that the clouds fall below – it’s so sunny, it’s literally like being on top of the world. The whole alpine region just takes my breath away.”
Back at the Resort, Guryel recommends the retro Patio Camper for a pot of fondue fireside. “There really isn’t anything like fondue and fresh, steaming bread for après-ski. It just warms the soul.” His other must-order dish? The new multi-level Après Tower: locally made charcuterie from Two Rivers Specialty Meats and cheeses from Farm House Natural Cheeses, served up with a flight paddle of fortifying British Columbia–brewed beer.
“As you start to ski down Rendezvous Bowl, you have amazing views of the Jackson Hole Valley over 4,000 feet below,” says Hope Maloney, Chef Concierge at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole and a member of Les Clefs d’Or USA. “You’ll see lush forest to either side of you, and as you approach the base area you might see some moose resting by trees or even crisscrossing the lower mountain.”
Once your ski legs are done in, cosy up to the fireplace at The Handle Bar, a beer hall that attracts Jackson locals to warm up with curated whiskeys and unmissable desserts like orange pound cake topped with roasted strawberries, mascarpone ice cream and Grand Marnier. “After ripping it up on the slopes, a handcrafted cocktail and elk chilli and Cotija cheese nachos at The Handle Bar round out the day,” she says. “And the people-watching can’t be beat.”
Skiers have long been drawn to this corner of France for its postcard views of 4,800-metre-high (15,700-foot) Mont Blanc. (And, yes, the skiing.) For a prime snowscape, “Take the nearby gondola of Mont d’Arbois and ride up to the peak of the mountain,” says Margaux Pfeiffer, Chef Concierge at the soon-to-open Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois, Megève, A Four Seasons Hotel, and its sister property, Four Seasons Hotel Megève, fresh from a renovation. “As you exit the lift, you will be facing the majestic Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe.”
Warm your snow-dusted toes at L’Ideal 1850, a ski-in, ski-out restaurant at 1,850 metres (6,070 feet), where Pfeiffer recommends tucking into a truffle pizza alongside your panoramic mountain view. After lunch, “Follow the Mandarines slopes for a few metres and turn quickly to your right, heading towards the fir trees,” Pfeiffer says. “You’ll arrive at the top of the Slalom slope, where a sense of wonder will rush through you as you see this view over the village of Megève, the entire valley and Mont d’Arbois. The natural contrast of colours is breathtaking.”
Many skiers are surprised to learn that the slopes are top-notch in Lebanon. “The most photogenic skiing site would be a 90-minute drive from the Hotel, in Faraya,” says Roxane Fersane, Chef Concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Beirut. “What is so special about this location is that people can ski with marvellous views over the Mediterranean.” One of her favourite recommendations for après-ski? Massaya Winery, in the fertile Beqaa Valley. “Skiers can enjoy a glass of wine with grilled meat or a pot roast next to the fireplace. Or head to the rooftop Sunset Bar for fondue, pizza and pierrade” – thinly sliced meat cooked on a hot stone.
Vail native Harrison Brown knows the surrounding mountain ranges through and through – and he knows there’s one vista that surpasses all others. “The best view is from the ‘Windows Deck’ on Vail Mountain, which looks onto Blue Sky Basin and beyond, with a gorgeous view of the Rockies in the background,” says Brown, Bartender at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail. For après-ski, he advises guests of the slopeside resort to head directly to his watering hole, the aptly named Remedy Bar.
“We have several firepits on our terrace that overlook Vail Mountain’s Bear Tree run,” he says. Your drink order:?Brown’s own creation, the Stallion, whose ingredients include Breckenridge Bourbon, Contratto Aperitif, Kahlúa and Luxardo maraschino cherries, topped with stout foam. “The sophisticated cocktail pairs nicely with our chef’s Signature ‘Grilled Cheese,’ which is made with foie gras butter, taleggio, warm honey and herbes de Provence.”
An 1834 grande dame on Lake Geneva, Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues is in the heart of Geneva’s centuries-old cityscape, yet it’s just a quick trip away from myriad European ski towns. Head Concierge Mina Bayat recommends heading to Zermatt – about a three-hour drive – where the iconic Matterhorn towers over the surrounding Alps. “Have lunch in Findeln at Franz & Heidi restaurant, and enjoy the astonishing view from their terrace overlooking the Matterhorn,” Bayat says. After you’ve exhausted your run energy for the day, she suggests flutes of bubbly served al fresco on fur-topped stools at the Champagner Bar, settled at the bottom of the slopes of Sunnegga.
“When you’re skiing in Santa Fe, you’ll find the views are unmatched, you’ve escaped the crowds and the snow quality is some of the best,” says Justin Bobb, an expert skier, snowboarder and guide at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe. “Santa Fe’s views are truly distinctive and offer sweeping, uninterrupted views of diverse terrain showcasing vast, beautiful high desert landscapes.” For a prime panorama, he’d take his camera to Ski Santa Fe’s Cornice, which “offers the best exposure to these epic, photo-worthy desert views – as well as to the sunset.”
Afterwards, join the locals for drinks by the patio firepit of Terra Bar, or, in an impressive après power move, ask the Resort’s Après Butler to light your Casita fireplace and arrange restorative nibbles, plus a cocktail kit (the Santa Fe Mule is a favourite, made with Santa Fe Spirits Expedition Vodka), to enjoy in the comfort of your room.
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