After Whistler and Blackcomb near Vancouver, Vail is the biggest ski resort in north America – seven miles wide, with 5,289 acres of “freeride” terrain. It’s been voted best resort in the US 14 times in the last 17 years for its combination of space, snow quality, diversity of trails and state-of-the-art lifts and gondolas. The result? The US’s most expensive ski tickets, celebrity clientele and a reputation to die for. Along with nearby Aspen, Vail is a resort where glamour and snow go hand in hand – the town, though not family unfriendly, is a great place to absorb a glittering atmosphere from the perch of one of many chi chi apres-ski bars. Ludwigs is the wine bar of choice for those in the know; to party with ski patrol, head to Vendetta’s.
Where to stay: Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa. In the heart of Vail town and an easy glide onto the mountain, this is the place to take an apartment, or “condo”. Expect mountain views, luxurious linen, granite countertops and chandeliers. The spa sits on the banks of Gore Creek and specialises in massage and skin therapy – you’ll need it after being wind-whipped on the mountain all day. Rates vary depending on package; rooms start at around $250 per night. www.vailmountainlodge.com. Vail offers numerous packages and deals – the Ski Free Stay Free special offers one free night and day skiing if you stay stay two nights and ski two days. Valid 20 Nov-19 Dec, www.vail.com/plan-your-trip.