I’ve been fortunate enough to visit and tour the Front Four residences at Stowe Mountain Lodge, as luxurious as their counterpart namesakes across the street on Mount Mansfield are challenging.
These are gargantuan suites at the forefront of the celebrated Stowe resort hotel, providing clear views to the Front Four trails of Goat, Starr, Liftline and National. Ranging from two to four bedrooms, the suites run up to 2,875 square feet on one or two levels with private balconies, stone fireplaces, luxurious kitchens featuring Cuisinart cookware and Vermont’s own Simon Pearce dishes. Most notably defining though are the floor-to-ceiling windows proving dramatic views of Stowe Mountain Resort, a sight to see no matter what color the ground outside might be.
But just as the Front Four might not be for every willing skier or rider willing to take the plunge, nor are the residences across the way, starting at $779 per night for a two-bedroom; $1,551 for a four-bedroom.
But Stowe’s luxury doesn’t only have what many might consider an unattainable price tag. Indeed, Stowe Mountain Lodge is itself a premium tribute to the storied resort it calls home, a decadent destination that thrives upon rustic opulence. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the resort has built further on its “Vermont/ Alpine” style with true Green Mountain tradition of utilizing local artisan products. It has become a home unto itself at Spruce Peak Village, where shops, skating, theater and an indoor adventure center all beckon.
For if there’s something special about skiing at Stowe (and there always is), it’s a feeling that translates to a stay at the lodge as well, where luxury abounds in an elegant landscape that fits into the framework of Stowe’s acclaimed prestige. Enjoy ski-in/ski-out access to more than 100 trails, a heated outdoor, four-season pool, high-end boutiques, restaurants and “limitless on-mountain recreational options.”
As they say, “In New England, there is Stowe and then there’s everything else.”
With the ease of a run down Toll Road, that famous motto that has defined the ski area for so many years also applies to the lodge, a 300-room resort that offers all the dressings you would expect from a place with the name Stowe attached to it. Stowe Mountain Lodge is the centerpiece of Spruce Peak at Stowe, a $400 million alpine village that has thoroughly transformed the year-round activities calendar found in northern Vermont.
The cavernous lobby hints of Western inspiration, even if the structural design is truly of a New England nature. But these are the sorts of resorts New Englanders only read about once upon a time, the mammoth spots in Colorado or British Columbia where the chalets dedicated to resting your head were bigger and bolder in tandem with the mountains they serviced. The New England ski life has always been more quaint than palatial, an assumption Stowe Mountain Lodge tosses over the edge of Mountain Road.
But nor does that tear away any sort of intimacy within the property. There’s a certain comfort in the surroundings, as rustic and commanding as the outdoors. The rooms, available in classic guest rooms, studios, junior suites and one-, two- and three-bedroom suites that can accommodate up to 10 guests, are like mini cabins, featuring quality craftsmanship that hint of the time and care that went into each area’s presentation.
Dinner at the award-winning Solstice, a welcoming dining room with an ever-changing menu of artisan-inspired cuisine, currently includes tantalizing options such as grilled Cavendish quail, dry-aged ribeye and coffee-rubbed elk. More casual dining can be found at the nearby Hourglass Lounge, featuring a menu of burgers, sandwiches, and, of course, a quality list of Vermont and other locally crafted microbrews.Upon repeat visits to Stowe Mountain Lodge, I’ve reveled in the outdoor pool and hot tub, particularly during the winter, with the frigid Vermont air enhancing the comfort and soothing water that envelops you. It also became the main attraction for my three kids during a summertime visit, and is still often referred to as the best hotel pool they’ve been to. They also could have checked out the KidsSpa (ages 6 and older) at the astonishing 21,000-square-foot spa and wellness center, but Mom took the opportunity to visit while they frolicked in the water below. The surroundings of Stowe Mountain Resort provide a dramatic backdrop to your time in the pampering cycle, giving spa visitors a serenity that can only enhance the experience. Enjoy a massage, a specially designed package, a facial or a waxing.
Unlike the Front Four, room rates are more manageable for the average skier or rider, starting at $219 per night for a classic room, $386 for a one-bedroom suite that sleeps up to five. And as if the posh lodging wasn’t enough to put one in the proper element, imagine waking up to a fresh coat of white upon the landscape, welcoming overnight guests to try to become the first to track it up.