Skiing and I have a complicated relationship vacillating between intense love with anticipation to get on the mountain, to a mid-level sense of anxiety as a result of my irrational phobia of heights. A tricky test of mental inspection where once on the mountain, it is not out of the question to find me meditating before I head down and speaking softly to myself words of encouragement and self love. I wish I was kidding.
I began learning to ski four years ago and that was an exercise in patience for most people I was exposed to during the process but with perseverance and a sense of humor, plus no ego, I am now officially a skier. You aren’t going to find me on a double black diamond run and I will not be training for the Olympics (sad I know,) but I have been fortunate to hold my own at some of the most beautiful resorts in the Northeast.
I would be remiss if I did not introduce you to The Lodge at Spruce Peak, formerly known as The Stowe Mountain Lodge. This lodge is the only ski-on ski-off resort in Stowe and the place where I tip the scale toward “enthusiastic” in celebrating the cold winter months.
The Lodge at Spruce Peak
The resort development began in 2003 according to Sam Gaines, Spruce Peak at Stowe’s Vice President & Director of Real Estate, was envisioned to create the East Coast’s answer to Deer Valley or Aspen. Something that the East Coast ski community desperately needed. The project cost has been estimated at $500 million and began with Stowe Mountain Lodge, the Mountain Cabins and a 21,000 square-foot spa.
As of the 2016/2017 winter season, Spruce Peak at Stowe presents a luxurious village with a new 20,000 square-foot Alpine Clubhouse with Club Residences, 30,000 square-foot Adventure Center and boutique shops that are centered around a 10,000-square-foot ice skating rink. The 2018/2019 season has seen the launch of ‘The One’ luxury condominiums and townhomes located slope-side with private amenities for owners. Currently the resort is taking priority interest for The One occupancy by phone on (877)-977-7823.
We visited during Martin Luther King Weekend, a peak and crowded time, when the powder was falling from the sky at a rate that I have not seen in a long time, if ever. To set the scene, snow began to fall just as we entered the access road to the mountain around 3pm on Saturday, just as predicted, and did not stop until we left two days later. We skied in the snow on Sunday with the snow falling at a rapid rate creating powder that made the terrain near perfect. On Monday, we had most of the mountain to ourselves as wind took over and snow was not just falling from the sky but swirling and giving us a temperature of -30 degree Fahrenheit with the wind chill.
The East Coast has a reputation of being icy. Not on this trip.
The resort website could use a sprucing up to keep the trail information up-to-date but made up for it with in-person and phone call information that was accurate. In short: it was cold.
That, for me, was where the resort really hit their prime. The amenities left nothing to be desired and we had no shortfall of things to do inbetween our time on the slopes.
In the heart of The Village is ‘The Lodge at Spruce Peak’, where we stayed. Windows run from ceiling-to-floor and the suites have fireplaces. A fleet of Mercedes Benz vehicles are off to the right, to rent and explore the countryside. Four legged friends are allowed in the main lodge for a fee and include the important canine amenities of a dog bed and chew toy at check-in.
The Lodge standard rate is $650 USD per night.
The Penthouses and Luxury Residences referenced below cannot accommodate travelers with dogs.
Should you find yourself looking to plan a large group getaway, family or friend reunion or just have interest in exploring options, The Luxury Rental Collection at Spruce Peak offers a full-service experience with private 2, 3 or 6-bedroom rental options.
The Penthouses, a residential offering on the upper floors of the Lodge offer private check-in, concierge, and daily continental breakfast. Configurations run as large as 2875 sq. ft. and feature gourmet kitchens, with living and dining space, private balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows with mountain views.
We stayed in The Lodge with a beautiful terrace overlooking Spruce Village, the $90 million Village Center development housing a 30,000 square foot adventure center, 10,000 square foot ice rink and boutique shops to suit all of your ski and recreational shopping needs.
The Shops at Spruce Peak
First Chair Alpine Co.
Open daily, 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Features outdoor active wear from UGG, Erin Snow, Bogner and Dale of Norway. Also available are items made from local Vermont artists.
The Stowe Shop
Open daily, Mon.- Thurs: 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. | Fri/Sat: 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. | Sun: 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
This shop features all Stowe Mountain Resort branded logo wear and logo items and the tee shirts are SO CUTE! Make this a must visit for souvenirs!
Adventure Outfitters at the Adventure Center
Open daily, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Adventure Outfitters provides kids and adults with a variety of ski suit up needs including Burton/Anon goggles, helmets, and ski masks. Make sure to check out the stickers, sweatshirts and souvenirs.
Spruce Peak Sports
Open daily, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
A life saver for cold weather gear for kids and adults as well as Obermeyer, Spyder, GoPro, Scott and Black Diamond mitts and gloves.
Spruce Peak Toy and Candy Company
Open daily, Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Who does not love toys, candy and S’mores kits. A must visit for your child, or to satisfy your inner child.
My most spectacular, fun place to visit and shop. Here you can find sought after men’s and women’s luxury day wear by designers including Perry Ellis, Bailey 44, and Brown Allan.
Wanting some indoor down time? Two onsite game rooms, one for the video game lover with games including Jurassic Park and Snowboarder, and the other for the traditional gamer, with pool tables, paddle board and shuffle board.
Of note, on weekends, check out special events with the front desk. We went to a Football party with live streaming, games and a dinner buffet.
It is not vacation without the dining…usually dining that you would not normally eat at home, at least for me. Fortunately, we had lots of treats.
Solstice offers a gourmet hot breakfast or candlelit dinner where the focus is on local flavor. A personalized Omakase experience is available per request. Reservations are strongly recommended. Please call Solstice restaurant at (802)-760-4735 or make a reservation on OpenTable.
To absorb the volume of visitors, my son and I experienced Solstice for a buffet lunch, with one buffet for adults and one for children. Here I was able to find some healthy options including salads, grilled chicken and the not-so-healthy but very delicious taco bar. My son was able to choose between hot dogs, pasta, salmon, steamed and raw veggies and of course chocolate chip cookies.
The Hourglass – located on two floors off the main lobby – is at its best on Thursday through Saturday, where a raw bar and sushi bar are available; all seafood is delivered fresh daily from Massachusetts. Crab legs, oysters and shrimp are abundant and a perfect accompaniment to the fireside seating. A hot chocolate bar is available and a huge thrill for the kids, as children can create their own concoctions with M&Ms, Hershey bars, Graham crackers and of course, marshmallows galore.
Off-nights (Sunday – Wednesday) offer guests two menus, one from the Hourglass featuring a variety of regional microbrews on tap, signature cocktails and wines by the glass, with traditional pub type fare and the other from Solstice.
Since we had the Solstice Buffet Lunch, we chose the Hour Glass menu and shared the Daily Selection of Cheese which included Vermont Cheddar, Blue Cheese, Fig Spread with flat bread crackers and the Pulled Chicken Nachos with Vermont Cheddar Sauce, Pico De Gallo and Avocado Crema.
Worth it? Yup.
Great Room Grill
Breakfast or Lunch at The Great Room Grill – a grand dining room – with four cooking stations, is another option before, during or après ski. Here you can find traditional American Breakfast fare, including omelettes, French toast, pancakes and waffles. Lunch options include salads and grilled items such as chicken and hotdogs.
The Beanery – in the village – is your answer to a quick bite before hitting the slopes. Choose from croissants, cookies, muffins and more granola than you could imagine to get a quick fix before getting your ski on.
Spruce Bar and Restaurant
If you have some extra time, check out the Spruce Bar and Restaurant for a hot cocoa, cocktail, coffee or seasonal sandwich and salad options.
The Skinny Pancake
Burlington’s own – is located near the Over-Easy Gondola, which takes you to Mt. Mansfield.
The Whistle Pig
A unique place for guests – has a variety of Vermont Craft Beer, Cider donuts and an amazingly fun atmosphere.
While I did not have time to visit for a service, I was able to do some shopping at the Spa. Luxury bath products by Zents, yoga wear by Alo and athleisurewear from Good Human are just a mini sample of what is behind the Spa doors. Beyond the Spa is the outdoor heated pool, which I tried to get in, but my goodness, it was quite cold outside.
The place is so nice I am staying there twice. As soon as I arrived home, I booked my next trip, when I will try out the places that I did not get to explore this first time around. I am so excited to get back up to Stowe and check out more of the fabulousness.
For more information and to book your next East Coast winter getaway, check out: www.sprucepeak.com.
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Writer with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. Her credits include Sales and Marketing for with PRADA USA Corp., followed by a jump in to the world of beauty as an Esthetician followed by Spa Manager at Jurlique, Spa Manager and Client Relationship Manager and Digital Business Development coordinator position at Amore Pacific where celebrity clients were and remain confidential and her column, “Ask Angela,” was featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. She has also been a contributor for Beauty to Shape and Fitness Magazines.
A side job as a Hospital Victim on “As the World Turns,” and a correspondent on the now defunct lifestyle web series “Tangerine Living,” Angela is no stranger to juggling multiple positions and has built quite the resume. A move to The New York Daily News as Training and Employee Relations Manager with a night and weekend gig as make up artist for runway shows, (she studies in Los Angeles with Amy Ward) including Vogue Bambino and multiple commercials, Angela became a Mom, her best and most important credit to date.
Since Motherhood, Angela has been a Brand Ambassador for the skin line Patchology, featured in Saks Fifth Avenue in store and on air with CBS News segment “Patch me Pretty.” She has been a beauty guest for QVC, and the founder of her own social media communications business, helping business owners to share their digital voice. Actively involved with Smart Children with Learning Differences, her most favorite down time hobby is discovering the best in beauty, travel and fashion around the United States.
Angela is a graduate of Syracuse University with a BS in Communications and Writing, where she appeared on the University Union News as an Anchor and on The Beat of Syracuse, Z89 as a DJ. Angela has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
Working with Alphaluxe is a unique opportunity, “to share what I am most passionate about. Living your best life. In her spare time, you can find Angela running, practicing yoga, taking her son to one of his sports practices. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband, son, and chihuahuas.