Photo: jdross75/Shutterstock

Snowmass Village Is Colorado's Most Romantic Ski Destination

Snowmass Village
by Tim Wenger Feb 1, 2024

Take a moment to think back to your most cherished moments of nostalgia. Odds are that some are connected to the pursuit of romance. (Bonus points if that nostalgia involves s’mores, ice skating, and fondue.) If not, it’s never too late to make memories that you’ll reflect on for years to come on a ski trip, and no Colorado ski town is better suited to forging romantic memories than Snowmass Village.

A 15-minute bus ride from Aspen, Snowmass Village is often viewed by Coloradans as the more approachable Roaring Fork Valley ski destination, both for a day trip or a longer getaway. As Mark Scheller, Director of and Marketing at the Viceroy Snowmass, told me during a January visit, “We’re trying to create a more open, welcoming, and participative environment.”

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

A more approachable high-end ski destination

room at viceroy snowmass

Plenty of room for romance in this suite at the Viceroy Snowmass. Photo courtesy Viceroy Snowmass

Like most lodging in the upper Roaring Fork Valley, Viceroy Snowmass is a high-end property that combines luxe amenities and on-site entertainment with easy access to the slopes. But you can still experience the five-star hotel in a manner that optimizes value. If you live in the region, the hotel offers a local’s card that entitles the holder to discounts on food and drinks, and the program is gaining traction.

“We are the parallel to the Jerome or St. Regis in Aspen,” Scheller says. “We want to engage the locals and make them feel welcome here.”

The hotel does this through nightly happy hour events and specials, including hosting live music multiple nights a week in the lounge and occasionally running specials at its 7,000-square-foot spa. The property is in the midst of a vast expansion, including the development of its adjacent Cirque Tower which will add about 70 additional rooms and bring the hotel above 200 total rooms. It will also soon feature a ski-in fondue restaurant adjacent to the pool bar.

For those coming from farther away, the hotel discounts stays of five or more nights and runs seasonal specials via its website. There’s also an anniversary or wedding package. If you frequently book through an online travel agency or use a travel rewards credit card, it’s possible to use rewards points or free night vouchers at the Viceroy by following your program’s redemption guidelines. Regardless of how you book, take advantage of the free airport shuttle from the Aspen airport.

In Snowmass Village, several establishments stand out for being reasonably priced — for example, drinks at Zane’s Tavern, crepes from Michelin Guide-nominated chef Mawa McQueen at The Crepe Shack, and accommodation at Pokolodi Lodge, where rates are commonly one-third as expensive as many other properties in the village. One money-saving tip you’ll hear repeatedly from locals: find restaurants that offer bar menus for a good deal on a romantic dinner.

snowmass, colorado

Photo: LanaG/Shutterstock

Lunch with a view (and wine)

The best thing about nostalgia is that you can create more of it. In Snowmass, start with a morning on the slopes followed by an on-mountain lunch at the Alpin Room, which is located near the top of the Alpine Springs lift. Chef Emily Oyer crafts mountain cuisine inspired by the Alps of Switzerland, Austria, and France, served with a view stretching into the Maroon Bells-Snowmass wilderness and a vibe that’s classy but not intimidating (everyone dining in the restaurant is wearing ski gear, after all).

You’re immediately greeted by a display of fine wines and Champagne, a menu for which awaits at the table. Swap your ski boots for a warm pair of slippers (provided by the restaurant, of course, this is Aspen Snowmass) and start the meal with the tartiflette, a cheesy potato and caramelized onion fondue dish that’s perfect for two and served with pretzel bread dippers on the side. Mains range from the hearty wagyu beef bouladen to lighter options such as French onion soup. The wine menu pairs with the alpine-inspired cuisine, featuring bottles from France, Switzerland, and Italy along with a few stateside options.

Toast the day with s’mores

s'mores bus at snowmass village

Photo: David A Litman/Shutterstock

When strolling the Snowmass base village or plaza after skiing, keep your eyes peeled for a small white camp trailer. There’s one at each location, and though it looks innocuous, these campers are the center of the action each afternoon at 3:30 PM when s’mores are served. They’re free and to be roasted at the adjacent fire pit.

If traveling with kiddos, take advantage of the daycare and ski school programs offered at the TreeHouse Kids Adventure Center. These are designed to help parents enjoy the slopes (and the aforementioned nostalgia-building activities) while the kids engage in outdoor adventures of their own. After picking them up, stroll the Ice Age Discovery trail through both villages.

En route, you’ll pass by several murals from renowned local and international artists commemorating the 2010 discovery of a mammoth tusk during the construction of a reservoir adjacent to the Snowmass Village Mall. Subsequently, more than 5,000 bones were discovered in what is now Ziegler Reservoir, from animals as diverse as the mastodon, salamander, and giant ground sloth. Even an ancient camel was discovered, which kiddos can learn about during the 20-minute stroll. It also includes two rides on the iconic “Skittles” gondola that connects the village to the mall, so named for its three-pack gondola cars, each bearing a color of the rainbow.

To make date night available for parents, grade school and older kids can hang out at The Collective Snowmass and participate in everything from video games, to mega-foosball, to jumping in an exceptionally large foam ball kit. The Collective Snowmass features a restaurant and a new “Selfie Den” designed to entertain even those stretching to hold onto the title of “kid at heart.”

Focus on your partner, not the road

RFTA bus in snowmass

Photo: Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock

Relationships tend to work better when partners keep their eyes on each other rather than on the road. Doing so in Snowmass Village is quite easy. Free public busses run throughout town, with the base village’s main bus terminal located right across from the Viceroy Snowmass. You can ride the village shuttles to both base villages and all parking lots. The local RFTA public transit system connects Snowmass Village to Aspen and its airport, as well as down-valley locations such as Carbondale, Basalt, and Glenwood Springs.

“In reality, there’s no reason to have a car while you’re here,” says Scheller.

The Viceroy, like nearly everything in the base village and mall, is ski-in, ski-out. It’s within walking distance of the free gondola connecting the base village to the main village. Everything needed for a ski day can be acquired on-site, from rentals to lift tickets and outerwear, via the hotel’s gear and rental shop.

Discover Matador

Save Bookmark

We use cookies for analytics tracking and advertising from our partners.

For more information read our privacy policy.