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If what you want above all else is white-glove service, five-course lunches and 300-threadcount sheets, you might go elsewhere. But if skiing tops your list because, well, it is a ski vacation, then Vail’s your huckleberry. (Though it dishes out service and luxury aplenty.) When readers gush about “the bowls, oh my, the bowls,” they’re talking about areas like Sun Up’s Over Yonder and Siberia’s Bolshoi Ballroom—loosely spaced, powder-choked spruce fields that meander along the bowls’ rims before diving down playful double fall lines. When you hear folks rave about Blue Sky Basin, it’s long sweeping blues like In the Wuides and Grand Review they love. Should someone complain that “the front side gets crowded,” you’ll know they unwisely entered the Mid Vail vortex between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., a rookie mistake, instead of exploring the whoopde- doos on Hairbag Alley, the steep bumps on Kangaroo Cornice or the glades in Cheetah Gully. If by “lacks character” one reader means that Vail is missing the rusty, crusty layer some resorts spin as charm, he has a point: Vail’s villages don’t show their age, thanks to constant nips and tucks and a few recent face-lifts. The mountain, of course, is perfect—and enormous—just the way it is. —Deborah Williams

What’s New » In addition to Bistro 14 at Eagle’s Nest, a new sit-down restaurant called The 10th opens this season in Mid Vail. But remember to go before 11 or after 12:30. Or make a reservation.

Après Spot » Frost, at the newly renovated Sebastian, serves an antioxidant martini. Order it.

Top Event » The Teva Mountain Winter Games are set for Feb. 9 to 12, 2012.

Skiing For A Cause

Pink Vail Party | Photo: Townsend Bessent
Pink Vail Party | Photo: Townsend Bessent
From Pink Vail to Skiing With Heroes, on-snow charities give extra meaning to a day on the mountain.

Voluptuous tutus, sequined pirate hats, flowing superhero capes—all pink—proliferated on Vail’s slopes. In costumes and with flare, skiers joined an annual charity event called Pink Vail, which is held each spring. 

Hotels: What's New

Newly Renovated Hotels in Ski Towns
Newly Renovated Hotels in Ski Towns
Time to revisit these ski-town lodges, where recent renovations mean things don’t look quite like they used to.

Lodge at Breckenridge, Breckenridge, Colo. » Aiming to rise from typical mountain lodge to bou- tique hotel, the 35-year-old Lodge at Breckenridge reopened in December following $3.7 million in renovations. Enhancements include beetle-kill pine decor in each of the 45 rooms and the addition of Traverse Restaurant & Bar.

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