Stowe is Vermont’s most luxurious and picturesque ski resort. The mountain town offers a world class ski school for kids, 116 trails, and a terrain park; lodges that are more upscale eatery than fast food afterthought; and a postcard-perfect town lined with small shops and family-friendly restaurants. But, what really makes Stowe a great family vacation town is that there’s so much more to it than skiing. Let’s face it, it’s rare that everyone in a family agrees on what to do. In our family we have skiers and ski-refusers, but we all had a great time on a recent weekend getaway to Stowe.
There are so many things to do with kids in Stowe, no matter what time of year you go. In addition to the skiing and other local outdoor activities, the town boasts resorts that are like little worlds unto themselves, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Last summer we stayed at the Stowe Mountain Lodge and enjoyed one of their Get Out and Go Packages. We learned adirondack furniture making, went on a hike and visited a waterfall.
This winter we were invited to visit Stoweflake Resort and Spa. Just a few minutes from the mountain, it’s a great base for a ski trip, but the resort offers a wealth of other amenities to turn a ski weekend into a full-fledged getaway for everyone in the family. Stoweflake goes beyond the norm in fitness facilities and classes, an exceptional day spa, and on-site recreational activities.
Find more reviews in our Ski and Snow Sports Guide.
It seems like just about every hotel nowadays offers massages and beauty treatments and calls themselves a spa, but there are a few resorts that actually offer true day spas that coax you to wallow in their luxurious offers long after your treatment is done. Woodloch Pines and Mohonk Mountain House are two of my favorites. Stoweflake is now up there.
Besides having a huge menu of treatments offered by skilled professionals (the Maple Sugar Body Polish is highly recommended), you can truly spend hours luxuriating in the steam room and sauna, hot tub, Hungarian mineral bath, and, my favorite, the hydrotherapy waterfall pool. To extend your relaxation, there’s a spa cafe and a women’s only workout room offering a schedule of yoga and pilates classes, both of which you can enjoy without getting out of your spa robe. Imagine sending the family to the mountain and having a spa day on your own. Swoon.
If, however, you’re up for a more active getaway, Stoweflake has 60 acres of trails for snowshoeing or cross country skiing on site. The 5 kilometers of trails also connect with the town trail system for even more adventures. In the summertime they’re great for mountain biking. Or, for a special wintry adventure, sign up for a dog sled ride!
Kids will enjoy the indoor and outdoor pools. The outdoor pool is kept heated in winter for snowside swims and there’s an outdoor jacuzzi to enjoy a steamy apres-ski soak. The fitness center offers the usual equipment, plus a squash/racquetball court, and a full class schedule with pilates, spin, yoga and other highly-rated classes. In summer there are kids camps, golf and tennis too.
The rooms at Stoweflake are large and comfortable. The traditional decor feels cozy in the glow of the gas fireplace, while the on-site restaurant, Charlie B’s, offers solid dining, a diverse kids menu, and a large beer and wine list.
Luckily, Stoweflake is in the middle of everything. Across the street is Piecasso, a tasty pizza place popular with families. Main Street is right around the corner and the mountain is only a few minutes away, making it easy to enjoy everything Stowe has to offer from the comfort of Stoweflake Resort and Spa.
We did head off-site to take some cross country ski lessons at the Trapp Family Lodge. With 60km of groomed trails, it’s Stowe’s largest Nordic center. But the highlight was a lesson from Sam von Trapp, grandson of the Baron. While he didn’t do our lesson in song, his enthusiasm and charm were so contagious he turned my son into a cross country ski lover. This was one highlight of the trip.
Whether you ski or not, or, more likely, some of your family skis and others don’t, Stoweflake Resort and Spa offers a luxurious family getaway with something for everyone in the heart of Vermont’s premier ski town. A great way to escape the drudgery of winter and rejuvenate with a quick family getaway.