California's Best Après Ski Experiences

02 Apr 2015

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Ah, the joys of a California ski holiday. Step outside where the crisp, wintry air hits your face with a gentle, but stimulating sting. The crunch of freshly fallen snow under foot sends a brief, yet enticingly refreshing tingle through your body; one which is quickly shaken off with the eager anticipation of a day spent on skis, swishing down the powdery white slopes.

From Lake Tahoe to the great Sierra Nevada's, California boasts  some of the world's best skiing. But when the skis come off and the mind turns to the leisurely pursuits off the slopes, the ski holiday quickly turns to one filled with lively après ski amusements. Here we take a look at some of the best California resorts for après ski entertainment, relaxation and fun.

The Landing | South Lake Tahoe
Curl up fireside with a good book or sit down to a meal and glass of wine in your stylish Premium Room or Lake Front Suite before sampling the complimentary L'Occitane bath and beauty products in your full size bath or walk-in rain shower. You'll remain cosy and warm with heated bathroom floors as you slip into a thick terry-robe. Snuggle into the pillow top bed for some premium channel viewing on a 55 inch flat screen TV or dress the part and venture down to the upscale Jimmy's restaurant and lounge bar. The restaurant's extensive wine collection is cleverly displayed within glass encased wall sized wine racks. And after a long day out on the ski slopes, nothing soothes a tired body more than a luxury spa treatment. From massages to facials and body wraps, guests at The Landing can take advantage of packages for singles and couples or select the treatment of your choice.

The Westin Monache | Mammoth
Located in the lush mountain side setting of Mammoth, California, the Westin Monache provides the perfect wintry refuge. Stroll through the quaint village where inviting shops, restaurants and upscale bars provide endless hours of amusement. Inside, the resort features the stylish, yet laid-back Whitebark Restaurant where hungry skiers can relax and refuel with delectable Duck Confit Quesadillas and Morroccan Spiced Veggie Tacos. And what could go better with such savoury delicacies than Westin's signature martini, the refreshing cucumber and mint infused 'Westini'! And after an evening of libations and aperitifs, nothing beats a warm cozy suite on a wintry day. The suites at Monache not only provide stylish interiors with cosy fireside seating, but also kitchens, a full range of 'mod-cons' and stunning views of the great outdoors.

This image: The lobby of the Westin Monache.

The Resort at Squaw Creek | Squaw Valley
From downhill and cross country skiing to snowboarding and snowmobiling, the outdoor activities on offer at this winter playground are numerous. The après ski environment is equally plentiful. After a full day of skiing, guests can choose from a long list of massage therapies and beauty treatments at one of Lake Tahoe's top rated spas. The Resort at Squaw Creek's signature spa treatment is the Squaw Valley Sacred Journey. With its organic ingredients and soothing scents, the peaceful therapy takes advantage of the California indigenous plants and herbs long used by local Native American cultures. Quality ingredients extend to the kitchen and bars too. The upscale Six Peaks Grille is the perfect place for a great meal and night cap. Not only does the chef place a high importance on sourcing sustainable seafood, meat and produce, but the extensive wine list and menu of specialty martinis will further add to the great flavours.

Ritz Carlton Highlands | Lake Tahoe
Set in the idyllic mid-mountain range of Northstar California, the Ritz Carlton provides quick and easy access to top notch skiing, but it's their unique blend of après ski diversions that make this luxury property something special. After an exhilarating day on the slopes, guests can re-energize in the eucalyptus steam room or warm up in front of a roaring fire in their own private restoration lounge. Of course nothing creates a warm environment like a cheerful happy hour. Meet friends for a get together in the stylish Manzanita Bar where a variety of savoury appetizers are served. Choose a red or white from the extensive wine list or sample the signature cocktail, the Smortini. A liquid take on America's ubiquitous fire-side camping treat, the smore, this popular martini is made with Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, premium vodka, and finished with a chocolate or graham cracker crust rim. And the martini's pièce de résistance? A marshmallow garnish of course!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfroBjEgEkQ

Todd Sturm

I currently live in Brisbane, Australia. No matter where my travels take me, I enjoy experiencing each destination from the perspective of the locals. Some of my favourite attractions include historic sites, national parks and architectural landmarks.