Beguiling Jackson Hole

Staying slope-side on a ski vacation has many advantages, namely the never-ending views of the beckoning white peaks and the conveniences of an on-site basecamp. When that basecamp offers a concierge to help with equipment, rental, tuning and storage, plus a killer spa, gourmet dining options and a celebrated five-star rating, well that’s my kind of vacation. As a skier who avoids the black runs, there was plenty of terrain to explore right outside my suite.

The Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole is nestled in a mountain valley surrounded by some of America’s most rugged peaks, celebrated ski runs and an inspiring array of wildlife in nearby Grand Teton National Park.

One morning, I rented Nordic skis and hit the trailhead in the Grand Tetons National Park. The sky was brooding. But as my cousin cut the first tracks, I admired Sleeping Indian Mountain to the east, the shrouded Tetons to the west, an endless blanket of white behind me, and curls of my own breath ahead. When we looped back, I kept looking over my shoulder, waiting patiently for the clouds to lift and reveal all 13,775 feet of Grand Teton. We were finally rewarded as we tucked into an order of Moose Bread and a hot toddy. The grandeur was not lost on anyone who sidled up to the bar, and it was palpable.

Back at The Four Seasons, my aching everything sunk into a soothing milk bath in a private spa suite as a part of the Snow Melt Ritual that continued with a Swedish full-body massage, mask of shea butter with extracts of goat milk and sweet vanilla,  an immersive full-body wrap, and foot massage with chai spice and vanilla warming balm. Continuing the therapeutic indulgence, I tiptoed across the heated flagstone pool deck, popped my robe and towel in a heated closet and slithered into one of the three enormous hot tubs with my new best friends. We watched the colorful parade of skiers zip down the mountain and counted our blessings.

A stay at The Four Seasons is meant to be as seamless as it is luxurious. The Four Seasons app is like having a concierge to text for your every want and need. On the day I reluctantly checked out, I wanted to grab lunch, but hated to leave the Ascent Lounge where I’d posted up to watch the slope action - 13 lifts and 4,139 vertical feet. I used the app to respectfully request a fire in the two-sided fireplace then ordered lunch for delivery, fireside. Voila a Teton Grilled Cheese (arugula, tomato, aged white cheddar, fontina, on country sourdough) and an oat milk latte, served on a white linen-topped table rolled up to my easy chair next to a roaring blaze.

Jackson Hole’s downtown is nearby, for fat bike or skate rentals, a hefty Bucking Horse & Rider Wyoming sweatshirt from one of the many boutiques or any cowboy-themed gift. Add in a stop at the National Elk Refuge, National Museum of Wildlife Art and connect with Four Seasons’ own resort astronomer Ryan Hennessy for an evening of stargazing. Yes, downhill skiing is the nectar that draws most people to Jackson Hole, but it’s the attractive lineup of snowy options that make this Wyoming valley so beguiling.

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