Spa & Nibbles: Apres Ski Afternoons in Vail

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After we were done skiing Vail Mountain for the day, we grabbed hot chocolate (and a cookie for me) at the concierge center then headed back to our hotel. After all, in my opinion, some of the best parts of a ski trip don’t always take place on the slopes.

Β Skiing in Vail: Where to Go After You're Done on the Slopes | CamelsAndChocolate.com

The Four Seasons Vail has a heavenly outdoor heated pool flanked by a couple of Jacuzzis. I don’t know about you, but there are few things in life I enjoy more than sitting outside in a hot tub while it’s sub-freezing and snowing. And in typical Four Seasons style, there was a server who brought complimentary hot chocolate or other adult beverages upon request to guests in the tub so you didn’t have to get out in the cold. When you were all done, there was a heated locker full of warm towels with which to dry off. I’m not kidding: I could get used to this kind of lifestyle!

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There was even a station serving up free maple candy over ice. The kids were going wild over this, and I attempted to sample the candy as well, but unfortunately, the candy-maker was gone by the time I made my way over to the Fireside Lounge—it was probably a good thing as I needed to save space for dinner (priorities, people).

Skiing in Vail: Where to Go After You're Done on the Slopes | CamelsAndChocolate.com

Next up on my apres afternoon was a visit to the spa. If you ever have the good fortune of experiencing a Four Seasons spa, I highly suggest you take it. This was my first Four Seasons spa experience, and hopefully not my last. I arrived early to unwind in the lounge and stayed after to soak in the indoor hot tub, complete with a cold plunge pool beside it. I opted for a 50-minute Swedish massage, and while Swedish generally is a bit too gentle for me, this one was perfect. Nothing feels better than a massage after the soreness sets in from the slopes (particularly when you’re out of ski shape, as I am, and your calves and knees can’t keep up with your excitement to fly down the trail).

After my spa pampering, it was time to get cleaned up for our dinner dates: After years of online friendship, Kara Williams and I were finally to meet in the flesh. This was a pretty big deal, as I feel like we’ve always just missed each other during our travels in the past. Kara is one of those fellow writers I truly admire for her tenacity and work ethic: She runs a successful site, she has a very prolific freelance career (seriously, I’m always opening a random magazine and seeing her byline staring back at me!), and she has a husband and two kids. In my line of work, I’ve often thought it’s a good thing we don’t want kids, as I just couldn’t balance the long 14-hour days in front of a computer—not to mention the instability of this lifestyle and the weeks spent on the road—with a family bigger than SVV and Ella, but Kara manages it all. Superwoman!

Β Skiing in Vail: Where to Go After You're Done on the Slopes | CamelsAndChocolate.com

And she’s one of those people who is every bit of charming and engaging offline as on. (She’s also really tall!) I’m sure we’ve all had online friends who we thought had the greatest personalities through their sites, only to meet them IRL and find out they’re kind of duds…I know I have! (None of you, of course.)

Luckily, our husbands had a lot to talk about to one another, as we didn’t pause for nearly four hours (plus, they would have required extensive footnotes to have a prayer at keeping up with our conversation).

Kara is a “local” of sorts (she lives a couple hours down the road in Aspen), so she knows all the good spots in town. She had recommended Terra Bistro in the Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa in , so we arrived there a half an hour before our reservation in time to catch the end of “appy hour” (my new favorite ski saying). For me, that meant a (OK, three) mojito-like concocton. For SVV, that meant a couple of pink drinks.

Skiing in Vail: Where to Go After You're Done on the Slopes | CamelsAndChocolate.com

Picking our meal off the Terra Bistro menu was one of the tougher decisions we made all weekend, as there were quite a lot of my favorite foods on there (sweet potato, banana, pumpkin and butternut squash in case you were wondering). In the end, I opted for the sweet potato ravioli, followed by the jerk-spiced cobia, which was a fish I’d never eaten before. Truth be told, I probably would have opted for the apple cider pork chop instead had the cobia not been served over a bed of roasted banana sweet potato puree, with garlic spinach and citrus chili sauce on the side.

Skiing in Vail: Where to Go After You're Done on the Slopes | CamelsAndChocolate.com

And I might have snagged a taste of SVV’s ahi tartare—that’s his staple appetizer; he orders it everywhere we go—as well as his steak.

Skiing in Vail: Where to Go After You're Done on the Slopes | CamelsAndChocolate.com

Our poor husbands have been trained well; they both sat there patiently as we pulled out our camera (Kara) and phone (me) and snapped all of our courses, refraining from digging into the feast until we gave them the “OK.” Welcome to the world of being married to a blogger! (Kara has more photos of our feast. The lighting was a bit too dim for me to get much with the iPhone.)

Being a girl after my own heart, Kara wanted the pumpkin bread budding for dessert, so we shared a plate of it and stole a few bites of her husband’s bittersweet chocolate molten.

We then noticed it was after 11pm, and the restaurant went from being bustling to empty, so we took that as our cue to leave. I could have spent a whole week at Vail with Kara, but I’m glad we got our one night…for now!

COMMENTS
  • March 1, 2012

    Heart!

    (And I will point out to your many readers that pic of us – though darling – was after I’d had at least 3 glasses of wine — my smile is a little manic.)

    xo

    • March 1, 2012
      Kristin

      I think you look cute as always!

  • March 1, 2012

    The Four Seasons Vail sounds amazing – I was sold as soon as I saw the first shot of the pool – and then I remembered that I don’t ski! πŸ™‚

    • March 1, 2012
      Kristin

      The best thing about ski resorts is that you don’t HAVE to ski–they make them now so there are so many other activities on offer that skiing actually takes away time from doing all the other fun stuff (like eating…drinking…spa-ing…snowmobiling…tubing…etc.!).

  • March 1, 2012

    This place, like most you go to, seems delightful.

    I really like meeting fellow bloggers IRL and haven’t been disappointed yet.

    I Have to start remembering to take photos of the food before I snarf it down.

    • March 1, 2012
      Kristin

      Gaelyn, I’m sort of a hotel dork in that I *really* like to check out different places–from tiny family-owned inns to large international ski resorts–and get so giddy when I’m researching where to stay and finding that perfect fit (I read A LOT of Trip Advisor and Yelp reviews.) I’m also pretty sure I could be happy not owning a home and flitting from hotel to hotel (or living in an RV! I loved our six weeks in the trailer).

  • March 1, 2012
    SVV

    Even I hate us right now.

    • March 1, 2012
      Kristin

      Still, I want to go back and try the hot chocolate and maple candy this time.

  • March 1, 2012
    Stella

    Wow! Such a beautiful place. You’re looking beautiful too πŸ™‚

    • March 1, 2012
      Kristin

      Stella=favorite person. Thanks for the sweet compliment =)

  • March 1, 2012

    I’m with Scott. I hate you right now πŸ™‚ To put us readers through those pictures of food, talk of mojitos, pink drinks, hot tubs, massages… It’s just too much. And you met Kara.

    • March 1, 2012
      Kristin

      I highly suggest all of the above, but mainly the meeting-Kara part. She is a fantastic human being, one with whom I highly recommend becoming good (online and off) pals πŸ˜‰

  • March 1, 2012

    Shush! Don’t tell my husband, but I totally agree with you that “some of the best parts of a ski trip don’t always take place on the slopes.” And Kara, you look beautiful – as always! Seems like that’s the same smile I remember;-)

    • March 1, 2012
      Kristin

      I think that’s what’s great about skiing—even if you’re not sporty and prefer the apres scene, you can find plenty to do while your husband (and/or kids) ski/snowboard all day! I absolutely love skiing, but sometimes I wish I had set aside more time off the slopes for all the eating and hot tubbing (and drinking)(and shopping)(and pampering) =)

  • March 2, 2012

    I’ve never been a big fan of the snow, but I swear, these posts make me want to learn how to ski. Or maybe I could just go tubing and then spa-ing …. Either way, A Four Seasons is on my bucket list πŸ™‚

  • March 2, 2012

    The idea of someone bringing me hot chocolate while in a hot tub is a little to amazing to consider on this cold New York morning! Sounds divine!

  • March 3, 2012

    Stop. Please, just stop. You’re making skiing look way too awesome. See, when I blog about skiing, I talk about how scary it is and how everyone smells like wet dog. I do this because it’s true, but also because secretly I want everyone to stay away from my mountain. Because there are few things more exhilarating than flying down a run when there’s no one around but you and the snow and the wind rushing past your ears. Also, I hate lift lines. But if you keep posting awesome pictures like these, people will realize that skiing is the best thing ever, and then I’ll have to share. And I don’t like to share. So knock it off.

    HEAR THAT, EVERYONE? SKIING SUCKS, YOU’LL TOTALLY HATE IT.

  • March 3, 2012

    That hotel is gorgeous! and the food! ah I’m getting hungry.

  • March 3, 2012

    Oh man, I’m a fan of any place that includes my name it. Also, I’m really jealous of this hot tub with on demand hot chocolate thing you had going on up there. Sounds like paradise.

  • March 6, 2012

    I am not a big skier (I do it but don’t love it) BUT I love ski resorts and all those fun amenities that you so dearly illustrated! Funny, my hubby, co-workers and all my friends are all now trained. I have a good work friend who is a social media nut and we are always joking about eating cold food after we check-in on FourSquare, take photos with the iPhone for Instagram, FoodSpotting or whatever, and if it is really interesting now also pulling out my G11 or 5D for those photos as well. It is no wonder we even eat – crazy world we live in and you got to be around people who can be patient and understanding!

  • March 9, 2012

    Agree–I’m more a fan of deep tissue or hot stone massage instead of Swedish. But then again, I’ll take just about any massage right now! Love that they have waiters to bring you cocktails so you don’t have to get out of the pool in the cold. GENIUS! I would like to go to here stat!

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