While many are still mourning the end of summer, there’s something about a mountain getaway filled with fresh air, hiking, fireside chats, and colorful foliage — or snow, soon enough — that never fails to deliver all the deliciously cozy vibes. And with the temps slowly but surely dropping, it’s a good time to put a cold-weather getaway on the books. While you could certainly trade the city (or even a suburban town) for a weekend at a woodsy cabin surrounded by leaf-framed peaks, we’re pretty confident that type of rustic setup won’t satisfy the luxury-minded among us — no matter how beautiful the scenery.
Travelers who prefer a home base with an endless parade of posh comforts will be much more at home staying at a five-star hotel. Thankfully, for anyone in that self-identified sybaritic camp, there are elevated (quite literally) hideaways nestled in dreamy mountain destinations across the United States — from Aspen to Big Sky — that provide impeccably appointed accommodations, picturesque panoramas of craggy ranges, and plenty of upscale perks such as gourmet restaurants and award-winning spas with nature-derived healing rituals. The alpine properties on our list will make you rethink what constitutes a “lodge” in the best, most luxurious way possible.
The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection: Wanship, Utah
Situated just 35 minutes from Park City, The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection feels like its own world on a sprawling 3,500-acre private ranch surrounded by the majesty of Wasatch Mountain Range. Visitors can partake in rugged adventures — hiking, horseback riding, and ax throwing — and tour the on-site organic farm, which supplies produce to the restaurant, but it’s also very much a place for slowing down and relaxing. The wellness sanctuary offers facials and massages, plus yoga on the deck and energy healing journeys in a tent shala shrouded by trees. The minimalist rooms are decorated with natural materials like stone and wood.
The Little Nell: Aspen, Colorado
The Little Nell, a member of Relais & Châteaux and the only five-star ski-in/ski-out hotel in Aspen, veers away from the trappings of heavy wood and flannel that define other lodges, instead focusing on rooms and suites with light, sumptuous textiles, and mountain views that make for the most serene and sophisticated escape in the Centennial State. Of course, it’s not all about snoozing in comfort and style. The property also possesses a see-and-seen patio restaurant and two speakeasies for cozy après-ski sips. When you’re ready to explore the many charms of Colorado’s chicest ski town, high-end shops and the gondola are just steps away.
Montage Big Sky: Big Sky, Montana
When Montage Big Sky opened a few years ago, it established a new echelon of Montana luxury. Inspired by its awe-inspiring setting, the five-star resort epitomizes modern mountain design and boasts an array of well-heeled amenities — including an 11,000-square-foot spa, five dining concepts, a bowling alley, an outdoor swimming pool, and a priceless art collection. It’s also a paradise for adventure lovers with access to fly-fishing streams, a Tom Weiskopf-designed 18-hole golf course, white-water rafting, rock climbing, ski runs, and miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. After days filled with thrills or tranquil treatments, guests get to retire to rooms that could (and should) be described as retreats.
Blackberry Mountain: Walland, Tennessee
Tucked away on 5,200 acres of wilderness in the Great Smoky Mountains, Blackberry Mountain is a renowned Relais & Châteaux respite that’s the opposite of rough-and-tumble. Luxury permeates every aspect of the five-star refuge that’s well-known as a haven for A-listers looking to go off the grid for a few days. Yes, it’s a fall foliage mecca but the mountainside glory doesn’t stop and end with autumn. Travelers visiting in the other seasons are guaranteed a glorious time filled with aerial forest yoga sessions, farm-to-table food, and traversing miles of private hiking trails. Nature-oriented treehouses and stone cottages mean the immersive scenic experiences don’t end once inside.
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole: Jackson, Wyoming
With a prime position at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and an atmosphere that typifies slopeside sophistication, the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole provides the perfect, upscale four-season playground for travelers looking to enjoy the many charms of the American West. Designer Brayton Hughes decked out the ski-in/ski-out property with earth tones, wood, and leather. The result is a rugged yet refined frontier aesthetic that looks plucked from the pages of a magazine but also welcomes guests strolling inside with a little mud or snow on their boots. The terrace restaurant serves elevated pub fare, local beers, and cocktails alongside screensaver views.
The Swag: Waynesville, North Carolina
For a leave-all-your-stress-behind escape with foliage views (though to be clear, the vistas impress year-round) and proximity to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it doesn’t get better than The Swag. Set on 250 acres of peakside perfection at an elevation of 5,000 feet, the unparalleled property oozes romance and attracts many couples while catering to solo serenity seekers as well. Hiking trails and horseback riding excursions allow guests to commune with nature in the most memorable of ways. On the swish side of things, there are luxe cabins with outdoor soaking tubs, pampering spa treatments, and chef-curated dining experiences. The warm, authentic, above-and-beyond hospitality also leaves a lasting impression.
Primland Resort, Auberge Resorts Collection: Meadows of Dan, Virginia
The highlands of Virginia might not be the first destination you’d think to look at when planning an alpine getaway but one look at photos of Primland Resort, Auberge Resorts Collection, and all preconceived notions fly right out the window. The luxury back-to-nature property covers 12,000 acres of Blue Ridge Mountain splendor that’s a must-see in the fall but truly wows even when you remove leaf-peeping from the equation. Few places supply such a remarkable mix of breathtaking beauty — old-growth forests, climbing peaks, and emerald valleys — amenities (ahem, the on-site observatory for stargazing), and high-style accommodations. Don’t miss the chance to stay in a treehouse that makes vacation dreams come true.
Noble + Proper: Big Bear, California
Big Bear has long been a favored escape for Angelenos seeking a change of scenery. But until recently the beloved California mountain town didn’t have a hip, boutique hotel to call its own. That all changed with the opening of Noble + Proper. Thoughtful in its use of contemporary and cozy elements, it’s a case study in design-forward mountainside magic with heaps of personality. Guest cabins channel the spirit of muses with homespun charm and ornamental bells and whistles — fireplaces or wood-burning stoves, tile-clad bathrooms, and look-at-me wallpaper. Although, that certainly doesn’t mean travelers won’t find plenty of reasons to get outside thanks to hammocks, horseshoes, and complimentary bicycles.