Are we crazy for going skiing during Feb vacation week? Perhaps. But you go when you can, right? (We stayed from Friday night to Tuesday.) We were fortunate to have been offered use of a friend's timeshare at the Grand Summit. We arrived Friday night, Feb. 14 around 8:30 to a chaotic scene. Oddly enough, it was a rather organized chaotic scene and aside from kids running around like spinning tops, the process of checking in went very smoothly. If you go during this time, bring your love of children with you and don't be afraid to strike up conversations where you can with parents. A friendly demeanor will go a long way.
From the friendly valet parking staff who help unload entire car-loads at a time with a generous smile, to the front desk who assured me that it would not be a problem when my college aged children showed up at 2am to meet us at the hotel - everyone was helpful. I did not find any staff member who was less than their best.
The room itself was ample and spotlessly clean. (Always number one on my list.) The Murphy bed was comfy and the kitchen well supplied. We did, indeed use it - stove/oven, too. I would have told you that the pull out mattress was a bit beat, but my 20 y/o son told me it was more comfortable than his dorm bed. 'nuf said. There was plenty of room for ski boots and snow boots alike. (Skis get checked in at a little heated hut out side the first floor and steps away from the slopes.) There were also MANY hangers in the closet - which was good because there was only a 3-drawer wardrobe which housed the TV. The unit is dated - the mic and stove and dishwasher are not new but they worked well and again, were clean.
If you go during ski season, bring a boot warmer to dry out mittens/gloves, as they strictly disallow gloves/etc on the heating units. (There is a laundry facility on the ground floor.)
You absolutely cannot beat the ski on/ski off feature. We did not have to battle the amazingly crowded lodge areas just to warm up in sub-zero wind chill temps. (Yes, we poked our heads in and we were elbow to elbow with people pushing and shoving their way around.) Instead, we could ski back to the hotel, head upstairs for a hot cocoa and 30 min later head back out again. It was heaven and spoiled me terribly.
You should check out the outdoor hot tub. Again - there will be a ton of kids during vacation week - but get there before the slopes close and you will have a bit of "ahhhh" time. I actually got a bit of a sun burn.
Make reservations at the hotel restaurant early if you expect to eat there. Otherwise, go a bit later for a local craft brew on tap and some live music. (Did I mention the groups of friends that will eat at the bar because they do not make reservations? They will hog up the seats and then not sit at them while their kids run among them. Either bring your patience with you or go at about 9pm.)
We also took advantage of private ski lessons. Pricey, yes, but worth it, in my opinion. My daughter and I took a 2 hour lesson together. There's always something new to learn and work on when skiing. The instructors are patient and really love their craft as well as sharing it with students. (Shout out to Larry. )
I found everyone who worked at this resort to be on top of their game this week. From the housecleaning staff to the chair lift employees. It was so freakin' crowded on Saturday and Sunday and all these people had smiles on their faces and an ease in how they would help you. They even had ski staff placed at strategic places on the mountain to encourage speedy skiers/boarders to slow down.
Bottom line - you can't always choose when you get to go. But if you get up early, you can get about 4 or 5 runs in from the top of the mountain before the crowds get there and the runs get chopped up around 1 or 1:30. Monday and Tuesday were much less crowded. In my experience, the hotel staff did their best to make our stay enjoyable and was a pleasure to deal with.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Escaping to a world of complete relaxation and exhilaration to fulfill your next great adventure craving has never been easier than visiting the Mount Snow Grand Summit Resort Hotel. Located in the renowned Green Mountains our idyllic, year-round resort is an incomparable staging ground for your outdoor vacation activities with family, or for a romantic getaway. We offer guests just about every amenity imaginable so there is truly something for everyone. This is in part why we’re fast becoming a leading wedding and conference destination. Let us help you begin your Grand Vermont adventure. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Summit Hotel
- Summit West Dover
- West Dover Summit
- Grand Summit West Dover
- Grand Summit Resort Hotel Vermont/Dover