7 Ski Destinations Non-Skiers Will Love Too

Stunning winter destinations you can enjoy without ever stepping foot on the slopes.

Mount Mansfield, Vermont. Image courtesy gostowe.com.

Have you ever noticed that the world seems to be divided when it comes to winter -- namely between the people who hate it and people who ski? Ok, well not exactly, but when it comes to finding a destination that fulfills every skier's (and snowboarder's) wish list and doesn't alienate the chalet bunnies, you've got to pick wisely. To help you out we've rounded up 7 ski-friendly places that will please everyone in your group, whether they plan to live on the slopes or lounge by the pool.

Destination: Stowe, Vermont
Why You Should Go
: Whether you've never been down a hill or prefer to stay on the black diamond runs, there's terrain to suit your skill. The region's largest peak, Mt. Mansfield, measures in at 4395' and calls Stowe Mountain Resort home. With over 100 trails to choose from including some of the longest intermediate cruises in the region, we promise you'll find more than a few runs to enjoy.

For those who would rather stay off the slopes, we suggest booking a spa appointment at the luxurious mountain-side Stowe Mountain Lodge, home to a 21,000-square foot oasis complete with fitness center, swimming pools, Jacuzzi and 18 treatment rooms. We suggest the Vermont Maple Syrup & Brown Sugar Scrub ($150 for 50min), which is as delicious as it sounds.

If you're hoping to stay outdoors, try a romantic sleigh ride for two, leading a pack of dogs on a sled or hitting the 100kms of trails in the backcountry on cross-country skis. An active day must be followed by some good eats and some après-ski drinks. Forget dressing up and order pizza from Pie in the Sky or go for some fish and chips with a side of beer at Mr. Pickwick's, an English-style pub which offers 150 ales and largers on tap.

Photo courtesy Francine Loubert, Tourism Mont Tremblant.

Destination: Mont Tremblant, Quebec
Why You Should Go: Less than a 2-hour drive from Montreal, Mont Tremblant is one of the most impressive ski hills on the east coast. Complete with stunning views of the Laurentians, Tremblant offers 95 trails, including four distinct slopes that welcomes both skiers and snowboarders. Plus they boast an impressive snow making system, which allows them to maintain high quality snow conditions throughout the season.

In between runs or maybe instead of, you can roam around Tremblant's bustling pedestrian village. Connected to a many hotels including the Fairmont Tremblant, you'll find boutiques, restaurants and cafes, and even a casino. Follow it up with some R&R in at the Scandinavian Baths. In addition to the traditional experience, you can also book a massage and have a tea tasting.

Aspen Snowmass. Photo courtesy aspensnowmass.com.

Destination: Aspen, Colorado
Why You Should Go: Aspen isn't home to just one, but four world-class ski mountains including, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass, and Buttermilk. Snowmass is the largest of the four with 3,332 acres of terrain, which includes 94 trails and 21 chairlifts. Its size means it has plenty of varied terrain, ideal for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. For those seeking more of a challenge, try Aspen Mountain (it's ski-only), as it has plenty of black diamond runs. Getting up for the first time? Hit Buttermilk.

The region is no stranger to the high life, as it is often considered a playground for the rich and famous. For a luxurious stay try Hotel Jerome. A landmark building in the city, the hotel just re-opened days ago following an extensive renovation, which includes a new lobby bar and restaurant. Hoping to book in some spa time? Try the Remède Spa found at the St. Regis Aspen, where you can indulge in a signature treatment like their Rocky Mountain Ritual ($280 for 1 hr 45min). We suggest finishing off the spa day with an on-site Après Tea, which is afternoon tea meets après-ski drinks (from 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. at the Shadow Mountain Lodge).

Lake Louise, Banff. Photo courtesy Banff Lake Louise Tourism.

Destination: Banff, Alberta
Why You Should Go: Nestled within the Rockies, Banff is an outdoor lovers paradise. The town of Banff is actually found within Banff National Park, home to stunning mountain ranges, the picturesque Lake Louise and acre-after-acre of unspoilt beauty. There are three main ski mountains in the region -- the Lake Louise Ski Area, Mount Norquay and Sunshine Village. Lake Louise is the largest of the three, in fact it's one of the largest ski areas in North America, with 4,200 acres of terrain and 139 runs, which equates to an extremely diverse range of terrain, perfect for all levels.

While the slopes definitely dominate this region, you'll find tons of more outdoor activities including dogsledding through mountain valleys, ice skating on Lake Louise or even heli-snowshoeing. We suggest heading over to the Fairmont Lake Louise post-activities and grabbing a hot chocolate (or better yet a glass of wine) at the Lakeview Lounge.

Not relaxed enough? Warm up at the Banff Upper Hot Springs. Discovered in 1884, this natural phenomenon is now one of the area's most notorious attractions.

Main street, Park City, Utah. Photo courtesy Park City Chamber/Bureau.

Destination: Park City, Utah
Why You Should Go: Any place that is good enough to host the Winter Olympics, definitely has what it takes to be an amazing ski destination and Park City did just that back in 2002. The area doesn't have one, but three ski resorts covering an incredible 9,326 acres, with 426 runs and 58 lifts. There's the newest of the three (and the only ski-only resort), Deer Valley, which is home to the luxurious Montage Deer Valley resort we love. The biggest is the Canyons, with plenty of terrain including snowboarding-friendly jumps, but also has quiet runs perfect for beginners. For the most laid-back experience, check out Park City Mountain Resort, the oldest resort in the area, with plenty of runs and diverse terrain.

There is plenty to do when you're not on the hills or if you'd rather not hit the hills at all. Head down into town and browse the boutiques on Main Street. Our favourites were Flight Boutique, Mary Jane's and Cake Boutique. The après-ski scene is big here and there are definitely more than a few amazing bars worth popping into.

Don't forget to take some time out for the spa. We suggest the Golden Door Spa at the Waldorf Astoria. A 16,000 square-foot retreat complete with tea and fireside lounges, they also have a full-service hair and nail salon, as well as a fitness centre. Try the spa's signature Golden Honey Facial (80 mins), which uses local honey to moisturize the skin.

Snowboarding at Parwengesattel, St. Stephan. Photo courtesy Gstaad Tourism.

Destination: Gstaad, Switzerland
Why You Should Go: There's nothing quite like a quaint Swiss village to escape to for a ski vacation. Here you will find three world-class ski areas very accessible from the village: Snowpark Gstaad, Snowpark Glacier 3000 and Highland Park, all which total to 22 ski lifts, 10 gondola lifts, 17 chairlifts, and four aerial cableways. This region is considered to have some of the safest skiing in the country, with plenty of runs for beginners, so black diamond-only skiers should look elsewhere.

Luring celebrity and jet-setting clientele since the '60s, there is a lot of luxury to soak up in this tiny destination. You can roam around the traffic-free chalet village, popping in and out of high-end boutiques, like Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and Cartier, or stop in for a bite at one of the many restaurants and bars.

Our pick for must-stay (or at least do a spa treatment) is the iconic Gstaad Palace. With breathtaking views of the Alps, 109 luxurious rooms, 9 restaurants and bars, plus a recently renovated spa, it really doesn't get better than this. We suggest reserving a table at La Fromagerie for some fondue, followed by dancing at their on-site nightclub GreenGo.

Photo courtesy Whistler Tourism.

Destination: Whistler, British Columbia
Why You Should Go: Our list isn't complete without mentioning Whistler Blackcomb. Not only was this the location of the 2010 Winter Olympics, in 2012 the readers of SKI Magazine named Whistler Blackcomb the #1 Overall Ski Resort in North America. With over 8,100 acres of snow-covered slopes and over 200 trails for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, there is literally a run for everyone. Due to it's coastal location, snow is very reliable, plus it never gets too cold (average daily temps are -5°C (22°F), and unlike other destinations the season runs into the spring.

For those who'd enjoy the great outdoors at a slower pace, you can still see the sights without putting on a single ski boot. We suggest hopping on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola that links Whistler to Blackcomb for serious sight-seeing at 6,000 feet. You'll also find over 129 km of cross-country trails, a tube park and sleigh rides.

Bring your credit card because there is good shopping to be found in Whistler Village. With more than 200 shops including The Body Shop, Roots, Lululemon and Rogers Chocolates, there are plenty of Canadian brands to bring home.

Ski bunny or not, a ski vacation is not complete without a spa visit. We suggest booking in at the Four Seasons Whistler, where you'll find 11 treatment rooms, 2 couples rooms, plus 2 relaxation lounges. Try their Signature Body Treatment ($370 for 110 min), which starts with a peppermint, maple and honey exfoliation, followed by a clay wrap, an aromatherapy massage and ends with a rejuvenating scalp massage.