At These Top 10 Resorts, the Valet Takes Your Skis

SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- Ski season may be nearly over, but the competition among the country's most luxurious ski resorts remains as hot as ever.

A survey by ElegantRooms.com lists The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, in Colorado, as the most expensive ski resort in the United States. The cost to stay at the hotel is about $1,179 a night. But only about $5 behind Bachelor Gulch is Utah's St. Regis Deer Valley. The No. 2 most expensive ski resort in the country charges an average $1,174 a night. Aspen, Colo.'s Little Nell rounds out the top three with an average overnight rate of $1,047.

The rankings are based on a comparison of hotel room rates among all luxury hotels inside U.S. ski resorts. The survey was conducted during February and March.

Nine of the 10 most expensive hotels on the list are in either Colorado or Utah. The exception, the Amangani, is in Wyoming near the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. A stay in a standard double room there costs $1,040 per night.

The top two ski resorts in the country are truly luxurious properties.

A Forbes four-star rated resort, Bachelor Gulch is a fully ski-in, ski-out property on Beaver Creek Mountain that just underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation. The new look ins inspired by the great mountain lodges of the National Park System in the Western United States, with rustic lodge pole pine beams and stone fireplaces.

"It's like a big log cabin built down the side of a mountain," says Steven Holt, market director of public relations for Bachelor Gulch. "This property took The Ritz-Carlton brand through an evolution. There was a time when luxury was defined as properties looking the same -- with chandeliers and all that. This property created the mystique of a unique, destination relevant experience. There is a luxury, log cabin feel at Bachelor Gulch."

All 180 guest rooms at the property were included in the renovation, as were the hotel's public spaces and spa.

"The guest rooms are beautiful," Holt says. "Most have fireplaces and great woodwork as well. They all have new carpet, and there's a new color palette lightening the rooms up."

Bachelor Gulch is home to a spa Travel + Leisure named Best Hotel Spa in the Continental U.S. last year. The 21,000-square-foot spa includes 19 treatment rooms, a manicure/pedicure salon and men's and women's saunas.

Spago by Wolfgang Puck, one of the only Colorado outposts of the famed Beverly Hills restaurant, is also at Bachelor Gulch.

The St. Regis Deer Valley, meanwhile, is home away from home for celebrities and the entertainment industry when they want to go skiing or attend the Sundance Film Festival.

This luxurious property is inside Deer Crest, an exclusive gated community. "If you think about this ultra-exclusive neighborhood, we are the biggest house on the block," says Edward Shapard, general manager of the resort. "It has the feel of a small boutique hotel, and all the opulence of a luxury hotel. But there is a feel to this hotel that is almost a sense of community."

Shapard describes the 174-room property, the first five-star hotel in Utah, as a modern, sophisticated take on a classic ski lodge. It's also the location of the only funicular at a North American hotel. The Swiss-crafted funicular carries guests 230 vertical feet in just 90 seconds and has cabins with leather seats and tinted panoramic windows.

Additional details of The St. Regis include it being fully ski-in, ski-out, much like Bachelor Gulch. The resort also has a service team led by a butler who once worked in Buckingham Palace. By far one of the biggest perks of this luxury property, Shapard says, is the ultra-attentive ski valet. He calls it a luxury that once you get used to, is hard to do without.

"In the morning, when you're ready to go skiing, a ski valet has your boots, skis, poles -- everything you need right there," Shapard says. "They get you fitted up and you ski straight out of hotel. When you come in for lunch, the valet sets your skis to the side for you, and when you come in for the evening, your stuff is stowed for and taken care of. You are not carrying your things back and forth up to your room."

"It's those little things," Shapard says. "I think we all remember our first time flying in first class or on someone's private jet. After an experience like that, going back to coach is a bit more painful. That's what it's like once you've experienced the luxury of a ski valet."

The other ski resorts in the top 10 in addition to the Amangani, according to the Elegantrooms.com survey, are Montage Deer Valley, in Park City, Utah; St. Regis Aspen, Aspen, Colo.; Washington School House, in Park City; Viceroy Snowmass, in Aspen; and Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, in Beaver Creek, Colo.

Room rates for the additional hotels in the top 10 range from $1,040 to $749 a night.

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