Living in Boston has its advantages—one major one being that in three hours you can be skiing a top-notch mountain in Vermont. Earlier this month we headed up to Ludlow, Vermont to check out Okemo and their brand new South Face Village condos. Read on to learn how we skied the east!
Okemo has the best of both worlds—it’s close by and has amazing ski conditions. The mountain is only 3 hours from Boston and yet it has the greatest vertical drop in Southern Vermont (around 2200 feet). With 20 lifts, including their famous “bubble” (the 6 person express lift to the top), the lift lines are never that bad. Oh and by the way, if you are skiing when a Nor’ Easter is approaching like the weekend we were up there, you will really appreciate that orange bubble when that wind starts howling!
And as for the ski terrain, Okemo stood out to me because the mountain is clearly committed to making skiing fun. With several terrain parks filled with, the “Amp Energy Half Pipe”, a NASTAR racecourse and several other fun goodies, the mountain has fun extras for all abilities.
Where to Stay
We were fortunate enough to stay at a recently finished condo at the brand new South Face Village. We enjoyed the ski on ski off location, the fabulous furnishings and the well-conceived design of the home. From the minute we arrived, we were impressed by both the functionality of the space and the beauty of the finishings.
Recently, I also was able to catch up with the designer, Mary Jean Keany of Anamika Design and she explained her design inspiration to me further. “I wanted to create a space that exuded a sense of modern Vermont, while respecting the rustic traditions of the Green Mountains.” She did this by bringing in some wonderful local vendors; the stone in the kitchens, the bunk beds and the photography are all from Vermont based artisans.
The entire complex is being built by Bensonwood, who is the leading eco-friendly builder in the country, which speaks to the vision of the property. And the finished product will truly be amazing. The location alone is breath taking, right next to the Okemo State Forest, and there is even a 100 acre nature preserve that is part of the project, which is just perfect for snowshoeing, hiking and simply enjoying.
The first stage of South Face Village is complete, but there is plenty more to come. They will start construction on the next set of condos as well as all the wonderful amenities, including: pool, fitness club, outdoor terrace and restaurant later this year. Also, here is a sneak peek of one of the penthouses.
Where to Eat
Okemo has plenty of dining options located right on the mountain. For a quick bite you can head to the Clock Tower Base Lodge, Sugar House Lodge, the Summit Lodge, or Jackson Gore. For a sit down, on-mountain spot, head to Epic restaurant at Solitude Village.
But for dinner, we highly recommend checking out the lovely town of Ludlow. There are several amazing dining experiences available and this is yet another aspect to what makes Okemo a wonderful destination for a winter getaway. Our top recommendation for dinner is Stemwinder, a beautiful wine bar located just downtown. With a menu full of sharable small plates, you know this is a place you will want to linger after a long day on the slopes. And once you step inside you will absolutely love the fun après ski town atmosphere, especially if you sit at the bar.
Start with a salad and the soup of the day. When we visited the soup du jour was a lovely Thai inspired coconut curry that was just what we craved. Next, you need to check out their thin crust pizzas. You honestly can’t go wrong with any of the options.
As you work your way down the menu, you can’t miss the tacos. The specific variety changes all the time so ask your server what they have that day. On our trip we had some delicious grilled shrimp tacos that were absolutely delectable. Oh, and if you want some especially hearty comfort food, try the meatballs as well.
As for dessert, they’ve got you covered with a few different chocolaty options! And it goes without saying that the wine and beer menus are seriously off the charts, so sit back with a glass of something tasty and soak up all the rustic charm.
As you can tell, Okemo is truly a destination not just a place to ski. And it was easy to see that South Face Village will be a gorgeous spot to visit in the summer as well, so the new condos will truly be 4 season retreats from the daily hustle and bustle. For more information on south face village, go to their website here. Under 3 hours from Boston, under 5 hours from New York City and only 2.5 hours from Hartford, Okemo is conveniently located to all the major cities in the Northeast, so embrace winter and go skiing this year!