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Who needs the beaches of St. Barth’s for Christmas when a new foot of snow is being dumped daily over Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon? My family and I just returned from a week-long ski trip to Snowbird and Alta, and although every muscle in my legs has yet to recover, I’m still thinking about some of the sybaritic pleasures we discovered.

Snowbird and Alta, which are literally around the bend from each other, each offers its own distinct translation of luxe comfort. Snowbird’s is, without a doubt, Cliffspa, high atop Cliff Lodge. Its rooftop pool and hot tub offer spectacular views of the white-peaked mountains. Whether you’re a native Mormon or a New York City atheist, the view gives new meaning to the term “God’s country.”

Alta, generations older than Snowbird, has kept its old-school ways, from its charming rustic lodges to its no-snowboard policy (they’ve even resisted adding safety bars to the chairlifts). And it offered a most thoughtful surprise that we discovered on our last day. Stopping for lunch at the restaurant at the mid-mountain Watson Shelter lodge, we began the tedious process of removing mittens and loosening buckles. Then we noticed several pairs of inviting fleece Ugg-like slippers stowed neatly in a corner. “Oh yes, please, they’re for you to wear while you eat,” offered one of the waitresses. The four of us pounced on the pile and happily wiggled our newly cozy toes throughout our meal.

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Cliffspa at Snowbird

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