Active + Adventure

The World's Best Après-Ski Scenes

by Sarah Tuff

Most Crackling Public Fireplace

Where: The Great Room at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, Beaver Creek, Colorado

What'll Snow You: The fireplace is a full three stories tall.

Cool Conditions: Imagine the things the elk head mounted on this massive fieldstone fireplace in the Ritz-Carlton has seen: All those flushed skiers and snowboarders, fresh from carving down Beaver Creek's corduroy runs and powder-field bowls, peeling off clothes and sinking into overstuffed leather couches. Waiters bearing trays of Bachelor Coffees made with Baileys, Grand Marnier, and Kahlúa. Plates of buffalo quesadillas, smoked-salmon clubs, and chocolate s'mores tarts. Best of all, the fireplace burns wood (pine, usually), with a great aroma; it reaches toward the roof of the lodge, and there are dozens of sofas and chairs all around it, perfect for pushing back into the pillows and watching a Warren Miller film. Trust us: Spend a few hours in front of the crackling fire, and you'll start to envy the elk.

The Cold Cash: Bachelor Coffee, $8; rooms from $725 per night

The Great Room at the Ritz-Carlton
Tel: 970 748 6200

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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