Luxury for Less
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APRIL: BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
Lesson to Travel By: Look for deals at the beginning or tail end of a season.
The Deal: This one's for the high-flying, adventuresome types. Let a helicopter deliver you to the top of back-country ski runs in the Canadian Rockies (view slideshow) and Columbia Mountains, then return you to your luxury lodge for a soak in the hot tub before dinner.
The Luxury Essentials: Thought heli-skiing was out of reach? Not in April, when a week at Canadian Mountain Holidays' Adamant Lodge, some 200 miles west of Banff, costs $5,820 per person, not the $9,790 it would have cost five weeks earlier. Plus, conditions are still good and CMH guarantees that you'll ski at least 100,000 vertical feet (not counting helicopter rides)—and will refund part of your trip cost if you don't. You'll average about eight runs a day, with plenty of time back at the lodge to recall the agony and the ecstasy over hot toddies.
Artful Advice: Skiers can borrow specially designed heli-skis, but snowboarders should bring their own equipment. This trip isn't for amateurs: You should be comfortable on black diamond runs and fit enough to ski for several consecutive days.
A Fair Fare: In the last two years, fares from Salt Lake City to Calgary have been around $350$400 in April—and as much as $700 in July.
Canadian Mountain Holidays
Tel: 800 661 0252 (toll-free)
Tel: 403 762 7100
Seven-day trips from $5,820 per person, including meals