A roving taco truck that brings food to you, a gondola that serves up fondue, and a stair-replacing slide—is this a ski fever dream? These amazing ski resort amenities (and more) are reality at mountains around the world.
Taco Beast, Steamboat, Colorado
You’re skiing at Steamboat when you start to get hungry, but the powder’s good and you don’t want to stop to eat. Then, like magic, through a flurry of snow, a tricked-out snowcat appears in front of you and it’s bearing tacos. No, it’s not some kind of mountain mirage; it’s the Taco Beast, and it’s real. This snowcat turned food truck roams Steamboat’s slopes from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Thursday through Monday, serving up four different kinds of tacos, a salsa bar, esquites, and drinks. To track down the truck, follow @TacoBeastSBT on Twitter.
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A Slide to the Bathroom, Meribel, France
Why are bathrooms at ski resorts always downstairs? Having to clomp down flights of stairs in your ski boots is the worst, especially on tired legs. The famous apres-ski bar Rond Point Meribel at Meribel ski resort has a genius solution to this problem: a slide that goes down to the bathroom, eliminating the need for stairs. The only flaw in this beautiful plan—there’s no gravity-reversing slide to take you back up, so you’ll have to tackle the climb.
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Ski-in, Ski-Out Distillery, Park City Mountain, Utah
Need to warm up from the inside? Ski right into High West Distillery, the world’s first ski-in, ski-out gastropub distillery. Here, you can grab a glass of house-made whiskey (with plenty of varieties including a double rye) that will leave you feeling nice and toasty before you head back out onto the slopes. Just don’t have too many, lest you fall off the chairlift.
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Heli-Fondue, Panorama, Canada
You may have had fondue before, and you may have even had it atop a snow-covered mountain (where it tastes at least 50 percent better). But have you taken a helicopter to have fondue on top of an empty mountain after hours? Sign up for Panorama’s Heli-Fondue to experience it. If you have nine friends that are up for the adventure, the price is shockingly cheap—just around $45 per person. The total cost is $1,200 CAD (approximately $906 USD at the time of writing) and includes a helicopter ride for up to 10 people, cheese fondue, and chocolate fondue for dessert.
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Ice Bar, Crested Butte, Colorado
You came here for the snow, so why leave it to go inside for a cocktail? Uley’s Cabin Lunch and Outdoor Bar at Crested Butte is located at the bottom of a run, so you can ski right up, down your drink, and keep on going. The outdoor bar is made of ice, so you won’t run the risk of having your drink get cold.
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Gondola Fondue, Vaujany, France
How amazing would it be if, at the end of a long lift line, you stepped into a gondola and were offered hot, gooey fondue? At Vaujany in France, this dream almost comes true—sadly, the gondola fondue isn’t available during ski hours, but you can reserve this after-hours experience throughout the winter season. The gondolas get kitted out with tables and stocked with fondue, Champagne, and green Chartreuse for riders to enjoy while the gondola traverses the mountain.
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Heated Gondola Seats, Vail, Colorado
Vail’s luxury gondola might be nicer than your hotel room, but unfortunately, you’re not allowed to sleep there. Inside, heated seats warm you up in between runs, and free Wi-Fi means you can look up a trail map or post a smug Instagram about your 7.5-minute ride.
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J.E. Henry Railroad, Loon, New Hampshire
Sure, you could ski or walk between the Octagon Lodge and the Governor Adams Lodge at Loon Mountain, or you could take a train. This wood-fired, steam-powered engine runs 600 feet back and forth each winter, shuttling skiers in a unique fashion.
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More from SmarterTravel:
- How to Avoid the Worst Cold-Weather Packing Mistakes
- How to Pack for a Winter Vacation
- The 8 Best Ski Gear Items for This Winter
Caroline Morse Teel is a Senior Editor at SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @travelwithcaroline.