Take a breather during the day at the St. Regis Hotel's Terrace Café with light bites by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, plenty of chic people-watching, and unsurpassed views of Deer Valley and Deer Hollow Run. Don't miss out on the St. Regis Champagne Ritual, the 7452 Bloody Mary, or the turkey chili.
One of Aspen's long-standing favorite après-ski scenes, J-Bar at the Hotel Jerome is an Old West saloon, most often filled with mountain-weary skiers. They've got a wide range of beers, plus well done bar food (like the J-Bar burger with caramelized onions and mushrooms), but we'd go for the Aspen Crud cocktail which mixes bourbon with ice cream.
Chamonix’ Monkey Bar has all-things-cool down. They've thought of everything, like nightly DJ's, live bands, billiards, nightly giveaways, "Jager trains," free Wi-Fi, a Sunday roast, and themed nights out, to make sure that the bar is imminently filled with the nightlife-loving skiers and snowboarders of the jet set.
Hope you're comfortable on saddle — the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is as Western as they come, complete with leather saddles atop their bar stools. Guests are greeted by a taxidermied (fake?) Grizzly bear before coming face to face with the largest selection of single barrel Jack Daniels in the Northwest. Start by sneaking downstairs for a hearty steak before imbibing.
For anyone not willing to live through a season off the slopes, there's the Southern Hemisphere, which is rife with après-ski, too. In Queenstown, New Zealand, strip off the ski boots and head for The Bunker, a hidden bar on a small back alley with an inviting fireplace and classic cocktails like the Sazerac, Dark 'n' Stormy, and Negroni.
One of Big Sky Resort's best-loved après-ski watering holes, Whiskey Jack's is slope-side, with live music, an eclectic croud of locals and in-the-know visitors, Southwestern cuisine (plus deliciously oversized burgers), and cool beers on draft. To really warm up, sip on their Challenger Coffee, a local brew mixed with a shot of vanilla vodka.
St. Anton's Krazy Kanguruh (aka crazy kangaroo), is a legendary European après-ski spot, drawing all kinds of snow enthusiasts to its confines all day and all night. Their menu is full of continental and authentic Austrian dishes, while the nightlife is wild and international, though don’t expect much in the way of fancy surroundings — it's exposed wood beams and dancing on the bar.
The sleek, club-style après-ski is certainly alive and well in France, and there's no better example of it than La Folie Douce in the Alpine ski town of Val d'Isère. The outdoor terrace fills up with slope-tired skiers from the early afternoon. The nightlife vibe, even at 3 p.m., means champagne and bottle service all afternoon, and chic, light bites like regional cheeses and seasonal tarte tatins with vanilla cream.
In-the-know skiers and snowboarders who head to Kicking Horse in Canada are rewarded not only by less-crowded slopes, but by a low key and relaxing après-ski scene at places like Peaks Grill. Out on its terrace, hot cider, hot cocoa, French onion soup, and the Peaks burger serve to refuel after a long day, and prepare you for the night out.
It's been said that people actually skip days of skiing and spend their afternoons at the outdoor terrace of slope-side Tio Bob's instead, indulging in hearty barbecue, strong pisco sours, and views of Inca Lake. Days are for relaxing, refueling, and people-watching, while nights here host wild and unforgettable parties. On a side note, you can arrange a helicopter to drop you at Tio Bob's for an easy $200.