If a no-hassle winter holiday is what your family needs, Mammoth Lakes, California makes it easy to enjoy the snow without the headache.
The Westin Monache Resort, Mammoth Lakes
For families that want to hit the slopes with comfort and ease, The Westin Monarch Resort, Mammoth, a Starwood Hotel, offers guests the following welcomed conveniences as the only four-diamond resort in Mammoth Lakes, California:
- Ski rental shop located in the lower lobby
- Walking distance to free gondola to Canyon Lodge at Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort
- Walking distance to restaurants and shops in The Village
- Free shuttles around Mammoth Lakes with a stop at the Westin
- Kids eat free at the breakfast buffet at Whitebark
With modern organic décor that reflects the surroundings, the resort features 230 guest rooms, including three two-bedroom luxury suites with fireplaces and kitchenettes. The rooms, which include the Westin’s signature Heavenly Bed, are comfortable, provide spectacular mountain views off the private balconies, and offer the traditional amenities.
Those looking to save on eating out will be glad to know that the suites include kitchenettes fully stocked with all the pots, pans, dishes, and silverware to make a family meal. There is even a stove and dishwasher. Room rates range from $159-$1299.
Bottled water is available in the lobby for registered guests to help themselves to at any time. Hydration is extremely important at such high altitudes, especially when engaging in an active vacation. However, with the hotels aggressive green initiatives in place, such as a $5 restaurant voucher for not having your sheets changed, it would be nice to see a recycling bin in the lobby for those plastic bottles…or offer bottles made from compostable material.
Winter Adventure at Mammoth Mountain
Mammoth Lakes is known for its seasonal outdoor activities. The Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is home to world-class downhill skiing and snowboarding in the winter and spring. Visitors can also enjoy snow tubing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Mammoth has something for every age and skill level. It truly is a winter wonderland.
New this year is Woolly’s Adventure Summit Snow Tube Park. For a one-hour fee of $30 ($25 for kids), visitors are pulled up the gentle slope via a rope tow and swoosh down one of the six adjacent 400-foot long groomed tubing lanes. For little tots (or those not brave enough to tackle the tubing), there is a snow play area. As this is a new attraction, there are some kinks to work out…like having enough tubes available for those waiting in line. Depending on the crowd, it could take a good 20 minutes to get just one run in. It would be nice to see a pay-per-run option rather than paying by the hour. As with any snow activity that includes speed, wearing a helmet is not a bad idea. A great safety factor at this park is that the lanes are separated by snow berms to prevent colliding with your neighbor.
For a less thrilling, but equally as spectacular family adventure, check out the one-hour Minaret Vista Midday Snowcat Tour. The “luxury” cat, which seats 12, departs from the Mammoth Mountain Inn and makes its way through the backcounty to a view of the stunning Minarets skyline. While taking in the view, guests are treated to an epicurean delight that includes wine, fresh fruit, a cheese platter, and an antipasti platter. Kids will love indulging in a waffle and hot cocoa. The food and scenery cannot be beat. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty of the Sierra.
Whether your family wants to explore the serene mountain scenery, or indulge in some fast-paced fun, Mammoth Lakes, California is worth a visit during the snowy months.
Sources: Westin Monache Resort, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Mammoth Lakes Tourism, Lyman PR