I’ve already written about how much we liked the terrain, the skiing instruction, and the FunZone on our January visit to Smugglers’ Notch Resort, but what else made our visit fun and special? Let’s take a look.
Our condo was so comfortable
We stayed in the North Hill community, which is one of the newer and more premium areas of the resort. Our two-bedroom, two-bathroom condominium came with a lovely view, a fully equipped kitchen, a washer and drier (great for wet mittens), and more TVs than any family really needs including one that could be watched from the whirlpool tub in the master bath (Teddy especially loved that he could bathe and watch Spongebob at the same time). Another nice feature was a separate locked storage area for skis and poles so that we didn’t have to bring them inside with us. All of this was great, but hands down my very favorite feature was the gas fireplace.
The shuttle made getting around easy
With six different condo communities and three mountains, Smuggs is not a contained space. Luckily they offer an on-demand shuttle service (you call; they pick you up). We were there on a holiday weekend, which meant that the shuttles were crowded and busy, but I have to say I was impressed with how efficiently they ran. With one exception, we never had to wait more than ten minutes for a ride. Equally impressive were the drivers, who not only navigated the perpetually ice- and snow-covered roads, but who were cheerful, professional, and helpful. Riding the shuttles was especially fun for the boys since on more than one occasion children well outnumbered the adults on board. This made for quite a carnival atmosphere, especially when that group of children had just finished up at the FunZone. If the resort could learn to harness that energy, they’d save a lot of money on gas.
The Hearth and Candle offered yummy local food
While the privately-owned Hearth and Candle Restaurant offers fancy food and cocktails (the picture is Matt with his Maple Bacon Manhattan) and a more upscale atmosphere than the other onsite restaurants, they also welcome children. My coq au vin was perfectly prepared and the boys both enjoyed the coloring contest, the fried coconut shrimp, and the maple brioche bread pudding. Oh, and I may have enjoyed that last item too.
Should you choose to avail yourself of the evening childcare that’s offered through the Treasures center, you can sit in the “adult-only” area of the restaurant. Everyone wins.
The singing pirate entertained us
If you are a regular reader of this blog, I’m sure you’re not too surprised to hear that my youngest child couldn’t get enough of Rockin’ Ron, the Friendly Pirate who regaled us with such ditties as “Bucaneer Bounce” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little StaRRR”. Ron is around a lot at Smuggs – hosting sing-alongs around the bonfire, pizza parties, and also popping up during ski school and family evening activities. When we learned that he originally hails from Wisconsin and is a Packers fan, well, a true relationship was cemented. His CD came home with us and the children have listened to it nonstop through many a snow day in the past month.
The indoor pool/play area made for a nice change of pace after a day on the slopes
We were able to walk to the North Hill Community Center from our condo. In addition to a small lap pool and two hot tubs there is a children’s play area with jets and equipment (and water that is quite cold – unlike the swimming pool it didn’t seem to be heated). The boys loved getting to swim after a day of skiing and I loved getting in a hot bubbly soak. In addition to the smaller community centers at some of the condo communities, the resort offers a large indoor pool and hot tubs in a central location near the Fun Zone and ice skating rink that all guests are invited to use.
Looking back over this list, I realize that between skiing, relaxing, and playing we were busy during our visit! But even though we managed to fit a lot into our three full days, there were necessarily things that fell by the wayside. On my list of things to return for are:
- Snowshoeing: I’d love to get out and explore the gorgeous woods. In addition to snowshoe rentals and lessons, Smuggs offers guided family treks with names like Our Forest Heritage and Where’s the Bear?
- Tube sledding: If there’s anything more fun than sliding down a lighted hill on an inner tube after it’s gotten dark, I’d like to know what that is.
- Bingo: From karaoke to concerts, there are fun things for families going on every night of the week at Smuggs, but I’d especially like to try my hand at the Monday night Bingo Blast – proceeds benefit the United Way.
If any of this sounds appealing, don’t assume you have to wait until next winter to try skiing at Smuggs. It may be March, but I just checked the snow report and they’ve got a two- to three-foot base, fresh snow, and 77 trails open!
And if you’re interested in learning more about our visit, check out my other Smuggs’ posts.
Many thanks to Smugglers’ Notch for providing accommodations, lessons, lift tickets, and lessons to me and my family.