Après-ski, a term that has embedded itself deeply into ski culture and beyond, captures the essence of mountain life. Originating from the French word for “after,” après-ski is not just about what happens post-skiing but embodies a lifestyle that combines relaxation, indulgence and socialization against the backdrop of snowy peaks.

Read on as we explore the après-ski culture at our favorite mountain haunts to enjoy a cocktail. We spotlight Cory McAlpine, a Mountain Travel Expert based in Breckenridge, Colorado with 17 years of experience in crafting dream ski vacations across the globe.


Cory McAlpine is what you would call a seasoned professional. Cory loves the unique aspect of his profession – the opportunity to explore ski resorts worldwide. He has vetted properties, resorts and restaurants across the US, as well as Canada, Chile, Japan, New Zealand and Switzerland. Born with a smile and a wanderlust spirit, he enjoys getting to know his clients and learning what a dream ski vacation means to them. 

Whether his clients are looking for a refined experience that is focused on the luxury and delicious food of Courchevel, France, or a learn-to-ski getaway to Aspen with some of the Rockies’ best instructors, Cory is top of the line when it comes to his craft. Cory’s passion for travel extends beyond work, driving him to explore new runs at resorts and head on spontaneous adventures throughout the year, all while sharing his love for the mountains with others. 

GRAND HYATT VAIL – Vail, Colorado

As soon as you walk into the Grand Hyatt Vail, you are greeted with warm smiles and a beautiful interior. “The staff and ambiance at the Park Hyatt is wonderful, making it one of my favorite properties to spend time at,” exclaimed Cory. He continued to tell us what sets the general vibe of the Grand Hyatt, “The Grand Hyatt is the perfect laid-back, yet refined après-ski destination! Especially if you like champagne,” Cory winked. That’s because they have a Grand Moët Yurt that serves champagne, cocktails and light snacks daily for après. Cory explains why he loves it “The vibe inside is cozy and swanky. You ski down after a long day on the mountain, kick off your boots and get to hang in the warm, plush yurt. It feels very European and authentic – all in the heart of Vail and out the backdoors of The Grand Hyatt.” And a pro tip from Cory? “The Yurt isn’t the only way to get your champagne fix, they happen to have a vending machine with small bottles of Moët Chandon Champagne! It’s the perfect way to add an extra dash of class to your ski vacation.” 

The Grand Hyatt Vail excels in other entertainment as well. “Once the Grand Moet Yurt closes for the evening, you can head over to their TopGolf swing suites. They have virtual monitors set up to challenge family and friends to your game!”  The property is ski-in ski-out and all the rooms have classic Hyatt charm – clean, refined and comfortable. The Hyatt eliminates any hassle of having to carry your skis to and from the chair lift. It’s easy to roll out of bed, throw on your gear, grab your boots from the boot heater and jump on the chairlift that will take you up the mountain. 

THE CHEDI ANDERMATT – Andermatt, Switzerland

The Chedi Andermatt stands out as a top-tier après-ski bar, redefining the traditional hotel bar experience with its unique and nostalgic approach. Unlike classic hotel bars with lounge seats and standard drink menus, the Chedi Andermatt takes a more adventurous and playful approach. Guests are invited to embark on a tasting journey that will bring them back to their cherished memories from childhood. “Think tasty drinks that smell of caramelized sugar from the cotton candy machines or the taste of sugary cereal milk,” said Cory. Their seasonal theme can be summed up with one phrase: “Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.” The ambiance of the bar is one of high energy and class. A live pianist sets the mood, and guests can relax in a 5-star atmosphere, after an epic day on the mountain. Along with their exciting and creative approach to après-ski drinks, the hotel hosts themed events, games and special entertainment. “There is always something new to engage with guests,” said Cory as he explained the staff’s attention to detail. 

The hotel sits in the valley amidst the breathtaking Swiss Alps and offers a fun (and luxurious) escape in the village of Andermatt. “This area is one of the most desirable locations in the world, and this hotel effortlessly blends into its surroundings with quintessential Alpine chic and luxury,” explained Cory. He continues, “The staff is everything you would expect with a five-star property. They make sure every need is met and go above and beyond to set the stage for a memorable stay. If you have something special planned in the future, this hotel is for you.” The hotel has 119 elegant rooms and suites, each designed with comfort for guests in mind. If you are feeling hungry after the slopes, they have a delicious award warning restaurant onsite, that makes for a leisurely evening after the slopes. The top-tier restaurant is matched with the hotel’s unique wine cellar, which houses a fine selection of wine from around the world.  The property also has a 2400 square meter spa, with luxurious treats, a sauna and steam rooms.


The St. Regis is nestled slopeside to the ritzy Deer Valley and matches the ski destinations’ refined and upscale experience. Cory fills us in with the details, “The property sits at the edge of Deer Valley and offers ski-in ski-out access, making attending après easy. The newest addition, and the heart of the après-ski scene, is their newest bar called “The Vintage Room.” This top-tier bar is nestled at the edge of the Deer Hollow ski run and showcases a heated 1600 square-foot tent, a 30-foot wood bar, vaulted ceilings, and a music stage that sets the mood for this opulent stage. The Vintage also happens to be the location of the St. Regis Evening Ritual. Cory shared his favorite part of staying at the St. Regis, “Every evening at 5:30 pm, guests are invited to attend the Evening Ritual, where a champagne sabering takes place. If you have never been to a champagne saber, it is highly recommended. Nothing beats watching a champagne cork fly off a bottle with a saber!”  For those who seek variety, the St. Regis has you covered offering cream-of-the-crop dining options. The property has eight different bars and restaurants on property. “All worthy of the many praises guests sing regarding each restaurant,” said Cory. 

Guests staying at the hotel can enjoy the convenience of ski-in ski-out suites and rooms, complete with ski valley services for a laid-back and classy ski vacation. The hotel is also pet-friendly, so don’t leave your furry best friend behind! With marble bathrooms and private terraces in every room and suite, this property is the epitome of luxury, comfort and sophistication. 

VICEROY – Snowmass, Colorado

As Snowmass Village’s only 5-star property, this luxury hotel sets the stage for the ultimate après-ski getaway in Aspen-Snowmass. “The Viceroy Lounge is the newest addition to this wonderful property,” Cory told us. Guests can sip on drinks in the elegant lounge and grab a bite to eat after a long day on the slopes. “It’s an inviting bar that makes it easy to make new friends. They also have delicious food I was excited to try!” exclaimed Cory. Another great option for après-ski at the Viceroy is The Nest. “In the past, The Nest has been one of my favorites. I love that this bar is next to the pool and hot tub. Bonus points because the chairlift goes right over the bar,” said Cory. A great addition to The Nest is that it offers healthy eating menu items, somewhat of a rarity when it comes to quick bar snacks. With easy ski access, guests can transition from the bar to the slopes after a quick pick-me-up. During the day, The Nest offers grab-and-go items for guests on the move. 

The Viceroy does not stop at great bar options. The 7,000-square-foot spa offers a whole other layer of respite to your ski vacation. “They have an incredible array of amenities and top-quality products. This is where I send clients if they are looking for a spa getaway, whether they are staying here or not,” said Cory. Along with the elegant spa, the Viceroy offers a range of luxurious and comfortable accommodations. They have studios, residential suites, and penthouses, meaning no matter the configuration of your group, you can find a suitable place to stay. Cory continued “And of course, there is my favorite bullet point of the property – their VIP program. No that’s not ‘very important person’, it means ‘very important pets!’” They make sure that your furry friends have just as great of a stay as their human counterparts. 


The Wort Hotel – Jackson Hole, Wyoming 

Located in the heart of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this iconic property is filled with ski folklore and wrapped up in luxury. Each room is individually decorated with its eclectic flair that fits the theme of Jackson Hole well – the cowboy aesthetic. This unique property serves as the perfect base camp for adventure seekers. 

Pro Tip: Head to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar which is right next door to The Wort. Your room key gets you in free of charge! Visiting Jackson Hole without a visit to Cowboy Bar will leave you feeling strong bouts of FOMO “fear of missing out.” They have live music every night of the week and you’re sure to have a boot-stompin’ good time! Since The Wort is surrounded by a great après-ski scene, you have options. Be sure to also check out the Silver Dollar Bar, where the spirit of the old West lives on. The bar, adorned with thousands of real silver dollars, offers an ambiance that’s both lively and historically rich. 

The Sebastian – Vail, Colorado

The Gambit is a chic and cozy bar, set amidst a beautiful collection of art at The Sebastian. It offers comfortable seating, a warm ambiance and an inspiring cocktail list. Their food offerings go above and beyond when it comes to the food. Imagine delightful bites such as whipped ricotta topped with mint and chili-infused honey served with a spiced pita. The Gambit also hosts local musicians nightly. 

Pro Tip: At least once a month throughout the year, The Gambit hosts comedy nights in English and Spanish. It’s the perfect way to get some laughs out during your ski vacation! Cory shared one more tip, “The Sebastian owners are incredible art collectors and their collection is showcased throughout the property. Grab a drink and give yourself a self-guided art tour throughout the lobby and extensive property. There are incredible pieces to admire.” 



So, as you plan your next ski vacation, consider not just the slopes, but the rich après-ski culture that awaits you at the end of the day. Let Cory’s experiences guide you to your next mountain adventure. Here’s to snowy days, warm nights and the cozy après-ski moments that make winter the most magical season of all. Contact a Mountain Travel Expert today and be sure to ask about next season’s best deals!