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Best Ski Town Hotels to Score First Chair

At Curbed Ski, the only lines we like to encounter are our own in the snow, which means getting up early enough to catch the first chair on the lift. And like us, one thing usually tops the agenda for ski town vacationers: fresh powder. If you're lucky enough to have your trip coincide with a solid storm, staying as close as possible to the lift will make your powder day that much sweeter. Sure, there are plenty of ski-in/ski-out hotel options across North America, but these six take that luxury to another level with the easiest access of all. As always, let us know if we missed a first chair favorite of yours by emailing us here.

Sunshine Mountain Lodge
In room to on lift: 5 minutes
At Banff National Park's only ski-in, ski-out hotel, guests can take their pick from any one of the three chair lifts just steps beyond the back door. The Angel Express is exactly 15 steps from where you'll gear up and both the Mountain Standish Express and Strawberry High Speed Quad are just a few steps more to the right. And first chair here is pretty much guaranteed – the rest of each day's riders have to take the Gondola up to where you'll already be. Splurging on overnight accommodations at this eco-boutique stunner is definitely worth it.

Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
In room to on lift: 5-10 minutes (depending on room location)
Guests at the mountain gem of The Ritz-Carlton portfolio basically have run of the mountain directly located in its backyard. Not even 20 feet from the sprawling patio where ski valets are on hand, lies the Bachelor Gulch Express high-speed quad. Take your turns here on the rolling cruisers or make your way to Beaver Creek for more challenging terrain. Aside from side trips on skis, there's no reason to leave the recently renovated property. With a roaring outdoor fire pit, cozy great room, the famed Grottos and Wolfgang Puck's Spago – we never do.

The Little Nell
In room to on lift: 5 minutes
Forget first chair, it's first gondee at Aspen's famed five star property, located directly on Gondola Plaza. If you're willing to cough up the cash, the location is unbeatable and the service from the hotel's dedicated Ski Concierge team stands out. Plus, you're at the epicenter of Aspen's classic après scene – The Little Nell is home to Ajax Tavern, Element 47, Living Room and the new Chair 9 lounge.

Lumiere Telluride
In room to on lift: 15 minutes
Don't let the timestamp stray you from staying here - we've accounted for the 300 yard ski down Lower Boomerang to Chair 4. The hotel recommends departing ski valet at precisely 8:40am to snag your first chair status. Speaking of ski valet – the hotel is in official partnership with Black Tie Ski Rentals, making it pretty seamless to suit up. Aside from top of the line gear available for rent, they'll also supply you with a special "Local's Guide" highlighting powder stashes, tree runs and infamous steeps.

Hotel Terra
In room to on lift: 10 minutes
With the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram just 100 yards from the LEED certified property, this location is unparalleled on a powder day. Take it to the top and hit the Rendezvous Bowl before the masses arrive. After a day skiing the steep and deep, you'll find relief in Hotel Terra's infinity hot tub overlooking the base village while planning your next day on the slopes.

Summit Hotel Big Sky
In room to on lift: 10 minutes
Big Sky might not have the five star options like other resort towns, but the short lift lines more than make up for it. You're here to ski after all and the slopeside Summit at Big Sky is where to stay. It's luxurious enough for both Obama and Biden – both of whom have called the euro-western resort home. The Swift Current chair – the mountain's main access to Lone Peak – is just 100 yards away.

Stein Eriksen Lodge
In room to on lift: 5 minutes
As Utah's only Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond hotel, Stein Eriksen Lodge is arguably Park City's best resort for ski-in/ski-out access to Deer Valley Resort. Situated just 20 feet from the Sterling Express, guests can get to the top of Bald Mountain in record time. With a full-service ski locker room and ski valets, you'll have everything you need to ski like Stein himself.

· All Hotels Week 2014 Coverage [Curbed Ski Archives]