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Awards and Accolades


#1 Resort for Families - SKI Magazine Reader Survey 2024

Ski Magazine Award

Smugglers' Notch Resort Awards and Accolades

We're honored by those who think we're the best!
The results from the 2021 SKI Magazine Reader Resort Survey are in!

Ski Magazine Awards

Thank you to all who voted us #1 in the East

#1 for Family Friendly * #1 for Local Flavor * #1 for Lodging * #1 for Overall Satisfaction * #1 for Service * #1 for Terrain

Read the complete SKI Magazine article

Listen to what SKI readers are saying!

"Perfect for families. The skiing is great and the accommodations lovely. Full kitchens and comfortable rooms with beautiful views. Can't beat it!"

"My only regret for this trip was not staying longer! We didn't want to leave!"

"The wife and I got onto the slopes together, which hadn't happened since the kids were born. It felt like a real vacation. When we picked up the kids they were all smiles and excited to tell us about learning to ski."

“Great "self contained" resort for families. - - - Offers great beginner skiing on Morse but still has some of the best steeps in the east.”

“A wonderful family resort. The staff treats you like family. Although the lifts are famously slow, the views from them are gorgeous, and the slopes are well maintained, and uncrowded, with great variety for all abilities. The cozy, comfortable, well equipped resort condos are well situated, making it easy to walk to the slopes from most, or if not, to use the free, convenient on demand shuttle bus. Plenty to do for those who don't ski, or when you want to take a day off. A great value for skiing, especially in these days of skyrocketing lift tickets prices, and a wonderful, family, traditional, non corporate atmosphere that sets it apart in a ski world of increasing consolidation and merger.”

“Absolutely love going here. Staff are warm and friendly, the ski school is top notch & there are a great deal of activities at the resort so you don't need to leave. Perfect for families. The skiing is great and the accommodations lovely. Full kitchens and comfortable rooms with beautiful views. Can't beat it!"

“Awesome resort with a small scale-local feel but many trails to explore. Advanced terrain can become extremely difficult (but fun) and will challenge even the best of skiers. Overall amazing experience this season exploring the beautiful and numerous glades while learning to snowboard too."

“Best family resort with two distinct mountain area, one for learners and one for advanced/experts. The entire resort is a safe place where your children can hop on a shuttle by themselves and you know they will make it where they need to be. There is challenging terrain but it is not the "hip" location, so it is not overcrowded. The two-person lifts may not be the fastest, but they allow you to enjoy the area, rest, and chat with a fellow skier on the way up. It is the only place in the Northeast I enjoy bringing my family to escape for a week.”

“It has the best terrain, best children's programs, best overall value. Excellent choice for families! Even the slow lifts serve a purpose - trails hardly ever feel crowded.”

Smugglers' also received top 10 ranking among Eastern resorts in the categories of snow, grooming, terrain, challenge, après, dining, on-mountain food, travel ease, accessibility, value, down-day activities, scenery, charm.
SKI Magazine - The 5 Biggest Ski Resorts in the East
Let’s face it, size matters. See how your home mountain stacks up against the biggest ski resorts in the East. — Rick Sorensen, Jun 23, 2020

3. Smugglers' Notch, VT
Say what you will about the corporate expansion and development that has come to define modern-day ski resort management. Like it or not, it has actually been important to expanding the inclusivity and accessibility of the sport we all love. With that being said, there is no denying that skiing at a truly independent mountain can feel like a breath of fresh air and serve as a nostalgic reminder of a bygone era of the sport. That’s what Smugglers' Notch is all about, and this Vermont classic has both the terrain and amenities to rival any of your favorite monster resorts.

Smuggs three interconnected peaks tout an impressive 2,610 feet of vert, 1,000 acres of skiable terrain serviced by eight lifts, and some of the best views around. Each peak offers distinct terrain catering to all skill levels. Morse Mountain is a family-friendly, green circle paradise, whereas Sterling Mountain offers blue square cruisers on end for anyone looking to step it up a notch without getting too crazy. If getting too crazy is your thing, however, Smuggs Madonna Mountain has you covered, with advanced and technical fall lines sure to challenge even the most hardcore. Think you can hang with Vermont’s best? Crank those dins and drop into Blackhole, the East Coast’s only self-proclaimed “triple” black diamond.

And there’s more to Smuggs than its objectively underrated terrain. Smugglers' Notch positively oozes Vermont charm, offers some of the best family-friendly services in the region, and most importantly, is graced with an average annual snowfall of 276 inches (not too shabby for an Eastern ski resort). You won’t find this resort on your Epic or Ikon pass but do yourself a favor and make a trip up to Smuggs this winter—you won’t regret it.
It is an honor to receive the 2019 Vermont Business Magazine Best of Business Award for Best Ski Resort! This award goes to businesses that offer the best customer service, that are willing to go above and beyond, and to pay attention to detail.

From the Vermont Business Magazine website: This awards program celebrates the best Vermont companies in more than 100 business-to-business categories. VBM readers chose the winners! VBM surveyed its magazine and digital subscribers. We asked our readers – the business leaders of Vermont – who they trust to provide their services in over 100 different categories. After nearly 13,000 votes, we compiled the go-to list in the state for everything from Best Bank and Best Public Relations Firm to Best College for an Online Degree. Some of the questions and answers were based on a regional perspective while most of the categories were looking for statewide winners.
We are proud to receive recognition as a TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Resort in addition to receiving their Certificate of Excellence. Travelers' Choice awards are the highest honor TripAdvisor can bestow. Based on millions of reviews and opinions from travelers around the world, these annual awards reflect "the best of the best" for service, quality, and customer satisfaction, from hotels and accommodations to destinations, attractions, and even brands and products. Thank you ALL for your reviews and hope to have you back soon at Smuggs!⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
Smugglers’ Ski Patrol Receives Prestigious NSP Award
The 2018 National Outstanding Alpine Patrol award is presented to a patrol that demonstrates excellence in performance, leadership at the regional, divisional, and national levels. Individual accomplishments by the Smugglers’ Patrol weighed heavy into the patrol being awarded this annual prestigious award. The list of accomplishments is long and stood above and beyond the nearest 2nd place candidate patrol.
-John Kane, Director, National Ski Patrol, Eastern Division

OnTheSnow 2016 Visitors' Choice Awards voted Smugglers' Notch the Most Family Friendly Resort in the East! Here's what they had to say about us:
"Smugglers' Notch is a year-round mountain vacation resort in Jeffersonville, over the hill from Stowe and only 30 miles east of the Burlington International Airport. If you are the nervous type, stay off The Black Hole, the only triple black diamond trail in the East, but rest assured, they have an entire mountain dedicated to green terrain as well, along with a multitude of intermediate and expert trails. Smugglers' Notch Resort covers more than 1,000 acres of accessible terrain, with over 300 acres marked and patrolled. The resort is consistently and justifiably rated as one of the top family destinations in the nation. Guests can enjoy a variety of Condominium Lodging in the Heart of Vermont's Green Mountains ranging from 1 to 5 bedroom condos. The 2,610 feet of vertical are accessed via 78 trails and 6 lifts. Skiers and riders can expect an average seasonal snowfall of 322 inches. In addition, visitors will find 58 km of cross-country and snowshoe trails."
Family Vacation Critic Top Ten Family Ski Resorts

From Family Vacation Critic's "10 Best Ski Resorts for Families in 2015/2016":

"Smugglers' Notch in Vermont is a dream destination for skiing families -- and with good reason. The resort offers several incentives for families, such as Kids' Night Out, a childcare service with dinner and activities, and a FamilyFest Package that includes lodging, lift tickets, activities and more. Children as young as 2 and a half can learn to ski, and all new skiers are placed in lessons with other children their age. When teens aren't ice-skating, snowmobiling or Airboarding, they can hang at Teen Alley, where there are video games, music, movies, organized events and new friends to meet."

Read more - Smuggs is also a pick for 10 best ski resorts in the East!

Visitors to family travel site Trekaroo chose Smugglers' as the Best Ski Resort for Families with School-Aged Kids in the site's annual Best Family Ski Resorts poll!

In 2013, Smugglers' was voted Best Mountain for Kids in Vermont Sports Magazine's annual reader survey to award the Black Diamond of Excellence!
"13 Best Family Ski Resorts for 2013"
In January 2013, family travel experts from around the country rounded up the 13 best family ski resorts in North America. Smugglers' was recommended by Mara Gorman, author of the award-winning family travel blog The Mother of All Trips

Here's what Mara had to say about Smugglers':
"Smugglers' Notch Resort is a great Vermont skiing destination for families - Smugglers' Notch Resort is tops on the East Coast for an all-around fun family New England ski vacation. The resort has varied terrain on three mountains including an extensive area full of easy, well-groomed trails and kid-friendly features like small jumps and tunnels. Instructors at the award-winning ski school are nothing short of inspiring. Stay slopeside in one of the fully outfitted condos and enjoy amenities like indoor pools and the FunZone, an enormous indoor play area. Other non-skiing activities include ice skating, tube sledding, and a year-round zip line course. New for 2012-2013 at Smuggs is the all-day snowboarding camp for 3 to 5 year olds in the Burton Riglet Park."

Family Vacation Critic Top Ten Family Ski Resorts

From Family Vacation Critic's "Ten Best Family Ski Resorts" 2012-2013:

"A family that skies together, stays together" should be the motto for Smugglers' Notch Resort, situated just outside of Stowe. Its fully equipped condos cater exclusively to families, and the lineup of activities for kids -- both on and off the mountain -- is an ideal checklist for any family-focused resort.

Pit Stops for Kids, February 2012
Family travel website Pit Stops for Kids visited Smugglers' in February 2012 with one goal: "to put Smuggs' legendary family-friendliness to the test"! Read about the experience on pitstopsforkids.com

10 top learn-to-ski and ride programs
Vermont's Smugglers' Notch Resort, rated "No. 1 Family Resort in North America" by Ski magazine for 13 years running, is New England's finest children's learning center for two reasons: its scenic beginner terrain is safely segregated on Morse Mountain (one of the resort's three peaks), and these guys know how to make if Fun.
Mountain Magazine, Resort Guide 2012

Smugglers' is included in the magazine's profile of "35 surefire, blower powder, start drooling, big winter adventures":

While Smuggs has run with its status as the most family-friendly resort in the East, only the locals know how good the steep north facing trees off the Madonna lift are. Deeper still, Smugglers' has actively opened up access for those looking to find powder in the trees. "You can hike up a little bit and ski into the Notch now," says Smuggs Heidi Noonan. "Smuggs has been really good about opening up all of that so you can ski at your own risk." Back to the families: This season a new on-snow play area developed by Burton called a "Riglet Park" introduces children ages three and up to snowboarding. A tree house in the center of the park features an elevated platform with ramps for kids to ride down. Notable: It's the second season for an eight-zipline canopy tour, the latest in a multitude of indoor and outdoor activities to keep families occupied.
50 best ski resorts October 2011, The Independent, United Kingdom
Selected by a panel of UK ski experts.
"Unless there's a special deal, I don't think there's any point going to a big-name resort for your first week," says Patrick Thorne, founder of www.thesnowhunter.com. "Similarly, I don't think you can go wrong in North American resorts for their 'we've thought of everything and we think you're great' confidence-boosting attitude. A New England resort like Smugglers' Notch in Vermont is a good choice - relaxed, friendly, affordable and not too long a flight."

Smugglers' Notch Resort was named the Northeast's most Most Family-Friendly resort by visitors to OnTheSnow.com

Orinda, California: What's the most family-friendly Northeastern ski resort according to visitors to OnTheSnow.com, the oldest and most-visited snow sports portal on the Internet? It's Smugglers' Notch in Vermont. The Web site, which attracts an audited 1.2 million individuals monthly during the winter, gave its visitors the opportunity to write reviews of all North American resorts and rank them in five categories.

Vermont Business Environmental Leader
- Recognition from the Governor's Small Business Development Center

Smugglers' is very proud to be the first resort in Vermont to receive the designation of Environmental Leader, and the second business overall in the state. The Environmental Leader designation recognizes an exemplary environmental management program focused on compliance and minimization of environmental impacts. Learn more about this award and Smugglers' Environmental Charter

Best family-friendly resorts

Smugglers' Notch, VT was #1
"Even 4- and 5-year-olds can sign on for the snowboarding camp, and the resort offers private lessons for 2-year-olds. The resort also offers weekly fireworks, winter science programs and kids' night outs. Pre-skiers ages 6 weeks to 3 years old can stay at a day-care center with a staff of 20. Teens can choose from two centers to hang out at - no parents allowed."

Smugglers' topped the list that included both Snowmass and Winter Park, Colorado.
Browse our Archive of Awards & Recognition

"The granddaddy of all family resorts"
- MSNBC.com
Vermont - the #1 U.S. destination
- National Geographic Traveler
#1 Family Resort in
the U.S.

- independenttraveler.com
"Smugglers' Notch bills itself as 'America's Family Resort' and those who've visited back-up that claim... Summer or Winter, the focus is on the outdoors with a strong emphasis on parent-child activities... and in Winter, skiing, snowboarding, tube sliding, and bonfires with hot cocoa... Smugglers' offers instructional programs and has won awards for snow-sports training, child care and more."
Panelist Pick - FamilyFun Magazine - A Disney Publication
"... it is the employees at Smugglers" - the people - who put the family in the atmosphere."
- The New York Times
"Smugglers' Notch children's programs have become the standard by which others are measured."
- Yankee Magazine
"Everything is self-contained...
you park your car... and forget about it."
- Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Magazine
"One of the best and most
complete children's programs anywhere..."
- Boston Globe
"A neighborhood of your dreams."
- Yankee Magazine
"...the perfect family resort."
- Ladies Home Journal
"Frenetic Fun, Sunup to Beyond Sundown"
- The New York Times
"...you'll be able to socialize with a lot of other families with kids of similar ages and interests."
- McCall's Magazine
Outstanding Vermont Business of the Year Award
- Vermont Chamber of Commerce
Best in the East for Families
- North American Snowsports Journalists Association
"Perhaps the most beautiful corner of Vermont."
- The New York Times
"... happy kids are Smugglers' claim to fame... Great family moments are guaranteed."
- The Tampa Tribune
"If you're looking for a vacation resort with an emphasis on family programs, top spots include Smugglers' Notch..."
- Newsweek
RCI Gold Crown Resort
- Resort Condominium International
11 time winner of the highest rating awarded worldwide!
Top 10 U.S. Family Resort
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