In Pennsylvania, ski lodging comes in one of three basic categories:

  1. On-mountain ski resorts that offer unparalleled access, all the ski amenities, and a bona fide ski experience.
  2. Nearby lodging that caters to skiers who are looking for reasonable convenience at a more affordable price, or luxury vacation rentals usually with ski-in, ski-out access.
  3. In-town lodging that provides fewer perks but which may be the answer for vacations in which skiing is only part of the itinerary. Or, if the town has your favorite hotel with frequent stay benefits and you don’t mind leaving the mountain each night, this might provide the most bang for your buck.

Now, these three categories aren’t different than most states and ski areas, but there are some pretty stark examples in the Keystone State. And whether you’re planning a trip to one of these ski areas or a smaller mountain resort, this information should help you zero in on the best lodging for your situation and personal preferences.

Blue Knob Lodging

If you can afford it and there’s availability, the first choice for skiers is the Blue Knob Lodge itself. Other than the lodge at Blue Knob, there are few hotel-style resorts on the mountain. There are, however, a handful of chalets, or rental homes, that are available. These vacation rentals can still be affordable if you have a decent-sized party to split the cost. Otherwise, your best bet may be in Duncansville-Altoona to the north or Bedford to the south.

Blue Knob also provides a reminder that not all nearby lodging caters to skiers. We love skiing above all things, but not everybody in every state agrees. The Majestic World Lodge and Retreat is only a short drive from the mountain, but it’s most known for catering to hunters. If you’re skiing during hunting season, this lodge isn’t going to be the bargain you’re looking for.

Montage Mountain Lodging

The Montage Mountain Lodge probably offers the best ski lodging experience in the area. If you’ve visited this ski area in previous years, expect to find an entirely new lodge. Or at least it will feel new with the $3 million renovations the site has undergone. If there’s no vacancy or you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, you can find alternate lodging suggestions at the Montage Mountain website. But know this list is far from exhaustive, especially if you’re interested in exploring Scranton as well during your ski trip.

Shawnee Mountain Lodging

Here, there is no on-mountain lodging, but there is a bunch of nearby resorts and hotels that offer vacation packages with the ski area. The three places we see connected to Shawnee Mountain more than others are the Villas at Tree Tops, the Shawnee Inn, and the Wyndham Resort. But there are dozens of options nearby, some in Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg, others are to the north in Bushkill. More so than other areas we’ve visited, there is less of a connection between proximity and cost/luxury. You can find cheap motel and hotel options nearby, while many of the most upscale resorts are a little further out from Shawnee Mountain.