What Does Ski In Ski Out Mean | How Slopeside Rentals Work

When you’re the new guy to the team or the slopes, you may not know all the jargon. But don’t worry, we’ve all been there. This is the year you stop nodding yes to all the terminology thrown at you – just to look cool. By the end of this guide, you’ll understand the ski-specific terms and phrases that you need. Excited? Great, so let’s shred into it.  

If you’re new to the world of skiing – welcome. Skiing is an amazing winter sport with many ski resorts across the globe. Most ski towns and resorts are built to cater to tourists and others who travel from far to take advantage of the snow. But, if it feels like you’ve gone to the top of the slopes and entered another universe. You might have.  

You haven’t lost altitude, it’s just that the slang can sound like a different language if you don’t know what’s going on. But one strange term you may have already heard is, ‘ski in, ski out’. And although it’s not a full sentence, it will very quickly make sense.  

Ski In Ski Out Meaning 

skier does a somersault mid air

Simply put, the term ‘Ski in, ski out’ refers to the type of accommodation. You might be thinking, “Why didn’t you just say that?”, right? But there is more to it.   

The ski in ski out resort concept originated in the Alps in Europe. Most resorts have a ski hotel and ski school on-site, so you don’t have to travel far from a place to sleep since it can snow in the evenings. And it can be dangerous to drive in the snow, especially at night.   

The style of lodging at these resorts is usually small, cozy chalets similar to the ones you might find in a Swiss mountain village. They are your home away from home. These ski in ski out cabins are a little rustic, but that is the charm of an Alpine Village. 

If you stay at a ski in ski out resort you can step straight from your skiing accommodation onto the snow-capped slopes. However, there are resorts that claim to be ski in ski out hotels when, in reality, you may have to sail the seven seas before you ski the slopes.  

The best ski in ski out resorts tend to be at a higher elevation, and this allows you to get straight to skiing with no time wasted in between. 

How to Pick the Best Ski In Ski Out Resorts

Now that you know the answer to, ‘What is ski in ski out?’ You have to find the best ski in ski out for you. But where do you start? 

When you’re planning a ski trip, you will need a proper place to stay. One that checks all or most of your boxes. Most resorts offer a wide variety of accommodations that range from basic rooms like a hotel or an Airbnb. Or you can spoil yourself with one of the decked-out, 5-star luxury setups.  

There’s plenty of affordable ski in ski out resorts that cater to a range of different budgets and experiences.Each of those lodging options has different amenities and offerings that skiers might want. 

Certain things to look for in a ski accommodation are ski storage, nearby dining options, and how close your room is to the ski area or chair lift. Essentially, always opt to get a ski in ski out cabin that best caters to you and your family’s needs.

Ski In and Ski Out Benefits 

The convenience is the biggest advantage to the ski in ski out accommodation. You can sleep in and when you’re ready, step through your door onto the slopes, and away you go. Doesn’t that sound dreamy? 

wide shot of a ski village

Advantages of Slopeside Lodging 

Some skiing hotels include other facilities like pools, restaurants, and childcare. With facilities such as those, it ensures there are places close to your lodging for you and your family to relax and find entertainment when you’re not skiing. 

The beauty of a ski in ski out hotel room is that the hill is literally outside your door. And because of this, if you make the slightest effort, you can easily be the first person on the hill. No long lines or big crowds.  

You can enjoy the slopes all to yourself before the crowds come rolling in. You also won’t have to wake up hours before the sun rises to make it to the hill for opening time. You can simply slip on your boots, jump into your bindings, and hit the hill. 

If you visit the ski slopes abroad, perhaps having an all-in-one type of package will probably suit you best. This way you can save on money and time and don’t have to try to navigate the ins and outs of booking a ski holiday. 

Skiing while tired isn’t only unpleasant. It’s dangerous. By booking a ski in ski out room you won’t have to get out of bed at an unreasonable hour just to make full use of the day. Nor will you have to force yourself to stay awake for the drive back after an exhausting afternoon. By booking ski in ski out accommodation you can maximize your sleeping time and minimize your traveling time.  

With climate change, you may have noticed that there are fewer weeks of snow at certain elevations. But due to the location of these ski in ski out resorts, you are guaranteed a good amount of snow to play around in. 

Many of these ski in ski out hotels also offer several benefits including a free ski valet or ski equipment storage. This can make the process of booking in at your hotel a lot simpler and more convenient. 

And for those of you who are traveling in a big ski squad. There is no need to count heads before heading to and from your accommodation. This is definitely a helpful convenience if there are a lot of people on your ski trip or if there are varying levels of experience amongst you.  

You also don’t have to be another sheep in the herd, you can simply go back to your hotel room for a nap or a bite to eat and come back to the group when you’re ready to.  

If you are planning on taking ski lessons, you may have the opportunity to book the lessons close to or within your slopeside accommodation which will save you time.

Disadvantages of Slopeside Lodging 

ski in ski out cabins

One of the biggest issues with choosing a ski in ski out accommodation is that it can be more expensive. It may cost up to 20% more which may be heavy on your pocket. Even though there is a variety of accommodation to suit different budgets, be sure that the expense is worth it for you.  

Unfortunately, if you ski to be one with nature, ski in ski out rentals may disturb your peace. On-mountain lodging is popular with people who like to party. If you are one of those people, that’s great. However, if you need a good night’s sleep, that might be tricky.  

If you love food, ski in ski out lodgings might limit your access to other types of restaurants. While the resort lodge might have some excellent dining venues, in most cases, they rarely match the quality of the local restaurants. If you have a car, this is not an issue. However, without a car, you might have to deal with the same dining choices each evening. 

Consider what you want to be included in your ski vacation and it will help you to decide which is the best option. Do you want free equipment storage, a hot tub, free amenities? 

If you do decide on a ski in ski out ski resort there are many throughout Europe, Canada, America, and Scandinavia.

Final Thoughts on Ski Ins Ski Outs 

directional signs on a pole in the snow on a slope


You have just learned some heavy-duty ski slang, you’re officially one of the cool kids. But, more importantly, you learned that the closer you live to a ski resort, the more often you’ll be able to ski. That’s a convenience that many skiers don’t have. 

Ultimately a ski in ski out option can be more convenient and give you more time to ski or snowboard if you are willing to spend the money. But be sure to ask how far your particular room is from the slopes or the ski lift before booking. 

Ski in ski out lodgings add a degree of comfort and ease to your ski trip that other places do not. So, the next time you see a ski in ski out lodge or resort, give it a chance. You won’t be disappointed.