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In addition to number of beds and baths, whether there is a coffee maker or blender, and if you need to bring your own sheets and towels, there are other issues that will influence how much you enjoy your stay:

Mountain vs. Valley
Wintergreen consists of two resort areas, the Mountain Resort and Stoney Creek. Stoney Creek is located next to Nellysford in the beautiful Rockfish Valley and extends well into the foothills of Crawford's Knob, giving many homes a "mountain feel" without having to drive on mountain roads. Compared with the valley, the mountain resort is beginning to feel crowded, with over a hundred new homes currently under construction. Mountain lots are typically around .5 acre while valley lots are about 5 acres. The mountain gets more snow and is more likely to get fogged in when the clouds drift over the mountain tops. Homes on the mountain are closer to the mountain amenities, but those in the valley are more convenient for exploring other area attractions.

Air Conditioning
Most of the houses at the mountain resort are not air conditioned.  Most of the condos are.  Condos have limited exposure that keeps natural breezes from circulating through them.  Houses usually have exposure in all four directions, so they get good airflow regardless of the direction of the breezes.  Temperatures on the mountain are typically 10 to 15 degrees cooler than in the valley, so the air is generally comfortable, even when valley temps are in the ninety's. Valley houses typically are fully air conditioned.

Some accomodations, both houses and condos, are in densely populated areas...others are relatively more isolated. Ask yourself if you want to be in the thick of things or if you prefer to be more secluded.

The closer you are to a main road, the more traffic noise you will hear. Construction and delivery vehicles make lots of noise, especially as they shift gears on hills and curves.

There are still many new houses being built at Wintergreen, especially at the mountain resort. If you happen to be next door to a construction site you may be awakened early in the morning by the whine of power saws or the pounding of a team of roofers.

Wintergreen's Mountain Resort is built on a mountain. Consequently, many houses (and especially condos) may be separated from the parking area by dozens of stair steps. Some are uphill from parking and some are downhill, but you will have to climb both ways many times during your stay. If stairs could be an issue for you, be sure to ask about access to the unit you are considering.

Proximity to the Slopes
The closer your accomodations are to the slopes, the more likely you are to hear the all-night buzz and rumble of snow-making and grooming equipment. Many of the slopes are brightly lighted until late at night, making star gazing next to impossible. If you select "ski-out/ski-in" accomodations, make sure that the adjacent slopes are the right level of difficulty for your group...many condos have access only to black-diamond slopes.

Wild Life
Wild life tends to shy away from densely occupied areas.  There are more varieties of wild life to be seen from the deck of a house in the woods than from the balcony of a condo.

Hot Tubs
Hot tubs require a great deal of maintenance, which adds to the rental cost.  They also pose a danger to unsupervised small children, and, when combined with alcohol, may put people with certain medical conditions at greater risk.  If your rental doesn't have a hot tub and you have an irresistible urge to soak, there are several hot tubs at the Wintergarden Spa, both indoors and out.

Rental Agents
If you don't rent directly from a property owner, you will almost certainly pay more.  Rental agents add their commission to the cost of the rental.  Even if they offer a "package" with a combination of lodging and discounted activity, you will probably be better off with direct rental.  It pays to compare.

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copyright 2005, 2006, 2007 Jesse Blatt & Katie Moran