By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: Now that the holidays are over, we'll be travelling to Pittsburg. We want to keep our sanity if possible.

A: Right after the holidays, the anxieties that are often created when visiting family, friends and completing the last minute touches can take its toll. Not to mention the fact that post-holiday vacation planning can also have its own stresses.

Driving to Pittsburgh from Toronto will run the clock at approximately five hours on the road. So, consider driving an extra hour outside the city where the rolling snow-capped mountains await.

Nestled in the Laurel Highlands Mountains, you'll find the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa, a luxury destination resort just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Earlier this year, the members of the Zagat Survey rated the resort as "one of America's Top Resorts" while Conde Nast Traveler magazine voted the Nemacolin Woodlands as one of the Top 15 Resort Spas in North America two years in a row.

Besides the skiing opportunities which include eight downhill and 15 km of cross-country trails, the luxurious spa and two 18-hole golf course where avid golfers can still tee-up immersed in the snow, this resort promises to spoil any visiter. Owner Joseph Hardy loves the good things in life and he doesn't mind sharing some of it with his visitors.

Known to have the only curator in a U.S. resort, Hardy has an expansive art collection that is eclectic and continues to grow. As you roam through the lavish corridors, visitors can marvel at the 10 priceless Tiffany lamps, leaf through rare books on birds drawn by famed American naturalist John Audubon and even sit in an original Gianni Versace chair.

For reservations call 1.800.422.2736.


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All text & photos 2004.