Aspen is the most buzzed-about, see-and-be-seen spot each winter, with the likes of the Kardashians, Kate Hudson and her family, and so many more holding court. But for stars and execs who wish to ski or snowboard in relative peace, these three other Colorado destinations beckon with charming mountains and new luxury après-ski offerings.
Leading up to its 60th anniversary next season, the 4-by-7-mile home of the Epic Pass (and the state’s largest ski resort) is focusing on its history. Vail’s refreshed Legacy Hut warm-up area is the place to catch a gratis themed Mountain Tour on skis — one that incorporates stories about the naming of trails, straight from the mouth of a veteran old dog mountain host. New informational signs across the mountain — 5,200-plus acres including a legendary seven back bowls and remote backcountry-feeling terrain — also allow skiers to enjoy a self-guided version. And get a dose of cuteness at Henry’s Hut, named for Vail’s first avalanche rescue dog and the spot for impromptu visits from the furry crew.
The new Hythe Vail (from $699 per night), a Luxury Collection Resort, pays homage to the origin story of the resort, which was founded in 1962 by two World War II vets from the Army’s 10th Mountain Division who’d been inspired by the European ski towns they saw during their tours. Opened in November, the 344-room hotel is a $41 million reimagining of a former Marriott that honors its past with its Colorado whiskey-focused 10th Mountain bar and cozy-chic Margie’s Haas restaurant (named after a home cook who fed much of the 10th Mountain Division in her home after World War II began). The eatery features contemporary Alpine cuisine with hearty German and Tyrollian touches.
The main lobby at Vail’s new The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, which opened in November and includes 344 rooms and suites.
Courtesy of The Hythe
Hythe’s partnership with Adventure IO includes extreme sports expeditions hosted by pro athletes as well as mushroom foraging and distillery tours, while the can’t-miss Well & Being Spa features treatments alongside an oxygen bar, Himalayan salt lounge and slew of other reinvigorating DIY modalities in the Recovery Lounge.
Also refreshed is the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail (from $1,600 per night), which recently completed a renovation and added several new private residences, each a sumptuous ski chalet with distinctive personality and plenty of original art, unlike most cookie-cutter residences. There’s nowhere as covetable as the fire pits on the deck of the property’s Remedy Bar, perfect for après elixirs plus refueling fare.
A six-bedroom residence at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail.
Though for almost 50 years it’s boasted a key film festival, this mining town turned ski resort is far from the madding crowd most of the year, even if it does count Jewel, Jerry Seinfeld, Tom Cruise, Neil Young and Oprah Winfrey as current and former residents.
A true gem is the freshly reimagined Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection (from $1,099 per night), where Catt Sadler stayed last summer. The update walks a line between cushy, elegant and Instagrammable, from public spaces like the indoor-outdoor Timber Room — where every guest should cozy up to the bar for a platter of venison and roasted veggies plus spiced Old Fashioned at least once — to the 83 guest rooms redesigned by Rose Ink Workshop.
The Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection, in Telluride.
Auberge Resorts Collection
From Jan. 21 to 23, the Madeline hosts an Athlete Adventure Weekend in partnership with Eventus Outdoors and Revelshine, including fireside chats and once-in-a-lifetime excursions — think ice climbing, snowshoeing, side-country skiing and heli-assisted touring — with pro athletes such as rock climber Emily Harrington, snowboarder Jeremy Jones and skier Michelle Parker (all-inclusive pricing goes up to $12,000). Wellness is a focus at Madeline as well, with a Free People Movement pop-up, anti-inflammatory CBD spa treatment and in-room guided sleep meditations from RESET, which is also launching a super-high-end wellness and trekking retreat in May with accommodations at the Madeline. (RESET retreats start at $10,000 per guest.)
On the mountain, there’s been a continued investment in snowmaking infrastructure, and this season saw the opening of Grouse’s Glade, a new tree-skiing area off Chair 10. (This summer a new high-speed chairlift will be added.) For more adventurous types, there’s heli-skiing with Heli Trax and other outfitters.
In town, LittleHouse is a cool new eatery with a New Orleans flair and Creole-inspired cuisine, from the team behind Telluride’s The National restaurant.
The Telluride gondola, which flies past the Madeline hotel.
Courtesy of The Telluride Mountain Village
This season marks the 60th anniversary of Breckenridge Ski Resort, the first major Colorado resort to open its mountain to snowboarders and one known for long-running seasons, usually through Memorial Day. Sevens Restaurant in the charming Gold Rush town is celebrating with a $60 Wagyu burger with foie gras butter and shaved truffles among other mouthwatering offerings. There’s also a new Freedom SuperChair that’s opened up more wide, rolling terrain on Peak 7.
The burger at Sevens in Breckenridge.
For fun and funky accommodations, Gravity Haus Breckenridge is the latest ski-in/ski-out boutique bolt-hole in town, with a popular restaurant, Cabin Juice. This winter they’ve debuted three slopeside 16-foot Snow Cabanas, at the base of Peak 9, which can be reserved for après and dinner.
A Gravity Haus Breckenridge snow cabana.