You know the drill: pack up the car with the sheets, spare towels, food, cooler, and of course ski gear. And why not throw in a couple of kids? The weekend trip to the mountain condo in search of some sweet snow time with the fam is all too familiar, but wouldn’t it be nice to take a break from the laborious task of bringing it all with you and splurge a little?
Colorado’s playground is full of options for some slope-side luxury, but a few gems that stand out from the crowd and offer a modern approach to the high life. One Ski Hill Place in Breckenridge, The Sebastian in Vail, and the Viceroy in Snowmass all provide ample amenities to be considered luxury resorts, but they also host some surprising additions.
Laid back Luxury
Breckenridge is already known for its laid back atmosphere and One Ski Hill Place has managed to maintain Breck’s casual flare while providing a top of the line experience for their guests. A member of the Rock Resort family, One Ski Hill Place has all that you would expect from a luxury hotel but what makes it stand out, is its ability to provide all of the perks of a luxury resort while still providing a familial atmosphere that would make any guest feel comfortable and welcome. Its ski-in-ski-out offering is by far one of the best in Colorado and it also offers a couple of unexpected perks that make your on-slope and off-slope time equally enjoyable.
Upon arrival, the Grand Living Room welcomes guests with a modern take on a classic ski lodge atmosphere; the combination of wood, stone, and leather creates a warm and cozy environment. This Colorado-chic ambiance is carried throughout the resort providing a classic but not-too-stuffy atmosphere. The staff is friendly but not overbearing and they are extremely sensitive to the kind of service you would like to receive. They are happy to accommodate any of your needs, but are also happy to take a step back if you prefer to be a self sufficient luxury traveler. The room offerings are condo style, which makes you feel at home while exploring the slopes. Studios to four bedroom options are chock full of amenities, making your stay as comfortable as possible. One of the most stunning aspects of your visit is the view as every room looks out on ski slopes or alpine forests. When booking though, try and request a west facing room as there is nothing quite like seeing the ski conditions from bed when rousing from a good night’s sleep on probably the most comfortable bed in Breckenridge.
For all of you who hate schlepping your gear from the parking lot via foot and/or shuttle, One Ski Hill Place has true ski-in-ski-out access as it is nestled directly at the base of Peak 8. Four lifts stand just a few yards from the resort allowing immediate access to Peak 8’s terrain as well as easy access to the rest of the mountain, including the newly developed Peak 6. For all of you powder hounds, be sure to take advantage of the First Tracks Friday program, a worthy perk for guests staying at the resort. Explore the mountain before the crowds and claim your turns on the fresh powder and cruisey groomers. Finish your day with a little off-slope enjoyment at The Mine Shaft, the only bowling alley in Breckenridge, located on the bottom floor of the resort. This two lane alley is available for all guests and is the perfect way to end an epic day on the mountain. Spend the evening knocking pins with your sig-other or bring the kids for a fun and slightly competitive evening activity.
The Sebastian – Vail is a breath of fresh, cosmopolitan air amidst the sometimes stale and outdated faux-swiss chalets that seem to line the streets in Vail Village. Step through its doors and you will not only be warmly welcomed by every staff member, but you can relax in an atmosphere akin to a swanky New York City hotel, nestled right in the middle of the Colorado Rockies. The Sebastian sets itself apart by offering a contemporary approach to lodging, a unique aspect to service, and a modern sense of community. The Sebastian is a true boutique hotel, offering a more tailored and unique experience than the larger hotel chains in the area. Owned by Timbers Resorts, The Sebastian has all of the amenities of a larger hotel presented in a smaller package. The hotel has a range of room options, making it easy to customize each visit to the exact needs of its guests, which is The Sebastian’s top priority.
One of the more stunning aspects of The Sebastian’s atmosphere is their art collection along with the use of their common spaces. Much of the artwork was commissioned specifically for The Sebastian enhancing every corner of the hotel with uniqueness and beauty, making it feel less like a hotel and more like a swanky apartment building. While wandering the halls of The Sebastian, guests are greeted by intricate sculptures and paintings, making even the jaunt to your room an urban adventure. The majority of the sculptures are by Leonora Carrington, a Mexican artist that The Sebastian holds in such a high regard, they have named their fine dining restaurant The Leonora. By far my favorite aspect of the hotel is the lobby. It is the crossroads where skiers, readers, diners, and staff members cross paths and the familial warmth of the space is invaluable to The Sebastian experience. Staff members are constantly walking the area, greeting guests, ensuring their needs are being met, and there is never a sense of hierarchy amongst the staff which is quite refreshing. Its almost comical, in a really good way, how attentive they are to hydrating their guests by constantly offering bottles of water. Its a prime example of the caring nature of The Sebastian’s staff.
The Sebastian is not quite slope side, but don’t let that fool you. It has a fantastic ski-in ski-out option for its guests called Base Camp. This ski valet service is located at the base of Gondola One at Vail Mountain. After a short, and very charming walk from the hotel, your skis and boots await you, accompanied by Base Camp’s expert staff who can fulfill all of your snow-sport needs. After a full day on the slopes, simply drop off your skis and boots and head back to the hotel for a little apres-ski at Frost, the Sebastian’s more casual dining option. An absolute must is Frost’s Hot Chocolate. I won’t tell you about it specifically but you are in for a visual and tasty treat!
Nestled at the base of Snowmass Mountain, the Viceroy is the ultimate luxury experience. While others may be willing to provide your every need, the Viceroy provides them without you even needing to ask. The Viceroy takes slope-side luxury to a new level. The hotel constantly exceeds its guests expectations with rooms that are both traditional and modern, a spa that is elegant yet not over-the-top, and an approach to luxury that is understated yet spot-on.
When staying at a slope-side hotel, you will likely spend the majority of your time on the slopes— unless you stay at the Viceroy. This hotel has done such a superb job with the design of their rooms that you might just want to stay-in. Even with the temptation of the mountains outside, the spectacular views, ridiculously comfortable beds and beautiful design staying-in is extremely attractive. The rooms feel less like a hotel room and more like the apartment you wish you had. Designed by Jean-Michael Gathy of Denniston International, the rooms have a warm and modern simplicity that leaves everything you need at your fingertips without adding visual noise to your visit. The atmosphere is peaceful and refined without feeling stuffy: the perfect backdrop to your mountain vacation.
In my experience, some slope-side hotels skimp when it comes to the spa; the ambiance is tacky, the staff is inexperienced, but The Spa at Viceroy tackles every last detail with graceful precision and sophisticated Colorado-charm. You can book a massage at the Spa, in your room, or even in the Colorado sunshine by the pool. All 7,000 square feet are available to enhance your visit with a little bit of pampering that you most certainly deserve.
All three resorts are well worth the extra bucks for a truly unforgettable Colorado mountain experience and if you simply can’t get enough by the end of your stay, ask how you can own your own little piece of luxury as all three have ownership options available.