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Charming resorts for new yearīs in Colorado!!


Nov 17th, 2008, 11:15 PM
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Charming resorts for new yearīs in Colorado!!


We are a couple from Mexico and planning to spend new yearīs in Colorado. We have never been there, so we need a lot of advice.

We see that there are a lot of skiing areas Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge.. so we are a little lost. We want a really nice and charming resort and at the same time very close to shops and restaurants. Not really much into skiing but want to try it, but most of all we would like a cool town with beautiful natural views.

Hope you could give us some advice!!

Thanks!! ;-)

fairy33 is offline  
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Nov 18th, 2008, 03:49 AM
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Aspen and visit the maroon bells.PAul
tovarich is offline  
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Nov 18th, 2008, 05:30 AM
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Aspen, Crested Butte, Telluride, Vail ... many good choices

One thing to consider is how you will get there, coming from Mexico. Probably simpler and cheapest to fly to Denver and drive, so Vail or Winter Park area would make sense as they are closer to Denver airport. Aspen would be a bit harder to get to, Telluride and Crested Butte much longer drives with more mountain passes.

Or you can fly into Telluride or Montrose (near Crested Butte) or Aspen, but on a smaller regional jet with fewer flight options and higher costs.

Coming from Mexico I doubt you've had much experience driving on snowy mountain roads, so I guess I'd factor that into my choice.
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Nov 18th, 2008, 06:22 AM
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Or you can fly into Telluride or Montrose (near Crested Butte)

Sorry, the closest airport to Crested Butte is Gunnison (~ 30 minutes on a level road), not Montrose ... my mistake. I've been there enough times I should have remembered it correctly
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Nov 18th, 2008, 10:42 AM
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Hi there!!

Thank you all for your advice!
I think we are going to take something closer.
As you say Bill, we donīt have any experience driving in the snow so I think itīs better go to Vail.

Probably we wont be flying from Mexico, maybe from Houston and fly directly to Denver and then drive to Vail...

Another thing is that Crested Butte seems very nice!! but I dont know if theres a very good resort there. I think there is a fly direct from Houston. It says in the webpage.

In Vail can you recomend me a hotel.

thanks ;-)
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Nov 18th, 2008, 01:24 PM
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If you have no experience driving in the snow, I'd strongly recommend you take a shuttle from DEN to Vail. It is possible that driving conditions might be okay, but it's just as likely that you'll encounter snow or possibly blizzard conditions.
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Nov 18th, 2008, 01:36 PM
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Ah, Houston makes it easier to plan. Just plugging dates into www.priceline.com to see what flights are available from Houston ... I used Dec 28 - Jan 4 (Sunday - Sunday), may be cheaper other dates.

Telluride -> 7:25 hrs $965 (via Denver)
Aspen -> 3:50 hrs $847 (via Denver)
Crested Butte -> 2 hr 30 min $395 (non-stop)

From these airports it's much quicker to drive to the ski areas and lodging than to drive from Denver airport to Vail.

As for nice deluxe lodges, Aspen has plenty of them. We don't go there often so I would leave the lodge recommendations to someone else.

In Telluride there are very nice new lodges and chalets on the hill above town. We are cheap ourselves but once in September while up there photographing aspens we snagged a real bargain deal ($99/night) on the lodge with the Golden Door Spa and it was super-deluxe (too deluxe for us, but if you want luxury this is the place). You can access the ski lifts nearby or take the gondola down the hill into the old part of town ... http://www.thepeaksresort.com/ There are others of similar quality in Mountain Village.

In Crested Butte I don't think there are as many deluxe places as at Aspen or Telluride (or Vail). We have been there mainly in July and September photographing and stayed most often at a lodge that used to be a Club Med facility, then became a Sheraton lodge, and now is called the Grand Lodge - it is fine but certainly not as deluxe as the one with the Golden Door Spa in Telluride. Many people rent chalets in Crested Butte and there are some great looking chalets in the area ... http://www.skicb.com/cbmr/grand-lodge.aspx There may be more luxe lodges but they weren't open when we visit in September.

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Nov 18th, 2008, 01:43 PM
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Fairy33 - If you don't have experience driving in snow, I agree you should take a shuttle to Vail. Take a look at http://www.ridecme.com/

I think Vail would be a good place for your visit. I have stayed there in years so I can't name a current hotel, but you might try www.tripadvisor.com and just search under Vail. Look for hotels that are in "the village." Vail is somewhat stretched out and you don't want to be at one end or another. Enjoy your trip.
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Nov 18th, 2008, 03:38 PM
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Hi, thanks!!

I think Telluride resort itīs very good, but maybe for the first time in Colorado, Vail would be a better option.

You said to book a hotel at the village! what hotels are there? I see a lot of resorts in the mountains... ;-)
Beaver Creek is close from Vail??

Have someone stayed at the arrabelle hotel or the Sonnenalp????

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Nov 18th, 2008, 05:22 PM
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The Sonnenalp Resort in Vail Village is lovely. Go to sonnenalp.com for details. I can highly recommend.
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Nov 18th, 2008, 08:25 PM
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Check the Eagle County airport very close to Vail. It has lots of flights in the winter and several coming from Texas, I believe. Also, rental cars are available.

Can't help on hotels.
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Nov 19th, 2008, 06:45 AM
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The Sonnenalp at Vail is my favorite. Beaver Creek would also be an excellent choice.
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Nov 19th, 2008, 03:08 PM
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Baeaver Creek is close to Vail??? what people mean with hotels at "the village" is that far from Vail or itīs the same place??

Do we have to schedule a shuttle from Denver to Vail???
thank you all!!
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Nov 19th, 2008, 04:07 PM
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I love Vail but if this is your first time skiing, I don't think that is the resort that I would try on my first trip. The mountain is beautiful and the runs are long but NOT where I would have wanted to learn how to ski! I do love Crested Butte. There are a couple of great B&B in town that are an easy shuttle from the mountain and I believe the shuttle runs about every 15 to 30 minutes. The town is quaint, the skiing is great and the views from the mounatain are phenomenal! The bus ride from the airport ( I believe it is Gunnison, is only about 20-30 minutes) Have fun!
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Nov 19th, 2008, 04:10 PM
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Beaver Creek is nice as well. You could fly into Vail and the shuttle is only about 30 minutes to Beaver Creek. Great mountain for beginners. This is where my children learned to ski. The ski runs are beautiful! You could take a shuttle into Vail (about 15-20 minutes) there are alot of wonderful restaurants and shopping in the village!
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Nov 19th, 2008, 04:53 PM
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Crested Butte has a brand new resort/hotel, as in just opened last year. It is on the mountain. Called the Lodge at Mountaineer Square. Go to www.skicb.com to check it out.

I think Continental is no longer flying to Crested Butte from Houston, It has gone back to American through Dallas. Apparently, Delta is also flying daily nonstops this year through Salt Lake City.

No matter where you go, I would not advise flying through Devner and taking United Express to a ski resort. Most ski resorts have direct service in the winter from either Dallas or Houston.

Crested Butte is an unbelievably charming town especially during the holidays. It's like being in a true Colorado mining town without commercialism but with some of the best restaurants anywhere. Everyone is super friendly. However, if you want a more international experience, you should perhaps go to Aspen or Vail. No matter where you go, you should make some dinner reservations in advance as the holidays tend to be very busy.

For those of you Crested Butte fans, make sure you check out cam man Robb's daily (mostly) on www.rsn.com
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Nov 19th, 2008, 06:17 PM
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Hey, Fairy...

I hate to make things even more confusing because a lot of people have jumped on the Vail bandwagon. But I (like the previous post) would not recommend it. Vail is a wonderful place to ski. For most of us locals, it can't be beat. But as a town, I think Colorado has MUCH better options. The town is very narrow, cut off by the highway, and feels a little claustrophobic. And, it's 100 miles from Denver, so it's a long drive/shuttle ride.

I think you should really take another look at Aspen. I call it the most happily situated town in Colorado. It is breathtaking. But, it is very expensive. And I have no idea what your budget it. That said, if the budget allows, you can fly from Denver to Aspen and either a) rent a car (for day trips) or b) use the bus system, which gives you access most of the Roaring Fork Valley. (And it is VERY easy. Some are even free! If I were flying into Aspen, I probably would go car-less.) The time it would take you to fly to Aspen would probably be shorter than waiting for your luggage at DIA (always a nightmare), waiting for the shuttle and then riding up to Vail. The Aspen airport is just a few miles from downtown Aspen. (A cheaper option might be to stay at Aspen's sister town, Snowmass, and take the shuttle into town when you want to go to Aspen). Flights from Denver/Aspen can be found for a song, too.

As for skiing, Buttermilk (near Aspen) would be a great beginner's slope. (Just make sure you take a lesson!) It's full of lovely groomed green hills.

Aspen's nightlife and shopping are far superior to Vail's and it sounds like you'll be wanting to do some of that, too, since you're not a huge skier. You'll find a lot of people in Aspen who aren't there for the skiing (though it's some of Colorado's best!)

I don't mean to be so down on Vail. It is fine and the skiing is great. And a lot of people are kind enough to travel to it and spend their money, so I'm grateful for the sales-tax revenue.

If you're set on flying into Denver and driving to one of the closer mountains, then look into Breckenridge. It is quite a cute town, which may offer you more diversions than skiing. (though Breck mountain is not right downtown like Vail and Aspen so you don't get that view of the skiers when you're having lunch.)

I wouldn't recommend Winter Park (where we own property. It's special to those of us attached to it, but isn't the best first impression of Colorado! Keystone, Copper, A-Basin, I would skip altogether. Telluride is a lovely town, but I don't think it beats Aspen and Crested Butte is also great -- but known more for its skiing than anything else. It's home to Colorado's "extreme skiing."

You are likely even more confused, now! That's what happens when you ask for people's opinions on Fodors!

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Nov 19th, 2008, 06:22 PM
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Fly into Albuquerque and then drive to Telluride or Durango. They are both nice little towns. Telluride is a more upscale place and Durango is a more easy going.

Both places have wonderful places to stay and eat and shop.

The drive from ABQ to Durango is 3 hours. Telluride would take about 5.5 hours.

I am local and can help with info.

I just heard that there will be flights from Mexico into Albuquerque soon.

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Nov 19th, 2008, 06:28 PM
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I have only been in Aspen but am always on the lookout for cute/charming/quaint soccer towns. I wanted to comment on this, however....(A cheaper option might be to stay at Aspen's sister town, Snowmass, and take the shuttle into town when you want to go to Aspen) While Snowmass would be cheaper, I wouldn't recommend it for someone who isn't skiing. I accompanied my husband for 3 days last winter - he was staying for a week of skiing, and I wasn't skiing. We stayed in Aspen while I was there, but spent one day at Snowmass. Aspen is a large town, with excellent lodging choices, fabulous restaurants, great shopping at all price levels, a pedestrian-only street, and the main ski mountain right in the center of town. Snowmass is a ski village, not a town. It has a few places to eat, and lots of near-mountain lodging, but it just isn't the same. It's about 20 minutes by shuttle from Snowmass to Aspen. Anyway, I would definitely recommend staying in Aspen unless you are skiing AT Snowmass.
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