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Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is one of the top ski vacation destinations in the world. Our list includes luxury resorts as well as several affordable options. Get away for a weekend of skiing and snowboarding this winter at one of these great resorts. Ski resorts like Aspen, Snowmass, Vail and Beaver Creak are especially popular during the holiday season. It's a good idea to book your flight and room well ahead of time. If your travel plans are flexible, a mid-week ski trip is the best way to find great deals and shorter lines. Look for packages that include free lift tickets, massages and other perks.

»The Sonnenalp Resort of Vail

The Sonnenalp Resort of Vail


When you stay at the Sonnenalp Resort of Vail, you get access to 33 lifts, a luxurious spa and five star service. The hotel has 112 luxury suites and 15 rooms decorated with custom furnishings, a fireplace, living room and a large bathroom. Families who prefer to rent a condo have a choice of two- and three-bedroom layouts with full kitchens. A visit to the Sonnenalp Spa is the perfect way to end the day. Wellness Center facilities include a heated indoor and outdoor Tranquility Pool with a waterfall, whirlpools, steam room, sauna, cold plunge pool, and a spa cafe which serves healthy dishes. The Relaxation Cove at the spa has a grand fireplace where you can relax after your treatment. If you are feeling the effects of high altitude, head to the Oxygen bar. There is also a gym, spa boutique, and a Yoga & Pilates studio.

In addition to downhill skiing and snowboarding, winter activities include snowshoe tours, cross-country skiing, live music in Vail Village, tubing, ski bikes, dog sledding and shopping. Swiss Chalet restaurant at The Sonnenalp serves traditional European cuisine coupled with award winning wine. Rooms start at $615 per night, including ski valet service, access to the spa, ski concierge and Wi-Fi. The hotel is offering a new Ski Safari experience which includes 3 days of skiing with Olympian Sarah Schleper and pro skier Chris Anthony. The Ski Safari Package starts at $2,805 for two for 4 nights (866-284-4411, website). Photo: The Sonnenalp Resort of Vail

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»The Peaks Resort & Spa

The Peaks Resort & Spa


The Peaks Resort is located in Telluride Mountain Village. Enjoy ski-in/ski-out access to the Telluride Ski Area which offers 1,700 skiable acres for skiers of all ability levels. A complimentary Gondola service transports guests to the ski area and the town of Telluride. Other winter activities include heli-skiing, cross-country skiing, dog-sled rides, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. The Spa offers a full range of treatments, including massage therapies, Oriental bodywork, Ayurvedic body treatments, hydrotherapy, skincare treatments, fitness and salon services. Facilities include saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzis, an indoor lap pool connected by a water slide to the lower indoor/outdoor pool, and a fitness center. All resort guests have access to the spa facilities. Choose from guest rooms and suites, many with a terrace overlooking the mountain village or Mt. Wilson. Vacationers can also choose from one- to four-bedroom condominiums and penthouses.

There are two restaurants which offer many choices, including spa cuisine. Legends is a 100-seat restaurant with seasonal outdoor seating next to the pool. The hotel is a 10-minute drive from the historic town of Telluride. There are many activities available in the area which can be arranged through the hotel concierge. Telluride is a great honeymoon destination for couples who enjoy the outdoors. The resort is both a winter and summer destination. In the summer, play golf and explore the surrounding area. The closest airport is the Telluride Regional Airport, a 10-minute drive from the resort. The resort can arrange complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport. Rates start at $169 per night (800-789-2220, 970-728-6800, website).

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»The Pines Lodge

The Pines Lodge

The Pines Lodge is a ski-in/ski-out hotel in Beaver Creek with a a small number of guest rooms and personalized service. Stay at the hotel if you want to engage in a variety of outdoor activities, breathe clean mountain air and unwind surrounded by nature. It's easy to relax at the lodge: just head to the heated outdoor pool, soak in the Jacuzzi tub, or treat yourself to a therapeutic massage. In the winter, there is skiing, snowboarding, dogsledding, ice skating and romantic sleigh rides through the snow. In summer, the area offers 13 scenic mountain golf courses, whitewater river rafting, hot air ballooning, mountain biking and hiking.

The lodge has 60 luxurious rooms, and a small selection of deluxe condominiums and townhomes. Guest rooms have private bathrooms with a separate water closet, a marble bath area and balconies. If you are planning a family vacation and want more space, the Penthouse Condominiums and Townhomes range from one to four bedroom units with oversized living areas, full kitchens, washer/dryers, balconies, Jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces, and private outside phone lines. Grouse Mountain Grill erves game, beef, fish, and fowl in Executive Chef Rick Kangas' signature rustic style. The restaurants feature scenic views of the valley below and a very good wine list. You can also head to Beaver Creek and dine at one of the town's restaurants and lounges. Plan to spend a day or two acclimating yourself to the higher altitude before engaging in strenuous activities. Bed and breakfast rates start from $179 per night (866-605-ROCK, 970-845-7900, website). Photo: The Pines Lodge

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»The Osprey at Beaver Creek

The Osprey at Beaver Creek


Plan a winter getaway to Colorado, and stay at the elegant Osprey at Beaver Creek hotel. The hotel offers its guests ski-in/ski-out access in the winter, a gourmet restaurant and modern guest rooms. The Lounge is a popular restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It serves a tapas-style menu and offers an extensive wine list. During the holidays and other peak travel times, the Lounge offers complimentary "mixology" classes and wine tasting. The Osprey is the first new hotel to open in town in a decade. Guest rooms and suites have views of the ski slopes and the mountains. Honeymooners who like spending time outdoors can find plenty to do at mountain destinations. Room rates start at $145 per night (888-605-3405, website).

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»The Lodge at Vail

The Lodge at Vail

The Lodge at Vail has 79 luxurious guest rooms, including 46 suites with one, two or three bedrooms, each individually decorated with antiqued armoires and high backed leather chairs. Suites also offer wood-burning fireplaces and private balconies. There are two restaurants, Elway's and Cucina Rustica. The Cucina Rustica restaurant serves breakfast, lunch buffet during the ski season, and Italian cuisine for dinner. The restaurant's menu incorporates Colorado-grown produce and meats. RockResorts Day Spa offers a diverse menu of treatments. The resort is located 100 miles west of Denver International Airport with shuttle service to Vail available at the airport. Vail/Eagle County Airport is located just 30 miles west of Vail with direct daily flights in the winter from several major U.S. cities. Winter rates for a double room start from USD $495 (970-476-5011, website). Photo:

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»The Stonebridge Inn in Snowmass

The Stonebridge Inn in Snowmass


Located beneath the 14,000-foot peaks of Colorado's Rocky Mountains in scenic Snowmass Village, the Stonebridge Inn is a year-round vacation destination. Ski at Snowmass ski resort in the winter and enjoy hiking, biking and swimming in the summer. You will be ten miles from downtown Aspen, its famous shops and restaurants. In the evenings, relax in front of a fire and soothe your muscles in the heated pool, hot tubs and saunas. The hotel has 95 rooms with views of the mountains and ski slopes. The restaurant, open for breakfast and dinner, serves Rocky Mountain cuisine. Enjoy drinks and hors d'oeuvres at the bar which features an extensive martini menu. The inn is located 15 minutes from the Aspen Airport, 90 minutes from Eagle County Airport, and three to four hours from Denver International Airport. Rates start at $159 per night, depending on the season (877-347-0347, website). Photo:

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»Hotel Madeline Telluride

Hotel Madeline Telluride


Hotel Madeline Telluride is located amidst the picturesque San Juan mountain range in Telluride, Colorado. It is an ideal all-season haven for lovers of adventure and the great outdoors. The lhotel offers an array of summer and winter activities, superior spa treatments, gourmet dining, a world- lass art gallery, modern fitness center, boutiques, sports and retail shops. There are 96 upscale rooms tailored to suit guests' needs. 11 suites are equipped with a kitchenette, perfect for family travelers who like to prepare their own meals. 17 condominiums have gourmet kitchen and washers/dryers. All of the accommodations offer panoramic views of the mountains and easy ski-in/ski-out access to the slopes.

Smak bar is a favorite watering hole for apres ski refreshments, light bites and cocktails. Restaurant Rev delights guests with local dishes of elk, lamb, and beef. A five-course Italian menu with pairings of wines is offered at the new Alpino Vino restaurant. Pamper yourself at the Spa with a soothing therapeutic massage and other spa body treatments like skin and facial care. Rejuvenate your body at the hotel's state-of-the-art gym, the luxurious indoor pool, steam rooms and hot tubs. Play scenic mountain golf at the 18-hole, par-70, 6,574-yard Telluride Ski & Golf Club. While you play, you will be able to enjoy scenic sights of the majestic mountains, winding creeks, beautiful aspen-lined valleys and well-manicured fairways. The Club offers discounted greens fees exclusively for hotel guests.

The Mountain Village Ice Rink and the Hanley Ice Pavilion offer families plenty of winter fun. The hotel hosts many signature winter and summer events and outdoor adventures, such as trailing on horseback or bike, mountain treks, kid's camp, summer skills classes, skiing, skating and snowmobile outings. Take a look at this unique mountain-view wedding venue with a variety of themes and settings to choose from. Corporate board meetings, gala events and other celebrations can be held at the hotel's versatile and spacious ballrooms that can accommodate up to 200 guests. Room rates start at $159 per night (970-369-0880, website). Photo:

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»Sky Hotel Aspen

Sky Hotel Aspen


The Sky Hotel in Aspen is a boutique getaway with hip decor and ski-in access at the base of Aspen Mountain in Colorado. The property has an outdoor pool with a hot tub which remain open year-round. If you want to bring your pet along on your trip, the property is part of the pet-friendly Kimpton hotel group. There are 90 guest rooms and suites with yellow walls, white headboards and cozy pine furniture. You will get free WiFi (be sure to join the free Kimpton's loyalty program if you are not already a member). The onsite ski rental shop makes it easy to get all the equipment you need on your ski vacation. Guests also receive complimentary ski storage and boot dryers.

39 Degrees lounge has a fireplace, comfortable seating and offers dining throughout the day. The hotel has partnered with the Aspen Club & Spa to offer spa services in the hotel's massage room. Treatments to choose from include Apres Ski massage, Thai and hot stone. If you suffer from altitude symptoms, there is a spa treatment for that as well. The hotel frequently offers seasonal specials and packages. Room rates start at $239 per night (800-882-2582, 970-925-6760, website). Photo:

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»Hotel Jerome in Aspen

Hotel Jerome in Aspen


Aspen is one of the most famousski vacation destinations in the world, offering excellent skiing, a choice of restaurants, hotels and shopping. Check into this historic getaway which first opened in 1889. Enjoy spacious luxury accommodations, a grand lobby and a historic dining room. Ski on the slopes of Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass. The hotel can arrange ski and snowboard rentals. If you are new to skiing and/or snowboarding, Aspen Skiing Company offers group and private lessons, as well as half-, full- and multi-day clinics, great for the whole family.

Don't miss a visit to The Aspen Club & Spa (guests of the hotel get access). The spa offers 34 treatment rooms and a state of the art fitness center housed in a 77,000 square foot facility. Try Hot Stone Therapy after a day out on the slopes - this unique massage incorporates warm and cool stones, as well as toxin-clearing acupressure, to soothe and re-energize the body and mind. If you can't make it in the winter, no worries. Aspen is a fun place to visit year-round. There are many outdoor activities to enjoy in the summer, especially hiking surrounded by nature and fresh mountain air. Nightly rates start at $510. If you are looking for unique honeymoon destinations, this mountain town is a great choice. Book early during the holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas because the hotel is very popular (855-331-7213, 970-429-5028, website. Photo:

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»Vail Cascade Resort and Spa

Vail Cascade Resort and Spa


Located at the foot of Vail Mountain in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, Vail Cascade Resort offers its guests ski-in/ski-out access to the ski slopes. Aria Spa & Club offers a range of massages, facials, body treatments, manicures and pedicures. Fitness classes such as aerobics, yoga, and Pilates are offered at the health club which also has an indoor running track and an outdoor pool, great for a summer trip in the mountains. There are 292 rooms and 26 suites with mountain or courtyard views. Some of the suites feature a sauna, whirlpool, wet bar, and a fireplace. Ask for a mountain view. Rates start at $535 per night (800-420-2424, website). Photo: Vail Cascade Resort and Spa

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10 Great Colorado Ski Vacations



Colorado Ski Vacation Tips

Vail

Vail ski resort offers more than 5,000 skiable acres for all ability levels and remains open until April. There is a ski and snowboarding school offering group lessons and private instruction. Private lessons are offered for groups of up to six people and include quick access to the slopes via exclusive lift lines, video analysis, and the latest demo equipment at on-mountain demo-centers. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, guests can enjoy a collection of other vacation activities in the area, such as cross country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, carriage rides, and ice skating. If you are planning to visit in the summer, there are numerous outdoor activities to choose from, including golf, fishing, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, hot air ballooning, the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, and more.

Aspen

A ski vacation in Aspen does not limit you to just one mountain. You can choose from four different ski areas including: Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. The ski season runs from December to early April. In summer, the town becomes a mountain recreation destination offering biking, hiking & camping, horseback riding, tennis and golf. If you are looking for a romantic dinner than try the Wednesday sunset dinner at the Sundeck Restaurant at the top of the mountain. Enjoy music, dinner, drinks and spectacular sunsets all at 11,212 feet. The sunset dinners are offered on Wednesdays from July 6 - August 31.

The Airport is just three miles from downtown. The resort is a half-hour flight from Denver International Airport. The town is 220 miles from Denver which takes approximately three and a a half hours to drive. Getting around town is easy since most shops and hotels are within walking distance of each other and taxis, limos, and hotel courtesy vans provide service to and from the airport and around town. During the ski season, buy your lift tickets online to save time and money. At higher altitude you get a much higher exposure to UV rays than you would at see level so make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen. Also its cooler at the top of the mountain so be sure to bring a light jacket with you.

Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek's 100+ trails and lifts of diverse mountain terrain offer something for skiers of all skill levels. In the summer, the town turns onto a mountain vacation adventure destination with hiking, rafting, horseback riding, hot air ballooning, mountain biking and golf. Ski From December to April. Hike and mountain bike in July and August. Fly into Eagle County Airport or Denver International Airport. Eagle County Airport is a 25 minute drive, and Denver International Airport is approximately 2 hours away by car. Be sure to give yourself some time to adjust to the altitude before you engage in any really strenuous activity.