I’ve told you that I’m not much of a cold weather girl but there is one place that has my heart…warm or cold…Telluride, Colorado. On this blustery, ice covered day in Dallas, I think it is appropriate to tell you about this gem. My sweet husband purchased a trip at a fundraiser almost 12 years ago. I was pregnant with baby girl #2 and thought he was out of his mind! “It’s ski for me and spa for you,” he said. Well, we went that spring and then that summer…and then twice a year for 8 years. It was baby girls’ #2 and #3’s first vacation. Needless to say, Winter and Summer, it’s a great place to be.
Telluride is an amazing place for it’s beauty and remoteness. The Box Canyon offers unparalleled views. You can’t drive to Telluride from Denver for day skiing so it is almost never crowded…even at Spring Break! Once you leave “The Beach” (the base of all lifts where ski school meets), if there are 5 or 6 people in line in front of you, that’s a crowd. There are 2,000+ acres of skiable terrain. Plenty of room to roam and beauty abounds.
“Telluride” actually comprised of two towns: Telluride and Mountain Village. Telluride was founded in 1878 and at the turn of the century, more millionaires (per capita) lived in Telluride than in New York City. The Tomboy Mine (an amazing summer hike!) was one of the world’s greatest gold producers and contributed to more than $360 million dollars of gold pulled out of the area.
In 1889, Butch Cassidy rode into town and began is bank robbing career here. His take from the San Miguel Valley Bank was $24,580 and was never recovered. After mines closed in 1953, Telluride became a sleepy ghost town. (Love a little colorful history, don’t you!?!?)
Nearly 20 years later, a wealthy entrepreneur from Beverly Hills, envisioned a ski resort. His dream became reality in 1972 when the Telluride Ski Resort opened with five lifts and a day lodge. Ron Allred and Jim Wells, two Colorado natives purchased the ski area and transformed Telluride into a world-class resort through mountain upgrades, development of Mountain Village (in 1985), and the creation of innovative public transportation systems – the gondola and chondola.
From the town of Telluride at 8,750 feet, the gondola climbs 1,790 vertical feet before reaching Station St. Sophia at 10,540 feet. It’s a quiet 13-minute ride from town to town with breathtaking scenery and 360 degree panoramic views. This is a fun and easy way to get around. You really don’t need a car once you are here!
Perched at 9,500 feet, Mountain Village is an intimate alpine environment with luxury hotels and condominiums, great boutiques and fabulous dining, one of which, Allred’s, is at the top of the Gondola and offers amazing views.
All elements combine to create a modern alpine European elegance to complement the rustic charm of Telluride.
Here are a few of our favorite things about Telluride in the Winter:
Ski School – Great ski school for all ages with caring and talented instructors. They offer Private Lessons, Adult Group and Children’s Group Lessons, Mountain Guides and an Adaptive Sports Program. They offer lessons in Skiing, Telemark, Snowboarding and Cross-Country. I’m not a skier anymore, but have thought about Cross-Country. Maybe this is the year! Their Daycare for the littles is wonderful as well. I love the design of their facility because you can peek in but they can’t see you! Great for any first time daycare users.
Ski Mountain – Telluride has plenty of powder, tree skiing and steeps. This is the terrain that many people have come to associate with Telluride Ski Resort. But, 60% of the mountain is beginner or intermediate terrain: long cruisers, multiple pods of intermediate terrain, and the beginner area is large and uncrowded. Truly something for the whole family.
Restaurants: There are many amazing restaurants here. Whatever your craving, there are more than 60 restaurants to satisfy. There are no chain restaurants, stores large designer brand stores in Telluride. All boutiques and restaurants are locally owned and operated.
Here are our favorite restaurants:
Cosmopolitan: Cosmopolitan, located at the base of the Gondola in the town of Telluride, is our go to for an night out with adult friends. They have a great bar and long list of craft cocktails. Having received the Wine Spectator for nine consecutive years, you can be assured their wine list is long and varied. Chef Chad Scothorn serves up a globally inspired, locally sourced menu that will leave you dreaming of your return.
Accommodations: (There are many but these are places we have stayed or are very familiar with and can recommend)
The Peaks Resort & Spa: This was the first place we stayed and has great ski-in and ski-out access. The Peaks Resort & Spa is Telluride’s premiere full-service resort hotel. The property includes 168 beautifully appointed guest rooms including 32 suites, as well as 14 penthouse condominiums and 30 two, three, four and five bedroom mountainside cabins – all with astounding mountain views. The resort offers slopeside access in the winter and is the home to the Pro Shop for the Telluride Golf Club championship course. Onsite dining includes Palmyra, the Great Room, The Lift, Legends and Deep End Grill (summer only), as well as in-room private dining.
The onsite Spa at The Peaks Resort, at 42,000 sq. ft., is the largest spa in Colorado. The Spa features 32 treatment rooms and a variety of relaxing and rejuvenating signature treatments. The Spa also encompasses a full service salon, fully-equipped fitness center including Pilates and yoga studios, certified fitness instructors providing a variety of private and group classes, three-lane lap pool with Telluride’s only indoor water slide, indoor climbing wall, gender specific steam rooms, saunas and Roman tubs, and indoor/outdoor heated pool and hot tubs. www.thepeaksresort.com
Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge: The Franz Klammer Lodge, ideally located in the Mountain Village Core, offers a luxurious Telluride ski resort experience in the heart of one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. At the private residence club featuring two and three bedroom homes, you can enjoy exceptional comfort and luxury that only a Fairmont can provide.
Lumière Telluride: Small and contemporary by design, Lumière Telluride is an intimate and luxury boutique property located in Mountain Village with ski-in/ski-out access. Beyond the magnificent stone facade, you’ll find just 11 hotel rooms and 18 one to five bedroom residences. Lumière is conveniently located with direct ski-in/ski-out access to the base of Lower Boomerang Trail next to Lift Four.
Hotel Madeleine: From spacious guestrooms and suites, to two, three, and four–bedroom residences, Madeline Hotel and Residences offers Telluride accommodations that deliver the utmost in comfort, style and atmosphere. Every living space surrounds you in luxury with sophisticated decor and breathtaking views. They even have a small skating rink!
Inn at Lost Creek: The Inn at Lost Creek is an award winning luxury boutique hotel offering 32 unique suites, with a premiere location, one of Telluride’s best restaurants, and a team that truly loves to deliver highly personalized and quality service. This charming Inn is also considered in the Village Core – making skiing easy and accessible.
There are also many rental companies that specialize in homes and condos in both the town of Telluride and Mountain Village. We have used these as well. We like to stay in the Village Core in up in Mountain Village – meaning you can walk to ski, dine and catch the gondola to town. There is also a free shuttle in Mountain Village from homes to the Core. The Galloping Goose is the free shuttle that runs in town.
I’m spending the rest of this chilly day working on our packing list and gathering ski clothes (which the girls have all decided to test out in the ice yesterday!). Yesterday, I shared our packing list from St. Bernard Sports – our one-stop for all things sports and travel!
Where are you headed for Spring Break? I’d love to know!
PS – Don’t forget to register for a chance to win the $100 gift card from St. Bernard Sports on yesterday’s post. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the post.
Images and some info via TellurideSki.com, Telluride.com, restaurant and hotel websites