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Best ski resorts in Colorado for everyone from beginners to experts

Best ski resorts in Colorado for everyone from beginners to experts

There’s nothing quite like skiing the Colorado Rockies, home to some of the weightier ski resorts in Colorado, and arguably North America as a whole.

Whether you are an expert skier or just starting out, there’s a mountain for everyone. All the ski towns in Colorado have their own unique personalities — some that cater to singles and others that rank among the best family ski resorts. And for those who get multimountain season ski passes like the Epic, Ikon or Indy, there are plenty of opportunities to hop from one mountain to another.

Many of Colorado’s ski towns are unquestionably old mining towns and still have a unrepealable rustic character, plane if they moreover have some of the state’s weightier restaurants and shopping — plus the very ski slopes themselves. Whatever your vacation preferences or your level of skiing ability, there’s a unconfined ski resort in Colorado for you. Here are some of the best.

Recommended: The weightier travel credit cards

Vail

If you are seeking an iconic Colorado ski experience, squint no further. Vail is the quintessential Colorado ski resort that others have been modeled on. The resort traces its roots when to a group of skiers from the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division who would sooner go on to unshut the resort as a vacation destination in 1962.

Today, Vail’s 195 trails on a whopping 5,000 acres offer a little bit of everything for all types of skiers — beginner runs off the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola to black-diamond expert runs in its legendary When Bowls. And the surrounding town has a handful of swoop bars mixed in with all the upscale dining.

For a detailed squint at this posh ski town (it plane has heated sidewalks), trammels out our comprehensive guide to Vail. Or squint unelevated for some of the highlights.

Where to eat

Apres-ski has long centered virtually The Red Lion, steps from the wiring of the mountain. But there’s increasingly to this town than just beer and nachos. Sweet Basil has helped set the standard for high-end dining in Vail since 1977 and is now joined by many other unconfined restaurants. One of the trendier entries is The Slope Room at one of the town’s newest hotels, Gravity Haus Vail.

Where to stay

There’s no shortage of hotel and home rental options here. Some are steps from the slopes and others, like the Highline Vail – a DoubleTree by Hilton, are unconfined uses of points but require a shuttle bus. There are plenty of World of Hyatt properties, but points availability can be a rencontre and many, under the Destination by Hyatt brand, are closer to individual timeshare units for rent than a full-service hotel.

The Grand Hyatt Vail is a unconfined value but note that the ski-in, ski-out full-length only works if the chairlift near the hotel is operating — something that doesn’t happen early or late in the season when there isn’t unbearable snow. Flipside consideration is that Epic Pass holders receive an spare 20% off Vail-owned properties — not to mention passholders have the flexibility to go where the snow is!

Whether you’re looking for the convenience of a ski-in, ski-out hotel or to be centrally located in town, here are our top Vail hotel picks.

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Rates at Sonnenalp Vail start at $649 per night in January, based on double occupancy.

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Rates at Four Seasons start at $1,240 per night during ski season, based on double occupancy.

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Rates at The Hythe start at $582 or 89,500 Marriott Bonvoy points per night during ski season, based on double occupancy.

Related: TPG’s review of The Hythe

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Rates at The Arrabelle start at $899 per night in January, based on double occupancy.

Beaver Creek

Just a few miles lanugo the road from Vail sits its sister resort, Beaver Creek. This is a increasingly modern, posher version of Vail — if you can believe it. Take those heated outdoor sidewalks and add an escalator to help you get up to the slopes. Like we said, posh.

The eyeful of stuff slightly newer (its first ski season was in 1980) is that increasingly true ski-in, ski-out hotel options exist here. Plus, there are plenty of luxurious extras, such as the free, warm cookies handed out at 3 p.m. every day at the marrow of the Haymeadow and Centennial Express lifts.

The mountain was intentionally designed to get new-to-skiing learners up the hill faster to enjoy the real thrill of the mountains, so the beginner-friendly runs are not all clustered virtually the wiring area. But that doesn’t midpoint there aren’t plenty of challenging trails. The resort is known for its Birds of Prey World Cup downhill ski course, which should be an venture plane for the most experienced skiers.

Where to eat

There are plenty of fine dining options here, but for a truly unique experience, snag a reservation at Beano’s Cabin. This spot is set upper up on the mountain within the White River National Forest. In winter, guests victorious via sleigh, making the motel a destination in itself. And if you want a dinner on the mountain with just a la carte instead of fixed-price menus, opt for Allie’s Cabin instead.

Where to stay

Like in nearby Vail, Beaver Creek has a myriad of high-end accommodations to segregate from that are within walking loftiness or a quick shuttle ride from the slopes. Of course, for many, proximity to shops and restaurants is moreover a key factor when deciding where to stay during a ski vacation.

While Beaver Creek’s reputation is a increasingly luxurious volitional to the nearby (and once luxurious) Vail, the village is smaller, which makes getting virtually by foot or shuttle easy, regardless of where you’re staying.

Here are our top picks for the weightier hotels in Beaver Creek for your next ski vacation.

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Rates at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek start at $1,095 or 45,000 points per night during ski season, based on double occupancy.

Related: TPG’s review of the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek

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Rates at the Ritz-Carlton start at $842 or 95,000 points per night in January (although typical prices exceed $1,000), based on double occupancy.

Related: TPG’s review of The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch

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Rates at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa typically start at $449 or 88,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night — which is quite reasonable by Beaver Creek standards — based on double occupancy.

Aspen Snowmass

Nothing quite evokes the idea of a fancy, over-the-top ski vacation like Aspen. And while there is tons of wealth in this ski town, there are moreover some increasingly relaxed spots that make this a unconfined destination for all skiers.

The first thing to know well-nigh Aspen Snowmass is that it is unquestionably four unique ski areas currently totaling over 5,500 acres, all unfluctuating with a single lift ticket. But this season, thanks to the installation of a new high-speed quad and a major terrain expansion, this number will increase by 20%, and the number of skiers that can wangle the terrain will moreover increase. And while all four mountains are linked by a bus system, travel times can still be 30 minutes or more. So it’s important to think a bit well-nigh which particular part of the resort you want to ski in when mapping out accommodations.

In the heart of town is Aspen Mountain, often referred to by locals as Ajax Mountain. Nowhere else can you have a gourmet lunch, get in a run or two and then walk to some of the weightier ski-town shopping. Be warned: This mountain is not for beginners and has limited intermediate trails.

Aspen Highlands is yonder from the whoopee but is a destination in itself. The zone is famous for its Highland Bowl, a hike-to ski zone with epic runs and wondrous views. Beginners, this isn’t the spot for you. Buttermilk Mountain is the weightier place for novices. It’s got plenty of gentle runs and a unconfined ski school to help you make the perfect turn.

Snowmass Mountain is the largest of the four ski areas in Aspen. In fact, it has increasingly terrain than the other three combined. The mountain has its own little village, plenty of ski-in, ski-out hotels and trails for all levels of skiers. It’s a unconfined wiring for those who want to ski often and don’t mind the ride into town for dinner or shopping.

Where to eat

In the town of Aspen itself, enjoy the Swiss-skewing French fare at French Alpine Bistro, light nouvelle Japanese cuisine at Matsuhisa or sizzling steaks at Steak House No. 316. For a true gourmet wits featuring seasonal Colorado ingredients, throne to The Little Nell’s Element 47.

Where to stay

Travelers to Aspen have plenty of lodging options but often gravitate toward the Snowmass zone or the town of Aspen itself, within walking loftiness of Ajax. For those who like to alimony tabs on new happenings in ski country, Aspen will be debuting a new shop hotel — the Mollie Aspen — superiority of the 2023-24 ski season.

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Rates at W Aspen start at $1,273 or 89,500 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, plus a $50-per-night resort fee.

Related: TPG’s review of the W Aspen

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Rates start at $1,328 per night, although rates in January reach $16,000 on unrepealable dates.

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Rates start at virtually $1,800 per night during ski season, but are often closer to $2,700.

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Rates start at $1,567 or 116,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night during ski season on select midweek dates.

Related: TPG’s review of The St. Regis Aspen

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Rates start at $750 per night during ski season.

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Rates start at $692 per night during ski season on select mid-week days.

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Rates start at virtually $775 per night during ski season on select mid-week days.

Telluride

If you want to get yonder from it all, squint no remoter than Telluride. This remote ski town in western Colorado offers an escape from the crowds that can overrun other resorts. But be warned: Getting here isn’t easy. Most people fly into Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ), but that’s still 65 miles yonder from the resort.

Once there, you will be rewarded with the charms of a Victorian mining town that has all the modern comforts but embraces a slower way of life. In fact, the unshortened town was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961.

The historic town and the “Mountain Village” at the wiring of the ski resort are separated by a mountain ridge. Luckily, a self-ruling gondola can transport skiers and non-skiers between the two throughout the day. It opens at 6:30 a.m. daily and closes at midnight. The ride takes well-nigh 13 minutes.

This is a increasingly intermediate and wide mountain, known for some of Colorado’s weightier in-bounds and hike-to skiing. But there are unbearable beginner runs to alimony the whole family entertained, too. Here’s how we’d plan a perfect ski day in Telluride.

Where to eat

You’re going to work up an want on the slopes, so when it comes time to eat, 221 South Oak is perfect for a hearty meal with plenty of options for vegetarians. Pick Siam for spicy Thai options to help you warm up. Baked in Telluride serves succulent morning pastries while There is the spot for a unstudied undercurrent with a unconfined cocktail selection.

Where to stay

The first visualization any group needs to make is where to stay: in town or in the Mountain Village. The Mountain Village has increasingly of a ski-resort feel, with large hotels and luxury condos surrounded by the ski area, while Telluride itself is an old mining town with a small-town vibe, well-constructed with plenty of restaurants and lodging options.

The ski resort can still be accessed directly from town, and there is a self-ruling gondola that connects the two. Telluride is a largest option for those who want to be tropical to a lot of bars and restaurants.

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Rates typically start at $703 per night midweek in January.

Related: TPG’s review of the Dunton Town House

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Rates start at $990 per night, based on double occupancy.

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Rates typically start at $1,685 for two nights, which is the minimum stay that can be booked at Lumiere.

Breckenridge

This is the ski resort for those who don’t want the over-the-top luxury of Aspen or Vail and are seeking something increasingly authentic. People come to Breckenridge to let loose, have a good time and enjoy one of the highest-elevation ski areas in Colorado. In fact, that can be a rencontre for those who get upland sickness, given the wiring zone is 9,600 feet whilom sea level and the summit of the ski zone is 12,998 feet whilom sea level.

Breck — as most people undeniability it — covers five peaks with mostly intermediate and expert terrain. Well-nigh 40% of the mountain is whilom the tree line, offering skiers self-ruling reign on wide-open bowls and snowfields versus a scenery of Colorado’s stunning snowcapped peaks. But just considering there is a lot of big mountain terrain at Breck doesn’t midpoint there aren’t moreover beginner-friendly options. Both peaks 8 and 9 at the resort offer unconfined terrain for learning to ski and ride, and at Peak 8 the resort has recently upgraded two lifts to high-speed quads and widow a new ski and snowboard school learning area.

The resort has been undergoing some spare changes in recent years. In fact, new for the 2023-24 ski season, Breck will be replacing the 5-Chair at the wiring of the famed Peak 8 with a new, high-speed quad, increasing uphill capacity.

Another factor in its favor? The town is one of the closest big ski towns when driving from Denver and offers plenty of low-key restaurants, bars and stores.

Where to eat

Start off with hamburgers that are routinely voted the weightier in the county at Empire Burger. For something increasingly upscale, trammels out Hearthstone Restaurant, which has been serving up Rocky Mountain specials in a Victorian-era home since 1989. This is the place to go for steak, elk or Colorado lamb. Flipside downtown mainstay is Giampietro Pasta & Pizzeria, which has been helping skiers carb up since 1963. And for something completely different, try one of the newer spots in town, the Breckenridge Distillery Restaurant — come for the cocktails and stay for the food.

Where to stay

Breckenridge doesn’t have the same quotient of ski-in, ski-out lodging as other resorts. But that’s fine since hotels here tend to be increasingly affordable than at neighboring resorts but are still hands wieldy from the slopes, with many within walking loftiness of a lift or a self-ruling bus or gondola ride away.

Of course, this comparison is to the most peerage resorts in the state, like Vail and Beaver Creek. There are still several options, like the Gravity Haus, that are either within a few minutes’ walk of the lift or a quick (free) shuttle ride away.

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Rates vary, but rooms can be booked at virtually $700 per night midweek in January (some dates exceed $800), based on double occupancy.

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Rooms can be booked for as low as $390 per night midweek during ski season, although many nights exceed $550, based on double occupancy.

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Rates start at $452 per night, based on double occupancy. At the time of publishing, the hotel was not unsuspicious Bonvoy point redemptions.

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Rooms start at $376 or 54,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, based on double occupancy.

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Rates start at virtually $600 per night during ski season with a two-night minimum, plus a $150 cleaning fee.

Steamboat Springs

Dubbed “Ski Town USA,” Steamboat offers a little of something for everybody. The town, like so many others in Colorado, can trace its roots when to the Old West and has maintained some of that architecture. It’s well-nigh a three-hour momentum from Denver (in good weather), or you can fly into Yampa Valley Regional Airport (HDN), which is well-nigh 40 miles yonder and gaining increasingly nonstop flights each year.

This winter, Steamboat is set to well-constructed a three-year, $220 million redevelopment project — the largest in the resort’s recent history. Not only does the redevelopment include a 655-acre terrain expansion, making the resort the second largest in the state, but it moreover includes the installation of the fastest and longest 10-person gondola in North America, the Wild Blue Gondola.

One of the unconfined things well-nigh Steamboat is its relatively low elevation: The wiring of the slopes is just 6,900 feet whilom sea level, making it much easier to ski for those prone to upland sickness.

Steamboat is moreover known for snow with lower water content than on some other mountains, creating light, fluffy powder you don’t have to fight with. In fact, the resort has trademarked the phrase “Champagne Powder.”

Where to eat

Steamboat Springs is a relatively tiny city, but that doesn’t midpoint you can’t fill up on good grub. Stop by Aurum for happy hour deals and fresh, seasonal American cuisine. Chef Kate Rench creates fanciful feasts where the menus transpiration equal to the season at Cafe Diva, which moreover boasts an impressive wine list. Sauvage serves trendy French-fusion fare, while those who just want some unconfined Mexican supplies should typesetting a table at Salt & Lime.

Where to stay

There are a handful of unconfined hotel options for a Steamboat Springs ski trip. Like most Colorado ski towns, there are self-ruling ski equipment-friendly shuttles that run virtually town and to the resort from most of the hotels, making the hotel’s word-for-word location less of a factor.

Of course, ski-in, ski-out hotels like the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas have the goody of not having to deal with transportation, but there’s something to say well-nigh hotels, like the Residence Inn by Marriott, that are nestled in the heart of Steamboat Springs, steps yonder from shops and restaurants.

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Rooms start at $615 per night during ski season, based on double occupancy.

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A studio typically starts at virtually $575 per night, although lower rates can be found if dates are flexible.

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Rates at the Residence Inn by Marriott start at $251 or 46,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, based on double occupancy.

Best credit cards for booking ski hotels and resorts

There are increasingly than a dozen excellent travel rewards credit cards out there for hotel stays. The right one(s) for you will depend on if you’re loyal to a particular program or chain, whether you want premium perks and if you value benefits like annual self-ruling nights, will-less elite status and lucrative earning rates.

Here are three unconfined credit cards to use for booking stays wideness a variety of hotel villenage and self-sustaining properties while still enjoying money-saving features and high-end benefits.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Earning rates: This vellum earns 5 points per dollar on airfare purchased directly with the airlines or through the Amex Travel portal (on up to $500,000 of airfare purchases per timetable year). Plus, you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar. Remember, Amex points transfer to Hilton Honors at a 1:2 ratio, to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1 ratio and to Choice Privileges at a 1:1 ratio, and there are sometimes transfer bonuses.

Benefits: This vellum is veritably packed with perks, but among the travel-related ones you’ll want to maximize, including some hotel-specific benefits, are:

  • Up to a $200 yearly hotel credit, in the form of a statement credit, on prepaid Amex Fine Hotels Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings with Amex Travel when you pay with your Amex Platinum (Hotel Collection stays require a two-night minimum)*
  • Access to Amex Fine Hotels Resorts and The Hotel Collection
  • Complimentary Gold status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy*
  • Up to $200 in statement credits annually for incidental fees charged by one airline you select*
  • Up to $200 annually in Uber Cash, valid on Uber rides and Uber Eats orders in the U.S. (split into monthly $15 credits plus a $20 bonus in December)*
  • Up to $189 in statement credits to imbricate your Clear Plus yearly membership*
  • A $100 statement credit for Global Entry every four years or an up to $85 fee credit for TSA PreCheck every 4½ years (depending on which using fee is charged to your vellum first)
  • Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, including Centurion lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Airspace lounges, Escape lounges, Plaza Premium lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (when traveling on same-day Delta flights, limited to six yearly visits from Feb. 1, 2025)*

*Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Annual fee: $695 (see rates and fees).

Read our review of the Amex Platinum card.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Earning rates: Earn an unlimited 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel and an unlimited 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases.

Benefits: Cardholders get up to $300 annually for bookings made through Capital One Travel, plus 10,000 bonus miles every worth anniversary, starting on your first year-end (worth $100 toward travel). Through the Capital One Premier Collection, cardmembers can enjoy self-ruling breakfast, on-property credits and room upgrades (if available) on stays at participating properties booked through Capital One Travel. They moreover receive up to $100 in statement credits for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

Annual fee: $395 (see rates and fees).

Read our review of the Capital One Venture X.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Earning rates: This vellum accrues 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase travel portal, on Lyft purchases (through March 2025) and on Peloton equipment and whatsit purchases of $150 or more (through March 2025, with a limit of 25,000 bonus points). It moreover racks up 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 2 points per dollar on all travel not booked through the Chase travel portal; and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Benefits: Cardholders receive a $50 statement credit on hotel stays purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal upon opening the vellum and each pursuit cardmember anniversary. They moreover receive a 10% bonus based on their total spending during the worth year-end year at a rate of 1 point for each $10 spent. This vellum moreover has some of the weightier travel protections in the industry, including trip receipt insurance, trip wait insurance and primary rental car coverage, among other policies.

Annual fee: $95.

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Related reading:

  • Key travel tips you need to know — whether you’re a beginner or expert traveler
  • The weightier travel credit cards
  • The 18 weightier places to travel in 2023
  • 6 real-life strategies you can use when your flight is canceled or delayed
  • 13 must-have items the TPG team can’t travel without
	
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Working with 360i and Tourism New Orleans we were lucky enough to return to Louisiana, staying through the Mardi Gras season. We created and shared content on our social channels while promoting the #followyourNOLA tag.


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