Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Traditional mountain lodge decor
With a huge antler chandelier, wood-paneled walls, studded leather furniture, and displayed canoe in the lobby, it’s an easy assumption that the decor throughout the hotel will be lodge-style. The mountain theme is cozy, if verging on kitschy, but the hotel manages to tone it down in the rooms, which are more understated, with plush white bedding and subdued plaid accents.
The old black-and-white photographs of skiing and mountain life that hang in the hallways provide an authentic addition to the decor. Not only are they historic, they are actually from a local family’s personal collection -- a detail well suited to the property's intimate boutique feel.
At the edge of Vail Village, with mountain views and a creek-side setting
Located right on the edge of Vail Village, the Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa is a short walk to the Vail Village main drag, Gore Creek Drive (a beautiful cobblestone road with shops and restaurants), as well as the Village ski lift, Vista Bahn.
The Vail Mountain Lodge's rooms are very nice for the price. The simple mountain decor includes a few plaid accents, leather studded chairs, and sturdy wood doors; it's not particularly luxurious, but it's homey. Large bathrooms have separate walk-in showers and soaking tubs -- and, in the multi-room units, heated stone floors. All rooms are equipped with gas fireplaces.
Technologically, the rooms are up to snuff: Wi-Fi is free, rooms have iPod docks, and the older tube TVs have been replaced with flat-screens. The lack of air conditioning can be an issue, though, especially in late summer, when upper-floor rooms can get quite warm.
While the fitness center and spa are technically part of the on-site Vail Athletic Club, access is free with every overnight stay, including all the perks -- such as use of the indoor climbing wall and the yoga studio.
An organic restaurant that is one of Vail's best
Terra Bistro is a local favorite offering fresh, organic and sustainable food. The best perk: a free breakfast with any overnight stay.
The upper-middle-range, 28-room Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa is located in a serene, creek-side spot in Vail Village, close to the Bahn ski lift. Its rooms, outfitted in understated mountain decor, have nice extras -- namely, plush beds, gas fireplaces, and deep soaking tubs. Its huge, modern fitness center is one of the best in Vail Valley, and the spa is impressive as well -- both pleasant surprises for a hotel this small. (The 25-room Austria Haus, by contrast, has no spa and a tiny, windowless fitness center.) In addition, the excellent, organic Terra Bistro is a favorite with locals as well as guests, and provides free hot breakfasts.