If you're planning to hit the slopes in Colorado this winter and are looking for a place to stay, you can't do much better than these gorgeous ski resorts. They embody everything a person wants out of a ski resort -- think: handsome lodge decor, cozy apres-ski bars with roaring fires, sophisticated rooms, and first-rate services. If that sounds like your idea of a ski vacation (it sure works for us), take a look at our picks; these 11 gorgeous spots may solve all your planning woes.
Four Seasons Resort Vail
The Four Seasons Vail opened in 2011, and is one of the area's top hotels. All the rooms have warm colors, stone fireplaces, balconies, and huge marble bathrooms with standalone soaking tubs, and almost every amenity impresses, particularly the upscale spa (one of the best in Vail Valley) and lovely outdoor pool area. But it's not directly on the slopes -- guests face a 10-minute walk, or a short hotel shuttle ride.
Viceroy Snowmass, Snowmass Village
Viceroy Snowmass is easily the most luxurious resort in Snowmass Village, and is packed with top-notch amenities, including a 7,000-square-foot spa with stunning relaxation room, a solid fitness center with modern Technogym equipment, and a lovely pool area with heated saline pool, cabanas, and fire pit. It also offers phenomenal ski valet service (valets will take care of everything from scheduling lessons to putting your boots on for you), plenty of children's activities, and a prime ski-in, ski-out location. There's a daily resort fee, and you'll have to pay for valet, but that's to be expected at a resort of this caliber.
The Arrabelle at Vail Square, a RockResort
This rustic-luxe, chalet-inspired lodge is one of Vail's premier options, with a location in the heart of Vail Square, near the Eagle Bahn lift. The 62 luxurious rooms feature massive bathrooms, stone fireplaces, and scenic balconies, and both the lavish spa and rooftop lap pool pack serious wow factor.
Lumiere Hotel, Telluride
This stylish boutique hotel offers some of the most luxurious accommodations in Mountain Village. Handsome hotel rooms and condo-style units (with up to four bedrooms) offer a sophisticated, modern take on mountain decor, and all come with kitchenettes or full kitchens, as well as decadent bathrooms. It's a small property, with only 29 rooms, and the amenities don't compare to those at the enormous Peaks Resort, or to those at the comparably luxurious Hotel Madeline. But there is a cozy on-site bar serving sushi, a fitness center (though it's a bit dark, and has limited equipment), a tiny outdoor pool, and a Jacuzzi. There's no full spa, but the property does have a single massage room, and in-room treatments are available.
Hotel Jerome, an Auberge Resort, Aspen
The Hotel Jerome is a piece of Aspen history. It was first opened in 1889, and underwent a massive renovation after its acquisition by Auberge resorts in late 2011. Its celebrity clientele, handsome rooms, fine dining and iconic bar help secure its place as one of Aspen's top luxury resorts.
The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Vail
The Ritz-Carlton Residences are easily among the most luxurious private condo rentals in Vail Valley. The amenities are top-of-the line: the large, year-round outdoor pool; the modern, upscale fitness center; the cozy library; and the elegant, lodge-style great room with a bar and fireplace. The huge, privately owned condos have stainless steel kitchens, balconies with views of the pool or mountains, and gorgeous marble bathrooms with decadent soaking tubs and separate walk-in showers. Guests can use The Arrabelle Club (a ski club with storage, a ski valet, and other extras) in the winter -- a nice perk -- and the property has bell service and 24-hour maintenance.
Sky Hotel, a Kimpton Hotel, Aspen
The Sky Hotel sits on prime Aspen property, directly at the bottom of the Silver Queen Gondola with one of the best ski-in/ski-out locations in the valley. While rooms are on the small side for the price, they reflect Kimpton's signature style, with a modern take on lodge decor, a daily wine hour, an excellent deck with pool and Jacuzzi, and one of the most happening apres-ski scenes in Aspen. Amenities for guests' four-legged friends are plentiful, too, and unlike at other resorts, there's no fee or size restriction, easily making this the most pet-friendly hotel in Aspen.
Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain
Not all Westins are created equal, and this chic ski resort is one of the brand's most luxurious offerings. Rooms feature the Westin's Heavenly Beds, fireplaces, and flat-screen TVs; suites also feature kitchenettes and seating areas. Bathrooms -- like the rooms themselves -- are big, and have soaking tubs, separate showers, Bliss toiletries, and soft bathrobes (which, along with the showerheads, are also dubbed "Heavenly"). Top-notch features include the celebrated Spa Anjali, a gorgeous heated outdoor lap pool, delicious restaurant options, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. There is also ski access and plenty of year-round outdoor activities, including many for children. Throughout the property, guests can take in in stunning views of the mountains and Eagle River.
The Sebastian - Vail
This luxury boutique resort opened in Vail in 2010, and prices are often more than fair for what you get: Beautiful, high-end mountain decor, particularly in the airy lobby and cozy library (no cabin kitsch here); two great restaurants, including a trendy tapas bar; an outdoor pool; four whirlpools; and an upscale spa.
Hotel Madeline Telluride
The luxurious Hotel Madeline has a great Mountain Village location next to the skating rink and within easy walking distance of restaurants and bars. This hotel offers 84 rooms, 12 suites, and 10 condos that all have big, spectacular bathrooms with deep soaking tubs and separate stall showers. Condos are the most spacious option, with full gourmet kitchens and washer/dryers. The Madeline is one of the only hotels in the area with a fully indoor pool and Jacuzzi, and it even has a spa on-site with five treatment rooms. The two restaurants are also a plus: the more formal farm-to-table restaurant, M's, and the M-Bar, a cozy gastropub. With a big fitness center, ski storage/valet, and easy access to the slopes, this hotel is an amenities-packed option in Mountain Village.
One Ski Hill Place, a RockResort, Breckenridge
One Ski Hill Place is one of the most luxurious lodges in Breckenridge, with attractive condo-style units featuring gourmet kitchens, beautiful bathrooms (almost all with soaking tubs), and moss rock gas fireplaces. It also offers the most features of any resort in the area, including a two-lane bowling alley, two screening rooms, a billiards room, and an indoor pool area. It has a ski-in/ski-out location right on Peak 8, but getting to Main Street requires a trip on the Breck-Connect Gondola.
To learn more about Kelsey Blodget, visit her on Google+