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The mountains and villages of Vail and Beaver Creek are dotted with top-notch hotels that would be at home in any big city — save for their authentic Western charm, of course. To help you choose, here are our five favorite places to stay:
Four Seasons Resort Vail. This Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel delights skiers, who are outfitted with boots, skis and high-tech lockers upon arrival; the resort’s polished service even includes a ski concierge. Skiers and non-skiers alike will enjoy the hotel's ideal location at the gateway to pedestrian-only Vail Village.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch. For Western-style luxury at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain in Avon, Colorado, check in to this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel. The family-friendly resort offers a host of activities for both adults and kids, and your little ones will love the doormen's 10-gallon hats.
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa. This Four-Star resort in Beaver Creek Village is up to the task of playing hard or relaxing deeply. Depending on the season, the ski-in/ski-out property is an ideal base for skiing, rafting, hiking or fishing. It’s also home to Allegria Spa, a 30,000-square-foot alpine sanctuary.
Solaris Residences. This Vail complex of studios and multi-bedroom residences will feel like home — if your home includes a personal assistant, that is. At the Four-Star Solaris Residences, personal assistants will fill your room with groceries or make dinner reservations. Of course, given that Vail’s best restaurants are practically at your doorstep here, we’d opt for the dinner reservations.
Vail Mountain Lodge. If you’re looking for a boutique option in Vail, Vail Mountain Lodge will fit the bill. The intimate hotel — there are only 27 rooms and condos — blends modern design with the Old West. Where else can you enjoy iPad stations under antler chandeliers?
If money is no object, the top two choices are the Four Seasons, which is likely the best in terms of service, dining, rooms and amenities, and the Arrabelle, which gets its edge by virtue of being essentially the only ski-in/ski-out hotel in the center of town. The Arrabelle also has residences for rent, many of which are huge and extravagant, and is the beating heart of the Lionshead base area, with a promenade of shops and restaurants, a gelateria and an ice rink. Close seconds to these two would be the charming Sonnenalp and the relatively new Sebastian. The Sonnenalp is Vail’s oldest luxury hotel, bringing a touch of European Alpine flair to town and has the most distinct atmosphere of any hotel. All of the off slope hotels, including the Four Seasons, Sonnenalp and Sebastian offer slopeside concierge and ski storage services. At the farthest end of the ski town and a bit isolated, the large Vail Cascade is the most self-contained resort, with a wide variety of rooms and apartments, Vail’s finest athletic club, excellent food and spa, in-house ski rentals and its own lift, making it is also ski-in/ski-out (when there is ample snow). The nearby Beaver Creek ski resort, which is positioned as even more luxurious and exclusive than sister resort Vail, is home to two of North America’s top luxury ski-in/ski-out hotels, the Park Hyatt in the center of its base village and the remote and self-contained Ritz Carlton, which exudes rustic elegance.