There’s something about pulling into the porte-cochère of a leading hotel and knowing you won’t have to give your skis, boot bag or poles another glance until the moment you want to step out onto the snow that instantly makes any luxury ski trip. Ditto to stepping into a suite overlooking a perfectly groomed mountain and cheerily lit ski village.
There are as many ways to do ‘Vail luxury’ as there are luxury Vail hotels and gourmet dining venues. Here’s just one, which thinks outside the ‘ski all day’ mentality.
Arrive mid-day (the convenient Eagle airport now has nonstop daily service to and from multiple major US cities, saving you the hassle of commuting from Denver) and check into the Sonnenalp Hotel, located in the heart of Vail Village and rated among the Leading Hotels of the World.
Check into your suite, as the Sonnenalp is almost entirely suite-based, allowing for ample space, amenities like mini-fridges Nespresso machines and microwaves, and gas fireplaces, then ease the stress of your travel day in the Sonnenalp spa. Don’t have a spa treatment scheduled for today? Don’t worry: the Sonnenalp’s European-style spa features ample amenities for all guests…no need for a day pass. Soak in the whirlpool hot tubs or heated pool, work out in the fitness center, have a steam or sauna, or simply sit by the open fireplace, magazine and hot tea in hand. If you’re feeling altitude sickness due to Vail’s high elevation, the spa has an oxygen bar on-site.
Start your Vail vacation dining experience on the right foot with a dining reservation at Swiss Chalet, located adjacent to the Sonnenalp (and one of the four restaurants of the hotel). The classic Alpine cuisine includes fondue and raclette in an authentic German-Swiss setting.
The Sonnenalp is famous for their breakfast, so start your morning at their breakfast buffet with literally dozens of hot entrees, a plethora of continental cold breakfast items, multiple types of granola, sliced fruit, berries, smoothies, bagels and lox, smoked fish, and charcuterie boards.
If you’re skiing or snowboarding, your gear with either be held across the porte-cochère in the ski locker or at Sonnenalp’s private ski concierge at the bottom floor of Ski Haus, located directly by Gondola One in Vail Village (depending on whether you prefer to ski from that starting point or at Lionshead Village).
Whichever section you ski, stop for lunch at The 10th, one of Vail Resort’s premiere table service dining venues on the mountain. Take off your boots and slip on soft slippers in their boot check, then take in stunning views of mid-mountain while dining on upscale versions of ski day classics, such as pleasant and chicken pot pie, truffle fries, and flatbread pizza. The 10th makes excellent Bloody Marys, and has an extensive cocktail, wine, and champagne list.
After your ski day, soak in the outdoor hot tubs at Sonnenalp, then enjoy a spa treatment if time allows. If not, enjoy apres-ski drinks at King’s Club’s elegant library room by the crackling fireplace, or at Tavern on the Square, located in Lionshead Village at the stunning Arrabelle. Migrate to the town of Avon (by Beaver Creek) for an elegant meal at Wyld, the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch’s take on Colorado American cuisine. If you want to try something different after dinner, head back to Vail Village to Bol, Vail’s upscale bowling alley, with premiere drinks and after-dinner snacks.
On your departure day, enjoy some shopping in Vail Village, or catch a movie with lunch at CineBistro, Vail’s upscale cinema.