The first time I stayed at the Lodge at Vail, A RockResort, I was eight months pregnant. It was January, snowing, and I knew I wouldn't be skiing. Normally that's a recipe for depression. But from my suite-with-a-view, I was just fine.
After all, the one-bedroom suite featured a king-sized bed, an expansive bathroom with marble floors and radiant floor heating, a deck with views of the slopes, enormous windows, and a luxury living room with a fireplace, game table, couches and kitchenette.
walked my husband to the lifts and waddled back to the room, I sank into the worry-free comfort and, for the first time in my third trimester, relaxed.
The second time I stayed at the Lodge at Vail was a different story. That was this winter, during one of the many epic storms of the season, and my husband and I scored a last-minute deal on a room.
We had Henry, who was edging in on his first birthday, and we were powder-addled lunatics. This time we had a simple hotel room-beautifully appointed, but not a suite -- and the responsive staff provided a crib.
We arrived just before dinner and headed to the cozy, lobby, which resembles the interior of any hotel you would find in the Alps (I swear we stayed in the Lodge's doppelganger a few years ago in Bormio, Italy).
The sloping ceilings and fireplace tucked behind a staircase create an intimate space, and the white plastered walls with their beautiful, simple art give the entire lobby a solid air.
We headed to the Wildflower for dinner and were immediately fawned over by our energetic French waiter who was as enamored by our young son as we were. Not that I need a Henry fan club wherever I go-I decidedly don't. But it is always nice when wait staff welcomes you with a small baby instead of locking the doors and suddenly declaring the restaurant closed.
I'd eaten at the Wildflower before and lingered over a luxurious four-course meal with wine pairings. It was lovely. But impossible with Henry along, so we skipped straight to the entrees (halibut and steak), enjoyed a nice glass of Malbec, and headed out for a stroll before bed.
The Lodge at Vail could easily be renamed the center of the Vail universe-at least according to me. From it's many entrances, one emerges into the heart of Vail village with its brick sidewalks and picturesque storefronts. Nearby there's a fire pit that burns through the evening, and the ubiquitous scent of pinon wafts through the air. I love it. So does my husband, and, if we play it right, so will Henry.
Being a RockResort, the Lodge automatically conforms to the standard of excellence you expect from the brand. The rooms are meticulous. The bathrooms luxurious. The staff respectful. The Lodge is one of the oldest properties in Vail, and the décor reflects that.
You won't find mid-century modern or anything that screams "hipster!" here. And you don't want it. Why would you when you have the robust exposed beams, the wood paneling, the antique furniture, and the alpine décor that feels so old world?
Of course, I'll take the modern amenity of a hot tub and pool any day as well as the other high end touches the Lodge offers: the newly completed RockResorts Spa, skier service center, and an exclusive ski club. More than anything, though, I'll just take the Lodge. It's unlike any other place in Vail.
-- Rachel Walker