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If you’re a ski or snowboarder, you’ve likely visited (or dreamt of visiting) one of the best places to hit the slopes in the United States: Vail, Colorado. The quaint Bavarian-inspired village is home to many winter Olympians, known for its ski resorts, fine dining, luxury shopping, and opulent hotels.
Ski season began in Vail on November 10, and the next few months are undoubtedly the prime time in the village but there really is no “wrong time” to visit this legendary mountain enclave.
My last visit was during peak fall foliage season when I spent a few days at The Hythe Luxury Collection Resort. After soaking up the sun in the pool, relaxing in the spa, enjoying sunsets from my balcony, and meals from one of the on-site restaurants, I knew this would be my new spot during all seasons. Here is why it should be yours, too.
WHY IT’S AWESOME:
I love a hotel (or really anything) with an interesting backstory, and The Hythe delivers on that front. Renovated and reopened just two years ago after a massive $40 million renovation, The Luxury Collection resort is intentional in its nods to Vail’s history and the town’s founders – Earl Eaton and Pete Seibert. Beyond the historical significance, you can find local art and stories woven throughout the modern property.
It’s also just, like… really cool. The interiors are clean, well-designed, and perfectly cozy with everything you need and want in a luxurious alpine escape.
IN-HOUSE FOOD AND DRINK:
Guests at The Hythe have several food, drink, and après options on site.
Inspired by local World War II home cook Margie Haas, who welcomed 10th Mountain Division soldiers into her home, the on-site breakfast restaurant is bright (both in decor and food-wise) and upscale. I started my day with chicken and waffles that were as beautifully plated as they were delicious. During ski season, guests can load up at Pete & Earl’s Avant Ski Buffet, featuring an extensive breakfast and the option to add on bottomless Mimosas or Bloody Marys.
The sleek Revel Lounge bar and restaurant is lively and modern, with an extensive menu filled with Colorado-inspired cuisine. I enjoyed Mushroom Carpaccio, followed by a perfectly prepared Colorado Mountain Trout during my visit. The service was exceptional, and the wine pairing was inspired.
Mountain Ration Grab & Go
Grab a coffee or some grub to go at Mountain Ration Grab & Go on the first floor of The Hythe. The bright space is perfect for a casual snack and work or to fuel up a day of exploring.
In partnership with local distillery 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company, 10th Mountain is a hidden lobby bar open daily from 3-5 pm for appetizers, whiskey, and a full bar.
- Year-round outdoor pool and hot tub
- Complimentary gear library
- Après Deck with complimentary smores
- Seasonal outdoor live music
- Seasonal outdoor yoga classes
- Full-service spa
- Fitness Center
- Concierge desk
- Pet friendly
- Valet parking
- Valet dry-cleaning
- Daily housekeeping
- Room service 24-hours
- Courtesy shuttle service
- Storage space
- Ski valet (winter only)
- Onsite ski/bike rental shop
The Hythe is a property that feels cozy while being exceptionally large. With 343 guest rooms, you can choose from several options and room styles.
I stayed in a “Deluxe Larger Guest Room: 1 King With Fireplace” and was pleasantly surprised by the large room and bathroom that led out onto an expansive rooftop patio and stunning mountain views. There are options for fireplaces in rooms, firepits outside, terraces, balconies, and sofa beds in single or double guest rooms.
Suites, Residences, and Penthouses:
The Hythe offers 1-bedroom suites with jacuzzi tubs, multiple balconies, and 1, 2, and 3-bedroom residences perfect for entertaining. The Penthouses feature three- or 4-bedroom layouts with sweeping mountain views, vaulted ceilings, and private balconies.
BEST THINGS TO DO/EAT/DRINK WITHIN A 15-MINUTE WALK:
Explore Vail and Lionshead Villages:
The two main ski mountains in Vail are Vail Village and Lionshead Village. About a mile between the two villages, easily accessed by a walking trail or bus, the villages are home to world-class restaurants, shopping, and bars.
Grab a bite at Mountain Standard:
The restaurant most often recommended to me in Vail is Mountain Standard, and after I was finally able to get in for lunch on my last visit, I understood why. The food is mainly prepared over an open and live wood fire in a “primal method” with a rustic woodsy background and tasty drinks.
BEST THING TO DO WITHIN AN HOUR DRIVE:
This category is generally reserved for short cab rides, but things are different in the Rocky Mountains. Vail is ideally situated off I-70 to grant easy access to many of Colorado’s most iconic scenes. Within an hour, this is what I recommend:
In The Summer — Visit Twin Lakes:
Twin Lakes, just outside of Leadville, Colorado, is slightly over an hour’s drive from Vail but is my favorite place to spend a hot summer day in Colorado – and well worth the extra few minutes. At 9,600 feet elevation, the alpine vistas are striking, and the lake is refreshing. Camp, paddleboard, hike, canoe, or even take a polar plunge during summer.
In The Fall — Take A Scenic Drive:
Seeing fall colors in the Colorado mountains is a bucket list experience, and Vail is ideally located for it. You’ll encounter plenty of foliage on the drive-in from Denver, then be sure to drive Loveland Pass and Tigiwon Road to nearby Minturn. Colors generally start mid-September and can last until early October.
In The Winter — Visit Breckenridge:
If you visit Vail in the winter, you’re likely interested in skiing or snowboarding, so take the opportunity to visit another iconic Colorado ski town: Breckenridge. About 45 minutes from Vail, Breckenridge Ski Resort boasts five peaks and 2,908 acres of skiable terrain.
In The Spring — Soak In Hot Springs:
Spring in the Colorado mountains can often still be chilly, if not downright wintry, so visiting a hot spring is a treat. Just under an hour from Vail lies some of the most iconic in the state. Glenwood Springs boasts three developed hot springs, including the massive Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, home to the world’s largest mineral springs pool.
BED GAME: 8.5/10
The bed, pillows, and linens were all on point at The Hythe, but what I really loved was the view from it. I woke up in bed to the sun and aspen-covered mountains outside the door and spent my evenings with a fire and a glass of wine.
SEXINESS RATING: 9/10
I scored this one higher after reading what UPROXX’s travel editor, Steve Bramucci, laid out as the ten pillars of a sexy hotel. Although The Hythe is kid-friendly – I didn’t see any. The rooms are clean, the design is modern, and the bar is a hot spot. The hotel is in the middle of the action, steps away from Lionshead Village, the slopes, and Vail Village.
VIEWS & PIC SPOTS: 9/10
The Hythe is an Instagrammers dream. Every room has a view of the surrounding mountains, the style is sleek, and the amenities are luxe. The outdoor pool and hot tub are ideally situated for a thirst trap, and the mid-century decor is perfect for an apres photo shoot anywhere on the property.
BEST SEASON TO VISIT:
There are no “bad” seasons to visit, but what is available to you will vary wildly – depending on your wants as a traveler. For skiers, you’ll want to visit between November and April, although the best conditions – and the highest rates – will likely be in January and February. Shoulder seasons before and after ski season will see a more peaceful vibe, fall colors, and lower rates, while summer offers more outdoor activities, hiking, family-friendly events, and wildflowers.
IF I HAD TO COMPLAIN ABOUT ONE THING:
I understand that I just spent the last 1000+ words explaining why Vail and The Hythe are the perfect getaway during any season – and I stand by that – but there is one caveat that may lead visitors to complain. There is a short window before the busy ski season when many of the restaurants and shops in the village close – which happened to be when I visited. While I enjoyed the peaceful vibes and still found plenty to do, see, eat, and drink, that’s something you’ll want to consider depending on the type of traveler you are.
Prices here can also vary more than in locations not as dependent on one particular busy season.