No matter the snow conditions, the $5 Jack Daniels, billiards, and foosball at the New Sheridan Hotel in Telluride are always epic. PHOTO: Telluride Tourism
Telluride is one of the few ski towns to have it all: a walkable, historic town, uncrowded groomers, some of the best steeps in the state, and a picturesque setting in the San Juan Mountains.
It might take a bit longer to get here than other Colorado resorts—most visitors fly into Montrose, 1.5 hours away—but once you're staring at Telluride's peaks with a local beer in hand, you won't want to be anywhere else. From ski-in/ski-out hotels in Mountain Village (the town above Telluride) to historic downtown inns that work on a budget, here are five places to rest your head in what just might be ski country's prettiest destination.
New Sheridan Hotel
Clientele: Steak-loving guys in their 40s who like a bit of history.
Located three blocks from the gondola in downtown Telluride, the New Sheridan has been hosting lodgers since it opened way back in 1895. The all-brick, three-story hotel fits the bill with high-end Victorian furnishings and plenty of historic charm, and it's an ideal base to stumble back to after a night out on the town. Other perks include free on-street parking and complimentary membership to 8750 Alt, a fitness gym just down the street.
The Deal: If you're looking for value, opt for a "cozy interior" room. They are a bit smaller and lack views, but start at just $159 per night. Suites will run you $279 and up, depending on the time of year.
Tips Up: Ski Telluride's famous chutes and then join the locals at the New Sheridan's historic bar, known for its mahogany wood paneling and stiff drinks. No matter the snow conditions, the $5 Jack Daniels, billiards, and foosball are always epic.
Faceplant: Light sleepers beware, the hotel's in-town location means that street noise is common. The hotel tries to combat the problem with white noise machines and ear plugs.
Clientele: Diehard powder hounds looking for value
Telluride can be a hard place to score a deal on lodging, but the Victorian Inn fits the bill. Decently sized rooms, free Wi-Fi, and in-room ski racks mean that this budget choice doesn't lack amenities. More important, its location two blocks from the gondola means that you can sleep in and still catch first chair.
The Deal: A room with one queen-sized bed costs as little as $99, but the real steal is the 500-square-foot "Cozy Cottage" that sleeps four, has a full kitchen, and starts at $199 per night.
Tips Up: Opt for the freshly-baked cinnamon rolls included in the Victorian Inn's free breakfast. But get there early to grab a seat or take the pastries back to your room; the dining area isn't large.
Faceplant: Rooms can be noisy and the hotel's parking lot doesn't hold enough cars. But hey, you get what you pay for and nothing in Telluride comes cheap.
Inn at Lost Creek
Clientele: Families or groups
When it comes to ski access, you can't beat the location of the Inn at Lost Creek. This Mountain Village hotel sits steps away from the Village Express, the Chondola, and the free gondola that whisks you down into town. The 32 rooms (many of which are dog friendly) all feature kitchenettes and range from studios to two-bedroom condos, making it a good choice for budget-savvy friends willing to bunk together or families who need a bit more space. A ski valet makes storing your gear easy, and guests also get access to the nearby spa and pools at the Peaks Resort.
The Deal: Prices start around $200 for a studio, but since the hotel is owned by the ski area, ask about lodging packages that also include lift tickets and round trip transportation from Montrose. A well-appointed hot breakfast (read: there's plenty of bacon) is included in every stay.
Tips Up: While the Inn at Lost Creek doesn't have a pool, they do have two reservation-only rooftop hot tubs with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Stop by the front desk in the morning on your way to ski and reserve one for the afternoon. The east side gets you box canyon views, but we prefer the one on the west side of the building. Hot tub, drinks, and a sunset? That's post-skiing nirvana.
Faceplant: We love stopping by Siam's Talay Grille—the hotel's on-site restaurant—for happy hour, a cocktail, or the best room service in town. We don't necessarily want to smell Pad Thai or Panang Curry in the hotel elevator at 8:30 am. Fortunately, the smell seems to be confined to the common areas and never makes it into the rooms.
Clientele: Couples or families ready to splurge.
Recently upgraded in 2014, the ski-in/ski-out Madeline Hotel is the place to go for lovebirds and families who want luxury with their ski turns. The pet-friendly spot offers everything from two-person guest rooms to four-bedroom residences, all with shi-shi amenities like a spa, fancy linens, fireplaces, and an outdoor pool (with waiter service) and a heated deck so your feet don't get cold. That said, the luxury digs pale in comparison to being steps away from the lift.
The Deal: Guest rooms start at $329 and go up from there.
Tips Up: Even if you don't need a valet to place your skis and poles on the slope, take advantage of the boot dryers in the ski valet. Nothing ruins a powder day like damp boots.
Faceplant: The extra costs can really add to the final bill, so be prepared for a 9 percent resort fee, the $35 daily valet parking charge, and the rather expensive breakfast buffet.
The Hotel Telluride
Clientele: East coast families who love western charm.
Like in most ski towns, Telluride hotels love western-chic decor and the pet-friendly Hotel Telluride is no exception. But strip away the antlers and you'll find pillow-top mattresses, cushy in-room slippers, and hot tubs ready to soothe achy legs after a lap on one of North America's most classic ski runs, Palmyra Peak (http://www.powder.com/stories/north-americas-most-classic-ski-runs/#6GHFc6eVKvRLZwxD.97).
The Deal: Nightly lodging starts around $200 for early-season standard rooms, but prices rise during prime skiing holidays like Christmas or spring break.
Tips Up: Head to the hotel's restaurant, The Lobby, and ask for the seasonal special. For $15, you'll get an entree (think lasagna or a plate of mussels) and a glass of wine. Also, don't miss the fresh-baked cookies, coffee, and tea in the lobby every day.
Faceplant: The Hotel Telluride is located a few blocks from downtown, so it takes longer to get to the gondola. If you're feeling lazy, take advantage of the hotel's free shuttle anywhere in town.