Have you ever gone on vacation and then felt as though you needed another one when you got home? This has happened to me many times, but vacations shouldn’t be work. If you want to experience a true escape from all of life’s stresses, you’ll want to read this post.
I’ve stayed in many types of accommodations around Colorado over the years, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, rented homes and campgrounds, but last week I stepped it up – way up.
While attending the Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference in Steamboat Springs, I was the guest of Moving Mountains, and stayed at Diamond Peak Penthouse at One Steamboat Place.
This isn’t your average vacation rental – Diamond Peak is 2800 square feet of luxury living in the middle of one of the most spectacular ski resorts in North America.
Moving Mountains was established 15 years ago by husband/wife team, Robin and Heather Craigen. Their goal was to make European style holidays available in Steamboat Springs; this meant high end, catered chalets where their guests’ most stressful decision of the day would be picking the perfect ski run. The catered chalet option available at Moving Mountains properties includes a personal chef and staff.
Today Moving Mountains has many fabulous properties in their repertoire, including private homes and condominiums. All have easy access to the ski slopes and any can be fully catered.
Upon our arrival at One Steamboat Place, we were escorted to the sixth floor where our penthouse awaited. This four bedroom, five bath home has a comfortable, open plan living space that includes a gourmet kitchen.
In the kitchen we discovered a little “welcome to Steamboat gift” of homemade granola and beef jerky from Sweetwood Cattle Co. I’ll admit that I was probably more excited about the beef jerky than most, because it’s my number one weakness in life. I love beef jerky more than cake.
My favorite room in the house was the master bath, located in the master suite wing of the home. It includes an Olympic-size bathtub and huge freestanding shower. I spent a lot of time in this room getting ready in the mornings and even managed to squeeze in a soak between conference sessions. I also made good use of the home’s office that featured a computer with high speed internet, and I never even opened my laptop.
While I was networking and conferencing, my husband was enjoying the amenities at One Steamboat Place. He lounged in the pool and relaxed in the hot tub. Other offerings include an adult game room and a children’s play room. We didn’t book a treatment at the private spa, but it was tempting. There’s also a locker room for your boots and skis, because One Steamboat Place is a true ski in/ski out accommodation located right next to the gondola. This would be perfect for me because I hate walking in ski boots.
Another one of the benefits of staying at One Steamboat Place is the shuttle service. All catered packages through Moving Mountains also include private shuttle services within the Steamboat area. This is a big deal for people like me who enjoy having a few glasses of wine with dinner.
A stay at a Moving Mountains Chalets’ property is not a cheap experience, but it’s not out of reach. If you want a relaxing holiday in one of my favorite towns in the world, it is well worth it. Also, if you stay with a group, lodging expenses can be shared. Moving Mountains’ properties are the perfect option for a family reunion, a vacation with friends or a corporate get away.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend TBEX, a travel blogger, writer and photographer conference that just happened to be held in Keystone, Colorado this year. TBEX attracts attendees from around the globe, and this was a chance for Colorado to show off – and it did just that.
On the first evening, we drank champagne aboard gondolas that transported us to a five-star experience on top of Keystone Resort. A Taste of Vail Resorts treated us to a variety of delectable food choices in a world-class setting. The dessert tent had such an array of culinary delights that the guests weren’t sure whether to eat these amazing creations or just take photographs.
The second night, Expedia.com threw a cowboy style shindig at Keystone Stables, complete with a country band, line dancing, a mechanical bull, local beer and barbecue. As the sun set, the mountains glowed, and crowd went “oooh” and “ahhhh.”
Throughout the weekend we were transported around Keystone on their free shuttle service. You simply call them from your condo, the restaurant, a shop, and they come and pick you up and drop you off anywhere in Keystone. I never waited longer than five minutes for a shuttle.
It was a remarkable experience, and not just because of the connections that I made, but also because it was a chance to see my state through new eyes. There were the expected grievances about altitude and dryness, but the attendees who hailed from New York, Los Angeles, Maine, Florida, Denmark, Germany and beyond, were in awe of the beauty of Colorado.
I heard lots of comments about the sunshine, and I think many of the conference goers expected the weather to be colder and more arctic-like. After all, when I moved here thirteen years ago, I’m pretty sure my parents thought I would be living in an igloo. Folks outside of Colorado have no idea that we get over 300 days of sunshine every year.
While the visitors did blame everything from sore feet to fatigue on the altitude (much to my amusement), overall Colorado shone during TBEX, and I was proud to call myself a Coloradan at the event.
As Coloradans, we generally wake up to sunshine every morning, and most of us experience the majesty of the Rocky Mountains every day without giving it much thought. Seeing Colorado through new eyes was something I will cherish and remember for a long time, and the feeling of pride I had during and after TBEX is something I will carry with me forever.
I love Colorado during the holiday season. From Denver’s Larimer Street to the Christmas Market in Georgetown, there’s something about Colorado that make me feel as though I’m spending the holiday season in a postcard.
As the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, I attend a lot of events and festivals and I spend a lot of time at holiday events around the state, so I’ve decided to share what I deem as the Top 5 Colorado Christmas Towns. This list is in no particular order, although if I were to pick a number one Colorado Christmas town, it would be Georgetown.
1. Georgetown, Colorado is a hidden gem just 45 minutes west of Denver along I70. I’d driven by it a hundred times before actually stopping in, but once I did I realized what a great little place it really is, and during the holidays it’s truly outstanding. With the a tree lighting ceremony, Letter Day and the Georgetown Christmas Market running for two weekends, this town commemorate the holidays the way they were intended to be celebrated. Visit HistoricGeorgetown.org for more information.
2. Breckenridge, Colorado is well known as a ski town, but this place has a lot of other stuff going on and that’s why it makes my list. The Victorian style architecture of the town looks resplendent during the holidays. With the Lightening of Breckenridge on the first weekend in December to carriage rides available throughout the holidays, and wonderful shopping opportunities, this town will make you feel as though you’ve stepped into a holiday postcard. Check out GoBreck.com to keep an eye what’s happening in Breckenridge year-round.
3. HGTV recently named Durango, Colorado as one of their “Top Ten Christmas Towns,” and it’s no surprise. Durango is home to the Polar Express, a production of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This train ride is a memorable way to celebrate the holidays with your children. During the month of December, Durango is alive with festive music and the hubbub of the holidays. There’s never a dull moment and always something Christmassy happening, and that’s why it makes my list. Go to Durango.org for more information on this top Christmas town.
4. The 12 Days of Aspen, is just one reason this ski town is making the list. From December 20, through New Year’s Eve, Aspen, Colorado celebrates the season with all sorts of cheery activities from concerts to theater, from street entertainment to free ice-skating, to shopping and restaurant specials and so much more. Aspen is also quite lovely during the holidays – just one more reason they made this list.
5. Nestled between the soaring peaks of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado is known as the Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s always a bustling during the summer, but this charming little village lights up during the holidays. Visitors should stop at Longs Peak Coffee & Paper House for a cup of hot chocolate and then stroll the streets of this picturesque town. While in town, be sure to visit the famous The Stanley Hotel, to see the holiday dÃ©cor.