Deana Bianco | October 25th, 2007
I have been retreating to Vail ever since I was a child and it was one of the first mountains I learned to snowboard on. It’s one of the last ski towns in Colorado where I personally don’t feel the stuffiness and congestion that goes hand in glove with places like Aspen or Telluride. Although the lift prices have increased significantly and the town has gotten a face-lift in the past twenty years, the charm of this European modeled car free town is still strikingly hospitable and enchanting.
This summer I stayed at the Sonnenalp Resort located off the main mountain in their charm Castle Peak suite, which had two bedrooms, two bathrooms with heated floors, a dining room, living room, and a gas fireplace (I don’t understand the whole gas fireplace thing for me half the charm of the mountains is a real fireplace). My favorite part of the suite was the wrap around porch overlooking the porch where we sat at night under a huge bed of stars drinking wine and eating dessert.
The décor of the hotel was reminiscent of everything I love about the mountains – wooden furniture, old alpine photos of the town, antlers hanging on walls, etc. My favorite thing about going to a ski town like Vail in the summer is the avoidance of any tourist crowds, the summer activities like river rafting, hiking, swimming and of course the chance to see and smell the gorgeous mountain flowers that have sprung up along mountain. It’s moments when I’m walking at dawn along the stream and smelling the crisp mountain air that where I think to myself whether I want to leave the confines of my life in New York City and just retreat into the mountains for a couple of years to seclude myself from the traffic and congestion.
Although winter is an ideal time to retreat to a ski town like Vail, I truly recommend spending time relaxing and smelling the mountain flowers.
Sonnenalp Resort, 20 Vail Road, Vail, CO 81657. 1 866 284 4411; http://www.sonnenalp.com/