People who make their home in Colorado ski towns have a saying: “I came for ski season, but stayed for the summers.” Indeed, my absolutely time of year in the Colorado Rockies is the summer.
I fully recognize that ski season is well underway here — heck, it’s not even spring-break time yet — but I’m reminiscing about some time I spent in Vail in June. I stayed at the remote Shrine Mountain Inn, as well as the conveniently located Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa. This boutique property is located along the banks of Gore Creek in Vail Village. It only has 20 rooms (and seven two- and three-bedroom condominiums), so it definitely has an intimate feel.
The expansive Vail Athletic Club and on-site, full-service spa are two hugely attractive amenities here. But I think the biggest “plus” this hotel has to offer is its delcious Terre Bistro. Chef Kevin Nelson uses only the freshest seasonal (often organic) ingredients to create innovative breakfast, “appy hour” and dinner menus.
Breakfast here focuses on wholesome foods to fuel an active day in Vail: omelets and skillets made with free-range eggs; chilled cinnamon apple quinoa; whole grain pancakes. Breakfast is served on the weekends in a sunny corner room with big windows.
“Appy Hour” from 5 to 6 p.m. daily is held at the cracked-glass bar, where you can order off of a 400-bottle wine list. It’s the deal of the day, with appetizers starting at $5 and mixed drinks from $4.
Dinner is “casually elegant,” taking place in the white-linen-tableclothed dining room. Colorado produce and Colorado-raised meats highlight the menu: butternut squash soup with toasted pumpkin seed oil, pan-fried crab cake with Colorado corn succotash, green curry Colorado lam stir fry and cornmeal-crusted Rocky Mountain trout. There are always plenty of offerings for vegetarians, too.
Photos courtesy Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa.