Crested Butte Lodging and Accommodations
Written by Jack Lee
Crested Butte, located in Colorado's south western Rocky Mountains, offers up a real cowboy town and some kick butt terrain plus lots of pleasant groomed trails and modern lifts. Crested Butte's highest peak looms large above the resort at 12,162' resembling The Matterhorn or Lone Peak at Big Sky in Montana. The place to stay is in Mount Crested Butte Village, slope side at the stylish Elevation Hotel and Spa.
The Elevation Hotel and Spa is the newest Crested Butte lodging, completely redesigned as a very chic hotel with 250 rooms all with mountain views and splendid spacious Rocky Mountain regal decor. Not your typical ski condo standard, much sophisticated. Our Suites had a perfect slope view and balcony, a mini kitchen with microwave and coffee maker, and a lovely seating area with couch, flat-screen TV, iHome dock, and Wifi.
Within the big hotel, you have underground parking and valet service, a full-service Elevation Spa with indoor hot tub and pool, plus the Eleve Salon for beauty treatments all located on the first level. On the main lobby level are modern see-through glass fireplaces with comfy seating areas - a great place to enjoy a drink after skiing or sip your morning coffee while the others sleep in. For dining, Elevation's slope view restaurant is called 9380' (signifying the hotel’s elevation). Here breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in a contemporary atmosphere - with a view of the outdoor fire pit and the ski slopes. The bar is very cool, a great spot to grab a cocktail après ski. Ski lockers are super convenient in the lobby with a ski shop for necessities are a ski tune up. Walk outside and your steps to the Silver Queen or Red Lady Lifts.
From Crested Butte's Elevation Hotel you have no excuse not to make the first chair on the Silver Queen Express, the signature base quad, then head to Paradise Bowl before East River Express. The Red Lady Lift from the base brings you to Painter Boy and plenty of ego-pleasing groomed family ski terrain, then the Prospect and Gold Link lifts provide more intermediate terrain and a real relaxed pace on this lower sunny side of the mountain.
Mount Crested Butte is the compact ski village that surrounds The Elevation Hotel. Mountaineer Square and the skiers' plaza is home to The Lodge at Mountaineer Square and The Grand Lodge plus cozy cafes like Camp 4 Coffee, several ski shops and dining from casual Spellbound Pizza to Djangos which serves contemporary Colorado tapas style cuisine in a very stylish atmosphere. Avalanche Bar and Butte 66 offer affordable pub fare and fun après ski. Kids will love the Sweet Spot – a classic penny candy store with arcade games, while parents pull up a barstool at the Victorian saloon and full bar –all in the same clever space. Crested Butte has really ramped up their family activities with an Adventure Park offering tubing, outdoor enclosed Flying Gopher mini-golf, bungee trampolines, rock climbing, zip-lining, even snowcat driving!
Crested Butte is a challenging mountain to describe, and fun to explore with 121 trails, and a total of 1,547 acres including their extreme 542 acres of inbound, double black diamond steeps. The Elevation is the best base camp for avid skiers.
For one of the best on mountain meals in North America, ski to lunch at Uley’s Cabin. This slope side cabin on Crested Butte’s Twister Trail offers rustic elegance inside, wooden beams, tablecloths and a tantalizing menu define this fine ski dining spot. The legend goes that Uley once made his moonshine here before the sheriff arrested him and made him his personal prison chef. Uley’s menu includes charcuterie and gourmet cheese plates, elk and native produce. Enjoy a leisurely sit down culinary treat before hitting the slopes or skiing back to the base for a spa treatment. Uley’s is also open for dinner – reserve your sleigh ride dinner some starry night for a raised culinary experience.
Uley's Ice Bar is the place to be on a blue bird Colorado ski day. Sit outside on a bar stool at the unique bar made of ice, sip a cool cocktail or a local beer while enjoying the view of the slopes above and skiers cruising by.
For the real Colorado cowboy deal, take an early evening trip to town, a historic 1888 miners' town. The Elevation Hotel provides a shuttle, or you can take the Crested Butte bus system from the skier's plaza. Downtown Crested Butte is a classic Colorado mining settlement turned upscale. Called Colorado’s Last Great Ski Town, Crested Butte town offers locals and visitors lively bars, restaurants and cool Western themed shops (plus a bunch of orthopedic clinics – which may speak to the sick terrain here) with animated frontier style architecture.
Crested Butte is a four-hour drive from Denver, or you can fly into nearby Gunnison, or Montrose between Crested Butte and Telluride. Crested Butte does not get the big bustling lift lines that other Colorado Front Range and I-70 ski resorts do. You do get a taste of the genuine local vibe once you arrive. Crested Butte is operated by The Mueller family of Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont - they wrote the book on ski hospitality.