Telluride Lodging and Accommodations
Written by Greg and Heather Burke
Two lodging locations options are downtown Telluride where there is an authentic local vibe or the spectacular Telluride Mountain Village which has several top ski hotels a short walk from the gondola and ski lifts across the brick heated pedestrian plaza.
We recommend The Fairmont Franz Klammer Heritage Place which offers luxurious residence condo style lodging with full hotel and concierge service plus a rooftop spa. Another ideal ski in ski out Telluride lodging property above the Village is The Mountain Lodge at Telluride with suites and condos plus the main lodge with an après ski lounge for drinks and dining overlooking the beautiful outdoor jacuzzi.
We like staying up at the Mountain Village – you can take the free Gondola down to town for Telluride après ski, shopping and dinner (open till midnight) – it’s a fantastic ride as you descend into town covered in blankets, with Telluride’s street lights sparkling like a box of jewels. For the non-skier or the shopper, Mountain Village offers plenty to do, retail therapy, and spa treatments.
The Mountain Lodge
Telluride Ski Resort in Colorado should be on every skier's must ski bucket list. With amazing terrain, extraordinary views, high-end lodging and dining, high elevation in the San Juan mountains, and loads of annual snow - you should definitely go! Telluride has been attracting top skiers and savvy celebs ever since it opened in 1972 - like miners to Gold!
For ideal on mountain lodging, The Mountain Lodge at Telluride is it! The Mountain Lodge at Telluride is ski-in ski-out, with every size room imaginable from Lodge Rooms to Suites and One to Six Bedroom Condos complete with kitchens and BBQs on the deck, even private Mountain Chalets. The Main Lodge is the center of this mountainside resort, an easy walk from most units, where you will find grand Rocky Mountain post and beam architecture, a welcome reception desk and concierge, and an après ski lounge with cathedral ceiling, appropriately called "The View" where you can enjoy fireside drinks and casual dining overlooking the beautiful outdoor jacuzzis. Or take your drink out to the steamy outdoor tub and sit and sip and soak and watch the gondola soar overhead, just ask the bartender for a plastic cup.
Mountain Lodge at Telluride is a residence resort, so you get spacious lodging plus every service you need from on site ski and snowboard rental shop, ski lockers, and a free shuttle to the free Gondola that takes you to Mountain Village or to Telluride's downtown for shopping, dining and nightlife.
Condos, Suites and Private Chalets at Mountain Lodge are fully equipped units that include a separate living area and a master bedroom with a full bath with jetted tub, plus a kitchen, balcony and gas fireplace, LCD HD flat screen TVs, complimentary WiFi and iPod dock. When you are done making turns on the mountain, ski back on the easy Double Cabin Trail - past Oprah's ski chalet, then relax in the outdoor heated pool, hot tubs and steam room or enjoy après ski while taking in the magnificent views at the casual tavern "The View." In the morning, put on your skis and hit the slopes right out your condo door - you can ski down to the lifts.
You can cook in, walk to the main Mountain Lodge for dinner at The View or take the Gondola to Mountain Village or downtown Telluride. The spectacular Telluride Mountain Village has several great restaurants, cafes and bars like Tomboys just a short walk from the gondola. Shoppers will enjoy exploring the brick heated pedestrian plaza with some upscale ski shops and an outdoor ice rink. Take the free Gondola (open till midnight) all the way to town some evening for Telluride's downtown authentic après ski, excellent local dining and shopping – the ride is especially scenic descending into town (ask for a blanket from the lift attendant if you like). At night, Telluride’s lights sparkle like jewels in this box canyon. Or get off the Gondola at Allred's for a fine dinner on the mountain with views of the town from this grand building that serves as a mid station for the gondola. Lastly, you can catch a snow cat to Alpino Vino for a five-course dinner atop the 11,960' ski mountain - a very special alpine treat - bring your appetite and your AMEX.
Fairmont Franz Klammer Lodge
The Fairmont Franz Klammer Heritage Place offers luxurious residence condo style lodging with full hotel and concierge service plus a rooftop Spa. The best of both worlds, class and convenience located just steps to the lifts. Opened in 1996 as Colorado's first private residence club, the Franz Klammer Lodge has all the comforts and space of home - with the services of a five-star Fairmont hotel.
This 63-residence Telluride Hotel has two and three bedroom condo style residences - at 1,400 square feet and 2,000 feet respectively - so plenty of room to spread out, relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery from your big windows and deck, complete with a bbq grill. A beautiful living room features leather couches, elegant Rocky Mountain decor, a grand dining room table and full kitchen with granite counters and top of the line Sub Zero appliances. You would happily cook for the week here with views of Telluride's mountains as your inspiration. But there are so many great Telluride restaurants just steps away in the Mountain Village or downtown that it's hard to choose. Large luxurious bedrooms and tiled walk-in showers plus baths with jacuzzi jet tubs are so inviting after a big day in Rendezvous Bowl. Your suite even a washer/dryer in your unit - perfect for keeping your ski gear clean and dry for the next day on the slopes.
The Franz Klammer Residence Hotel offers several lovely common rooms for homeowners and guests to congregate and enjoy après ski. The Club Room on the 3rd floor has a bar, fireplace and fantastic sitting area. Complimentary Cocktail parties are commonplace here. This is also where you will find The Concierge Desk, staffed 24/7 and ready to assist with travel plans, or Telluride dinner reservations, perhaps booking a snowcat ride from Allred's to dinner at the summit Alpino Vino for a five-course tasting menu with wine pairing!
On the first level is an indoor pool and spa, but the fifth floor is the height of luxury. The Himmel Suite Spa Lounge features a fireplace and waterfall, a refreshment bar, and an outdoor rooftop hot tub with extraordinary views. Himmel is the German inspiration behind this alpine spa - Himmel translates to "heavens" as your experience should be here. The Himmel Spa has a lavish list of European-style spa treatments from traditional Swedish massage to specialty massages, exotic skin treatments, and essential oil body wraps. I, unfortunately, tweaked my knee during my ski trip and my masseuse treated me to a Kinesio tape wrap that worked wonders. The Himmel Spa staff is extremely talented and terrific.
You will sleep well at this high hotel, at almost 10,000 feet above sea level, in your high thread count bed, especially after a massage and an outdoor soak in the bubbly hot tub with a view of the mountains and the stars above.
Be sure to take the time to visit downtown Telluride, known for its great local vibe, and a great concentration of restaurants, boutiques, art galleries and shops and the century old Opera House. Board the free Gondola (runs 7 am til midnight), having changed out of your ski attire for après ski, and ride into town covered in blankets. It's an incredibly scenic ride each way, especially at sunset with the alpenglow over the mountains as you descend toward Telluride’s street lights that sparkle like jewels in a box - or a box canyon as the case may be. We suggest restaurant 221 South Oak - where Chef Eliza from Top Chef serves inspired, delicious dishes of local products brought to another level.
Telluride Mountain Village also offers plenty of restaurants, and retail therapy at upscale ski shops, and an ice rink, all a short walk from the heated brick pedestrian plaza from the Fairmont Franz Klammer. And from your lodging at Heritage Place, you can easily get the first chair on the Village Express Lift, since the ski concierge delivers your skis and poles or snowboard to the slopes for you each morning, and takes them from you as you step off the slopes each afternoon - such service. You may feel like a super star ski racer when staying in such a fine ski hotel with such a racy name as the Fairmont Franz Klammer Heritage Place.
Fairmont Hotels has sister properties in some very high places to consider for your luxury ski travels: Chateau Whistler, The Chateau Lake Louise, Banff Springs Hotel, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Fairmont Tremblant, Château Frontenac in Quebec City, Manoir Richelieu, and Fairmont Le Montreux Palace in Switzerland.