Some destinations make you feel a bit ritzier simply by association. Ski towns in general have the effect of making you feel posh; just add mulled wine and a crackling fire pit and you have an instant celebrity.
Beloved by celebrities that include the Kardashians and the Obamas, Vail’s picturesque villages and astonishingly good slopes offer plenty of chances to live the high life, but here are just a few ways you can get started.
The Arrabelle at Vail Square
Rumour has it that the Kardashians called The Arrabelle home during their Vail visit in 2016 and it’s easy to imagine Kim and her crew kicking back amidst its romantic elegance. Look forward to a fairy tale bedroom – plush drapes over the bedheads, marble bathrooms and velvet accents will set the scene for your cameo as a celebrity.
The Sebastian – Vail, A Timbers Resort
Art lovers and those with a penchant for character will adore The Sebastian. This five-star resort is garnished with original art and antiques at every turn, with The Library at its heart inviting you to peruse leather-bound tomes or shoot the breeze while nursing a scotch from the bar’s signature collection.
The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Vail
Did we mention that Vail was Ritzy? The newly refurbished Ritz-Carlton is rated just as highly for its inimitable service as it is for the classic grandeur of its rooms and residences. After a day on the slopes you’ll be welcomed home with a hot drink and freshly baked choc-chip cookies, just one of many service hallmarks that have guests returning time and time again.
You’ll never have to lug your skis around if you’re staying at one of the hotels mentioned above. Your skis or snowboard will be tagged from the moment you check in or clear rentals, and after that it’s as simple as spotting the valet tent at the bottom of the mountain and throwing out your name like a rock star. Sure, you may be staying slope side, but celebrities don’t spend time storing their gear when there’s après happening.
You’d be doing yourself an injustice if you explored Vail’s legendary Back Bowls without someone in the know, and it’s almost as bad to pass up on the opportunity to score tips from one of the best ski and snowboard schools in the country. A Vail Resorts private lesson can be as technical or as cruisey as you want it to be.
Spend the day with someone who is dedicated to making you feel at home on the slopes of the USA’s largest single mountain resort – a special shout out to Charlie Baker and his mate Todd, who are guaranteed to show you the time of your life.
You don’t have to ski to enjoy the snow. Located at the top of Vail’s Eagle Bahn Gondola, Adventure Ridge offers snow biking and tubing along with the thrilling Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster. Strap in for a screaming good ride through scenic, snow-laden pines with the assurance of knowing you’re in charge of the brakes.
Named after the sculptress whose remarkable work graces the halls of The Sebastian, restaurant Leonora delivers a menu packed with irresistible Spanish and French alpine influences. Start with a Poblano Bacon Biscuit dipped in honey butter but try to resist gobbling the whole thing – you’ll definitely want room for at least three other dishes.
Atmosphere comes in snow shovels at Mountain Standard in Vail Village. It’s a relaxed, tavern vibe that disguises a gourmet menu and a killer cocktail list. Recommendations include the dangerously good margaritas, Chicken Liver Mousse, Braised Beef Cheek and whatever special is on offer from the artists in the kitchen.
On-mountain dining has attained a new pinnacle at the 10th. First thing’s first – pull off your ski boots and slide into some fluffy slippers. Make sure you snag a seat next to the floor-to-ceiling windows, so you can goggle at the Colorado Rockies while munching on truffled french fries and raclette-smothered veggies.
Vail Village has potential to be a stand-alone shopping destination. Hundreds of stores sell everything from cowboy boots to cookbooks. Fashionistas will be in heaven, as Vail vendors purvey so much more than luxury ski gear. You’re guaranteed to get those celebrity feels as you browse one-of-a-kind designer pieces, stunning eveningwear and bespoke jewellery.
No celebrity destination would be complete without a choice of day spas. From the luscious 10,000-square foot RockResorts Spa at The Arrabelle to the organic haven of Bloom at The Sebastian, there are talented therapists waiting to pamper you from head to toe.
Pools and hot tubs
A selfie in a steaming, outdoor pool is a must for ski town celebrities. Our favourite backdrop is the glamorous rooftop pool at The Arrabelle, which just begs you to swill champagne and soak up the jaw-dropping panorama of Vail Resort.
The Ritz-Carlton’s fabulous outdoor pool and hot tubs are located in a peaceful spot at the base of Vail Mountain. A poolside cocktail service means there’s no need to budge from your recliner and its views of the ski slopes.
The outdoor heated pool and hot tub at The Marriott is a hotspot for après ski soaks, and the fire pit is almost as inviting. A s’more station nearby offers an irresistible opportunity to toast your own gooey treat, complete with homemade, gourmet marshmallows.