Panoramic Mountain Vistas at Alpine Resort
Every autumn, a quilt of gold and bronze spreads across the tree-covered mountain ridges of the White River National Forest. Nestled among the patchwork display, at the top of a crest overlooking Vail Valley, sits The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera. The stately resort calls to mind a chateau in the Alps, both in its dormered architecture and its Old World warmth and opulence.
Golfers can tee off at the seasonal Tom Fazio–designed 18-hole Valley Course at Cordillera, whose sunny southern exposure and relatively low elevation allow it to stay open until late October. Seventeen miles of carefully maintained hiking paths wind through the resort’s 7,000-acre property, leading to waterfalls and 14,000-foot peaks. If you want to fly-fish, there are stocked ponds throughout the grounds (accessible with a guide).
For dining, the lodge’s award-winning restaurants include Mirador, which serves up delectable local specialties such as Colorado lamb. At the resort’s spa (closed for appointments only on Mondays and Tuesdays), you can indulge in luxurious treatments such as the Backcountry pedicure, which includes an aloe-vera wrap and a calf massage.
Vail, Colorado: Mountain Playground in the Heart of the Rockies
Set amid towering pines and snowcapped peaks, Vail stands at the center of Colorado’s mountain recreation scene. About 5 miles east of the hotel, White River National Forest is crisscrossed with trails and gorgeous vistas in the shadows of the Rockies. The 2.3-million-acre woodland encompasses an array of wildlife habitats and recreational ventures, allowing you to take in fresh mountain breezes while hiking, mountain biking, or playing freeze tag with boulders.
After a day of alpine adventures, visit the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum for a glimpse into the evolution of bib overalls. On Tuesdays, Vail Village historical walking tours branch out from the museum into the charming, European-style village.
Snow flurries herald the arrival of skiing season in November, when the region transforms into a winter wonderland. Shuttles from Cordillera to nearby Vail and Beaver Creek slopes begin transporting passengers around this time. Closer to the resort, you can go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating.