If you’re after a fresh ski fix this winter in a new location, then look no further: Steamboat Springs in Colorado will be your new favourite place! Specialist luxury ski holiday providers such as The Oxford Ski Company offer resorts and chalets across the state, namely Beaver Creek, Vail and Aspen, yet it’s this relatively untapped-by-Europeans city that’s northern Colorado’s hidden secret.
Moving Mountains – a family-owned company offering luxury vacation homes – is run by husband and wife duo, Robin and Heather Craigen who met whilst working together on a luxury yacht charter in the Caribbean. They’d heard about Steamboat Springs with its strong community spirit and family friendliness from people on their travels and so decided to check it out for themselves when the time was right for them to begin a family.
One thing the Craigens immediately realised upon arrival was the truth about Steamboat’s community spirit and family friendliness, but also that despite having an existing skiing culture there definitely lacked the glamour and exclusivity that Brits and Europeans associate with it. This is why, since 1998, Moving Mountains has been offering the high-end luxe appeal minus the pretentious attitude (that just wouldn’t wash in this community). This is why because of this successful combination, they’ve seen loyal repeat business every year for decades.
From linen of the highest quality to flat-panel TVs, every property is decked with the best of its kind to help visitors settle into their home-from-home easier. A VIP catered package has been set up to limit stress, whether that’s keeping the fridge stocked so you can enjoy your day or a private chef for more custom gourmet meals.
In addition to the sensational 80+ properties, Moving Mountains turn up the wow factor with a heated pool, hot tubs, a stunning lounge area, an equally impressive bar area, a game room for adults right next door to a games room for kids and a free shuttle service.
You can reach Steamboat Springs in just over three hours from Denver International Airport by car or you can fly to Yampa Valley / Hayden airport, which is then just a 35 minute drive away. I’d recommend Hayes & Jarvis are award-winning long-haul specialists and experts in creating tailor-made holidays with 65 years of experience, so leave it to them to effectively organise your travel arrangements for you.
Hayes & Jarvis (01293 762 456, hayesandjarvis.co.uk) is offering a five-night holiday to Denver from £999 per person. The offer includes five nights at the four-star Hyatt Place Denver Cherry Creek, on a room only basis. This price includes return international flights from London Heathrow with United Airlines. Based on 2020 departures. Ring to book.
The Elizabeth Hotel
On the other side of the Rocky Mountain National Park is the city of Fort Collins, which equals Steamboat’s friendliness and spirit, and has an unwavering love for bikes, beers and bands. The Elizabeth Hotel epitomises all three of these things. The music-themed hotel has the best location, right in the heart of the Old Town, which is home to more than 20 craft beer breweries, as well as a number of fun bars and pubs with plenty of character, personality and of course live music.
Just a 90 minute drive away from Denver International Airport (three hours drive from Steamboat), Fort Collins has a very cool buzz about it. Not pretentious in the slightest, yet laid back, fun and with its fair share of culture (check out the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery), The Elizabeth Hotel is a good reflection of Fort Collins. Like Moving Mountains, it’s succeeded in providing luxury without the snobbery. The signature rooms are named after each of the city’s three loves – remember the three B’s above – while every single one of the 164 rooms comes with its own charming record player and collection of vinyl. The reception area also boasts its own music library where you can hire out musical equipment and more vinyl! Furthermore, the Magic Rat on the ground floor hosts live bands and singers pretty much every night, while up on the roof is a jazz bar called Sunset Lounge, which is very nice way to while away an evening with a cocktail or two.
The Elizabeth Hotel’s staff will go out of their way to make you feel welcome and to help you in any way they can. Plus they’re pretty good for just a general chit chat! Again, very much like Steamboat Springs, the community is at the heart of everything here. Take their in-house Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market (which does exceptional food I might add). They describe themselves as a “community gathering space”, which you’re immediately made to feel a part of during your stay. Steamboat Springs and Fort Collins are just two of not just Colorado, but America’s best kept secrets.