My stay at A-Frame Club, nestled away in Winter Park, CO, helped me understand the true meaning of “hygge”. A friend of mine adores the word and has tried to incorporate it into our lives for a little over 5 years now. I have no shame in saying that I just didn’t get it. But pulling up to the tucked away parking lot of A-Frame Club and being greeted by an illuminated sign reading “A-FRAME CLUB. KEEP YOUR TIPS UP”, I knew this escape was going to be something special.
“Hygge” (noun) is regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture and is defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being". In essence, it means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm burn of a candle is hygge. Sipping on hot chocolate by the fire is hygge. A-Frame Club? Totally hygge.
The new hotel brand, A-Frame Club, takes design cues from 1970s American ski culture and the iconic a-frame cabins of that era. This first club in Winter Park consists of 31 modular cabins, with a restaurant and bar in a historic saloon building that sits less than a mile from the base of Winter Park Resort. Constructed by Zeppelin Development in partnership with Skylab Architecture, the newly constructed cabins sit adjacent to the Fraser River and are all connected by a network of boardwalks that instantly transport guests into a world of solitude, bringing relaxation and refuge after a day of skiing or mountain biking, and providing a picturesque mountain escape.
Walking into the cabin itself took my breath away, as I basked in the tall ceilings, beautiful birch wood throughout, and yes, glowing, hygge lighting. I was filled with warmth instantly (the heated bathroom floors may have helped with that a bit).
The mid-century-inspired cabins are adorned with everything needed for a sweet winter night in; a fully stocked kitchenette, a lofted bedroom, a custom Malm fireplace and even a soaking tub. Vintage furnishings fill the space, with ultra-tall glass windows, letting the natural light cascade onto the birch and cedar panel walls. The amenity touches inside the cabin elevate the comfort level, and made me feel like I was on a secret mountain spa retreat, wearing my cozy Matouk robe with slippers to match. The modern yet cozy cabin rang true to A-Frame Club’s own words: “You experience a better kind of mountain life when you stay with us.”
Along with the meticulously designed cabins, the French-Alpine-inspired saloon transports patrons to a 1970’s apres-ski dream. Vintage pictures line the walls and soft 70’s dance music fills the restaurant and bar. The restaurant, bar and outdoor patio have a menu filled with locally sourced delicious classics to eat and craft cocktails to pair. I was lucky enough to visit the weekend their holiday decor was put up, filling the saloon with extra added cheer and comfort. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the Christmas tree topped with a firetruck red ski boot as the star. Hygge at its finest.
The vibes curated at A-Frame Club are second to none. The 70s-chic ski aesthetic is fun and refreshing, but not overpowering. It pays homage to a simpler time, with cabins at the base of a ski hill, setting the scene for a spectacular apres-ski experience. The service was exemplary, reigning true to classic mountain hospitality. It’s intentional. It creates a genuine escape where everything else fades away, except for what’s directly in front of you.