Strolling the snowy streets of dreamy Vail, Colorado is idyllic as it is international. Beautiful people from all over the world gravitate to the country’s third-largest single-mountain ski resort with seven bowls over 5,289 acres plus hundreds of stores in Lionshead and Vail Village. Art galleries, extreme gear outfitters and designer boutiques line the cobblestone streets, teeming with smartly dressed shoppers (hello, fair isle sweaters, furry boots, pom pom hats and dark sunglasses).
But, be sure to look up and past this Bavarian hamlet to all the winter sports opportunities throughout the White River National Forest. Fat tire bike, snowshoe, nordic ski, ice skate, ice fish and even fly fish or just chill in a hot tub or heated pool like the one hugging Gore Creek at the Grand Hyatt Vail.
This ski-in/ski-out luxury resort features bold, vibrant architecture inspired by its scenic locale and welcoming service with a sprawling heated pool and two hot tubs overlooking the snowy peaks. To get you moving, there’s a Venture Sports shop right at the hotel for rentals, tunings and storage, too. Vail Valley Anglers will pick you up at the hotel and set you up for a day ice fishing or fly fishing.
“Yes, the landscape has changed and the cold has a firm grip on the river, but they fish still eat every day,” says Brett Elkman of Vail Valley Anglers. “It may seem crazy to some to stand in the cold in hopes of catching a few fish, but the true payoff lies in the solitude and beauty that is winter fly fishing. Winter fly fishing offers you the chance to have the river to yourself, escape the crowds and perfect the skills that you learned all summer. It is also an excellent way to spend the day when you need a break from skiing all week. I like to call it hydrotherapy with a rod.”
Luxe hotels throughout Vail offer winter travelers activities galore. At the Grand Hyatt Vail, a lineup of extravagant holiday dinners and Grand Winter Moments are planned for the season. In addition to world-class skiing and snowboarding experiences, find two weeks of holiday cheer with daily s’mores roasting, hot cocoa and cookies, ornament and stocking decorating, après and live music, champagne sabering, Après-Tunity in the Moët Yurt, family movie night, free Topgolf, caricatures, gingerbread house decorating, meeting Santa and more.
Returning for its second winter season, Yoshimi Pop-Up features signature maki rolls, handmade nigiri, Sapporo on tap and Suntory Highball whiskey on draft. Leading the pop-up is sushi chef Efrain Canales who joins the resort’s culinary team with decades of distinguished experience.
The resort’s signature restaurant, Gessner will host a Christmas buffet featuring French onion soup, bone-in tomahawk, coconut curry swordfish, hand-carved roasts and sides such as cornbread stuffing, roasted rainbow carrots with maple brussels sprouts, and truffle mac and cheese. Holiday pie, mini desserts, and a cookie decorating station are the icing on the cake.
Finding your own vibe in Vail won’t be hard if you love luxury, elevated service, never-ending snowy vistas, and vibrant living! Happy holidays!