Fresh powder, marble-clad spas, and savory food are just some of the reasons Houstonians flock to Vail. Laurette M. Veres discovers this mountain town is as much fun in summer as it is in winter.
Vail’s newest luxury hotel, the Arrabelle at Vail Square brings a European feeling to the mountain village. Thirty-six rooms with built-in wood closets, fireplaces, lounge chairs, and flat screen televisions await mountain visitors. The rectangular rooftop pool has views of lush greenery in summer and ski slopes in winter.
Get out – get active
Minutes from town is the hiking trail to White River National Forest with breathtaking, panoramic views. The Arrabelle hiking experience includes a sack lunch of granola, meat, bread, and cheese. Guides from Trail Wise point out sights and local vegetation. As you ascend the mountain, the river gets narrower and the current gets stronger, too strong to jump in and swim. The rapidly moving water provides a hint of the white water rafting adventure to come.
Timberline Tours welcomes you with a full wet suit, helmet, and water shoes. The river adventure seems ominous to the ten amateurs in the raft. The guides from Timberline Tours are very good. They can make your river trip exceptionally challenging or relaxingly with just a few directional strokes of a paddle. My group was full of newbies, so our ride was exceptionally calm.
Back in Vail Square, cool down with some gelato at Rimini. Delectable chocolates fill the display cabinet, but the many gelato flavors make this place a crowd favorite.
For some true Colorado flair, head to 4 Eagle Ranch, homesteaded in 1885. Today, it’s a special events facility with the original settler’s home still on display. Dinners are served in the 1890’s cabin along with local beer and wine. The strolling musician takes requests and the wedding pavilion provides a picture perfect setting for your picture perfect day.
When it’s time to relax, head to the Rock Resorts Spa for their signature treatment, Vin Chaud. This wine-themed treatment starts with a grape rub down … and ends with a glass of wine. Cheers!
Vail’s elevation is 8150 feet.
Lowland visitors may experience headache, loss of appetite or dizziness…..
Houstonians should prepare:
Do: drink plenty of H2O
Avoid: alcohol, salty foods
Arrabelle at Vail Square
675 Lionshead Place
4 Eagle Ranch
4098 Hwy 131
Wolcott, CO 81655
PO Box 131
Vail, CO 81658