Crested Butte is a breathtaking Colorado destination and truly a hidden gem. Nestled in a gorgeous valley, this town of 2,000 is charming and full of surprising culinary delights. Although outdoor recreation is popular here year round, in winter time this area offers legendary Colorado skiing, but without the crowds. See why The Grand Lodge is the best Crested Butte mountain resort for skiing stays.
Best Crested Butte Mountain Resort for Skiing
If you’ve never stayed at the base area of a mountain when skiing, you have been missing out. Accommodations are typically plentiful in ski areas. But choosing wisely can position you so that heading out to ski means a short, relaxing walk. No hauling your gear. No early morning drive, and searching for parking. No need to pack in your change of clothes for afterwards. Oh, and did I mention the hot tub waiting to soak your weary legs?
All of this and more is what makes The Grand Lodge the best Crested Butte, Colorado, mountain resort for your family’s ski vacation.
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What Works for Families
First off, I think The Grand Lodge has permanently spoiled my family by placing us in a room with two king sized beds. The Emmons 2 King Suite was incredibly comfortable and roomy. One of the king beds is a Murphy, allowing you to free up even more space during the day. Between the generous size of this room, and its fully equipped kitchenette, we felt we could have happily stayed in our mini apartment for days.
Every afternoon when you return from the slopes, a plate of cookies awaits you in the lobby. Although we don’t typically hang out in resort public areas, we were so drawn to the The Grand Lodge’s inviting wood burning fireplace and cozy furniture that we spent time both evenings relaxing there. A wooden chest contains games such as Pictionary and Monopoly, and a reading box offers loaners books. We curled up with our cookies, and the kids made friends with any children that stopped by to play awhile.
It’s been many years since I stayed a lodge right at the base of a ski mountain. I can’t say enough good things about how much easier and more convenient this is, rather than driving in to the ski area each day. To bundle up right in our hotel room, then take the short walk over to the mountain base each morning was a breeze. The main ski plaza area is just across the street. The Grand Lodge truly offers the best location when skiing at Crested Butte.
What Doesn’t Work for Families
In the evenings, we found the hot tub to be somewhat crowded with adults enjoying their après ski adult beverages. And it was just a little too cold outside for the kids to be able to enjoy the outdoor heated pool. Everyone was friendly, though, and we made it work. The hot tub is actually very well designed, with a center ring of seating that increases the seating capacity.
Other than the gift shop with limited hours, you won’t find any convenience type items available for sale in The Grand Lodge lobby area. But there is a liquor store just a short walk across the street for… *ahem*…. any emergency supplies. My husband headed there late one night to find milk for our kids.
During ski season, the average cost of an Emmons 2 King Suite like my family of 4 stayed in runs $$. You can also combine your room in a “stay and ski package”, which gives you a discount on your lodging and lift tickets when you reserve these items together.
This mini suite includes a helpful kitchenette, including sink, fridge, one burner stove, microwave, utensils, a dishwasher, and a coffee maker. You’ll also find bath robes for heading to the pool or onsite Wildflower Spa, and free Wi-Fi, along with typical room amenities.
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If flying to this scenic destination, the airport at Gunnison, Colorado, is your closest bet. From there it’s an incredibly scenic 35 minute drive to Crested Butte. If coming from the Denver area, expect a four hour drive (via the refreshing route of Hwy 285, avoiding the weekend I-70 ski traffic). Have your camera ready, as wildlife are plentiful in this area – including deer, elk, moose, mountain lions, lynx, and bear.
You’ll quickly fall in love with the town of Crested Butte. The Grand Lodge and Crested Butte ski mountain are actually located a 5 minute drive away from the town. Colorful buses painted by local artisans offer free shuttle service back and forth, every few minutes. The pick up location is just across the street from The Grand Lodge. We enjoyed using this convenient method of getting in to town for some delicious restaurant fare in the evenings.
A nice sized gift shop can hook you up with a cute Crested Butte sweatshirt. The Wildflower Spa is also on site, where they offer reflexology and massage treatments. A steam room can be found in vicinity of the spa, and is open to The Grand Lodge guests.
A classy, warm lodge ambiance greets you as soon as you enter The Grand Lodge. The free plate of cookies next to a warm fireplace was a welcoming site each night when we returned from playing outdoors in the snow all day.
Having access to an outdoor hot tub to soak tired muscles is a must, in my skiing book. The Grand Lodge hot tub has a nice design, and accommodates quite a few people at a time.
Our room was so comfortable, and having a microwave and fridge came in handy for late night snacks or storing leftovers. Complementary bottles of water and hot cocoa mix packets are found in the kitchenette.
There’s a room safe in the closet, along with robes to borrow for heading to the hot tub. Plenty of outlets allowed us to charge all of our devices each night. Having the king sized Murphy bed was a fun twist, and allowed us to free up quite a bit of space when needed.
We did venture down to the pool each night, a short elevator ride away. Towels are provided in the pool area, so no need to bring them from your room. We love having an outdoor hot tub available for a relaxing day’s end soak, after playing in the winter snow.
You’ll find free parking behind the The Grand Lodge. Just park it and leave it! Between the free shuttle buses to town, for any shopping and dining, and the short walk across the street to the Mt. Crested Butte ski lift area… you’ve got a perfect, stress free location.
If you care to dine in, the Woodstone Grille is located in the lobby area of The Grand Lodge. They serve a daily breakfast buffet, and are also open for dinner each night.
We found the local Crested Butte cuisine to be fantastic. In spite of the small local population, the town boasts 50 restaurants… and only one of them is a franchise chain, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Big flavors and savory dishes made from scratch are the order of the day here, and were a real treat.
Crested Butte is a fantastic destination for families to enjoy some outdoor recreation and the beauty of Colorado. Especially during ski season, The Grand Lodge is an excellent choice of accommodations.