A weekend of alpine indulgence, Vail-style
As I hitched the harness up over my waist and buckled the chin strap of my helmet, I looked up at the ziplining platform and out at the Rocky Mountains surrounding me. The thought running through my mind? “No regrets!”
From the mountaintop yoga class I took to the adventurous ziplining I tried, that phrase describes many of the moments I experienced during a summer trip to Vail, which, as an outdoor enthusiast, I found ideal for a long, warm-weather weekend out west.
After my direct flight from Atlanta to Denver, I hopped on one of the Colorado Mountain Express shuttles that regularly run passengers to Vail. (The drive is about 2.5 hours.) I didn’t arrive at my hotel until close to 9 p.m., but as soon as I walked into my room at The Arrabelle at Vail Square, any stress from the journey melted away. From the in-room iPad to the gas fireplace, I felt like I’d entered a suite at a luxury hotel in the Swiss Alps. After nibbling on my late-night arrival snack (arrange this prior to your stay), I tucked myself into bed.
At the breakfast buffet at Tavern on the Square, which is included in The Arrabelle’s $50 resort fee that covers other amenities such as valet parking, I stuffed myself with a custom-made omelet and fresh pastries. Then it was off to the Eagle Bahn Gondola to head up the mountain to Epic Discovery, Vail’s summer playground for kids—and grown-ups, too. My companion for the day, Maggie, told me that I should zipline first, since the line tends to get long quickly. Sailing through the air set a good tone for the rest of my afternoon at Epic Discovery, which also included trying the adventure (ropes) courses. That evening, Maggie and I reconnected for dinner at Game Creek, a gourmet spot in a cozy chalet perched atop Vail Mountain, that’s only accessible by hiking trail or a four-wheel-drive shuttle in summer months. The lamb tartare and the doe and fawn sighting at sunset from the restaurant’s deck made the journey absolutely worth it.
The morning kicked off with mountain top yoga, reached via Gondola One in Vail Village. Since I’d stuck to a light breakfast, afterward I indulged in a glass of rosé and a veggie sandwich at The 10th, another on-mountain dining option with a million-dollar view. The afternoon was spent enjoying a massage at the RockResorts Spa at The Arrabelle. I decided to stay close to home for dinner and arrived early enough to Tavern on the Square to score a table on the patio. After enjoying the short rib with gnocchi and one of the signature Mule cocktails, I rounded out the evening with a short walk along the river, followed by a bubble bath in my deep soaking tub.
A complimentary yoga class held in the square next to The Arrabelle left me feeling quite Zen and ready for my final breakfast at Tavern. I settled into my favorite spot on the patio with a cinnamon bun and a cup of tea, and consumed The New York Times. Before I knew it, it was time for my weekend of alpine adventure to come to a close. But I was grateful to have all of those Rocky Mountain memories to keep me going until my next visit.
IF YOU GO…
The Arrabelle at Vail Square
Colorado Mountain Express
STORY: Amelia Pavlik