For several years, my family has stayed at the other ski-in/ski-out hotel at Steamboat -- right on the doorstep of Christie's Peak chairlift. This year, we were looking for a cozier alternative and decided to try the Ptarmigan Inn based on the rave reviews. This is indeed a very nice hotel. It has a few negatives which puts it between 3.5 and 3.75 stars.
The staff is EXTREMELY warm and friendly. I felt so welcomed to this hotel, from the moment that I spoke to someone on the phone to get reservations all the way to check-out. On the phone, all questions were answered patiently, they took my reservation quickly and courteously, assured me that lift tickets would be waiting for me at check-in (not something that was offered at that other hotel!), and equipment waiting for me at the on-premises equipment rental. (They also told me that helmets were included in the rental cost but they were not -- I was charged half again what the equipment rental cost to get kids' helmets which were required by Steamboat Ski School.)
Check-in was easy and my lift tickets were indeed waiting for me. No elevator to get all of our luggage to our rooms though! Fortunately, it was only a half flight of stairs. After check-in, I called for 2 additional pillows and 1 extra towel. These were provided very promptly by the front desk. The pillows were the smallest squishiest I have ever encountered and I do wish they would buy some new or different ones. My extra towel disappeared after the first maid service which is typical -- maids never count the number of towels they take away.
In the morning we were late for ski school and I asked the front desk if I had to go all the way to the ticket office to pick up the kids' ski school add-on lift tickets and he said yes. Luckily he was wrong. I had to check-in at the ski school for the children's lessons and they gave me the lift tickets then.
The ski rental shop staff were super nice and even carried our skis upstairs to the backdoor for us.
Ski rental was about 45 seconds from our room -- and the ski school is another 45 seconds jogging down the hill outside the backdoor. VERY close and convenient. It was nice being able to go from our room to the ski rental in just our socks. The hill outside the backdoor is the ski-in/out part of the deal but it is imperfect: For ski out, you run out of downhill before you reach the gondola and long before you reach Christie's Peak chairlift. For ski in, you have to plan ahead and do a hard cut to the left to reach the hill above the Inn. If you pick up kids at ski school at the end of the day, you will either have to take a lift up to get above the Inn or walk up the Ptarmigan hill carrying ski equipment. On the second day, the ski instructor advised us to take the Magic Carpet (with all the LITTLE kids) so we didn't have to walk so far uphill. Getting off the hill onto the Ptarmigan Inn's backdeck requires descending a slightly hazardous set of snow-covered steps.
The bartender in the bar was really nice though he seemed a little deaf. Because the hotel is so small, we felt comfortable leaving the kids in the room watching TV while we had some drinks. The restaurant was perfect for the 4 of us -- a warm atmosphere, friendly and efficient waitress, and good but non-pretentious fare.
The room (standard 2 queens) was really small. The closet door was a balky accordion; it was very frustrating opening and closing it. I would have preferred one sink and more counter/storage space rather than 2 sinks in 2 areas. One of the sinks drained very slowly. I slept very poorly but there was nothing I could pinpoint to the cause -- it could have been the dry air, the squishy pillows, various body aches. We had a slope view room on the 4th floor (nice view!) and I did hear the grooming machines in the early morning as some reviews have mentioned but that was because I was already awake. I think if I were sleeping well, the low drones would not have disturbed me. The curtains did an excellent job of darkening the room until the rest of my family was ready to waken. Wi-fi in our room was good enough most of the time.
In summary, this hotel has service and atmosphere from a bygone era, when people seemed to enjoy their jobs. The convenience of having lift tickets at the desk, ski rental steps away, and ski school as close as it is is unparalleled. The things I wish they would change that I think they could is to buy new pillows and fix the closet door and, ideally, the sink draining. And shovel those snow-covered steps! That would bring my review up to 4+ stars. The one thing I would do differently next time is to bring a portable humidifier. What they cannot change is that I don't consider this to be easy ski-in/ski-out. I would definitely consider coming again next year because of the excellent staff.
4th floor slope view rooms get nice light during the day.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.