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Vail questions and recommendations

San Diego...
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Vail questions and recommendations

I'm going to be coming to Vail for 4 nights with a couple of buddies of mine in January or February. There are 3 of us guys and we did Copper last year, but the apres ski and night scene was totally dead there, so we're going to try Vail this year.

I've been to Vail to ski but have never stayed there overnight. I know the village is large, so what are some of the pros and cons for the various areas? There are so many it's overwhelming.

We're looking for a 2BR condo with 3 separate beds, something comfortable, it doesn't have to be luxury. But a hot tub is a must (not private).

We used vbro in the past with great success, but there are so many listings and areas in Vail I don't know where to start. I was hoping for something in the $250-$300/night range. Last year we got a very nice, new condo in Copper for $250 but I'm guessing Vail is more.

We'd like to walk to the lifts, but the shuttle is probably OK. We'd like to be within walking distance of restaurants and bars. I don't know the cost difference between staying really close and being on the outskirts.

Any advice is appreciated. Our first goal is to find lodging and then I'll start the restaurant and bar research. Thanks in advance for any help.

I was planning on booking a shuttle to/from the airport but it looks like renting a car might be less expensive.

bryn mawr
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1. Re: Vail questions and recommendations

I would stay right in Vail Village to make the most of your stay. There can be a substantial variance in cost compared to staying in the outlying areas, but it's worth checking it out because anyway you do it, Vail is expensive. I like being able to walk to the lifts and restaurants. Also, many one bedroom condos can accommodate a party your size, so check them out as well.

Certain dates are considered off peak during the months of Jan and Feb, so ask for specials. Some offer a fourth night free or lift tickets free with lodging. Visit snow.com or google vail lodging.

Renting a car is often cheaper than the shuttle, which would run your group around $400. Just remember Vail's about 120 miles uphill from Denver, so you need something reliable. Vail is a pedestrian village and the shuttle is there to visit the other areas, so you really don't need a car once you get there.

San Diego...
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2. Re: Vail questions and recommendations

Thanks brynmawr,

I looked at some online maps and I see where "Vail Village" is. Adjacent to the Village on one side is Lionshead where the lodging is within walking distance to the Born Free and Eagle Bahn lifts.

Likewise, on the other side of Vail Village is Golden Peak at the base of the Riva Bahn lift.

What are these areas like? It looks like the lodging rates are lower in Lionshead, but that's for a reason I'm sure.

Here's our typical day. Ski all day then end the day at a bar for apres ski before we go back to the condo to change. Head back to the condo and have a few drinks in the hot tub, then wash up and head out to dinner and maybe a little partying after that.

I'm sure that would be the most convenient if we stay in Vail Village but I'm wondering how much harder it is from Lionshead. Are most of the good bars in the Village? Is using the shuttle between Lionshead (or one of the other neighborhoods) convenient, especially at night?

Thanks again.

Nashville, TN
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3. Re: Vail questions and recommendations

PabloSanDiego,

The shuttle is definitely convenient - day and night. Buses come about every 10 minutes and pretty much everybody rides them.

Prices may be a little cheaper in Lionshead because of the construction...but here's the deal - you can't go wrong either place. The village or Lionshead. Or Golden Peak for that matter too.

I stayed at "The Wren" in 2003 and was very pleased with the 1 BR + loft that I got for ~300/night. Last year I stayed in Cascade Village and was pleased there as well. We took free hotel shuttles to the slopes each morning/afternoon and it was no big deal except the first and last days when you have to lug your skis and boots with you. This year I am going to stay at "All Seasons" in Golden Peak and I anticipate it will be more than satisfactory.

Here's something that you must do if you have a rental car -- There is a restaurant about 20 minutes West of Vail in a town called Minturn and it's called "The Saloon" - ask anyone in town and they can tell you how to get there. Nothing fancy - just a great atmosphere in a place that's been there forever. Their motto is "If John Wayne didn't drink it here, we don't make it". You and your friends will love it.

Apres' ski in Lionshead -- you should try Bart and Yetti's. It's less crowded than the other places and if the weather is nice the patio is very pleasant.

In the village there is a pizza joint/bar called Vendetta's -- it's where all the ski patrol go. Enough said.

For a nice dinner one night try Ore House in The Village.

Enjoy!

San Diego...
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4. Re: Vail questions and recommendations

TraneCo, thanks for the tips. Especially the restaurants and The Saloon, sounds like our kind of place. We definitely like to eat well and it's on my List.

Based on what you said, I'm going to consider Lionshead and Golden Peak too.

How about the areas that lie outside of those 3 in the middle? These are East Vail and the Vail Golf Course area to the east and Cascade Village, West Vail and Sandstone to the west. How convenient are these since they are farther? Is the shuttle convenient from these areas also?

How late does the shuttle run?

Thanks again for the help.

Nashville, TN
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5. Re: Vail questions and recommendations

Last year I stayed in Cascade Village at Park Meadows lodge. Dirt cheap but surprisingly clean and neat. They have a hot tub too. Anyway, the lodging places over there each have their own shuttle that takes people over to Lionshead each morning and picks them up each afternoon - so that's how you would get back and forth to ski.

However, these shuttles stop running at 5:30 so after skiing you can have a couple of drinks and then go back and clean up but you would at that point need a car to get back into the Village from Cascade.

The point is that if you stay outside of Lionshead, The Village or Golden Peak, you need a car to get back to these areas at night. Atleast that's what we did last year....took the free shutlle back and forth to ski and then drove back over and parked (for free) in the parking garage to party at night. From Cascade to the Village is at most a 5 minute drive....

Denver, Colorado
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6. Re: Vail questions and recommendations

I would recommend Lions Head Village. I live in Denver and everytime we go to Vail, we stay there because you can walk to Vail Village (we always did, even though there is a shuttle) and its less expensive to stay in Lions Head. If you go to the Saloon in Minturn, may I also recommend Chilly Willy's across the street? It's a Mexican place, but very quaint and a good atmosphere to sit in the bar...I just booked our room for Vail for this weekend, they are getting so much snow right now! Have fun.

San Diego...
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7. Re: Vail questions and recommendations

More great info, thanks guys. Based on this I think we're going to limit the search to the main Village, Lionshead and Golden Peak. I know we're going to want to have a few drinks (or more) with and after dinner and nobody is going to want to be the designated driver. One question just in case: are cabs readily available?

I've used two sites so far to do some lodging searches. The one that you get at from the official Vail site (vail.snow.com) and Vacation Rentals by Owner (www.vrbo.com) that we used last year.

can you guys recommend a better way to find a good rental, like a good property manager or web site? What I'd like to find is an OK 2BR place for about $400/night, I hope that's possible.

Chicago, IL
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8. Re: Vail questions and recommendations

Go with the shuttle from the airport, even though the initial cost is more to go on the shuttle, parking is very difficult and if your hotel doesn't have parking or you drive to the slope everyday you end up paying $30-$60/day for parking.

Try to stay in Vail Village, Lionshead or anything in between. It's about a 5+ minute walk from Lionshead to Vail village as well as free bus service between the 2 areas. Both lionshead and Vail village have highspeed lifts onto the mountain.

Vail/Lionshead has the best nightlife in the summit and eagle counties, you will have a great time with a group of friends. Be sure to go to Los Amigos for Apres Ski (3pm - 6pm). Always the most fun! Be sure you're walking home that night.

bryn mawr
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9. Re: Vail questions and recommendations

Re cabs-have only used them to go to the larger grocery stores across route 70 to stock up the condo. Many condos facilities also provide a shopping service for a fee. There are smaller convenience stores for basic items in each village, but it's much cheaper to do a run to the larger chains. For off site dining-you can arrange for pick up and return in advance with one of the cab companies listed in the local phone book.

You really, really don't even want a car if you're staying in Golden Peak, Vail Village, Lionshead or Cascade. The shuttles are free and frequent. And there are other busses to take you to the aforementioned shopping area. There is even a bus to Beaver Creek for a small fee. Parking is difficult and expensive. Also the walk between Vail Village and Lionshead is very doable.If you don't want to schlep your equipment back and forth to the lifts, there are storage facilites at the lifts in Vail Village and Lionshead.

Re accommmodations-I always like to call in directly to the facility. I have found the front desk people to be very helpful re specifying which rooms for best views and bedding options. Ask about any specials. They have always matched internet specials I have found.If you can go mid week, it is usually less expensive. Most places I've stayed in accept AAA discounts. You shouldn't have any problem finding something within your budget. One warning-ask about all fees and taxes. Many facilities that offer ammenities such as hot tubs, pools, etc. charge up to 14% resort fee/tax. Get the bottom line quote.

Nashville, TN
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10. Re: Vail questions and recommendations

PabloSanDiego --

Try Antlers at Vail. It's in Lionshead and I recently made a reservation there for a 1BR for $310/night. The direct phone number is 970-476-2471 and the website is www.antlersvail.com