Togethering in the Rockies

Mountain Lodge Telluride:  A Great Place for Spending Time Together

Mountain Lodge at Telluride: A Great Place for Spending Time Together

Togethering.  Certainly there was a lot of that this past weekend.  Thanksgiving kicks off the season—especially here in the Rockies—when friends and family gather in houses, condos and cabins to share their vacation time together.

Togethering is the term coined not too long ago by travel agents and other travel industry experts to refer to the tendency of vacationing together as a family unit, often with extended family members and/or relations from previous marriages.  “This coming together of combined families and friends has been more of a trend the past few years,” says Steve Togni, General Manager of Mountain Lodge at Telluride, a handsome property skirted with ten well-appointed slopeside cabins and an alluring lineup of condos, all perfect for families looking to settle into the mountains for an extended stay.  “It has become less about skiing,” Steve adds.  “It’s more about shopping, spa going, dining and just being in the mountains.  I would describe these stays more as winter vacations rather than ski vacations.  There’s definitely more of it going on in the winter than in the summer.”

A lot of people choose to rent large homes out West and many families return to the same house year after year.  Clearly there’s beauty in having your own special hideaway without being encumbered by the expense and hassle of owning it yourself.  “We have people coming back to the same property year after year,”  says Maité Daguerre, Director of Operations at Elevation Vacations, a company that specializes in luxury rentals in Telluride.  “People love the personal touch and great service we provide,”  Maité continues.  “It’s all about relationships.  When someone checks in to a big luxury home—or even a small guest cottage—we meet them at the door, show them how to use the stereo, help them out however possible.”

I’ve togethered a number of times with my family in Aspen where my parents have a large condo.  It’s always different there than being reunited at other locales; it seems the mountain and the lively town of Aspen provide the foundation for all.  Both, of course, are good to escape to when the togethering element becomes a bit too much.  My favorite times togethering in Aspen have been when it has just been my dad and me.  Can togethering be about only two people?

When our family isn’t occupying our condo, it’s rented out and managed by Frias Properties of Aspen, the biggest rental company in Aspen that offers a variety of lodging possibilities in Aspen and Snowmass.  “Our bookings are looking good for the season,” says co-owner Chuck Frias.  “The international guests will be down from the Australian and Brazilian markets and also from Europe since the euro is weaker than it was last year, but we’re pricing more aggressively to make up the difference.”

The Family that Skis Together Stays Together

A Family that Skis Together Stays Together

Unless you’ve been squirreled away the past few weeks, you know that the travel bargains are better than ever, so this is the time to take advantage of savings of up to thirty percent off on lodging and some airfares.  Certainly if people are considering travel, they’re going to put a premium on time with their families.  Folks will still want to get together and often it’s easiest to meet in a fun destination in the Rockies when families are spread out between Denver, Phoenix and New York.

Word has been that the outlook is more tenuous for Steamboat Springs this season, but the Sheraton Steamboat Resort isn’t complaining.  They’re set to reopen December 4 after a $20 million renovation and bookings are full.  The makeover transformed this fine Starwood property from a 350-room hotel to a 200-plus establishment composed of a good number of luxury condos.  They offer several different possibilities for families looking to find a living situation that meets their taste and budgetary needs.  Their two- to three- bedroom villas are more high-end, but all are ski in/ski out and freshly decorated in their new modern mountain look.

Trapper's Cabin at Beavercreek

Trapper’s Cabin at Beaver Creek

You can find all kinds of lodging options throughout the Rockies for your togethering.  No matter what the price tag, you’re sure to save some on dining expenses if you make use of the glorious kitchen facilities that appear to be at the heart of the accommodations best suited for families.

But what about those truly extraordinary reunions such as a very special wedding anniversary or a landmark birthday when money is no object?  The gem in the RockResorts crown is most definitely Trapper’s Cabin, a magnificent four-bedroom, four-bath hideaway in Beaver Creek that sleeps up to ten people.  Renovations on Trapper’s Cabin were completed last winter and the amenities such as a sleek professional kitchen and a game room complete with a pool table, poker table and large flat screen T.V. are enough to keep the whole gang happy for days.

The Tempter House in Telluride

The Tempter House in Telluride

There’s no fear whatsoever of catching cabin fever at the Tempter House, the Hope diamond of high-end lodging in the Rockies, situated right here in Telluride, perched at 12,200 feet at nearly the summit of Telluride Ski Resort.  The Tempter House is one of the most secluded and romantic destinations you will encounter with 360-degree panoramic views that will make you feel like you’re floating on a mountaintop cloud.  A couple’s massage or private catered dinner can be arranged or you can just relax with a glass of wine in front of the master bedroom’s wood burning fireplace and focus on your hunny.  This must be why it’s referred to as the Tempter House!  (Actually the name is inspired from Temptation Chute, a gnarly couloir that plunges down the mountainside on the out-of-bounds side of the house.)  The Tempter House is, however, totally ski in/ski out.  Many more glorious amenities are also offered.  Expect to pay about $5,000. a night.  Now that’s what I call topnotch togethering.

Great Views to Wake Up to at the Tempter House

Great Views to Wake Up to at the Tempter House


Mountain Lodge Telluride, 866-368-6867 or 970-369-5000,

Elevation Vacations, 888-728-8160 and 970-728-8160,

Frias Properties of Aspen, 800-633-0336 and 970-920-2000,

Sheraton Steamboat Resort, 866-716-8134 and 970-879-2220,

Trapper’s Cabin, 970-754-5788,

Tempter House, 866-888-7197,


Special Travel Tips for Telluride and Steamboat Springs

There are many great deals for kids to fly for free to Telluride and Steamboat.  Click on the below links to find out more.

Kids fly for free to Telluride on American Airlines.

Kids fly for free on certain airlines to Steamboat; some of these offers may be coupled with Steamboat’s Kids Rent Free and Ski Free programs.

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