Steamboat's Gold Mine Lodge is a luxury, six-bedroom on-mountain home that sleeps 16 and is situated mere steps away from the Thunderhead chairlift.
Exclusivity. Distinction. Convenience. These virtues set certain ski accommodations so far above the rest, travelers may experience side effects like late checkout times, a drastic decline in motivation to get out on the mountain or really anything that involves going off-premises—and one company in Steamboat Springs will move mountains to be sure you don’t have to.
“The discerning guest has realized that a professionally managed rental home offers far more than hotels and traditional lux lodging and comes with less baggage than joining a destination club,” according to Robin Craigen, president/CEO of Steamboat’s catered chalet business, Moving Mountains. Luxury travel trends of 2017 would tend to agree, with the affluent willing to splurge on what’s considered above and beyond the standard concept of extravagance.
Amenities like in-home movie theaters really set Moving Mountains' luxury properties apart.
Moving Mountains is able to prioritize the guest experience to this kind of a standard through a portfolio of properties whose amenities checklist might include everything from hot tubs and flat screens to home movie theaters, elevators, an indoor private pool, and, redefining baller status, a basketball court. Not to mention a host of offerings that can be custom packaged or added à la carte: a stocked fridge, equipment delivery, personal chef, concierge service, chauffeur and pre-purchased tickets for skiing, concerts, tours, etc.
Private indoor pool for an après-ski dip, anyone?
“Much in line with Steamboat’s identity as a family ski resort, typical guests are families, high earners seeking a guarantee of privacy, quality and experience,” reports Craigen, adding that most are out-of-state destination skiers. This constituency can choose chalets that vary from the reasonable to the downright ritzy. During an off-peak period, for example, a couple of families (or a handful of couples who don’t mind flipping a coin for bunk beds) can spend a week in the ski-in/out Right-O-Way Chalet for about $53 per person, per night. At the other end of the spectrum, celebs and other alpine A-listers may opt for a stay in the over-the-top Over The Edge Chalet, dropping $77K for a nice little Christmas to New Years getaway.
Castle for the Weekend
Somewhere in between, our group was treated to a Steamboat weekend at Winter Castle North, a duplex where 6 BR/5.5 BA/4,500 square feet was more than enough for eight guests (sleeps up to 16). Each pair was provided a king bedroom, flatscreen TV and attached bath with radiant heated floors throughout. An enormous, dual-head, stone covered master shower worthy of HGTV has officially ruined showering forever. Those folks who typically resort to resort lodging may only miss one thing: the perfectly curated Four Seasons or Westin caliber beds and pillows for which those hotels are known. Hardly a trade-off, in our book, considering all the waking-hour perks.
The HGTV-worthy master bathroom is so luxurious, it's ruined showering forever.
Although most Moving Mountains residences cater to larger groups given their spaciousness, couples have been known to book properties such as the three and four bedrooms found in One Steamboat Place. “These are guests seeking the best of everything who will book what is available even its more than they need,” Craigen says, admitting that they’re always on the lookout for two-bedroom options and are even considering a move to Vail or Beaver Creek as the next logical step.
6 BR/5.5 BA/4,500 square feet Winter Castle North.
Copyright: Heather B. Fried
After some time to get situated—or in our case, run room to room, ogling opulence like golden ticket winners inhaling the Chocolate Factory—guest services stopped over and somehow managed to make our day even better. Hand delivering a gift box of wine and locally made treats, we were also oriented to the property’s need-to-know features, a courtesy not to be overlooked; we did experience some technical difficulties due to the fact that not all TVs, Wii consoles or audio technologies are created equal (or straightforward). Finally, a friendly warning that if we neglected to close the garage, we may invite some unwanted guests in the form of a local moose.
Despite our genuine desire to get up close and personal with Bullwinkle, we closed the garage anyway in full appreciation of the uncommon convenience that is being steps away from your sheltered vehicle, sans valet cost and chaos. On this particular ski trip, the attached garage benefit was more about the loading, unloading and storage of gear than anything else because Moving Mountains’ on-demand, private shuttle took care of all the driving. Even though we were situated mere minutes from the mountain, making for some short rides to and from the base, the idea of going back to waiting for, running toward and cramming into a bus full of sweaty strangers is all the proof I need: I’ve officially channeled my inner Beyoncé.
Moving Mountains' gift basket filled with locally-sourced treats was the icing on top of a warm welcome.
Copyright: Eric Schmidt
Time on a Platter
Really upping the chalet stay ante is a concept borrowed from the classic slopes of the European skiing scene. Cutthroat lift-boarding practices aside, the Euros are, without question, doing two things right: après and chalet. In the U.S., we tend to spend more on skiing in general, be it lift tickets or first-class airline bookings, so why not pair fine dining with our lodging?
Personal chef service is just one of the many offerings available through Moving Mountains.
Copyright: Heather B. Fried
Our personal chef and server for the evening arrived to prep shortly after guest services’ departure. They were easily able to accommodate what turned out to be conflicting dietary restrictions, paleo to meat dabblers, with four courses of deliciousness: sweet chili lime shrimp to start, followed by a spinach and strawberry salad, lemon thyme chicken for the main event, and a berry cobbler with ice cream as the cherry on top.
A delicious, four-course catered meal during our stay with Moving Mountains.
Copyright: Heather B. Fried
Other Steamboat accommodations provide guests with rides to the grocery store; Moving Mountains offers the gift of not going at all. That plus the evasion of deciding what to cook and who’s cleaning up leaves you with all the schedule space to just chill, watch a movie, take a hot tub or the world’s most luxurious shower, play games, or all of the above in addition to our favorite use of time gained—to elevate your après game.