In Love With Old School in Vail, Colorado
The Heidi Guide
We’ve been lucky to have attended about a decade of Taste of Vail. We missed the first 21 years! The festival is a four-day celebration of food and wine, chefs and vintners. Down-to-earth and welcoming, the seminars are approachable and informative. This year, we once again attended the seminar on Colorado wine, a growing industry in our state.
Taste of Vail has four signature events: Debut of Rosé, Aprés Tasting on the Streets, Mountaintop Tasting, and the Grand Tasting. The Mountain Top Picnic is like no other event in the Rocky Mountains, and offers a taste (and sip) of the good life at 10,350 feet above sea level.
These trips have given us the opportunity to explore Vail and get to know all the nooks and crannies. We’ve also had the pleasure of staying at various properties around the resort town, and each has an unique flair, just like Vail’s neighborhoods: East Vail, West Vail, Lionshead Vail and Vail Village.
With a Swiss Alps feel, the village is the original ski town started in the early 1960s. Built just a few years later, Lionshead Vail is just a quick free bus ride, or walk, west of the village. The European mountain village theme flows throughout and a major renovation in the early 2000s did not change the motif.
We’ve stayed in Lionshead most frequently over the years, and in some ways it’s a quiet escape from Vail Village. However, that doesn’t mean a visitor will be bored in Lionshead.
This year, we stayed at Montaneros Vail, a boutique condo property steps away from the free bus that takes visitors everywhere in the area. A Destination by Hyatt Residence, there are 35 condos from one to four bedrooms here.
Our bright, one-bedroom condo had ski posters lining the walls. There is an airy feel to the space, a rock fireplace, and a sunny patio with large barbecue for summer feasts. A truly comfortable place to rest after a day of learning and playing at Taste of Vail.
The property features hot tubs and a heated pool that’s pleasant year-round. My husband, Ryan, was extremely happy that there was a dry sauna in the pool area. I am opposed to sweating in general, but truly enjoyed the swimming pool.
The complex has free, self-parking in a heated garage, housekeeping, laundry on every floor, a business center and more. Minutes from the nearest gondola and seconds from a liquor store and market, Montaneros Vail is well-located in Lionshead.
The location is convenient for other reasons too. It’s just a short walk from The Little Diner, a must whenever we visit Vail. With a classic diner feel, an open kitchen and wrap-around seating, it’s a place that never seems to change in this ever-changing world.
Another place that doesn’t seem to change is just down the stairs. Pass fashion boutiques, ski stores and the Lionshead Vail ice rink and you’ll find Bart & Yeti’s, a Vail staple for 48 years. That’s impressive in the world of Colorado resort towns.
Named after the owner’s golden retrievers at the time, this is the type of watering hole that I love. A mix of locals, semi-locals and tourists like us, Bart & Yeti’s manages to maintain that Cheers kind of feeling.
And there’s still a golden retriever named Calvin associated with this pub. Not surprising, as golden retrievers seem to be the dog-of-choice in the dog-friendly Town of Vail.
Whether visiting for Taste of Vail in the spring, during the summer or at the height of ski season, Lionshead and Montaneros Vail provide a great spot to call home, albeit for just a few days or a few weeks.