Madeline Hotel & Residences, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, is a luxuriously revamped lodge hotel at altitude in Colorado’s picturesque San Juan mountains. Its location in tucked-away Telluride is a long way from Denver (luckily there are nearer airports) and it’s this remoteness that makes Telluride – and the Madeline – so special, conserving its wilderness vibe and focus on wellness and nature. These values are deftly reflected inside the hotel: in artworks and reimagined interiors that celebrate all things alpine, and in a spa and fitness center. One-of-a-kind activities in winter and summer (including a packed calendar of movies and music) are the lifeblood of this convivial Telluride stay.
11am. Earliest check-in, 4pm, but both are flexible, subject to availability and incremental charges.
Double rooms from £749.48 ($810), including tax at 12.65 per cent.
Rates exclude breakfast (from $15–$30) and a resort fee of $50 a night per room (charged at check-out). Minimum stay applies during busy holiday periods.
The Madeline is part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, along with other Smith mountain favourites Hotel Jerome in Aspen and Park City Utah’s Lodge at Blue Sky.
The hotel closes twice a year for off-season; from 15 October, reopening for Thanksgiving, and from 4 April until Memorial Day weekend.
At the hotel
Ice rink/games lawn (seasonal), gym, wellness studio, spa, salon, gift boutique, ski valet, lounge with pool table, ski-in/ski-out location. In rooms: free WiFi, humidifier, Bluetooth radio and speaker, LCD TV, Nespresso machine, 'adventure' bar (minibar stocked with curated items to help with altitude acclimatisation), hiking stick, backpack, hip flask, meditation stool, refillable water pouches, bespoke bath products.
Our favourite rooms
One- and two-bedroom suites are balconied beauties with ample space in shades of chocolate and cream: each comes with a kitchenette, generously sized living area and sofabed. Balcony Kings come with four-poster beds and local artwork and are ideal for two. All residences at the Madeline, with up to four bedrooms, have fully equipped kitchens and dining rooms fit for entertaining, but are otherwise unique, differing in décor and layout. Check out the penthouse residences, which have superlative mountain views – some with double-height ceilings.
The outdoor Alpine Swim Club on the rooftop terrace is home to a heated pool, open winter and summer (7am–9pm), with two Jacuzzis, one at either end. Here you’ll also find a steam room, sauna, changing rooms and rest rooms, neat lines of sunloungers, plus food and drink served poolside in summer. But this listing of assets does nothing to serve the main attraction, which is the breathtaking views of imposing mountains all around: you’re looking at the highest concentration of peaks at 13,000–14,000ft in the United States and it’s the snow-capped stuff of wonder.
Inspired by its alpine setting, the spa offers wellness treatments designed to restore you after time spent in the great outdoors and heal any effects of altitude. Book into one of its five treatment rooms for a CBD massage, herbal poultice or gemstone healing; enjoy a CBD-infused bath or an atmospheric top-up at the Oxygen Bar. Free mountain movement classes are held daily in the wellness studio and you can also order a takeaway bath kit to enjoy in your ensuite, with bath salts, a candle and cocktail.
At the Madeline, there’s a handful of items you won’t need to pack: a daypack, hip flask, sunscreen, walking stick and snacks for the trail are all provided in your room. For ski and boarding equipment, there’s a hire shop opposite the hotel.
Free daily movement class, evening s’mores, stretchdown service (nightly wellness treat), laundry service, concierge and mountain guides; wheelchair-accessible room, suite and residence available.
More than welcome. Extra beds (US$125 a night) and cots (free) can be added to some rooms; there’s a late-afternoon kids club and babysitting is available (from US$25 an hour).
Suites and residences are spacious, with fully equipped kitchens in residences. Double Queen rooms are a compact family option with two queen-size beds. Interconnecting rooms are available; extra beds cost US$125 a night.
With a programme of engaging activities from craft to movies, ‘20 Below’ is the Madeline’s evening kids club, open to five- to 15-year-olds, Wednesday to Sunday, 5.30pm–8.30pm, during the winter season.
Daily s’mores are held at the Alpine Swim Club, 5pm–6pm. In winter, ice skating on the hotel rink is free for children aged 12 or younger. The hotel can help organise private ski or board tuition for budding alpinists, and can provide Adventure guides to help assist guests on their expeditions.
The heated outdoor pool is child-friendly, with stepped entry and a Jacuzzi at either end, but there’s no lifeguard, so the littlest of Smiths will need adult supervision.
Black Iron Kitchen + Bar has child-friendly food options and in-room dining offers a childrens Mini Mountaineers Menu.
Available for children and babies from two months old via a local childcare agency (from US$25 an hour).
No need to pack
Any kit you can’t fly with or forget to bring, Telluride Sitters may be able to help with – they rent out equipment, as well as organise babysitters.
Before you decide to book, be aware that this is a high-altitude stay, with the side effects for little Smiths ranging from blocked sinuses and ears to none at all. The hotel's Adventure guides are on call to help pre-arrange amenities to minimise the risk of altitude issues.
Bath products are refillable and towels are changed every three days unless requested sooner. The hotel provides refillable ‘anti-bottle’ water pouches. Ingredients for the hotel’s two restaurants are seasonal and Colorado-sourced where possible.
Fire tables outdoors at Black Iron are ideal if you want a side of hotel life with your steak. At Timber Room, decoratively lit booths adjacent to the bar are cosily sequestered.
At Black Iron, the dress code’s ‘hungry’. OK, that’s not strictly wardrobe advice, but you'll want a big appetite. Even at Timber Room, there’s no need for finery: laid-back country threads are all you need to fit right in with the locals.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner at Black Iron Kitchen + Bar have heartiness in common: chef Bill Greenwood curates an enviable menu of mountain fare in dishes such as loaded breakfast burritos and forest omelettes, tacos and sandwiches mid-day, and elk chilli, whiskey-glazed pork chops or braised lamb shank on the cards for dinner. Fine-dining eatery Timber Room opens late afternoon and is a refined spot for pre-dinner flutes of champagne or whiskey cocktails, followed by artfully presented small plates such as elk loin with huckleberry jus and devilled eggs with black truffle. Both restaurants are alpine in style and have sun terraces and lamp-heated outdoor tables; at Timber Room, folding glass doors open fully in summer to bring the outdoors in.
When the mountain closes at 4pm, that’s the cue for a daily blast of the hotel alphorn to signal the start of après-ski, cheered on by spectators at fire-centred tables on the deck at Black Iron, where you can enjoy cocktails, fine wines and Colorado beers. Timber Room’s terrace is the place to savour either warming glasses of mulled wine or orange- and clove-infused toddies in winter, or fruity mezcal and gin-laced rootbeer cocktails in summer. Both restaurants are as much about the bar as the modern mountain cuisine.
Black Iron Kitchen + Bar is open 7.30am–11am for breakfast; lunch is served, 11.30am–3pm; dinner, 5pm–9pm. At Timber Room, it’s dinner only, 4.30pm–9pm.
A dedicated menu of snacks and small plates is available, 7.30am–9.30pm.
Madeline Hotel & Residences is slopeside in Telluride Mountain Village, which is a gondola ride from the town of Telluride in south-west Colorado.
Montrose Regional Airport is one hour and 15 minutes from the hotel by road, with connections from Denver, Houston and Dallas. The hotel can arrange shuttle transfers from US$60 each way; private transfers are available on request. Telluride Airport, for private charters, is just 15 minutes away by car.
No amount of locomotion will take you this high.
The hotel has underground, secure valet parking from US$40 a day, but this is not a resort where you need wheels to get around – Chair One by the hotel and the gondola over to town have you covered.
The gondola lift between the mountain village and town runs from 6.30am until midnight, and until 2am on weekends.
Worth getting out of bed for
Skiing, snowboarding and summer hiking are the San Juan mountains’ most popular pastimes. Telluride however, has broader appeal to offer thrillseekers: tapping into the expertise of the Madeline’s team alone you can go heli-skiing, snowmobiling with a champagne picnic, ice climbing, snowshoeing or Nordic skiing; you can sign up for ice skating lessons or ride a fat-tyred bike down snow-covered slopes. Gourmets will love the fly fishing and foraging trips with chef Bill to find forest mushrooms or wild herbs and bitters to bring back and use in either cookery (for the shrooms) or mixology classes. Or you could hike and forage for clay to use in a landscape painting created on the trail. A helicopter tour and mountainside picnic is the stuff of celebrations. In summer, Telluride hosts festivals around film, bluegrass and Blues & Brews. Mountain biking, off-road driving, backcountry horse riding and high ropes courses all come with mesmerising mountain scenery.
Set in a series of diminutive dining rooms with rainbow-bright art on the walls and linened tables, 221 South Oak is where chef-owner Eliza Gavin brings French, Creole and Asian influences into delicate, pretty plates of seasonal fare, with a full vegetarian menu on offer alongside the main selection. For upscale American cuisine on the mountain, Allred’s at the top of the gondola serves meaty mains such as wagyu striploin, bison ribeye and bourbon-marinated elk loin.
Muffins, cookies and cakes by the slice make The Butcher and the Baker an excellent town pitstop or place to grab avo on toast or a breakfast burrito before heading up the hill. Also in town, deli eatery Little House serves tasty small plates such as barbecue shrimp and grits or sticky Thai ribs, alongside freshly made sandwiches, mac ’n’ cheese and soups.
Centred around an antique walnut-wood bar in the basement of the historic Roma building, Wood Ear is a whiskey lounge and noodle bar with a stellar cocktail menu featuring house old-fashioneds, Fuji sours and mezcal negronis, as well as sake by the bottle and Telluride beers. Savour champagne by the glass or choose from a pan-European wine list at elegant Fifties-style lounge Side Work Speakeasy, which also serves boards of charcuterie and cheese with breads baked in house.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this ski-in/ski-out hotel in Colorado and unpacked their whiskey and cowboy boots, a full account of their mountain break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Madeline Hotel & Residences in Telluride…
In remote south-western Colorado, a grand mountain lodge hotel with a big heart awaits. TLC goes into everything from its Telluride-inspired décor and art collection to its hydration station, stocked with a choice of infused waters. Wellness-themed gifts arrive nightly with the hotel’s stretchdown service, and every room is stocked with sunscreen, trail mix and hiking kit. Tailored activities are finessed in detail, too: go heli skiing, fly fishing or opt for a champagne picnic by snowmobile; a guided foraging walk to collect herbs and bitters culminates in mixing your own cocktails back at the bar. Conviviality is also big at Madeline: daily at 4pm in winter, a blast on the alphorn signals the start of après-ski; there are outdoor sofas in the sun for drinks with rinkside views of skating in winter or the games lawn in summer; evening s’mores at the Alpine Swim Club unites marshmallow lovers old and young. It would be easy to mistake Madeline Hotel & Residences as a Colorado big gun with more swagger than charm. Yet the thoughtfulness that goes into every aspect of hotel life here is as attentive as anything you’d find at a smaller-scale stay.