You’ll find this trio of stylish lofts right above the Public House Saloon on Elk Avenue, the historic main drag in the teeny tiny ski resort of Crested Butte, Colorado.
Gunnison is Crested Butte’s small domestic airport – planes from Denver and Houston land daily. From there, it’s a 25-minute drive to the hotel.
Though the Rio Grande Railroad depot once stood in this former coal mining town, the closest station these days is in Denver.
The drive from Denver may be long (about four hours, in good conditions), but you’ll pass through deep valleys, mountain passes and snow-capped peaks. Once you reach Crested Butte, there’s plenty of free on-street parking near the lofts.
Worth getting out of bed for
Walk outside and you’re on Elk Avenue, Crested Butte’s colourful main street lined with charming western-style false front buildings, independent shops, saloons and restaurants. But while this frontier town is certainly charming, you’re probably here for the terrain. Luckily, the great outdoors is what Eleven Experience does best – guests at Public House Lofts get access to their in-house team of expert adventure guides for river-deep, mountain-high thrills.
In the winter season, Crested Butte’s groomed pistes are relatively uncrowded (compared to other Colorado resorts like Vail, Beaver Creek or Breckenridge), suited to all levels of experience and home to a ski school that’s one of the best in the country. When you’re ready to hit the deep powder, let Eleven’s guides take you to the superlative cat skiing terrain in nearby Irwin (which racks up almost twice as much snowfall in a year as Crested Butte) to carve tracks down open bowls, steep and secluded tree runs and big alpine peaks. The snowcat has leather seats, a sound system and a flatscreen TV, too, so you’ll travel in style for the 45-minute trip.
Crested Butte isn’t all about the winter though – the resort is rollicking in the summer season when you can go rock climbing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, horse-riding, hiking (whether you want to meander through wildflower-strewn meadows or conquer a 14er) and trout fishing with Eleven’s world-class angling guides.
Never skimp on breakfast in the mountains – you’re going to need the fuel. Start your mornings with a fresh-baked bagel sandwich from Butte Bagels or mosey to McGill’s for biscuits, french toast or southwest eggs benedict (made with chorizo and fiery green chili). For lunch, look out for the red frontage of Teocalli Tamale, a laid-back Mexican diner with a stellar rep for top-drawer burritos and margaritas or, for lighter fare, Sunflower’s has California-inspired salads, soups and small plates on a sun-splashed patio. No trip to Crested Butte is complete without a trip to Secret Stash, a famously smiley pizzeria that claims to serve the ‘best pizzas in the world’ – try the Notorious F.I.G. with prosciutto, mission figs and white truffle, the Booty Call topped with more meat and cheese than we have time to mention here, or the Mac Daddy loaded with shaved ribeye steak and pickles. And, though this town prides itself on its resolutely un-glossy image, you can find fine dining at Soupçon, a petite bistro with a classically-inspired French menu that does two seatings a night.
If you thought a rum distillery was better suited to a Caribbean island than a Colorado ski town, Montanya is here to prove you wrong. Their sugar cane is sourced from Louisiana and mixed into moreish cocktails like the Maharaja made with chai, lime, ginger and cardamom; you might find live music in the tasting room, too. And, in a former miner’s cabin down an alley off Elk Avenue, Dogwood serves creative cocktails in the cosiest of settings – Yodel the Tortoise, made with whiskey, amaretto, absinthe and hot chocolate, is guaranteed to put a tingle in frostbitten toes.