Crested Butte, United States

Vaquera House

Price per night from$740.00

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD740.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

S’more the merrier

Setting

Hip Rockies hamlet

Cosiness incarnate, with just 10 rooms, a roaring fireplace, and the sort of organic, furry throws and lots-of-wood decor that’s best enjoyed in a curled-up position: Vaquera House, in small ski town Crested Butte, is so cosseting it inspires a sort of magical thinking that yes, you do live here now. After all, it’s too easy to settle into a life that ramps up and slows down like a mountain-range zig-zag, where days start with home-cooked pancakes and French toast, are spent skiing, skating, hiking, fly-fishing, horseback riding and wildflower picking, then end with free cocktails, fireside s’mores, hot tub wallowing and bed with hot-chocolate. A house that, even after just one night, becomes Vaquera home.

Smith Extra

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Truffles made by the in-house chef

Facilities

Photos Vaquera House facilities

Need to know

Rooms

10, including two suites.

Check–Out

10am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in is at 3pm; it’s contactless, so you’ll receive details before arrival.

Prices

Double rooms from £661.05 ($839), including tax at 13.4 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast, cooked in house by Vaquera’s chef (who does pancakes, waffles, eggs, granola and yoghurt, all made to order), plus a welcome drink, evening cocktails and canapés, kit for s’mores, and a thermos each.

Also

Vaquera House is wheelchair-accessible, with one room best suited to guests with mobility issues.

Hotel closed

The hotel will be closed from 1 April to 15 May and from 1 November to the week of Thanksgiving.

At the hotel

Roof deck with hot tub, library, lounge and games room with a TV and pool table, board and lawn games, garden with fire pit, ski and bike storage, free-to-borrow sports kit (townie bikes, basketballs, volleyballs, tennis racquets), and free WiFi. In rooms: 32-inch TV, Nespresso coffee machine, mini fridge, climate control, steam iron, and Malin + Goetz bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Rooms have been cosily outfitted with clay walls, quartzite finishes, Spanish tile, beams and wood and stone flooring that’s delightfully heated come winter. Most have a mountain view (after all, Crested Butte peak lords it over the area), and we like the third floor rooms for their loftier ceilings (the only ones which could be raised during the refit). In summer, you’ll want a balcony to sit out on, and groups should book out the sizable penthouse suites.

Poolside

There’s no pool, but we can’t complain because we’re too busy watching curlicues of steam rise from the hot tub on the roof deck as we melt into it like a marshmallow in hot-chocolate. And, it overlooks Crested Butte Mountain – so, that’s nice too.

Spa

If you want a little spa spoiling, the hotel has partnered with Native Nectar Botanicals, a five-minute walk away on Elk Avenue. It has a wide range of treatments, including altitude-adjustment facials, microneedling, LED therapy in an infrared sauna, sound healing, breathwork…and of course, CBD massages, incorporating the town’s other way to mellow out.

Packing tips

Crested Butte has ski-gear shops aplenty, and the hotel has some sports kit to borrow, which frees up some space in your luggage, unless you want to bring your own. Pack a mummy’s worth of layers, boots as strong and sturdy as a mountain man, and maybe some bear spray, just to be on the safe side. If you’re here for the fly-fishing, it’s best to book your permit in advance too.

Also

You can help yourself to tea and steamy mugs of local Camp 4 Coffee brews; and if it’s a very special stay, you might find a homemade cake in your room…

Children

While the hotel isn’t exactly a nursery (there’s no child kit or baby cots, and you’ll have to book babysitters locally), little ones will love the range of games and outdoorsy fun.

Sustainability efforts

Vaquera House uses solar panels to keep its roof deck and hot tub toasty, plus there’s LED lighting, no plastic bottles onsite (guests get a thermos to use), and the building is insulated in foam to make it more energy-efficient. Overall, they stay in line with Crested Butte council’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent in five years and reducing the community’s emissions by 25 per cent (comparable to those in 2017).

Food and Drink

Photos Vaquera House food and drink

Top Table

Gather round the fireplace in the lounge when the view’s sparkling white, and the fire pit in the garden (s’more on stick) when it’s green.

Dress Code

Shed your outdoor gear and slip into something more slump-able.

Hotel restaurant

The hotel only serves breakfast (cooked by the resident chef to order), but in a way that’ll get you raring to go, whether it’s the mountain views from the dining room, where chairs wear little furry throws, or the home-cooked fuel. Say, the ‘giddy-up granola’; pumpkin-bread French toast with chai cream and maple syrup; sweet-potato hash-brown waffle (a favourite chef’s signature) topped with avocado crema, pork chilli, cheddar and a fried egg; or a spicy morning shot. You’ll also get canapes with your evening cocktail, and on request can arrange a private dinner in the lounge.

Hotel bar

Vaquera House does have a bar area, with a counter and stools and everything. There’s a small but staunchly local drinks list, with picks from breweries, vineyards and distillers across Colorado. Every day, guests are gathered here for the two cocktails included in their room rate. Before bed, be sure to order up one of the hot-chocolate ‘bombs’ (filled chocolate spheres that melt in hot milk).

Last orders

Breakfast is from 7.30am to 9.30am, and the bar opens from 5pm to 7pm.

Room service

Guests are welcome to bring in takeaways, but they’ll have to bus it to their room themselves.

Location

Photos Vaquera House location
Address
Vaquera House
510 Whiterock Avenue
Crested Butte
81224
United States

Vaquera House is nestled amid the grand mesas and mountains of the Colorado Rockies at small-yet-cool ski town Crested Butte.

Planes

The closest regional airport is Gunnison, a 35-minute drive away, which has links with Denver, Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth. The closest international hub is Denver, with direct routes across the globe; it’s a one-hour flight from Gunnison, or a four-hour drive from the hotel. Ask hotel staff if you need help arranging a transfer.

Automobiles

Crested Butte’s grid system is quite easily navigated on foot, or possibly snowshoe, but a car will come in handy for firstly getting here, unless you really like hiking, and secondly, getting out into the Rockies. There’s free outdoor parking outside the front of the hotel.

Worth getting out of bed for

Within you exist two kinds of Vaquera House guests: one wants to curl up by the fireplace with a mug of hot-chocolate, or maybe play a friendly game of pool with a brewski before turning in. The other wants to veer down black runs, bomb over the mountainside by bike, and speed off into the sunset or snowfall on either an ATV or snowmobile. The second will take over here, there’s just too much to entice you outdoors. If you’re a winter arrival, then you’ll find yourself on the 121 (beginner to expert) runs criss-crossing the Crested Butte Mountain ski resort, whose school is very well-renowned; fat-biking or Nordic skiing across Gunnison Valley’s icy vistas; whizzing down slopes on a sled; practising frosty pirouettes at the Nordic Center’s ice-skating arena; or snowmobiling with Action Adventures. When the snow thaws a whole new set of adventures opens up: hiking in Gunnison Valley, lift-served downhill mountain-biking at Evolution Bike Park or tackling the obstacles at the Crested Butte Community School bike park; and riding the bowls at the Big Mine Skatepark. There’s also fly-fishing (with a guide to help you find the best spots on request) at Coal Creek and other waterways; paddleboarding at Lost Lake, Lake Irwin and Spring Creek Reservoir (all very picturesque); and horse rides on Fantasy Ranch’s steeds through the backcountry or the trails over Snodgrass Mountain. You might even disappear for the day, on the back of an ATV or UTV or electric bike as you ride out with a picnic to charming small towns such as Gothic and Kebler. A five-minute walk from the hotel there are free-to-use tennis courts that are first-come, first-served (no pun intended). And, in July, Crested Butte’s colour-speckled fields are celebrated at the Wildflower Festival. Back at the hotel there are lawn games to play, basketballs and volleyballs for impromptu matches, before you whip out the s’mores and sink into the hot tub. 

Local restaurants

Let’s hope you're as hungry as a bear emerging from hibernation, because Crested Butte is a gastronomic hotspot in the Rockies, with enough eateries of all sorts to keep you well-fed until it’s time to crawl back in your den. Sunflower shines a light on local farmers by using their produce in fresh and exciting ways, such as pairing merguez sausages with mint pesto and a cherry emulsion; submerging Bangs Island mussels in a coconut red-curry broth; or cooking up a white-chocolate version of bread pudding. Go full carnivore with steakhouse Elk Avenue Prime’s protein hits: slices of pecanwood-smoked honey-pepper bacon to gnaw on; elk tenderloin with buffalo sausage ravioli and lamb lollipops in black-truffle hollandaise; bison short-rib drizzled in espresso demi-glace. And, Secret Stash have some very notable pizza pies, like the Mac Daddy – a ‘local favourite’ that’s topped with an unholy amount of pickles; or the Notorious F.I.G (winner of the World Champion Pizza Challenge) with mozzarella, bleu and asiago cheeses, prosciutto, dried figs and truffle oil.

Local cafés

If you keep going in for the free refills of Camp 4 Coffee’s brew in the lobby, then why not head to the source on Elk Avenue? It also has pastries, cookies and bags of beans to buy. And Rumors café is happily set next door to Townie Books, so you can grab something to read as you sip; and events are often held there too.

Local bars

Crested Butte’s après-ski keeps the adrenaline flowing at hip hangouts and historic saloons. Public House is a modern take on the classic Western watering-hole, with live music, local beers from Irwin Brewing Company, and lots of wood and leather. While the Dogwood hosts guests in a 19th-century wood miner’s cabin, and is a great sheltering-from-the-snowstorm kinda place. The drinks are divvied up by spirit, and are by turns sweet and savoury, say vodka with absinthe fennel and pomegranate or strawberry, rose water and fizz; or gin with Pimm’s and wasabi, or with lavender and lime.

Reviews

Photos Vaquera House reviews

Anonymous review

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 feels-like-home hotel in ski-town Crested Butte and unpacked their workhorse hiking boots and ski goggles, a full account of their all-weather slope-riding break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Vaquera House amid Colorado’s Rockies…

In many ways, staying at Coloradan mountain lodging Vaquera House makes you feel like a kid again. And that’s not just because you’ll spend a lot of your time recklessly biking with abandon, testing skate-bowl curves, whizzing down snowy slopes, speeding in an ATV or getting competitive over pool and lawn games (although that’s all a part of it). It’s more waking up to home-cooked pancakes and French toast (or the genius mash-up of a hash-brown waffle); having a fleet of bikes ready to go, and sports gear to rifle through; toasting freshly-made marshmallows into s’mores by the fire pit; and finishing up a lavish hot-chocolate (with toppings and flavorings), before bedtime in a room with heated floors and strokable sheets. It’s like a soft landing on a memory… But, with grown-up treats too, such as mountain-view hot tub sessions and a very happy cocktail hour with a couple of free drinks.

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Price per night from $740.00