Hotel review: Zephyr Mountain Lodge, Winter Park, Colorado, US

Read our writer's views on this property below

THE PLACE

In Grand County, Colorado, Winter Park Resort sits at 2743 metres and offers more than 1200 hectares of diverse skiable terrain. The valley is surrounded by the Arapaho National Forest and the wilderness areas of Indian Peaks, Byers Peak, and Vasquez. In the warmer months, locals swap skis for mountain bikes, fly fishing is also a popular activity and at 80 years young, it wears its badge as the longest continually running ski resort with pride.

THE LOCATION

A mere 100 kilometres from Colorado's capital Denver, Winter Park is a favourite for the city's residents and is often tagged "the home mountain". Adding to the appeal for visitors and locals alike, the Amtrak Winter Park Express departs January to March from Denver's Union Station. It's worth arriving early to explore the grand Beaux Arts and Renaissance Revival-style building of carved granite and terracotta before the car-free and carefree journey to the ski resort.

THE SPACE

Situated slope side, Zephyr Mountain Lodge is a rustic but charming place of one-, two- and three-bedroom condos.There's a comfortable lobby area and four outdoor hot tubs to soothe aching muscles. Crucially, the lodge is just a 30 metre walk to the ski hire centre and gondola, ideal for skiers who prefer a pause throughout the day.

THE ROOM

The two-bedroom, two bathroom (one with bath), three-television condo is supremely comfortable with ski-run views. A full kitchen opens to a small lounge with gas fireplace and balcony which would be well-used during the summer months.

THE FOOD

Skipping kitchen duty at some ski resorts can be costly but Winter Park offers reasonably priced meals a few steps from Zephyr (which does not have a restaurant of its own). Head to Coffee and Tea Market for excellent latte and pastries and the Vertical Bistro for a Lumberjack burger with Colorado beef and amber lager Pretzel Assassin from Denver Beer. Meet on mountain for a carbohydrate-laden lunch at Sunspot (at 3264 metres) and for apres ski head to Derailer Bar where you can watch the last of the skiers come off the slopes. For hearty Italian a five-minute drive from the resort, Volario's pasta and breads are made daily. See verticalbistro.comvolarioswinterpark.com

STEPPING OUT

The laid-back vibe of the resort belies the challenging and diverse adventures to be had. But with seven designated territories, 21 lifts including a new 10-person gondola and 930 metres of vertical rise from the resort base to summit at 3675 metres, Winter Park is a resort for skiers of all abilities. Head to Eagle Wind Territory for tree and glade skiing, Mary Jane Territory for moguls and Winter Park Territory for long, green runs. Winter Park is also the home base for the National Sports Centre For the Disabled and offers adaptive ski programs for all abilities. Off the skis, tubing and snowcat tours are also available.

THE VERDICT

An unpretentious resort populated by local skiers happily sharing the slopes with out-of-towners.

ESSENTIALS

A two-bedroom condo costs from $US329 a night; 201 Zephyr Way, Winter Park. See winterparkresort.com

OUR RATING OUT OF FIVE

Four out of five

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HIGHLIGHT

Location matters and Zephyr is in prime position.

LOWLIGHT

Depending on your level of tech addiction, the room's patchy Wi-Fi could be an issue.

Jane Reddy was a guest of Colorado Ski Country USA and Winter Park Resort.