If you’re booking a Telluride hotel or condo, be warned: you’re about to escape the trappings of civilization. Everything about a Telluride vacation is out of the ordinary. Here among the 13,000 foot peaks of the San Juan Mountains, you won’t find generic chain hotels or gas stations, and your eyes won’t be assaulted with neon billboard advertising.
Before word got out about Telluride’s idyllic location, this rugged community played an integral role in the Western mining boom of the late 1800s. Mother Nature was unkind to the town’s remains when mining activity sputtered out in the 1960s, but when hippies reclaimed it just a few years later, they brought an earth-loving, folksy funkiness that stayed. Thanks to strict historic preservation codes, Telluride stands as a looking-glass into the past while bringing modern comforts to visitors, making it the perfect setting for a Colorado vacation, any time of year.
Experience Historic Telluride at the New Sheridan
At its peak, Telluride’s 5,000 citizens boasted of having more millionaires per capita than New York City. Rich from abundant silver and zinc resources, local tycoons directed their fortunes into construction of refined amenities like hotels, a few of which still greet newcomers and locals alike, including the New Sheridan Hotel.
For 117 years, Telluride’s social scene has revolved around the New Sheridan Hotel. From the earliest mining magnates to today’s celebrities, the New Sheridan’s Historic Bar, Chop House Restaurant and Parlor Cafe are the town’s preferred watering holes, where tidbits of gossip and news are served daily. The New Sheridan’s meticulously restored interior features luxurious rooms and amenities starting at about $149 per night, with seasonal vacation packages offering deep discounts on Telluride’s best attractions.
Come Over, Rover; Telluride is Dog-Friendly
Vacationing with your dog is as easy as it gets in Telluride, where some of the greatest dog-centric adventures in North America await your pack. Canines enjoy the freedom to romp nearly everywhere their humans can go, from downtown cafes with dog water bowls, to Fido-friendly seating areas on one of the only free gondola transportation systems in the U.S. About the only place dogs can’t roam are on Telluride’s groomed ski trails.
Local hotel proprietors at establishments like the Hotel Telluride enthusiastically greet furry guests with homemade organic dog treats, a welcome pack and insider tips about where to enjoy a good hike, like along the River Trail leading to Bridal Veil Falls, the longest waterfall in North America.
Dog-friendly rooms and suites at the Hotel Telluride are available starting at $175 per night. Although you and Rover will pay a $100 pet fee, you can feel good knowing that 10 percent of your fee is paid forward to Telluride’s Second Chance Humane Society. Plus, if you share a story about your dog’s adventures on the Hotel Telluride’s website, you’ll get a $20 refund on your pet fee.
A First-Class Bohemian Experience
Colorado’s best ski towns have well-earned reputations as extravagant destination spots reserved only for the rich and famous, but Telluride is the exception. Although an influx of extreme wealth coincided with the exponential growth of local ski resorts, residents still place a priority on ecologically smart development and there’s rarely a weekend without live music or an arts and culture festival.
Despite Telluride’s offbeat vibe, there’s no shortage of lavish accommodations catering to affluent travelers, like the Camel’s Garden Hotel. Located just steps away from the Telluride Ski Area, the San Miguel River trail and the vibrant downtown area, no other hotel is closer to the town’s best attractions.
The Camel’s Garden welcomes guests with an array of upscale lodging choices ranging from rooms to suites to condominiums as well as first-class amenities like complimentary afternoon wine and cheese, a day spa and valet ski storage.
Extravagant accommodations aren’t just reserved for humans, however. In keeping with Telluride’s dog-friendly spirit, the Hotel Columbia encourages furry guests to bask in luxurious amenities along with their humans, all within a leisurely stroll of the town’s best dog-friendly recreation, shopping and dining areas. The Columbia gives both species an opportunity to enjoy the historic atmosphere of this funky mountain town while still having access to premium lodging amenities and recreation services.
Telluride on the Cheap
Telluride’s escape from conventional living sometimes comes at a price: the lack of a single franchise chain hotel or restaurant can increase your vacation cost, but you can take some steps to lower them.
The cheapest way to vacation here is to rent a condominium with a group. But if you’re traveling solo or with a partner, the most affordable Telluride vacation begins with an itinerary planned far in advance. And while many of Telluride’s independently-owned hotels usually won’t offer rates as low as some generic national hotel chains, these small businesses offer personality and customized service that corporate America can’t touch.
Start preplanning your Telluride budget vacation with Telluride Alpine Lodging (TAL), a collection of Telluride’s most affordable hotels and condominium rentals. The company owns four properties with varying levels of service, from bed and breakfast accommodations at the Victorian Inn, to the affordable Mountainside Inn featuring stocked kitchenettes and pet-friendly rooms. If you’re traveling with friends, TAL will help create your ideal vacation with discounted reservations and planning services.
If You Go
New Sheridan Hotel
231 W. Colorado Avenue
The Hotel Telluride
199 North Cornet Street
250 W. San Juan Ave.
301 West San Juan Avenue
Telluride Alpine Lodging
324 W. Colorado Avenue
Rene Agredano enjoys sharing travel tips about Colorado – her favorite state in the U.S. – when she’s not at her mountaintop cabin retreat in Red Feather Lakes, she’s RVing around America writing from the road.