Route 66 Cities Beaches



Winter Park

Like any world class ski resort, Winterpark has almost unlimited options for lodging. However, we urge you to investigate Timber House. In our opinion this is the greatest ski lodging in the country. It nestles in the trees just below and to the side of the slopes, so you ski directly down to the lodge (above left) or from the lodge ski down to the lifts. There's also a van shuttle over to the base village if you want to shop in the stores and just explore. Timber House is a very intimate chalet (above right) with numerous accomodations. There's dorm style bunk bed lodging and standard motel style rooms as seen here at right. No matter which type of lodging you choose, you have the benefit of a fine hot tub after a day of high mountain skiing, and a great commons room for meeting your fellow Timber House guests for good conversation, a game of chess or just relaxing around the crackling fireplace (below).
And it gets better. Your quite reasonable room rate includes breakfast and dinner, served at the long tables by another fireplace in the dining hall (left). Both breakfasts and dinners are outstanding, at least as good and usually better than you could find in any restaurant in town. The advantage of this arrangement cannot be overstated. In the morning, when you're eager to get to the slopes for first tracks, being able to simply walk down the hall to breakfast, then return to your room to buckle on your boots, put on your ski duds and head out without having to go find a restaurant is immense. And the convenience of dinner is even greater. Coming in after a long day up on top, when you're cold and tired, being able to just get a shower and then have dinner without starting a cold car and inching down an icy mountain road to a crowded restaurant is incredible. In the time you save not having to go out to eat you can relax in the hot tub. Typical meals include salmon, chicken parmesan and prime rib.

The room at right is the social center. Windows look out across the wintry landscape and the fire burns all day. They stock plenty of board games, books and puzzles, or you can discuss with other guests conditions up on the slopes. There is no TV at all, which almost everyone considers a huge advantage. The lodge setting also means you are not confined to your room in the evening. You can roam around from dining hall to the two hot tubs to the commons room to rec room without going out in the cold and snow. The rec room includes a ping pong table and pool table. Timber House is experienced in dealing with families, groups or couples.


However, if Timber House seems too cozy and confining for your taste, you might consider Zephyr Mountain Lodge right at the base of the lifts. They have one, two and three bedroom condos as seen below. The ones with windows facing up the lifts rent for more. The opposite side still offers spectacular views across the Fraser Valley, along the Continental Divide, and down into the little town of Winterpark, but you don't get to watch the grooming machines crawling the slopes at night. They refer to these backside units as "Divide View." Rates per night range from $200 - 400. There are outdoor hot tubs, heated underground parking (so your car's snow and ice free and toasty warm when you get in it), elevators, laundry facilities, and a state of the art fitness center.

The units themselves have full kitchens, fireplaces, high speed internet connection, cable tv, and balconies. The village at the base of the lodge contains enough restaurants and stores to keep you busy for a couple of evenings. If you plan on cooking in, there's a full service grocery down in Fraser. If you're driving in, consider bringing basic supplies from home and only buying fresh items here. Due to the high cost of shipping items in by train and truck, prices are significantly higher.

These units are pricey, but actually less than comparable units at other major ski resorts. The lodge is only a few years old and these condos incorporate the latest in design, furniture and furnishings. The covered heated parking alone is worth part of the price. We've had lots of experience digging our vehicle out from under feet of snow, scraping the windshield, and letting it warm up for 30 minutes for the trip home.

If you are an individual, couple or have only one child, a great option might be a Sports Studio Condo at Iron Horse Resort. This facility predates the base village and was the first condo development on the mountain. It is tucked deep in the trees between Mary Jane and the Winterpark base, along the Corridor Trail. There's a skiiers only bridge from the trail right into the lodge. These condos are older, smaller and less plush, but they start at $140 a night, the best rate you're going to find. There's a fitness center and the Iron Horse's own ski rental center. You can also get a package which includes lift tickets.
The units have gas fireplaces, cable tv, wireless internet, full kitchens and balconies. They have Murphy Beds, which fold down out of the wall at night and fold back out of the way during the day. Then they have a sleeper sofa for a child or third member. They also have one, two and three bedroom condos if a Murphy Bed seems a bit quirky.
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