After a few days of skiing, the author finds comfort and rest in a lovely bed and breakfast just a few miles from the extreme skiing of Crested Butte Mountain. It was the perfect way to end an action-packed adventure.
Driving down the mountain towards the small town of Crested Butte, Colorado, my body ached after four days of treacherous skiing on Mount Crested Butte. Not one fully committed to the sport of skiing, I spent the past few days tumbling, bumping into skiers, and finding new leg muscles. Afternoons were used up clumsily navigating blue squares, and nights were all about celebrating the end of the ski day with a dozen Tango Divas over spiked coffee and strong cocktails. It was time to rest, and I was looking forward to a hot Jacuzzi bath, massage, and restful sleep at the luxurious Crested Butte Club in the heart of the small, Victorian town.
The town of Crested Butte is located a mile and a half from the famed ski mountain resort with the same name. Although they share the identical postcode, the two areas are worlds apart. The mountain is all about extreme skiing and partying, while the town is more peaceful and friendly. After four days of ski lessons and five nights of partying with some Tango Diva members who flew in from around the country, my legs and liver needed a rest. And the Crested Butte Club Boutique Inn & Spa would give me the much-needed rest and relaxation my body was craving.
Getting to the Crested Butte Club is a cinch, no matter what direction you’re coming from. If you fly into Gunnison’s airport (the closest outpost to the ski town), you can jump on the Alpine Express, sometimes driven by the Crested Butte’s own mayor, to the lovely B&B. Because the Crested Butte Club is located a mere two blocks from the main street of town (Elk Street), you really don’t need a rental car unless you like driving in snow and plan on taking road trips (Aspen’s not that far). There’s a free shuttle that runs every 15 minutes between the town of Crested Butte and the ski resorts higher up on the mountain. So if you’re dying to head to the slopes, the shuttle will pick you up a block down from the Crested Butte Club.
Being a connoisseur of fine bedding and French champagne, it’s hard to impress me. But the Crested Butte Club did. Walking into the Club was a feast for the eyes with fine pieces of art, cozy furniture, and amazing photographs taken by the owner on his world travels. The Club felt more like a home away from home than a Boutique Inn. The staff was amazingly friendly and relaxed and nothing seemed impossible – including a massage an hour after I arrived.
The room I stayed in was one of nine – each with a different theme and ambience. I sneaked around and fell in love with room 1 – the Tuscan Room. It boasted high, burgundy ceilings, a fireplace, a cherry wood sleigh bed, a copper wet bar, and a Jacuzzi tub. My room had a fireplace and Jacuzzi tub too; I also had a deck that overlooked the mountains.
After unloading my gear, I headed to the spa. Here I found a lovely locker room with a steam room, showers, and a warm robe and slippers waiting for me. I passed the fantastically equipped workout room and indoor lap pool, but I was too tired to even think about swimming or treading. A massage is all I wanted.
In the quiet waiting room of the spa, Dana, my lovely massage therapist and healer, met me. She gave me a hug and welcomed me into my dark, quiet, and warm massage room. I’ve had lots of massages throughout my decadent life, and this massage was one of the best. Dana moved into my sore spots and gently worked rhythmically through them. She kneaded my muscles with tender but firm intentions. I felt all the falls, strains, and bumps leave my body. The hour was magical, and once she finished, she quietly stepped out of the room whispering to me to take my time. So I did. It took me a few minutes to find my way out of the cozy massage room and back to my room. Once back, I spent the next hour bathing in the deep, warm Jacuzzi tub. The scene was perfect – me in the bath filled with bubbles, the fireplace blazing, and snow falling silently outside.
The evening was spent enjoying the lovely town of Crested Butte with a delicious dinner at Timberline, followed by a nightcap at the Princess Bar where a live bluegrass band played. There, I ran into my fabulous massage therapist and once again thanked her for an outstanding hour. I walked back to the Crested Butte Club (a whole two blocks) at 11 pm and fell into the plush down (non-allergenic, alternative) saatva mattress and Egyptian cotton sheets. Lying in bed was like lying on a warm cloud. I was surrounded by fluffy pillows (six!) resting on a big, cozy mattress, and covered in a soft comforter. Nothing could be more wonderful.
The night passed without waking and the next morning I woke up to the sounds of winter birds chirping outside my window. My body felt renewed by the massage and the good night sleep in the big down-stuffed bed. I dressed and headed to breakfast. Downstairs, in the Wolf’s Den, I found a beautiful breakfast of fresh fruit, muffins, juice, coffee, and breakfast burritos. I gobbled down half of a cinnamon roll and half of a breakfast burrito while sitting at the bar and chatting with Rose, a delightful woman who works at the Crested Butte Club and whom I met the night before at dinner. The Wolf Den Tavern is a rich, Victorian-style room decorated with the owner’s incredible photography. His pictures of Venice, San Francisco, and Paris are wonderfully hypnotic. I stared at one and instantly I was transported to a gondola in Venice. The Den has a full bar lined with brass elephants and lit by Tiffany lamps. In addition to breakfast, guests can also enjoy an afternoon cocktail or peaceful nightcap while watching the big-screen television or playing a game of backgammon on the secret game table.
After breakfast, I visited the work out room one more time. The facilities are fantastic – with treadmills, Stairmasters, free weights, and weight machines, but I was just not up to it. All that really bad skiing took its toll on me. I walked to the pool and found three women doing laps. Too much work! I declared. Perhaps I could enjoy the hot tub while looking out onto the snow-covered world outside. Nope, I was happy to be dry. I returned to my room, lit the fire, and rested on the fluffy couch in the corner. There, I fell asleep reading C.S. Lewis’ autobiography.
What a perfect place to spend a weekend – or a week. I could workout if I wished, or I could just rest in my room with a glowing fire. I could hit the slopes or the town shops. I could eat my way through the city or hike my way up the mountain. What a place! I am definitely coming back.
To get to Crested Butte, fly into Gunnison, Colorado (GUC). Currently, Delta, United, and Continental fly there.
Once in Gunnison, take the Alpine Express to Crested Butte. It is a 30-minute bus ride and costs $29 each direction. Call Alpine Express before you depart to reserve your seat on the bus: 800-822-4844
You can rent cars at the airport from 4 different rental companies, but unless you plan on sightseeing and are good driving in the snow, the Alpine Express is the way to go.
BOOKING AT THE CRESTED BUTTE CLUB:
Call 800-815-CLUB or visit them online at http://www.crestedbutteclub.com
Room rates vary from season to season:
Nov 21- Jan 4: $199 – $299
Jan 5 – Feb 11: $179 – $279
Feb 12 – April 10: $199 – $299
April 11 – May 25: $159 – $259
May 26 – Oct 12: $199 – $299
Oct 13 – Nov 20: $179 – $279
Just call them to schedule your massage or facial. Take advantage of the steam room before your treatment.
1 hour massage: $75
1 1/2 massage: $110
You can add stones to any massage for an additional $15
Or you can have a massage in your room for an additional $15
European Facial $60 – your facial will be customized for your skin type and needs
Herbal wraps $55 (for detoxing and slimming)
Many thanks to Gary and Connie Wolf, the owners of The Crested Butte Club for a fantastic experience – we’ll be back!
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