Located in one of the passes in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, Vail offers some of the most stunning scenery you’ll ever see. There’s nothing quite like being surrounded by the grandeur of soaring mountain scenery, whether you travel there in summer or in winter.
Despite its small size, Vail has become famous the world over for its skiing. However, this town is a great holiday destination in every season. Surrounded as it is by nature, it offers great hiking, climbing, bouldering, and other outdoor experiences in the warmer months. Of course, you could always give some of these activities a try in the colder months as well!
Despite its popularity, there isn’t a lot of information out there on the best neighborhood to stay in Vail close to everything. This oversight is probably because of the town’s small size, but if you want a convenient stay, with all your favorite activities close at hand, then let this be your guide.
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Vail?
- Where to stay in Vail first time – Vail Village
- Where to stay in Vail on a budget – West Vail
- Best neighborhood in Vail for families – Lionshead
Where to Stay in Vail
If you’re the type of person who prefers to just book and go, here are some great accommodation options that will almost every type of traveler.
Convenience and Style!
- Pack ’n Play/travel cot
- Free parking on premises
This stylish condo is just 1,000 feet from the very center of Vail Village, offering easy access to all the shops and amenities. It offers brand new appliances, a full kitchen, free parking, and laundry facilities. With one bedroom and one bathroom, it sleeps up to four guests and is reasonably priced as well!
Contemporary and Stylish Vail Condo
- Indoor fireplace
- Free parking on premises
Located right in the center of the best neighborhood in Vail for nightlife, in the middle of Vail Village, this condo would be a stylish and comfortable base for your vacation. It has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, it sleeps up to six guests, and it offers a full kitchen and views over the pool and towards the Vail Mountains.
- 2 swimming pools
- Spa and wellness centre
This hotel is one of the most luxurious in all of Vail. It has its own golf course, three restaurants, and a bar for a late-night drink. it’s also just five minutes from the gondola ski lift and has a spa center where you can have treatments or destress with a yoga or pilates class. The rooms are large and fully equipped and even have their own fireplace to keep you warm on icy nights.
Vail Neighborhood Guide
Vail is a small, remote town without many neighborhoods. It’s located between the mountain ranges of Sawatch and Gore which restricts its size, but this town packs a lot of charm and outdoor activities into a small area. For the best area no matter your budget and interests, here’s where to look.
Vail Village is the best choice when you’re trying to decide where to stay in Vail close to everything. If you’ve seen pictures of Vail, then they were probably taken in this quaint mountain village which offers the best combination of access to the outdoors and modern amenities.
The second area to look at is West Vail. As it’s a little further away from Vail Village, you can find cheaper accommodation and food in this area. In addition, due to the free shuttle bus, you can still head into the main areas without any trouble or expense.
The final area is Lionshead, the best neighborhood in Vail for families. This cozy village offers a huge variety of activities and a diverse culinary and shopping scene.
Vail’s 3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Still, having trouble making a choice? Well, here’s a closer look at what each area has to offer.
Where to stay in Vail first time
COOLEST thing to do in Vail Village – Go skiing in winter at the Vail Ski Resort and hiking or biking in summer.
BEST place to visit in Vail Village – The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens for a relaxing look at the flora of the area.
Vail Village is almost ridiculously quaint, which is what makes it the best neighborhood in Vail for your first time. This is where you’ll be surrounded by lots of buildings that date back to the founding of the town in the early ’60s, as well as all the amenities you could want during your stay.
Vail Village perfectly balances the appeal of a small town with world-class shopping and restaurants. It also has amazing clubs and bars for some after-hours fun as well, which is why this village is a good choice when you’re trying to decide where to stay in Vail for nightlife.
- Have a meal at Mountain Standard or the Big Bear Bistro.
- Warm up with a few drinks at the Pool Bar, Vail Ale House, or King’s Club.
- Relax with a spa treatment at the Sonnenalp Hotel.
- In summer, go tubing down the 330-foot-long tubing hill.
- Take Gondola One to the top of the mountain and take in the views.
- Get your adrenalin up at the Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster.
- Learn about the history of Snowsports at the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame.
Best Airbnb in Vail Village
This apartment sleeps up to four guests with one bedroom and two beds. It’s located right in the center of Vail Village with views of Golden Peak and offers a fully equipped kitchen, fireplace, and free parking. The apartment is in an older resort setting, so you’ll have access to the heated pool during your stay.
Best High-End Airbnb in Vail Village
With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, this condo sleeps up to six guests, making it a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Vail for families. It has a wonderful balcony where you can sit out and stare at the mountains, and the decor is a combination of a wood cabin and contemporary, modern furnishings. For comfort with a touch of luxury, you can’t go past this reasonably priced entry.
Best Budget hotel in Vail Village
Located close to the center of Vail Village and in the best neighborhood in Vail for nightlife, this cozy lodge is great for families, groups, and solo travelers. It offers units with a fully equipped kitchen and private bathroom as well as a delicious American breakfast every morning. The lodge also has a bar and restaurant, a garden, and an outdoor swimming pool.
Best Luxury Hotel in Vail Village
For a little luxury in the heart of Vail Village, this lodge is perfect. It has ski-to-door access as well as a buffet breakfast every morning so you can start your days right. It’s also just 200 meters from the gondola and offers rooms with views, a cocktail lounge, and a fitness center just in case you’re not getting enough exercise in the mountains.
Where to stay in Vail on a budget
COOLEST thing to do in West Vail – Take a snowmobiling adventure through the mountains.
BEST place to visit in West Vail – The West Vail Pass wildlife area for amazing views and wildlife.
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Vail on a budget, then you need a more local area. That’s exactly what you get in West Vail. West Vail doesn’t have the attractions of other areas, but it does have some affordable accommodation options as well as shops and restaurants that are more for locals than visitors.
There are a few different areas that makeup West Vail, most of them on the South or North of Frontage Road. While you’re in this area, you’ll need to have your own car or hop on the complimentary Town of Vail bus to get to the ski slopes. However, you’ll still be able to enjoy the stunning alpine views as well as the company of the locals.
- Take the free shuttle bus into Vail Village for shopping and more activities.
- Have a meal at the Blu Cow, Gessner, or The Westside Café & Market.
- Take the kids to play at Donovan Park or Stephens Park.
- Hike the trails and explore nature at the Vail Nature Center.
- Go hiking on the North Trail or the Vail Trail.
Best Airbnb in West Vail
Located in the best neighborhood in Vail for couples or any other type of traveler, this apartment’s biggest draw is its location. It’s right in the heart of West Vail, so you can sit on your balcony, sip wine, and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere as well as the locals going about their everyday business. The apartment has a private balcony, a one-bedroom, and sleeps up to four guests.
Best High-End Airbnb in West Vail
With two bedrooms and one-and-a-half bathrooms, this updated apartment sleeps six and is a good choice when you’re traveling with a group. It’s a short walk from the center of West Vail and within walking distance of the free shuttle bus to Vail Village and offers fully updated appliances, a fully equipped kitchen, free parking, and a patio where you can enjoy the outdoors in privacy.
Best Budget hotel in West Vail
Located right in the center of the best neighborhood in Vail if you are on a budget, this hotel offers stunning views and natural surroundings. It has apartment-style accommodation with all the comforts of home including kitchens. The hotel also has an indoor/outdoor pool, hot tub, and an on-site fitness area and is surrounded by local restaurants.
Best Luxury Hotel in West Vail
Located right in the heart of West Vail, this hotel has an outdoor pool and spa center as well as a restaurant so you never have to go far for food. There’s also an on-site bar, and the hotel has large rooms that include lots of extras like a coffee machine to make your stay comfortable.
Best neighborhood in Vail for families
COOLEST thing to do in Lionshead – Visit Village Square in summer for concerts and winter for the Alderhof ice skating rink.
BEST place to visit in Lionshead – The Imagination Station for a huge range of kids’ activities and equipment.
Located practically next to Vail Village, Lionshead is one of the most popular areas to stay in Vail. It offers easy access to the local ski resorts and to some of the best restaurants in this city. This is why it’s the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Vail for families.
This safe little town offers amazing shopping and an air of peace that’s rare, probably because cars aren’t allowed in the village. If you like outdoor activities, then Lionshead is close to some of the best hikes in the area as well as biking and climbing areas.
- Head over to the Apex Mountain School for rock climbing lessons.
- Fill your stomach at Moe’s Original BBQ or Montauk Seafood Grill.
- Let the kids explore Sunbird Park.
- Take the Eagle Bahn Gondola up to the skiing area..
- Head out of Vail to the untouched landscape of the Holy Cross Wilderness Area for fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities
Best Airbnb in Lionshead
Located right in the heart of Lionshead, the best neighborhood in Vail for families, this apartment sleeps five guests and has three full bathrooms and two bedrooms. It’s a privately owned apartment in Evergreen Lodge, so you will enjoy full access to the resort’s outdoor pool, saunas, restaurant, fitness center, and indoor hot tub during your stay.
Best High-End Airbnb in Lionshead
This gorgeous Villa offers the perfect combination of luxury, style, and convenience. It’s located close to the gondola and has ski-in/ski-out access so you can get to the slopes quickly. The decor in the villa is elegantly restrained but welcoming, and the villa has two bedrooms, so it can sleep up to four guests. It also has a fully equipped kitchen, free parking, and laundry facilities.
Best Budget hotel in Lionshead
You’ll really love the views from this hotel, particularly from the seasonal outdoor pool. Surrounded by nature it offers a restaurant, fitness center, and bar, close to the center of Vail. The property also has a sun terrace and large rooms with all the usual amenities, as well as a wellness center with a hot tub and sauna so you can soak away your stress. Close to the center of Vail, it’s ideal if you don’t want to go far for entertainment or food.
Best Luxury Hotel in Lionshead
This romantic hotel is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Vail for couples. It’s only five minutes from the local gondola to the ski fields and offers an outdoor pool and hot tubs. There’s a bar and a restaurant on-site as well as ski storage and a fitness center. The rooms are spacious, boasting Alpine decor, and some of them have their own fully equipped kitchens just in case you feel like cooking during your vacation.
Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Vail
It’s really not that surprising that Vail is such a popular vacation spot. With staggeringly beautiful natural scenery, lots of outdoor activities, and quaint small towns, this part of Colorado has something for almost every traveler. To take advantage of the best that this part of the world has to offer, make sure you make the choice of where to stay in Vail for your first time carefully. This will ensure that you have a trouble-free, blissfully relaxing stay in the Rocky Mountains.
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