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S EA SONED SKIERS AND CRAF T- BE E R E NT HUS I A STS SH O U L D SET TH EIR SIGHTS ON COLORADO T HI S W I NT E R. J A MES MA SSO U D TR AVELS TO THE A M E RI CAN W E S T AND S T RI K ES G O L D O N EI TH ER S I DE OF THE ROCKI E S .

When you think of skiing down snow-capped mountains in Colorado, usually Aspen comes to mind. While specialist luxury-skiholiday providers such as the Oxford Ski Company (oxfordski.com) offer resorts and chalets across the state, there’s one town that’s yet to be untapped by European visitors: Steamboat Springs. Moving Mountains – a family-owned company offering luxury vacation homes – is looking to extend its impressive portfolio to places such as Beaver Creek and Vail (where the Oxford Ski Company runs trips), but Steamboat Springs is the state’s best-kept secret. Husband and wife team, Robin and Heather Craigen met while working together on a luxury yacht charter in the Caribbean – a far cry from the sub-zero conditions they’ve acclimatised to these days. When they decided on setting up a family base together on land, they decided upon Steamboat because of the town’s strong community and family-welcoming feel: both of which are definitely felt upon visiting. TH E WOW FACTOR Brits have taken holidays in the European Alps since the 60s, the resorts’ glamour and exclusivity luring them back every winter; yet, for the Craigens (Robin is British), this concept was alien to the US. There is a skiing culture in the States, so why couldn’t it also be luxurious? Hence why Moving Mountains has been going successfully since 1998. High-end luxury without pretension, high-end but not stuffy: Moving Mountains’ laidback approach and good-natured spirit has seen them enjoy loyal repeat customers for years. From linen of the highest quality to flatscreen TVs, every property is decked out with the best to help visitors settle into their home-from-home. A VIP catered package has been set up to limit stress, whether that’s keeping the fridge stocked or the services of a private chef for custom gourmet meals. In addition to the sensational 80-plus properties, Moving Mountains turns up the wow factor with a heated pool, hot tubs, a sociable lounge area, equally impressive bar area, games room for adults (and another for kids next door) and a free shuttle service. Steamboat Springs is located just over three hours drive away from Denver International Airport or 35 minutes’ drive away from a smaller domestic airport called Yampa Valley; to experience their residences for yourselves, contact Hayes & Jarvis (www.hayesandjarvis.co.uk) who can organise your travel arrangements for you. B IKE S, BEERS AND BANDS If Steamboat Springs provides the chill factor (in both senses of the word), then Fort Collins brings the fun. The city is a three-hour drive away from Steamboat on the other side of the Rocky Mountain National Park (90 minutes from Denver International Airport), there are three things that really encapsulate time spent here: craft beer, great food and live Music. It’s home to over 20 craft-beer breweries, including the USA’s fourth largest, New Belgium Brewing Co, which is well worth a visit. The Old Town in general offers

a buzzing collection of bars and pubs in addition, as well as fantastic places to eat; I highly r​ ecommend trying a bison steak in Ginger and Baker’s historic, gorgeously renovated mill. Alongside rustically cool nightlife, the Old Town’s historic district is also home to picture-perfect buildings from the 1800s, now housing thrift stores and indie boutiques; a stone’s throw away sits the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery for a cultural fix, while a 20-minute Uber ride west is Horsetooth Reservoir at the city limits, which provides swimming spots and hikes. Right in the heart of it all is the Elizabeth Hotel: a music-themed boutique stay that, much like Moving Mountains, has excelled in providing easygoing luxury. Room names reflect Fort Collins’ loves: bikes, beers and bands. Each of the 164 rooms comes with its own record player and collection of vinyl, while opposite the reception area there’s a music library where you can actually hire out musical equipment and more records. Furthermore, the Magic Rat on the ground floor hosts live bands and singers pretty much every night, while up on the roof is a charming jazz bar called Sunset Lounge – a relaxing spot for a cocktail and charcuterie board. The Elizabeth Hotel’s staff are exceptionally friendly, chatty and helpful, which is a pretty accurate description of the people of Colorado in general, and its innate passions are aligned with the community. Speaking of which, very much like Steamboat Springs, the community is at the very heart of it all; the hotel’s in-house Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market is described as a ‘community gathering space’. And, as an outsider, it’s not only a lovely sentiment to see, it also truly makes you feel very welcome. Find out more on each area from the Colorado Tourism Office (colorado.com), Steamboat Springs Chamber (steamboatchamber. com) and Visit Fort Collins (visitftcollins.com). Hayes & Jarvis (01293 762456, www.hayesandjarvis.co.uk) is offering a five-night holiday to Denver from £999 a person. The offer includes five nights at the four-star Hyatt Place Denver Cherry Creek, on a room only basis. This price includes return international flights from London Heathrow with United Airlines. Based on 2020 departures. Ring to book. Moving Mountains: www.movingmountains.com The Elizabeth Hotel: www.theelizabethcolorado.com

‘THE ELIZABETH HOTEL’S STAFF ARE

EXCEPTIONALLY FRIENDLY, CHATTY AND

HELPFUL, WHICH IS A PRETTY ACCURATE

DESCRIPTION OF THE PEOPLE OF COLORADO IN GENERAL, AND ITS INNATE PASSIONS ARE ALIGNED WITH THE COMMUNITY.’

KENSINGTON & CHELSEA REVIEW

PAGE 36

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Christmas 2019 Edition  

The Fa La La La La issue. Including festive ideas for food and wine, travel and our glorious and rather popular annual Christmas gift guid...

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