The Antlers at Vail Offers Fully Furnished Condos with Luxury Hotel Amenities

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The entrance to The Antlers in winter. Photo courtesy of The Antlers
The entrance to The Antlers in winter. Photo courtesy of The Antlers

History of The Antlers

As an older property, The Antlers at Vail, in the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado, has kept up with the times very well. The condo complex was built back in 1972 just after Lionshead, the then new base area of Vail Village, was completed. By that time, Vail had become an internationally known ski resort after opening ten years earlier. When the resort installed a gondola in Lionshead for the ’68-’69 season, that spurred on more construction in the new modern village, and The Antlers and Lionshead became destinations in their own right.

But by the late ‘90s, the town council deemed Lionshead was lacking the charm, character and appeal of the rest of Vail, saying “the architecture lacks a unique identity or reference to Vail’s historical antecedents and its alpine environment.” So it appealed to the public and private sectors to act collaboratively to review and revitalize the Lionshead area.

In an amazing spirit of cooperation, during 2000 through 2002, the 70 condo owners of The Antlers poured $22 million into a high-end redevelopment project that upgraded the property to the sleek contemporary condo-hotel it is today. By 2013, homeowners renewed their commitment to reach a platinum lodging rating with significant improvements to their units. The only tell-tale sign of years is the aging elevator, but I understand it will be replaced in the near future.

With its ideal location on Gore Creek, just 150 yards from the (new) Eagle Bahn Gondola and next to the free town shuttle, it is now one of the premier properties in the new Lionshead Village.

Iconic statue of two elk locking antlers in the circle drive. Photo courtesy of The Antlers
Iconic statue of two elk locking antlers in the circle drive. Photo courtesy of The Antlers

Having skied at every major resort in North America, I rank Vail as one of my favorites. So when I brought three generations of my family there recently, I knew we’d need a large condo that we could call home for a few days. The Antlers was perfect!

Front desk area at The Antlers. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Front desk area at The Antlers. Photo by Claudia Carbone

Amenities at The Antlers

At checkin, we were thrilled to hear about the multiple amenities that came with no extra resort fee that so many hotels charge: free parking, use of a GoPro camera to record our adventures, complimentary bike rentals in summer and snowshoe and sled rentals in winter (limited number); ski rentals and ski valet; free WiFi and free parking. Though they have a fitness center and complimentary yoga classes twice a week, they throw in use of Vail Athletic Club during your stay. And you can bring your dog!

Welcoming lobby next to the front desk. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Welcoming lobby next to the front desk. Photo by Claudia Carbone

The Units at The Antlers

Each of the 87 units—studios to four bedrooms—are individually owned and furnished to reflect the owners’ tastes. Ours is a comfy blend of soft leather sofas, rustic wood tables and colorful wool rugs. The living room opens to a large patio (with a gas grill and furniture) overlooking the mountain.

Living room of our unit. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Living room of our unit. Photo by Claudia Carbone

The kitchen is fabulous with up-to-date appliances and fully stocked. Anything you might need that isn’t there is just a phone call away to the front desk. They are extremely accommodating. Also, if you don’t have a car, a staffer will give you a free lift to get groceries.

Updated kitchen. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Updated kitchen. Photo by Claudia Carbone

If you’re not keen on cooking but want to stay in, you can order meals from the Antlers website, prepared by Chef Barry Robinson, the Antlers personal chef who provides this service to guests. He delivered our meal—Roasted Herb Chicken, Rice Pilaf and Mixed Green Salad with Citrus Mustard Dressing (about $70 for 8-10 people)—ready to be re-heated when we wanted. It was delicious! We ate in the dining area below.

Dining area of living room. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Dining area of living room. Photo by Claudia Carbone

The sleeping accommodations were roomy and comfortable, with spacious closets and plenty of drawer space.

One of the bedrooms. Photo by Claudia Carbone
One of the bedrooms. Photo by Claudia Carbone

The bathrooms are especially nice. A Jacuzzi tub in the master bath got lots of use.

Spa tub in master bathroom. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Spa tub in master bathroom. Photo by Claudia Carbone

And two sinks gave our tribe plenty of room for washing up.

Double sinks in master bathroom. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Double sinks in master bathroom. Photo by Claudia Carbone

The second bedroom has an equally nice bathroom with a huge separate shower.

One of the bathrooms in the condo with separate shower. Photo by Claudia Carbone
One of the bathrooms in the condo with separate shower. Photo by Claudia Carbone

We spent a lot of time in the outdoor pool and two hot tubs.

Pool and hot tub in winter. Photo courtesy of The Antlers
Pool and hot tub in winter. Photo courtesy of The Antlers

What to do in Vail while at The Antlers

Recently, Vail launched Vail Epic Discovery, a outdoor summer adventure playground on top of the mountain. In addition to a year round alpine roller coaster (below), it features zip lines, ropes courses for kids and adults, summer tubing, bungee jumping, wall climbing, and interactive learn-by-play activities. Other summer activities in the Vail Valley include concerts and dance performances at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, golf, and all the mountain sports like biking, whitewater rafting, hiking, horseback riding and more.

I'm riding the "Forest Flyer" alpine coaster through the trees with gorgeous views of the Gore Range. Photo by Claudia Carbone
I’m riding the “Forest Flyer” alpine coaster through the trees with gorgeous views of the Gore Range. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Leona balancing on the ropes course. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Leona balancing on the ropes course. Photo by Claudia Carbone

In winter, Vail is a world renowned ski resort with 5,289 skiable acres of mixed terrain, including enormous bowls on the backside of the mountain that provide long, uninterrupted runs on pristine snow. Besides skiing, there’s Adventure Ridge, a football stadium-size snow park with snowshoeing, ski biking, kids snowmobiling, tubing and the coaster ride. You can ride it in your ski boots. Just hop on!

Vail's famous Blue Sky Basin. Photo by Jack Affleck, courtesy of Vail Resorts
Vail’s famous Blue Sky Basin. Photo by Jack Affleck, courtesy of Vail Resorts

Vail is also known for its exquisite boutiques, fabulous restaurants, and Bavarian-style pedestrian villages with heated streets linked by a reliable free bus system. It’s a magical place to stroll when snow softly falls and lights are aglow! Skating at the beautiful Arrabelle Square in Lionshead is even more so.

Ice rink at Arrabelle Square in Lionshead Village. Photo by Jack Affleck, courtesy of Vail Resorts.
Ice rink at Arrabelle Square in Lionshead Village. Photo by Jack Affleck, courtesy of Vail Resorts.

For more about what to see and do in Vail, visit Vail.com.

Vail at twilight. Photo by Jeff Andrew, courtesy of Vail Resorts.
Vail at twilight. Photo by Jeff Andrew, courtesy of Vail Resorts.

Vail and The Antlers are an easy two-hour drive from Denver International Airport on I-70 and about a half hour from the Eagle County Airport.

The Antlers at Vail, 680 Lionshead Place, Vail, Colorado, CO 81657, USA; 800-843-8245, (local) 970-476-2471, www.antlersvail.com.

Claudia Carbone is an award-winning travel writer based in Denver. Read about other hotels she’s visited in Sleepin’ Around.