Frisco Inn on Galena: a Colorado Boutique Hotel with European Flair

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Entrance to Frisco Inn on Galena in summer, photo by Claudia Carbone
Entrance to Frisco Inn on Galena in summer, photo by Claudia Carbone

Every so often, I stay in a place that reminds me of my most memorable mountain experiences in Europe. A place so charming, so warm, so intimate that I never want to leave. The Frisco Inn on Galena is just such a place.

Tucked in a quiet corner one block off Main Street in the mountain town of Frisco in Colorado, this sweet boutique hotel embodies the spirit of the Rocky Mountains in a most unassuming way. Like the town, the Inn is small, low-key, authentic and utterly delightful. No one comes to Frisco or the Frisco Inn on Galena to name drop. Here, there is no glamor, but there is allure. There are no celebrities, but guests are diverse and accomplished. There are no doormen, but the staff is as friendly as a bevy of kindergarten teachers at a PTA meeting. And the European ambiance is enchanting! This is mostly due to the owner traveling frequently to Europe as coach of the Estonia Ski Team. He’s brought back genuine European hospitality as well as country flags, mementos and artwork to decorate the Inn.

Frisco Inn on Galena rooms

The 15 differently configured guest rooms are tastefully furnished in mountainy colors. All have TVs with DVD players, phones, WiFi, sound machines and private bathrooms. (No bathrooms down the hall like many European hotels!). Three rooms have private patios with outdoor furniture, and one suite is large enough for a family or group.

A king room, photo courtesy of Frisco Inn on Galena
A king room, photo courtesy of Frisco Inn on Galena

Frisco Inn on Galena common areas

The living room is my favorite of the common rooms. With a roaring fireplace, it’s a homey place for curling up on the traditional furniture for reading or hanging out. Shelves hold books and DVDs for guests to enjoy.

Living Room, photo courtesy of Frisco Inn on Galena
Living Room, photo courtesy of Frisco Inn on Galena

Next to it is the dining room, also with a fireplace. It’s a pleasant space to linger over the delicious freshly prepared hot and cold breakfast spread that’s included in the price. If you like coffee drinks, the staff makes terrific cappuccino and latte!

Dining Room, photo courtesy of Frisco Inn on Galena
Dining Room, photo courtesy of Frisco Inn on Galena

Happy Hour, also complimentary, takes place every evening here as well. Staff puts out wine, cheeses and assorted hors d’oeuvres on the sideboard. In the summer, we brought our snacks onto the lovely deck and visited with the most interesting people, one who brought several bottles of liquor to share. It’s that kind of place! The Inn also serves intimate dinners that can be charged to your room on weekends. We didn’t try this option, but judging from the food we did eat, I have no doubt dinner would be wonderful. Fruit, water, cookies and coffee are available any time of day.

Happy Hour spread, photo courtesy of Frisco Inn on Galena
Happy Hour spread, photo courtesy of Frisco Inn on Galena

Other common areas include two hot tubs (one indoor, one outdoor); sauna; game room with pool and foosball tables, board games and an exercise bike. There’s also rooms for meetings and events as well as computers and printers to use for free.

More amenities

The Inn knows how to keep guests happy. “We try hard to be your home away from home,” said owner Bruce Knoepfel. In summer, the Inn keeps a fleet of mountain bikes for guests to use complimentary. In winter, there are snowshoes available plus a ski boot drying system—super important on multi-day ski vacations—in the ski/bike storage room. You can also buy lift tickets for the Summit and Eagle County ski resorts at the front desk, eliminating precious ski time waiting in line. The services just go on and on – laundry, ski tuning, equipment rentals, and access to a large fitness center. Did I mention parking is free?

The deck with fire pit and grill, photo courtesy of Frisco Inn on Galena
The deck with fire pit and grill, photo courtesy of Frisco Inn on Galena

This little gem has everything I want in a mountain vacation. That’s why I’m signing up for the loyalty program, as I can’t think of any other place in Frisco I’d want to stay.

Frisco Inn on Galena, 106 Galena Street, Frisco, CO 80443; 970-668-3224 (1-855-237-4726); www.friscoinnongalena.com

Town of Frisco, Colorado

Main Street, Frisco, Colorado, photo by Todd Powell
Main Street, Frisco, Colorado, photo by Todd Powell

Frisco is a small historic town with a charming Main Street dubbed “Main Street to the Rockies” due to its central location to major ski resorts along the I-70 corridor. But its not a drive-through town. Frisco has developed into a destination in its own right with visitors who eschew crowds of large resorts in favor of smaller, quaint towns. Main Street is entirely walkable from one end to the other, and the shops and restaurants are getting better every year.

Summer

Frisco Bay Marina is a popular spot for boating around 25 miles of Lake Dillon shoreline.

Kayaking on Lake Dillon from Frisco Bay Marina, photo by Claudia Carbone
Kayaking on Lake Dillon from Frisco Bay Marina, photo by Claudia Carbone

Frisco easily accesses mountain biking and road biking trails around Summit County. Also, hiking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, fishing, hot air ballooning and 4-wheeling. It also hosts arts shows, concerts and festivals, including the famous Colorado BBQ Challenge in June.

Biking around Lake Dillon, Claudia Carbone photo
Biking around Lake Dillon, Claudia Carbone photo

Winter

Frisco, Colorado, Winter, photo by Todd Powell
Frisco, Colorado, Winter, photo by Todd Powell

In addition to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, Frisco is home to one of the best tubing hills in the state at Frisco Adventure Park

Family Snow Tubing at Frisco Adventure Park, photo by Todd Powell
Family Snow Tubing at Frisco Adventure Park, photo by Todd Powell

Dining suggestions

Breakfast – Bread+Salt features classics and creative egg dishes.

Lunch – Peppino’s specializes in pizza, subs and soups freshly made in house.

Dinner – Vinny’s is family-owned, serving international dishes made with local and organic ingredients. Delicious!