The Lion is an exquisite luxury property in Vail, Colorado. With a modern alpine design, it veers from the traditional Bavarian architecture the resort opened with in 1962. The contemporary stone and wood facade gives a fresh look to the internationally famous ski resort in central Colorado.
Location of The Lion
The Lion sits in a prime location in Lionshead, one of three villages in the town of Vail at the base of the ski mountain. We easily walk to the Eagle Bahn Gondola on a heated pathway and to shops and restaurants in the village. Better yet, the stop for the free bus around town is just across the street. Though we have a car, we left it in the large underground parking structure as we never need it.
Suites at The Lion
The Lion has 65 residences—studio apartments and one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom condos, for sale and for rent. Luxury abounds. The units are super spacious with high-end finishes and decor. The furniture is comfy contemporary yet retains a refined rugged style. Every unit has a large balcony. Ours lends unobstructed views of the mountain slopes.
The sleek kitchen features stainless steel appliances and is fully stocked with equipment. There’s a stacked washer/dryer in a closet.
Bedrooms are roomy with floor-to-ceiling windows adding light and space.
Our bathroom has two large sinks, plenty of space and storage, and a great shower.
Public areas in The Lion
The public spaces are stunners. The architect used stone, marble and reclaimed barn wood throughout, lending a mountainy feel to the modern structure. Design elements include patterned area rugs of real animal hide, fossil wood tables and a backlit Onyx front desk. A two-sided fireplace greets guests in the Great Room.
Intimate gathering spots are found throughout with furnishings and artwork from Mexico City, Italy and Denver.
Everyone wants a warm soak after skiing or hiking, and The Lion offers it in a beautiful big outdoor salt-water hot tub in the courtyard. We snuggled up next to the fire pit after our soak.
And for those who like to swim laps or soak indoors, here’s the indoor aquatic room with the fitness center next door. There’s also a steam room and showers.
We found television and billiards in the entertainment room. And for some reason, we discovered a fridge in every common area! To keep your beer cold, perhaps? In the lounge we also found a coffee service and another TV.
Skiers and snowboarders will love the large lockers for all their gear. Each locker holds an overnight boot dryer. People on a work holiday will love the business center, and everyone will enjoy using WiFi throughout the building. A state-of-the-art security system (set your own code) keeps everyone safe.
Dining at The Lion
As of this writing, the restaurant has not opened yet. I’ll return to this post with an update as soon as the dining spot has become active.
What to do in Vail
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 alpine coaster. You can ride it in your ski boots. Just hop on!
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, 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.
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.
For more about what to see and do in Vail, visit Vail.com.
Vail and The Lion are an easy two-hour drive from Denver International Airport on I-70 and about a half hour from the Eagle County Airport.
The Lion at Vail, 701 W. Lionshead Circle, Vail, Colorado, CO 81657, USA; 888-213-6856, thelionvail.com.
Claudia Carbone is an award-winning travel writer based in Denver. Read about other hotels she’s visited in Sleepin’ Around.