Vail, Colorado is what dreams are made of. The luxe ski town looks like something you only see in Hallmark Christmas movies. I recently had the chance to get away to the Rocky Mountains for the 50th anniversary of the National Brotherhood of Skiers' summit. Many may shun cold weather trips, but this one was certainly a vibe.
Here's everything we did while there. From staying in a gorgeous Vrbo overlooking the snow-covered mountains to walking through the many villages and even where we ate. If you're ready to experience the slopes of Vail, Colorado like we did, here's how.
Where we stayed
Sure, we could have opted for one of the boutique hotels in Vail, but it's something about having your own villa in the mountains. Not only was our Vrbo perfect for our group, but we each had our own rooms with ensuite bathrooms, there was a massive hot tub on the deck overlooking the Rockies, and we were able to bring in a private chef to our kitchen for dinner. Talk about luxury!
There are tons of Vrbos in Vail and they come in all sizes. From large villas like our 4-bedroom/4-bathroom all the way down to single room condos steps away from the slopes. We were only a short walking distance from Lionshead Village, one of the main walking areas filled with shops, restaurants, and boutiques.
How we played
We were there for the NBS summit, so it was only right that we hit the slopes with all the other Black men and women there, too. It was truly a sight to see—all that melanin decked in bright, colorful gear hitting the slopes better than the pros.
Since most of our group was on the beginner side of snowsports, we opted for a half-day lesson with some of Vail Mountain's best instructors. Before our class, we picked up our ski and snowboard rental kits from Vail Sports-Arrabelle. They fit us with boots, ski poles, skis, helmets and more. Then it was off to the gondola to head up the mountain.
In the evenings, aka our Aprés ski moments, we hit up some of the many happy hours and concerts taking place for the summit. Once again, to be surrounded by so many Black folk all there to show love to the historic organization, was at times overwhelming—but absolutely heart-warming.
Where we dined
Since there are several villages that comprise Vail, you'll never be too far away from good grub or at least a private chef. For our first night, after exploring a little, we came back to the villa for a multicourse spread prepared by one of the area's best chefs. He started us off with a charcuterie board and plenty of wine. From there, we made our way through soup, a chicken dish, and you know we finished with something sweet in the end.
As for spots within the villages to dine, we had lunch at The Tavern–a sit-down spot with everything from salads and wings to salmon entrées. There was also Blue Moose Pizza, where I'm pretty sure we ordered nearly the entire menu. Another great spot for cocktails is The Hythe Hotel, a cozy, luxury boutique hotel that also served as the host accommodation for the NBS summit.