4 Best Places to Stay in Vail – UNBEATABLE Areas & Hotels!

Welcome to Vail, a famous small town in Colorado, located at the feet of the Vail Mountain, nestled in the Vail White River National Forest… the perfect getaway for cool winter sports!

Vail is home to many luxury hotels, ski-in ski-out resorts, and Airbnbs, but so many choices can be overwhelming, particularly if you’re trying to keep to a budget. That’s why I wrote this guide with the best places to stay in Vail, including areas for different interests and accommodation options for any budget.

There are 4 main villages you can choose from in Vail, Colorado. The best place to stay in Vail is Vail Village, but if you are looking for something a little different, Lionshead Village is a good choice if you’re coming with the family, West Vail is where to stay on a budget, or East Vail if you’re looking for a tranquil getaway. I’ll be talking about all of these in this post.

The only thing you need to remember is to book your favorite hotel some months in advance, so you can secure yourself a spot!

Now, let’s find out which one fits your travel needs and expectations best!

If you are in a hurry

Check out this quick list of the best hotels located in the main area of the Vail Village, from luxury to budget:

luxury hotel

Sonnenalp

Best luxury hotel

airbnb

Vail Treehouse

An Airbnb with amazing reviews

mid-range hotel

Manor Vail Lodge

Best value for money

budget hotel

Gravity Haus Vail

Best affordable accommodation in the center

Here’s a map for you to understand where all the areas I’ll be talking about in this post are located:

Vail Village
for first-timers
Lionshead Village
for outdoors
West Vail
on a budget
East Vail
most quiet area

1. Vail Village – where to stay in Vail for the first time

An image of a street in Vail village, one of the best places to stay in Vail

Vail Village is Vail’s main area, conveniently located in the middle of the mountain, at the base of the main lifts and ski slopes. Brimming with delicious restaurants, bars, and shopping venues… the perfect place if it’s your first time in town!

The Vail Village area will keep you entertained at all times of the day. Whether you want to enjoy walks in the many parks, go mountain biking and hiking in summer, or ice skating and skiing at Vail Ski Resort (the third-largest single-mountain ski resort in the U.S) there’s something for you here!

In this alpine cobblestone-lined village everything is within easy walking distance, so you don’t really need a car to get around the area. But if you do have it (it could come in handy to visit Vail Valley’s wilderness areas), you can leave it in one of the paid parking options available inside the village, so then you can just walk to your hotel.

And if you want to explore the other areas of Vail, Colorado, there is a free bus service that will bring you anywhere you want in town… did I convince you?

Then check out the amazing hotels below, and make sure you book them as soon as you can (particularly if you’re visiting in winter) as rooms book out months in advance!

Luxury hotel

Located only a 5 minutes walk from the Gondola ski lift, Sonnenalp hotel is where to stay in Vail Village if you’re looking for a luxury experience. Here you’ll have access to a hot tub, a spa center with a sauna, and both an indoor pool and outdoor pool where you can relax after a full day of activities. After a day of skiing (the hotel even has a ski pass sales point) or hiking, enjoy a cocktail at the on-site bar or a delicious dinner in one of the 3 restaurants!

Other accommodation options in Vail Village

Mid-Range

Manor Vail Lodge is a great hotel in Vail Village, with a heated swimming pool and a fitness center!

Budget

Are you looking for a budget hotel to stay in Vail Village? This one’s for you, featuring a hot tub and gas fireplace

Airbnb

This boho-chic studio is located in the heart of Vail Village and offers great views of the Vail mountain

Things to do in Vail Village

  • Explore Vail on a Segway tour
  • In winter, spend an evening on the Alderhof ice skating rink!
  • Watch a movie at the luxurious CineBistro, with full-service dining
  • Relax at the Sonnenalp Hotel Spa, offering great massages
  • Browse all of Vail Village boutique ski shops!
  • Eat delicious New American fare and beers at Mountain Standard
  • Attend the concerts and cultural events of Vail Square
  • Take in the views of the Vail Mountain
  • Have a delicious and fancy dinner at Terra Bistro Restaurant

2. Lionshead Village – where to stay in Vail for the outdoors

Just a 10-15 minute walk west of Vail Village you will find Lionshead, a smaller neighborhood but with a wide offer of restaurants, bars, amazing shops, and, most important of all, easy access to the mountains and cool outdoor sports!

Lionshead is a smaller village located at the foot of the Eagle Bahn Gondola which takes you up to the remainder of Vail Ski Resort.

From ski slopes to great hikes, museums, and parks, in Lionshead there’s something to do all year long… outdoor lovers will be thrilled here!

And the cool thing is that it offers all this but also a peaceful and quiet environment, perfect for those who want to disconnect (and connect with nature).

To top it all off, Lionshead is also a convenient base if you want to check out another gem of Colorado: Denver, at only a 2 hours drive from the town!

Luxury hotel

Looking for a place to stay in Vail full of comforts? You just found it! This luxury resort boasts a heated outdoor pool, hot tubs, a fitness center, and an on-site bar. The hotel is perfect also if you are going on a ski holiday as it has ski-in/ski-out access, ski storage, and a ski pass vendor just nearby. And after an intense day on the slopes, you can enjoy a delicious dinner at the onsite restaurant, where you’ll get warm thanks to the two-story fireplace!

Other accommodation options in Lionshead Village

Mid-Range

Check out this great ski in ski out hotel to stay in Vail, with an outdoor swimming pool and rooftop hot tubs

Budget

This aparthotel features a year-round outdoor pool, a hot tub, and a fitness center… all at great prices!

Airbnb

Check out a great condo overlooking Vail Mountain. It’s the perfect place to stay in Vail for a quiet getaway!

Things to do in Lionshead Village

  • Bring your kids to Sunbird Park Playground
  • Play some sports with the family at Imagination Station
  • Have a delicious burger with a mountain view at Garfinkel’s!
  • Visit the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame
  • Have a panoramic ride on The Eagle Bahn Gondola (free to non-skiers from 3:30 p.m)
  • Go on amazing hikes at the Lions Head Provincial Nature Reserve
  • Take a day trip to the Holy Wilderness Area

3. West Vail – where to stay in Vail on a budget

Are you traveling on a budget? Then West Vail is the place for you, located just a 10-minute bus ride (west) from both Vail and Lionshead Village. While it’s not quite as direct, you can still easily access the ski resort via the Cascade Village Lift. From there you can ski down to Vail Village to access the remainder of the resort.

Here you’ll find some great, cheap accommodations (affordable hostels, hotels, and lodgings) surrounded by breathtaking alpine landscapes all around!

This means you’ll have access to a great number of sports nestled in nature, from snowboarding, skiing, and ice skating in winter to hiking and biking during the summer months!

In the village, there are also plenty of great restaurants if you want to have a dinner out, or a supermarket if you prefer to save money and cook your own meals, all just a stone’s throw away! And, again, getting around from here won’t be an issue, the free shuttle bus will take you there in the blink of an eye!

Luxury hotel

Grand Hyatt Vail offers a great location in West Vail, a 5-minute drive from Vail Village and Lionshead Village, and luxurious service! In fact, this pet-friendly resort has an outdoor heated pool, three hot tubs, and a fitness center, and you can even enjoy a drink at the fireside lounge. This is the perfect place to stay in Vail if you want to engage in different activities, such as skiing, horse riding, and cycling (the resort has a ski school and bike hire is available).

Other accommodation options in West Vail

Mid-Range

Offering an outdoor pool, a spa center, and a hot tub, this is THE place to stay in West Vail if you want to fully relax!

Budget

Looking for a place to stay in Vail on a budget? Then check out this hotel, with a hot tub and a heated outdoor pool

Airbnb

Quiet condo to stay in West Vail, with easy access to skiing, perfect for a getaway for couples or small groups

Things to do in West Vail

  • Go on the adrenaline rides at Adventure Ridge
  • Visit the historic mining town of Minturn, just a 10-minute drive away
  • Have a picnic with the family at the dog-friendly Stephens Park!
  • Enjoy a cozy dinner and cocktails at West Side Cafe & Market
  • Have the best chicken in West Vail at Yellow Belly!

4. East Vail – best for a tranquil getaway in Vail

East Vail, located a 10-minute car ride east of Vail Village is a super picturesque place, completely nestled in the beauty of nature. Mountain lovers will be happy here, surrounded by 14,000-foot mountains, countless green pines, and wildlife.

In fact, if you keep your eyes open you could spot so many animals: beavers, bighorn sheep, elks, raccoons, deer, foxes, and even the scary black bears!

This is the quietest place in Vail, perfect if you want to have a tranquil retreat (with your couple, family, or friends) and, at the same time, still access the many outdoor adventures: rock cliffs, ski slopes, and wonderful waterfalls.

In fact, if you follow the East Vail Falls Trailhead you will hike up to a waterfall that you can even see frozen in the colder months… How cool is that?

Another advantage of east Vail is its good hotel prices, a little cheaper than the ones you can find in more central areas like Vail Village or Lionshead! So what are you waiting for? Check them out right below:

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any good accommodation options in East Vail for luxury. If you want to splurge and have easy access at the same time to this area, check out the hotels in Vail Village: they are only a 10 minutes bus or car ride from East Vail!

Other accommodation options in East Vail

Mid-Range

The Vail Racquet Club, in East Vail, offers a fitness center, tennis courts, two hot tubs, and an indoor pool

Budget

This is a perfect stop for a ski or hiking vacation, just 10 minutes from the heart of Vail Village and the ski slopes!

Airbnb

This cozy condo in East Vail has a river stone fireplace, private balcony, and great valley views

Things to do in East Vail

👑 Luxury price:$500
💵 Mid Range:$250
🛏️ Budget:$150
🏠 Airbnb:$500
💰 Accommodation prices:High
📍 Best area:Vail Village
👪 Best area for families:Lionshead Village
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Sonnenalp
💵 Best mid-range hotel:Manor Vail Lodge
👛 Best budget hotel:Gravity Haus Vail

BONUS: The 4 best places to stay in Vail for skiing

As we saw through the post, Vail is the perfect place to go for a skiing holiday, thanks to its easy access to the Vail Mountain and its incredible ski slopes… if you’re looking for a vacation in the snow, this is the place to be!

For this reason, in Vail, you will find many ski-in ski-out resorts and hotels with great facilities for hitting the slopes and enjoying some relaxing time right after (like hot tubs, wellness centers, fireplaces, and more)!

While any hotel you choose from this list will be good in the winter months, here I gathered the absolute best hotels to stay in Vail for skiing that will make your trip just that little bit easier. They are listed in descending order from the most expensive to the least, check them out:

1. Sonnenalp
Sonnenalp Hotel is a European-style ski resort hotel so this is where to stay in Vail Village if you’ve been dreaming about the luxury and skiing in the Swiss Alps! It has on-site apres ski, so you don’t have to go far from your hotel to enjoy the nightlife, a ski pass sales point, and ski storage. And after a day on the slopes, you can relax in the hot tub, in the spa center with a sauna, and in the swimming pools… or a delicious dinner in one of the 3 restaurants!

2. Lodge Tower
Check out this stunning lodge, just 200m from the gondola, and provides ski-to-door access, so you don’t even have to walk in your heavy boots, you can ski all the way home! Here you’ll find an outdoor pool with mountain views, a spa, and hot tubs to get warm after a day skiing in the cold. The property also features a 2,550-square-foot fitness center with yoga and pilates classes to rejuvenate your muscles after skiing. Simply the best thing ever!

3. Lion Square Lodge 
Here’s another great ski-in/ski-out lodge, located just nearby the Eagle Bahn Gondola: forget about walking far in your uncomfortable ski boots! The hotel offers ski equipment rentals and storage, so you don’t need to worry about going somewhere else to pick up and drop off your equipment. Here is another great choice of where to stay in Vail for a relaxing time after skiing, with the outdoor swimming pool, a hot tub, and a sauna!

4. Sitzmark Lodge 
Located in the center of Vail Village, this comfy and affordable hotel offers a great position to hit the slopes, only 2 minutes walking from the Vail Ski Resort! But the best part is its great facilities: a heated outdoor pool and hot tub available all year round, a fitness center to stay in shape, and a beautiful sun deck overlooking Vail Village… great for a drink after skiing!

BONUS 2: Best places to stay in Vail for families

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Vail for a tranquil (or active) getaway with the family, you’ll be happy to know that in this town you have countless options.

In fact, Vail hosts many great hotels with family-friendly rooms or spacious fully equipped apartments where you can enjoy some privacy and quality time with your loved ones… and they all also offer great amenities and activities for all ages!

To help you choose the best ones, I gathered here a list of amazing family-friendly hotels, from the most expensive ones to the least: check them out!

  • The Ritz Carlton Residences Vail – Located in Lionshead Village, Ritz Carlton Residences Vail offers luxurious apartments for up to 11 people, with fully equipped modern kitchens, perfect for big families or groups of friends! Here you will enjoy heated outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, and free transfer service to Eagle Bahn Gondola, just a 5-minute walk away!
  • Montaneros in Vail, a Destination by Hyatt Residence – Check out these great apartments located in the center of Lionshead Village, hosting up to 8 people! The accommodations feature a balcony and a fully equipped kitchen, and they all give you access to a year-round outdoor heated swimming pool, a hot tub, and a sauna!
  • Tivoli Lodge – Tivoli Lodge, situated in the Vail Village, offers family-friendly rooms with slopeside access and great views of the mountains or village. Enjoy a deluxe breakfast every morning, a cocktail in the lounge in the evening, and engage in many activities during the day, like hiking or cycling in the beautiful surroundings!

Frequently asked questions about hotels in Vail

🏠 Which are the best places to stay in Vail?

The best places to stay in Vail are the luxurious Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail, featuring a ski concierge, or the Tivoli Lodge, offering great value for the price, both located in Vail Village: the perfect place for first-timers!

👪 Which are the best places to stay in Vail for families?

The best places to stay in Vail for a family getaway are the luxurious Vail Collection at the Ritz Carlton Residences Vail or Grand Hyatt Vail, located in Lionshead Village.

👛 Which are the best places to stay in Vail on a budget?

The best places to stay in Vail on a budget are Eagle Point Resort or Beautiful Vail Condo, both located in West Vail and offering great prices!

⛷️ What are the best things to do in Vail?

The best things to do in Vail are: skiing, seeing the amazing views from the Eagle Bahn Gondola, exploring the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail Valley, or attending cultural events of Vail Square, in summer!

Conclusion

What a journey! We finally reached the end of this incredible guide with the best places to stay in Vail, including areas and hotels for different budgets and interests.

From the best Vail resorts to family-friendly accommodations, cozy condos, and ski-in ski-out hotels, you have all the possible options to choose from!

If they were too many and you are still undecided about where to stay in Vail, here are my favorite hotels, with great locations and amazing reviews:

  • Sonnenalp – one of the best places to stay in Vail if you’re looking for a luxury experience, only a 5 minutes walk from the Gondola ski lift
  • Manor Vail Lodge – a great midrange hotel in Vail Village, with a heated swimming pool and a fitness center!

But don’t forget to book them at least some months in advance (especially if you’re visiting in winter) if you don’t want to lose your spot… places in Vail sell out super fast!

Also, if you have any doubts or questions, or you want to share your experience in Vail, please leave them in the comments: I am looking forward to seeing your thoughts!

Have the best holiday!

Elena

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