Denver, Colorado Review

Skiing at Breckenridge – 21-29 Nov 2012

My family and I recently took a trip to Colorado for a week in November. We began by flying out from Newport News Airport with Frontier, who when checking in our bags wavered the bag fee, as we were military. We then made use of the excellent USO facilities at the airport, again because we were military it was all free. On arrival in Denver and a very smooth flight, we picked up our hire car – top tip, you are advised to get a 6 cylinder vehicle if venturing into the mountains and are not covered for breakdown for anything less! We did this, but were also encouraged to buy a toll pass, which in hindsight was not required. Rocky Mountains National Park, Bear Lake

Our first stop was Denver city for 2 nights, staying in the Sheraton Hotel, oh what I forgot to say was that we travelled on Thanks Giving which was very quiet and much cheaper – although we booked a
restaurant for that night as most places were closed. Denver was great, but you really only need a day or so there. Recommend going to Lorimar Square in LODO – lots of really nice restaurants and shops. We
visited the State Capital building and were the only visitors, which lead the Governor’s PA to give us a personal guided visit, which included his office!!!

We then spent the next few days at the Estes Park Lodge, having visited Boulder on the way. We had a Lake view, but out of the whole holiday this was probably the worst part – well only one day. My son decided to be sick in the back of the car as we left Boulder, we were put into a room where the room next door was being used as a creche for a wedding party (slides included in their room) and that night my daughter came out in a mysterious rash which required a trip to the hospital. Apart from that, The Rocky Mountains National Park and a trek up to Flat Top Mountain, via Bear Lake was part of our itinerary.
Top tips – you are over 3000m, so acclimatise first (or as the Americans say – acclimate)and the air made your skin incredibly dry, bring lots of moisturiser. The Park Ranger wouldn’t recognise my Affiliate Military CAC card, but after some persuasion gave us free passes.

Denver Skyline from the Sheraton

We then drove on the back roads (great views) to Breckenridge, which is a lovely ski town. Stop off at Black Hawk if you get the chance, as we have never seen so many casinos in such a small town. We stayed in the Grand Timber Lodge, which is ski in/out when there is lots of snow. It was part of a deal, where we had to attend a timeshare sales pitch – and no, we are now not the proud owners of an apartment, although it was tempting. The accommodation was excellent, with a full kitchen in the apartment and fantastic facilities, including outdoor heated pools. Whilst there, we managed to ski for 2 days (on man made snow) and we also got the children into ski school with one to one tuition. Although this package was very expensive, especially for the children, my 4 year old son was skiing down a very long green run with no assistance by day 2, which was worth every cent!!

We thoroughly recommend a trip to Colorado and all of this was achievable in a week.

The Ashman’s

Timber Lodge Outdoor Heated PoolsBreckenridge Slopes