Inn of the Month: The Inn at Lost Creek

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Telluride, Colorado

Pundits have erroneously called Telluride an Aspen clone. Those same people would probably compare the Inn at Lost Creek to Aspen's finest hotels, and they'd be wrong again. For starters, this Telluride gem is that welcome rarity-a high-end hostelry with no attitude. From the desk staff to the concierge, the friendliness is palpable.

In fact, everything about the place is inviting. From its size to the design details, every aspect of the inn is human-scaled. With just 32 rooms and suites, you won't get lost in an endless maze of hallways. And the dominant materials-native stone, weathered timber and touches of copper-elegantly combine to create a warm atmosphere. Each room is appointed with an elegant, granite-countered kitchen area, gas fireplace, overstuffed chairs and a marble bathroom with steam shower and Jacuzzi. The custom-designed furnishings, reminiscent of the Arts & Crafts style, are complemented by vintage Western landscape photos. Thoughtful touches, such as the built-in humidity system, help set the Inn At Lost Creek's luxurious standard.

Ideally located in Mountain Village, the Inn at Lost Creek is truly ski-in/ski-out to the gondola and lifts 1, 3 and 4. At day's end, ski directly to the inn's back door, and drop off your gear for complimentary waxing, deburring and boot drying. Then, watch the sun set from one of the rooftop hot tubs or fireside through the Great Room's floor-to-ceiling windows. Because of the outstanding on-premises restaurants-the highly acclaimed 9545 and the more casual yet equally enjoyable 10 Below-you may never want to dine outside the inn's walls. But given its central location, it's easy to explore other options.

There's not a lesser room in the inn, but request #601, with its cathedral ceiling and panoramic views of sunrise over the San Sophia Ridge, and you may well be tempted to invest in the Inn at Lost Creek's timeshare program. Rates start at $395 in December. Contact: Inn at Lost Creek, 119 Lost Creek Lane, Telluride, CO 81435; (888) 601-5678; www.innatlostcreek.com.

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