Lodging: Telluride, CO

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If scenery were the measure by which all ski vacations are judged, then Telluride would be tops every time. Stashed in a dramatic box canyon at the end of a winding mountain road in the San Juan Mountains, this former silver-mining town emits that "last best place vibe that's increasingly rare in ski villages today. With a 1,700-acre mountain that cascades down to its doorstep, Telluride offers a holy trinity of terrific skiing, good restaurants and a lodging scene that won't disappoint. Here are Telluride's best beds.

HISTORIC: The New Sheridan Hotel
History buffs can do no better than a stay at the Sheridan: Built in 1891 (and rebuilt after a fire in 1894), the brick building symbolizes Telluride's robber-baron heyday. A major renovation in 1995 supplied all the mod-cons today's traveler demands: fitness room, wireless Internet and, of course, the New Sheridan Bar, one of the oldest in town. Rooms re-create the original hotel's Victorian décor, but note that the eight Aspen Rooms have shared bathrooms. The rest of the hotel's 26 rooms have en-suite facilities, some with hot tubs—well-received after braving the bumps off Chair 8, a few blocks away. $125—$425; newsheridan.com; 800-200-1891

LUXURY: The Hotel Telluride
The Hotel Telluride exudes a decidedly New West feel, beginning with the giant exposed log beams and massive antler chandelier in the sunny lobby. Each of its 59 rooms has an oversized marble bathroom, thick monogrammed bathrobes and a bed piled high with feather comforters and down pillows. After your ski day, visit the spa for a massage, or park yourself at an antique pub table at the Bistro for an apéritif before strolling a couple blocks to Main Street for dinner. $239—$399; thehoteltelluride.com; 866-468-3501

SLOPESIDE: Inn at Lost Creek
With 29 suites in Mountain Village, this boutique hotel is a tasteful nod to the convenience of slopeside accommodations. Let the ski valet dry your boots as you pad into the great room for a drink by the hearth. Upstairs, each suite has a marble bathroom with jetted tub, stone fireplace and balcony with French doors. The inn's restaurant, 9545—named for its elevation—serves Colorado cuisine heavy on organic ingredients. But first, stop by the Bar at 9545 for an après-ski martini and drink in the awesome views from the sundeck. $385—$765; innatlostcreek.com; 888-601-5678

ALSO CONSIDER...
Slopeside: The Peaks Resort, $199—$439; thepeaksresort.com; 866-282-4557
Luxury: Mountain Lodge, $159—$5,809; mountainlodgetelluride.com; 866-368-6867
Condo: Ice House Lodge, $225—$875; icehouselodge.com; 800-544-3436