Hotel Highlights: Lodge at Breckenridge

fireplace lodge at breckenridge
••• A grand fireplace welcomes guests at the Lodge at Breckenridge. Kara Williams

With a $3.7 million 2014 renovation under its belt, the Lodge at Breckenridge has remodeled guest rooms, a brand-new dining experience at Traverse Restaurant & Bar, and two hot tubs on a spacious deck affording incredible views of Breckenridge ski area and the surrounding peaks of the Ten Mile Range.

Now, these expansive ski-trail views are extraordinary because the Lodge at Breckenridge faces the slopes across a wide valley about a 10-minute drive from the downtown BreckConnect gondola.

While it’s important to note this lodge is certainly not a ski-in/ski-out property, there is a shuttle that runs on-demand (continuously) in the winter between the hotel and downtown, from 8am to 10pm weekdays, until midnight on the weekends – making transporation to all the town's action convenient and car free.

The Lodge at Breckenridge may not be super convenient for skiing or walking to the bars, restaurants and shops on Main Street, but there's something to be said for retreating at the end of the day to a comfortable, cabin-like property set amid the forest. While staying here, in my Mountain View King room with expansive (new) windows overlooking the valley below, I felt on top of the world -- not a bad place to be.

Here are some more highlights of the Lodge at Breckenridge.

Accommodations

The Lodge at Breckenridge has two stories of 45 rooms, with doors that open to the outside, with forest or mountain views.

As I noted, the rooms received a 2014 facelift, which included new carpet, furnishings, electronics and paint. The rooms are decidedly cozy, with subdued, natural tones -- the brightest piece in my room was a rust-orange chair. I liked the design of the carpet, which reminded me of tree branches, and other textures in the room, such as a nubby love seat and river-rock fireplace, added to the overall warm vibe.

And speaking of warm, I loved falling asleep with the gas fireplace on a timer, so I didn't have to get out of my toasty king bed to turn off the flames before I fell asleep.

Also to note: The kitchenette in my Mountain View King had a Keurig coffeemaker (my fave), as well as a microwave and mini fridge (which was great for storing leftovers). The bathroom was small, but bright, with white towels and celery green walls.

Dining

Traverse Restaurant & Bar is a casual spot with huge windows throughout the bar and dining area that ensure those fabulous views I keep talking about. The bar serves loads of Colorado beers on tap, and a creative craft cocktail menu features Breckenridge Distillery spirits. But I'd come to Traverse with an empty stomach, as the menu is varied with many items designed for sharing. I'm glad I had two buddies with me to share some unusual but scrumptious tapas small plates: Flash-Fried Brussels Sprouts, Truffled Deviled Eggs, Wild Boar "Pops," and Pig and Pineapple (pork belly with pickled pineapple and charred jalapeño salsa verde).

My Southern dining partner noted the Southern flair to the menu items, and indeed we found out the executive chef is from Texas. Though some items certainly had a Southern twist, others had a Colorado slant, such as Elk Strip Steak and a bison burger.

Dessert was divine: I couldn't get enough of the Pumpkin Bread Pudding; other options included Grand Marnier Crème Brulee, Preserved Lemon Panna Cotta, and Hot Chocolate Molten Cake. (Don't worry: You can ski off those calories the next day.)

Continental breakfast in the Traverse dining room is included in your stay. Fuel up for your day with items like bagels, toast, oatmeal, cereal and yogurt, plus juice and coffee. There's also a small area off the lobby selling convenience food and drink items you can eat in the comfort of your room, such as beer, wine, sodas, juices, microwavable meals, chips, candy and snacks.

Amenities

Parking is plentiful and free at the Lodge at Breckenridge; and while in-room Wi-Fi is also complimentary, I didn't find it plentiful, as it was a little slow when I visited.

More freebies include ski/snowboard storage, and the aforementioned breakfast and in-town shuttle in the winter (in the summer, guests can walk to the main road to catch the Summit Stage free bus into town). I loved being able to call the shuttle when I was finished with dinner in town one night and within two minutes (even less) he was at the front door of the restaurant, ready to whisk me up the hill. (The on-demand pickups rock, especially when the timing works out perfectly.)

I didn't soak in the hot tobs--I might have if there had been robes provided, but didn't really have the right cover-up clothes to walk to the expansive deck off the restaurant for a stint in the outdoor tubs. (Plus, I'm a big wimp, and always dread the wet, cold walk back to a warm room after a hot tubbing in the winter.)

The fitness center here is comprised of two rooms, and has everything you'd need (strength training, cardio) for a decent workout. The Meridian Spa menu offers massages, a body scrub, mini facial with optional add-ons like a Peppermint Rosemary Foot Scrub and Oxygen Therapy.

In all, I very much enjoyed my two nights at the Lodge at Breckenridge, where I found staff -- from front desk to restaurant servers -- quite friendly. My room was super cozy and warm (figuratively and literally, since I cranked that gas fireplace) and the mountain views divine. I think the Lodge at Breckenridge would be an even more appealing place to stay in the summer or when leaves turn in the fall, as it's surrounded by trees and offers easy access to walking and hiking trails.