Travel Two Ways: Courchevel or Colorado

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Cheval Blanc Courchevel in France.

Courchevel or Colorado?

Hit the slopes in the French Alps or explore the Rocky Mountain town of Telluride.

Telluride, Colorado's Inn at Lost Creek.
A duplex suite at Cheval Blanc Courchevel.

By Susan Hanson
Splurge: Courchevel, France
Five nights, $20,000

STAY: In 1946, Courchevel became France’s first ski resort to be built from the ground up, its Trois VallĂ©es perch chosen for its prime access to 370 miles of pistes. Today, the hamlet is home to upscale boutiques, Michelin-starred restaurants, and celebrity-beloved accommodations, including the 36-room Cheval Blanc Courchevel, a sophisticated, art-filled chalet with a dedicated ski-concierge team that heats up your skis and leaves them waiting on the slopes. Unpack in the bilevel Duplex Suite, which has a loft bedroom and a library. Duplex Suite from $18,250 for five nights; Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $150 hotel credit.
PLUS: Curl up in a cashmere blanket and set off through the Courchevel countryside on the hotel’s dogsled excursion. From $1,121.
SOUVENIR: The eclectic home furnishings at concept shop Lilie Lifestore (73120 rue de la Croisette) include this sleek Altiligne metal and wood lamp sure to stir up memories of the slopes. $179.
TOTAL: From 19,550 per couple

Steal: Telluride, Colorado
Three nights, $500
STAY: The stories of Telluride’s gold-mining past remain (Butch Cassidy robbed his first bank here), but travelers come today more for top-notch terrain than Wild West drama. A quick walk from the Mountain Village gondola (which connects guests to the town of Telluride below), the rustic, 32-suite Inn at Lost Creek has ski-in/ski-out access and a rooftop hot tub. Dine on crispy duck hand rolls and grilled elk at Siam’s Talay Grille, then warm up some hot chocolate in your Junior Suite’s kitchenette and settle in by the gas fireplace. Junior Suite from $417 for three nights; Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 hotel credit.
PLUS: Gear aficionados will love the tour of the Wagner Custom Skis & Snowboards factory in Mountain Village. Complimentary.
SOUVENIR: Stop by Telluride Distilling Company (152 B. Society Drive) for a bottle of Chairlift Warmer, the first craft peppermint schnapps produced in the U.S. $25.
 TOTAL: From $442 per couple
*Prices were accurate when the article appeared in the December/January 2016 issue of Virtuoso Traveler. Check with your travel advisor for current rates.