A Cabin in the Pines

We love the idea of getting away to a remote cottage in Colorado's high country. Yet, more often than not, that "sweet little rustic retreat" you rented online turns out to be a dusty, cold, bare-bones log dwelling with a tattered plaid sofa and animal heads on the walls. Truth is: It's just not that easy to find weekend escape-worthy cabins on your own. Which is why we've done it for you. Throughout Colorado, we found resorts that offer cozy, romantic, well-appointed cabins. If fluffy down comforters, rough-hewn furniture, and quiet nights by the fire are what you seek, we have a cabin for you.

November 2008

Mountain Lodge at Telluride
High-end digs for your next wintertime reunion.

The first snow is barely starting to fall and already I'm worried about the end of the season, because I'm in charge of planning—and hosting—the next semiannual reunion of the seven Bradley Girls, otherwise known as my college roommates

I've known these women for more than 20 years, and they were fussy even back in the days when we lived four to a room in meal-card dormitories. Now that everyone's bank accounts and bourgeois factor have grown, I've been sleepless about finding the perfect getaway spot.

That is, until now. While on assignment in southwest Colorado, I've taken some time to peruse Smuggler Cabin at the Mountain Lodge at Telluride. The heated stone floors, log beams, and expansive mountain-view windows wow me right off. But the Bradley girls are a demanding bunch. Impressive is fine, but our vacation haven absolutely must deliver the goods. So I head to the kitchen. Large, stainless-steel refrigerator to house all the junk food we'll buy and grow sick of: check. Oversized dining table around which to talk about how old everyone else is getting: check. Automatic icemaker for margaritas, highball glasses for Jack and Cokes, and an adjacent roomy living room to accommodate bouts of spontaneous dancing: triple check.

The 2,400-square-foot Smuggler has four spacious bedrooms on three levels, which together can accommodate 10 sleeping bodies in a king, two queens, and four bunk beds. I take a mental note to show up early and snag the king for myself—after all, the hostess should get first dibs, right?

Of course, the real test in reunion digs comes in the bathrooms, because seven women north of 40 tend to haul a lot of creams and potions with them. On the plus side, the three bathrooms have spacious marble countertops, heavy white bathrobes, jetted tubs, and private water closets. On the minus: The mirrors are a bit large and well lit, but that could just be me.

Overall, I think the gals will be pleased. Now, if only the lodge could help us pack. —Shari Caudron

Where to Eat La Piazza Del Villaggio is an upscale modern Italian restaurant in the Mountain Village. Look through the top-notch wine list, and don't miss the outstanding Bolognese. 117 Lost Creek Lane, Mountain Village, 970-728-8283

Best Amenity The Smuggler's front porch looks out on the Double Cabin run at Telluride Ski Resort, providing great ski-in, ski-out access.

Special Touch Flying in from out of town? The lodge will be happy to arrange catering for your first night's dinner or do the grocery shopping for you.

How to Book It Mountain Lodge offers 10 luxury cabins, which are available year-round. Nightly rates for four-bedroom cabins range from $700 in the low season to $3,000 during Christmas week. Call 970-369-5000 or visit www.mountainlodgetelluride.com for reservations or more information.