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Peak 7’s best kept secret: Crystal Peak Lodge

Stay in enough condos or hotel rooms in ski country and they all might blend together into a generic, mountain-ish décor featuring some leather, possibly some rawhide, and inevitably some ancient snowshoes mounted over the fireplace.

CPL_Living_2BedFortunately that’s not the case at Crystal Peak Lodge, Breckenridge’s ski-in, ski-out property at the base of Peak 7. Offering one- to four-bedroom condos, this property is convenient, well located, well appointed, and unique. The latter is true because every condo available to rent belongs to private individuals who are free to decorate their properties as they wish (worry not: there are standards they must adhere to, so you’re guaranteed a certain level of quality, but each unit is individualized).

Located where the Breck Connect gondola jogs left (if you’re riding uphill to Peak 8), Crystal Peak Lodge offers comfort and space at a fraction of the price of nearby One Ski Hill Place, the luxury property at Peak 8. Families and large groups will appreciate the relative calm, scenic views, unbeatable access (in addition to the Breck Connect gondola, the lodge is steps from the Independence Chair), and convenience of condo living. Each unit has a full-stocked kitchen and spacious living room. This is the kind of place you want to stay in and hang out.

T-BarAnd, for when you don’t want to stay in, Crystal Peak delivers easy access to the town of Breckenridge, where there is always something fun going on and somewhere delicious to eat. Or, if you want to stay on the mountain, amble over to One Ski Hill Place and discover the T-Bar, Ski Hill Grill, the bowling alley (tip: reserve a lane in advance), and the swimming pool and fitness area. Crystal Peak Lodge and One Ski Hill Place are owned by the same parent company, and lodge guests may use most of the hotel’s amenities free of charge.

Whether you go up the mountain or down, you won’t need a car once you arrive at Crystal Peak Lodge. In the off chance you can’t gondola or walk to your destination, the lodge has a free shuttle.

Convenience, comfort, and consistency. That’s what’s established Crystal Peak Lodge as a long-time favorite for frequent Breckenridge visitors, and that’s what I appreciated about the property. As a mother with two little boys and an all-consuming ski habit (to say nothing about my husband’s proclivity for the sport), I look for lodging that makes it easy to maximize both family time and on-snow time. On the days the kids aren’t in ski school or nursery (or are slow to get out of their pajamas and onto the slopes), ski-in/ski-out access is key. I can spin a lap while my husband holds down the fort, and then we can pass the baton and he gets out for some fresh air.

CPL_Kitchen_2BedAnother bonus of the excellent location: we save a fortune on food. Make enough dinner for lunch leftovers, and then cook some oatmeal in the morning, and every meal is taken care of. Sure, we’re probably going to go out for at least one meal—just for fun. But cooking your own food is tremendously more cost effective and, when traveling with a toddler and a preschooler, peaceful than waiting for a four-top to open up.

All told, it’s hard to say what the biggest advantage of Crystal Peak Lodge really is. And, after a full day of skiing with the family, I realize there’s no need to boil it down to one specific thing. Put simply, this is a great property at a terrific location and a good price. What more do you want on a vacation?

– Rachel Walker

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