After an adventure, go for the summer version of après-ski at a trio of spots around Mountain Village. On the ground floor of the Franz Klammer Lodge complex, Telluride Distilling Company serves $5 mules, made with house-made ginger beer and vodka, and other reasonably priced whiskey, gin and agave cocktails. Neighbor, the Shared Wine Barwhich opened last summer, has received rave reviews for its lesser-known wines by the glass. Telluride Brewing Company pours its refreshing IPAs and other beers at a brewpub in the Hotel Madeline building (the brewery’s original taproom just west of Telluride remains a hub for locals who flock in after biking and kayaking.)
Finish with a casual dinner back in Telluride. La Cocina de Luz is my go-to for tamales and giant burrito plates, accompanied by the requisite margarita ($22 entrees). It is newer the Wok of Joy, a Thai place opened in 2021 by Joy Itthithepphana, who won fans for her pad Thai and spicy curries operating a food cart in Mountain Village. Now that devoted clientele packs this counter-service restaurant’s small dining room for those dishes and more (entrées average $20).
Where to Live
The Telluride area has no shortage of luxury hotels, with the largest concentration in Mountain Village. Last year at the Madeline Hotel and Residences (rooms from $599), an Auberge Resorts Collection property, the 155 rooms and suites have been redone in a modern chalet style. An emphasis on wellness includes meditation stools in every room, chlorophyll-enhanced water in the lobby and nightly turndown service with amenities like CBD lotion. The complex also has a spa, outdoor pool, restaurant and cocktail lounge. Every afternoon at 4 p.m., Bryan Woody, the hotel’s general manager, plays the French horn during a complimentary Champagne toast, while his St. Bernard, Cheyenne, greets guests.
On the western side of the city, the Hotel Telluride (rooms from $369) is a reliable choice, with friendly service and a relaxed atmosphere. The 59 rooms, all with balconies, are furnished in mountain lodge style, and the on-site restaurant serves breakfast and dinner. The hotel is within a few blocks of the business district and offers free shuttle service around town and cruiser bikes for loan.
If you have a car and a limited budget, consider the Bivvi Hostel Telluride, open as of 2020 in Placerville, about 16 miles down the valley. Private and shared rooms, all with their own bathrooms and continental breakfast included, start at $55 per person in a dorm room.