by Cindy Hirschfeld
For skiing or snowboarding, you can’t beat the ski-in/ski-out access of the massive Zephyr Mountain Lodge, just 100 feet from one of the ski area’s main chairlifts. The one- to three-bedroom units in this condominium hotel have full kitchens and gas fireplaces (no individual washers or dryers, though; those are elsewhere in the building). Decorated in a luxe mountain rustic style (think lots of wood and natural stone accents), the lodge is one of the nicer family-friendly places you can stay in Winter Park. A fitness center and four outdoor hot tubs are onsite.
Our Editor Loves
- Four hot tubs onsite
- Ski-in/Ski-out slopeside condos
- Kids' programs at the Kids' Ski & Rides School
I was unexpectedly very disappointed in the resort. The front desk staff was extremely rude and checked us into the wrong room. There was a guest with the same last name and when I was supposed to sign the paperwork I noticed the name was incorrect. Debi at the front desk then proceeded to be very defensive and condescending about her mistake. Once that misunderstanding was cleared up, we proceeded to our room and our keys did not work. When Debi brought a new set of keys there was no apology and the attitude continued. The rooms are out dated, no screens on the windows, no air conditioning, and extremely poor lighting through. There is no daily house keeping and only 1 small trash bag in the room. We spent to nights and were very disappointed for the value we received based on the price point.
We stayed one night at the Zephyr for a bike race at the Winter Park ski area. The location is great; right in the middle of everything. The check-in staff were very courteous and helpful, and the one-bedroom condo we booked was exactly as described: very clean, full kitchen, comfortable sofa bed, nice bathroom, and very quiet, facing out toward a sidewalk and the woods. As other people have commented, the base area pretty much shuts down around 6 PM in "low" season: you can always drive into the town of Winter Park, but just be prepared that it's challenging/almost impossible to even find a place to eat dinner in the ski village during low season.
My only issue with the Zephyr--which could be totally irrelevant or a big deal, depending on the purpose of your trip--is that the hotel prohibits storing bikes in your room (this is actually printed on the key cards, so seems to be a standard policy) and does not have a bike storage room inside the hotel. Instead, they want you to put your bikes in the unlocked "storage cages" in the parking garage. We've stayed many times at the Vintage hotel (right next door) which does have a secure indoor bike storage room that you have to go through the front desk to access, and, if it's full, will allow you to keep your bikes in your room. For us this is a huge deal, because we're bringing three expensive race bikes, and because we've previously had a bike stolen out of a locked hotel parking lot. We brought our own locks and locked our bikes in the storage cage, but it's nerve-racking to know that they are in an area that anyone staying in or working at the hotel can access all night, and where you cannot keep an eye on them. Basically there is no lock that would prevent theft in that situation: if someone has power tools and access to your bike when no one is watching. Again, perhaps totally irrelevant for most people, but this factor alone would probably dissuade us from staying at the Zephyr in the future.