Kids fly free to Vail this winter

Skiing is not a cheap hobby. For those who don’t live close to the slopes, just getting to their favorite ski resort can cost hundreds of dollars, especially for families. But those going to Vail may find it a little more affordable. . . well at least for the flights.

American Airlines, which operates several nonstop routes to Eagle Airport (30 minutes from Vail and Beaver Creek), is offering free flights for kids traveling with adults this winter. Each paid adult can bring one child for free on flights departing Sunday through Wednesday and returning Monday through Friday, from December 1 to 17 and January 3 to February 10. Within the selected date ranges, there are no blackout dates.

The offer is good on connecting flights to Eagle Airport as well. Kids also ski free on the day of arrival and get free transport to Vail or Beaver Creek from the airport.

Girls’ getaway at The Osprey offers more than the norm

Ladies, give yourselves a break this winter. As you plan your next girls getaway, keep The Osprey at Beaver Creek in mind. This RockResort is the closest hotel to a chairlift in North America, and its post-New Year escape package is sure to put you in a room. From January 6 – 9, 2010, the ReTreat Yourself package combines skiing and snowboarding (guided by pro athletes) and yoga with Beaver Creek instructors – all with the goal of building a little girl power.

So, recharge yourself once the anxiety of the holiday season is behind you with three nights at The Osprey, daily skiing and snowboarding lessons by pros Megan Pischke-Porcheron (snowboarder), Barrett Christy-Cummins (snowboarder) and Kasha Rigby (skier). Then, spend several sessions calming your spirit with Forrest Yoga teacher Amy Baker, balancing the excitement of the slopes with the pursuit of relaxation. Life coach Linda Kennoy is on hand to conduct sessions on Manifesting Your True Personal Power, Fate and Destiny and Energy Fields, Magic and Soul Mates (well, the other stuff sounds pretty cool). The package also includes daily breakfast and lunch, mini spa treatments and a consultation with a skin esthetician.

At $1,428.32, this is a bargain, especially since all resort fees and taxes are included (except lift tickets, which are available at a discounted rate.

Girls, girls, girls! Trapper’s Cabin getaway

There’s no guarantee that this retreat will become home to the latest in the Where the Boys Aren’t series, but Trapper’s Cabin on Beaver Creek Mountain does offer the ladies a chance to disappear for a while and enjoy relative seclusion and a bit of relaxation. This four-bedroom, four-bathroom villa is 9,500 feet in the sky, surrounded by nature and designed for high-touch service.

Trapper’s Cabin is a log cabin … that happens to come with a hot tub, steam shower, pool table and professional kitchen. In-room spa services are available, as well, along with the efforts of a personal chef. Skiing, snowshoeing and hiking are not far from the front door.

So, could you imagine taking off with the ladies for a destination like this? Conceive of having your body rubbed down by a skilled spa therapist before soaking in the hot tub … while boyfriends and husbands and kids are trapped in the real world? Trapper’s Cabin starts at $599 a night, which I find shockingly low.

The Osprey Hotel – Luxury and fun in Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek’s newest hotel is The Osprey — and it’s a RockResort, which we like very much. Why? Because RockResorts are all environmentally friendly, and also extremely luxurious.

Nestled gently in the Rocky Mountains, The Osprey has fun amenities for luxury thrill seekers like helmet cams for skiing or biking, apres ski mixology lessons at The Osprey Bar, a bath concierge (!), lobster nachos and deep-fried Snickers bars, and a big classy lobby where you can mingle with the other guests, play Wii, or even showcase that video from your helmet camera on the giant flat screen TV.

Also, I mean, look at it. It looks like a house in a store window display at Christmas. Look at the lighting. You’d look good in that lighting. Look at this swimming pool. It’s by the fire pit. Want.

The Hotel used to be known as “The Inn at Beaver Creek,” but has just had a $7 million renovation to become a RockResort. Not only does that mean energy-efficient plumbing and lighting, but The Osprey also features “surfaces (including leather, birch, iron, and onyx) made from locally sourced stone, indigenous metals and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood.”

It also happens to be the closest ski-in/ski-out hotel to a chairlift in North America.

So, go tell it on the mountain.

Treat yourself to an “epic summer” in Colorado

A full week in the Rocky Mountains is exactly what you need to unwind. “Epic Summer,” the latest package from RockResorts, includes a range of options for individuals and families looking to enjoy crisp western air and natural surroundings without sacrificing comfort.

The package, which includes taxes and resort fees, costs $1,195 per adult and $895 per kid – a savings of almost 40 percent! What you get is nothing short of astounding. Spend six nights at either the Keystone or Breckenridge resort areas, and take advantage of an array of outdoor activities. Whitewater rafting, horseback riding on Beaver Creek Mountain and panning for gold can be added to your itinerary, and guides are available. You can even have a campfire dinner and wagon ride scheduled.

The “Epic Summer” deal includes ground transportation and all meals, along with resort access and related activities. At a savings of around $2,600, you’ll also get the added thrill of feeling like you’re stealing from the resort. Don’t underestimate the thrill of the illicit!