Those looking for the latest and greatest when it comes to après-ski won't be disappointed if they decide to kick up their ski boots at Grand Hyatt Vail (formerly Hotel Talisa) at day's end, thanks to the hotel's brand new, ski-in, ski-out yurt (open 4 to 8:30 p.m. daily). Although, the amenities at the Grand Hyatt’s pop-up lodge are a little more luxe than your standard backcountry abode. Think of it as a happy hour base camp; you can snuggle inside the yurt—which comes decked out with plush couches and a bartender—for a cocktail tasting (or sip on a cup of peppermint schnapps-spiked hot cocoa), or mingle by the fire pits just outside. There’s also skate rentals for guests to channel their inner Dorothy Hamill and hit the local ice—plus, live music, s’mores, and complimentary cookies and hot cocoa (served from 4 to 5:30 p.m. daily).
“The [Grand Hyatt] Plaza will be activated with après ski specials, tastings and special pop ups throughout the winter season,” says the hotel’s general manager Dan Johnson of the upgrade. “When guests ski back to Chair 20, they’ll be welcomed by lively music and a lot of activities.”
In addition to the yurt, and a dedicated chairlift (Chair 20/Cascade Village Lift, the only hotel-served lift in Vail) with an upgraded ski concierge (which the resort unveiled as one of its new amenities at the beginning of the winter season) the Grand Hyatt Vail has carved out a niche as an idyllic skiers' basecamp, with yet another Vail-exclusive perk: the only Moët Chandon vending machine in the state ($20 per bottle via tokens from the hotel concierge).