For those who want to connect with the Colorado outdoors while maintaining a sense of luxury, Collective Retreats’ glamping oasis near Vail and Beaver Creek delivers.
There’s something about sleeping on the hard ground with a tiny pillow in a semi-quilted bag that has kept me from camping. I like the idea of being close to nature, chatting around a fire and sleeping under the stars, but it’s the less-than accommodations that trip me up about pitching canvas somewhere in an unknown, possibly dangerous wood. The people behind Collective Retreats must be long-lost kin. At Collective Vail, they’ve wisely placed warm country club-chic interiors, high-end amenities and plush linens on palatial, cozy beds inside alabaster tents that look out onto an instagrammable 1,000 acres of sweeping Colorado mountain and valley vistas. There’s electricity, running water and—for foodies like me—a tented restaurant with a scrumptious farm-to-table three-course dinner ($150 per person). The thoughtful cuisine changes daily at the chef’s whim (48-hour advance reservations required). While you chat with the highly skilled toque about where she sourced the night’s menu (Olathe corn from a few valleys over, rack of lamb from the ranch down the road, striped bass caught downstream), you stare out at a sky with more stars painted on it than a Neil deGrasse Tyson vest. Post-meal, grab the housemade s’mores kit and head to the fire pit, knowing you will wake up to addictive French press coee you can sip on your private porch. The adventurous set can go ATVing, horseback riding and fly-fishing, all set up by their personal concierge at 4 Eagle Ranch (4eagleranch.com). They can also organize in-tent massages and guided hikes. While it doesn’t open for the season until May, there are only a dozen tents this year—and they book up months in advance. Open May-October, $500-$700 per night, collectiveretreats.com
Photography by: PHOTO COURTESY OF COLLECTIVE RETREATS