This was our first trip to Winter Park. There may be better options that the regulars know of, but based on our experience we liked the Iron Horse. Is it a luxury resort? No. Is it easy ski in-ski out for all levels? No. But for a last-minute get away to do some early season skiing with two snowboard-novice kids, it was perfect, and a great value.
Overall/room: We stayed 2 nights early the week of Thanksgiving in a 1-bed/1-bath and the price included 2 adult lift tickets. If you deduct the cost of the lift tickets, we spent about $70/per night. It was one of rooms owned by the resort, as opposed to a 3rd party owner. No issues at check in with the room, but we did have to go to the village to get our lift tickets. They have an on-site ski rental shop but we ended up just getting everything in the village. Be warned you can't walk to the village or the parking area (that has a gondola to the village). It is a 2 min drive to the parking lot, or they have shuttles. This wasn't a big deal for us as being early season the hotel and mountain wasn't packed. Might be an issue during the weekends later in the season. The room we were assigned had a small bedroom with one large bed, a full size Murphy bed, and a sofa sleeper. Worked great for us taking 2 kids along, as they both had their own bed. The main bed was comfortable, though the pillows were way too large. Plenty of blankets though for the three beds, and a nice gas fireplace for heat and ambiance. The room also had a kitchen with fridge, oven, microwave, dishwasher, so very convenient for making dinner the night after we skied. We were also given a spot in the parking garage, so that was nice. Not sure how that would work when its busy though--the garage is tiny. There was a flatscreen TV in the main room, and a small one in the bedroom that wasn't hooked into cable. So plan on watching in the main room.
Amenities: Dinner at the onsite Bistro the first night was great. Food and service were exemplary, and the prices were not bad for a ski town. Nice, smallish indoor/outdoor pool the kids loved. And two large hot tubs as well (only one was open). Also has a nice work-out facility if you didn't get enough on the slopes. Our room was really far away from these, and to stay indoors you had to go up and around to access the skyway. Not the worst thing in the world, but made for a chilly walk back after the hot tub.
Etc.: Only real issue with the room was that it was next to the washer/dryer room, and someone was using it til about 10 at night. After a long day of skiing that noise next to the bedroom wasn't appreciated. So if you can, request a room away from that (we didn't know until we go to the room). I'd worry a bit that the thin walls would mean lots of noise if the hotel was fuller--there were not many people at the resort this time of year. I'd would imagine that the place could be a little cramped on weekends if they are full (the parking garage, small pool, small restaurant...)
Verdict: If you can get it for the right price and you don't mind not being right on the mountain this is good option in Winter Park, especially in the non-peak times when you are more likely to have the amenities to yourself.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located within walking distance to the ski lifts at Winter Park. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iron Horse Hotel Winter Park
- Iron Horse Resort Colorado