Colorado, as a major outdoor enthusiast's vacation destination, has no shortage of lodging options. Visitors ski, hike and bike its mountains, and fish or kayak in its lakes. Those who yearn for the iconic Colorado mountain experience may enjoy a mountain cabin rental. Colorado's cabins may be convenient to major attractions and activities, yet they are usually situated in remote areas, apart from the frenzy of the tourist towns.
About Cabin Rentals
Renting a cabin is like renting someone's home so housekeeping and hotel-style amenities are usually lacking. Most owners require a deposit, so if you you leave trash in the cabin, unwashed dishes, or don't leave the cabin quite like you found it, you may not receive the full amount of your deposit. Plumbing and heating services vary; the more rustic cabins may have an outhouse, a well, and a fireplace or a wood-burning stove to supply heat. Public transportation rarely serves Colorado's mountain cabins, so you will need a car. Visitors who drive on Colorado's unpaved roads soon learn the significance of the words "Rocky Mountains." Some locations may require all-tire and/or snow tires. Internet access and cell phone service may or may not be available. Most Colorado cabins are located at 8,000- to 10,000-foot base elevations, so visitors from low altitudes should spend a few days in Denver, which is 5,000 feet high, to acclimate to the altitude.
Cabin vs. Chalet
While rental websites use the words "cabin" and "chalet" interchangeably, the two types of accommodations are slightly different: Cabins are usually one-story structures, built from milled logs and chalets are wooden dwellings with sloping roofs and overhanging eaves in a Swiss-inspired design. A chalet is more likely than a cabin to have modern amenities such as electric or gas heat and modern plumbing, which are necessary due to Colorado's harsh weather. Often accommodations referred to as cabins are actually chalets.
Budget Cabin Rentals
Cabins, which may have full kitchens, sleep anywhere from two to eight people, making them a bargain for the budget traveler. Cabins like the Bunny Cabins in Nathrop have rates, as of November, 2010, as low as $50, depending on the cabin size and the season. The cabins, which include Cotton Tail, Thumper, Wild Hare and Rabbit Den, are located near the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs and Cottonwood Hot Springs. Lazy R Cottages, located near Estes Park, has cabins that sleep eight to 14 people. Pets are permitted in some cabin rentals. Budget cabins have kitchenettes and often just a curtain that separates the bedroom from the living room.
Those who want the seclusion of a mountain cabin plus the amenities of a hotel may opt for a luxury cabin. These dwellings have a mountain cabin exterior, but offer modern amenities such as DVD players, wide-screen TVs, washers and dryers, and hot tubs. Colorado Mountain Cabins rents luxury cabins near Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek, which sleep up to 10 couples and feature amenities such as game rooms with pool tables, satellite television, hot tubs, electric heat and wraparound decks. The Fox Run, situated at 8,000 feet, has the lowest base elevation, and may be most comfortable for visitors from low altitude locations. River Suites has luxury cabins in Salida, near the Arkansas River. These pet-friendly cabins have satellite TV and Internet access, microwaves, king beds, queen-size Murphy beds and queen-size sofa beds. Unlimited long distance calls are included in the rates.
Ski Resort Cabins
Ski towns, with their all-night parties, may be fun, but are not recommended for those who want a good night's sleep. A cabin may be a better alternative, especially if you're traveling with a large group. The Alpine Retreat, for example, is located in a secluded wooded area, above the town of Breckenridge. This 2,400-square-foot chalet-style dwelling has four bedrooms, a loft, three bathrooms and a wood-burning fireplace. Alpine Haven, located near the Wolf Creek Ski Resort, is a two-story log home, which is a cross between a chalet and a cabin. The interior has what its owners describe as a "cowboy chic" decor. Unlike most mountain cabins, Alpine Haven provides luxury bath products.