Lumiére Telluride: Past, Present, and Future

When I first visited Telluride some 25+ years ago, I had an experience that made it one of my favorite places in the States. I dropped into a small bar, hopped on a barstool, and ordered a beer. Shortly thereafter, a large dog jumped on the barstool beside me and was promptly served a bowl of beer. That’s when I knew Telluride was a special town.

I mentioned this to Crystal, a Telluride native and delightful server at Allred’s, a wonderful restaurant easily accessible from Lumiére. Crystal reminded me that the dog, Zudnick, a 190 lb. or so behemoth, was the constant companion of a local skiing icon, Scott Kennett, who appeared in many skiing movies with Zudnick racing down the hills behind him. Legend has it that Zudnick regularly needed to wear a safety vest so he wouldn’t be mistaken for a bear by Telluride’s residents and visitors.

Much has changed in Telluride in the intervening years. It is still majestic in its scenery, resting in a box canyon deep in the San Juan mountains of Colorado. Nestled in an amphitheater of 14,000 foot peaks, it lures nature lovers, festival goers, ski enthusiasts, Hollywood’s elite and Fortune 500s year in and year out. It’s not just the breathtaking vistas, the world-class skiing and the heritage mining town that draws a discerning crowd.

Lumiére Hotel, sadly, wasn’t there 25+ years ago. Had it been, it would have been my only choice for lodging. From the moment you enter its lightly scented hallways, you know you are in for a top-shelf experience. Concierges Julia and Camille are readily available to answer your questions and see to it that your every need is fulfilled. And they do so with such pleasantness and poise that I think it would be hard to phase them with any request. Bellmen Jack and Phil could not have been nicer or more informative, and I’m grateful to both of them for easing our stay through their hard work.

Lumiére really is a destination within a destination. You can stay in and enjoy its wonderful and many amenities, or  step outside and be greeted by soaring peaks in shades of luminescent green in summer, wild flowers in spring, golden hues in fall and glistening white snow caps in winter.

Nestled slope side, Lumiére offers the convenience of ski in/ski out. It’s just a short walk to the Mountain Village’s gondola that will take you swiftly and comfortably to Allred’s or to the streets of Telluride, where many a fine artisan shop or restaurant will catch your eye.

You won’t get a ‘look at me’ attitude here. Lumiére is more under the radar for those in the know who have heard whispers of the regularly awarded hotel by those who have been before them. Consider that Trip Advisor named Lumiére the #5 Best Small Hotel in America in 2016 and in 2015 Condé Nast’s readers recognized Lumiére with the Readers’ Choice Award for the #1 Hotel in the West. And Forbes Travel Guide named Lumiére one of the finest 4-star properties in the world in 2017. These awards speak to the extraordinary experience that is Lumiére.

Don’t expect huge lobbies filled with chandeliers. Lumiére prefers a simple door, an exposed stone wall with some soft furnishings with a nod to the cowboy town below. This is where the elevator will collect you and take you to the inner circle for check in. Now you can exhale, taking confidence that everything that occurs at Lumiére does so under the watchful and discerning eyes of its General Manager, Clare Afman, and its Assistant General Manager, Bas Afman. Both are gracious hosts who demand that their residents and guests receive service that is beyond comparison in the world of hospitality.

Lumiére keeps things intimate and simple. Just 11 hotel rooms and 18 one-to five-bedroom condominiums including a selection of penthouses all with stunning views from multiple balconies. Residences feature sub-zero refrigerators, Wolf gas burners, and private chefs should you so desire.

Add your own private outside hot tub with every Penthouse and a soaking pool, hot tub, and sauna for hotel guests, a concierge service that knows what you want before you do, and Black Tie ski valet on site during winter and you really needn’t lift a manicured finger. Did we mention the Bijou Wine Bar & Lounge for après drinks and appetizers or the complimentary house-made sugar temptations available at the front desk for post-ski pleasure?

If you have a pooch, then bring Rover with you. Lumiére is dog friendly with canine treats, lush dog beds, dog walkers on command and more. Telluride is a mecca for dogs with hiking trails and a town filled with cafes that have doggy parking where your dog can make friends.

Attention to detail is a hallmark of Lumiére, especially in its service. Consider that Charlene, who oversees the breakfast buffet and who is a proud grandmother, noticed that young children were not eating much at breakfast. Not wanting them to go hungry, Charlene introduced Fruit Loops to the buffet, and lo and behold the children’s eating habits changed! They began to fill themselves on Fruit Loops and even the healthier choices the buffet offers, the very ones they had been bypassing earlier. That’s the kind of care you can expect for you and yours at Lumiére.

In addition to skiing, the town of Telluride is home to some of the best festivals going including the Telluride Film Festival. Don’t be surprised to be sharing a café with your favorite thespians who adore Telluride’s down-to-earth and love-of-life nature. You won’t find paparazzi here; they would be chased down Main Street.

Lumiére Hotel in Telluride is independent, so you’ll get an authentic experience of a town that cherishes community. Want to know where the best coffee is? Need a romantic table for two at the best restaurant in town? Want a hike to get your legs burning or one to slow you down? The team at Lumière literally have all the answers because they ‘live Telluride’ and thanks to their prime location, you can, too.

About The Author

Alan Lobock started his career with the international accounting firm of Price Waterhouse, where he spent 8 years. After having been promoted to Senior Manager, Mr. Lobock left Price Waterhouse to join 3 others in co-founding SkyMall, Inc., the company whose retail catalog was featured aboard most US commercial aircraft for nearly 25 years. Since exiting SkyMall, Mr. Lobock has engaged in travel writing and continues to devote himself to start-ups and fast-growing companies either as a founder/co-founder or as an advisor/Board member. For editorial consideration please contact editor@jetsetmag(dot)com.

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