Sacramento Bee – February 2013

Travelgirl recommends: Vista Verde guest ranch

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 – 5:08 am


After one visit to Vista Verde you’ll be hooked on this premier Colorado guest ranch. This luxurious, all-inclusive resort is a haven for those who love the outdoors, especially in the wintertime. From tantalizing cuisine to an educated and accommodating in-house staff, Vista Verde offers a wealth of activities to keep maestros and novices equally engaged. Go during snow season and you’ll find a magnificent setting guaranteed to stimulate the senses. Snow-covered rooftops and fields that are groomed daily are part of the stunning landscape. Guests can partake in snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, back-country skiing or perhaps enjoy an exhilarating snowmobile ride. Ardent skiers often choose to slalom downhill in nearby Steamboat Springs; the Vista Verde staff will pack your lunch and happily drive you there. If you are not yet an aficionado with a pair of skis, the able-bodied staff will help you become one. Lessons are part of the all-inclusive rate and in a short while you’ll be enjoying the breathtaking scenery as you glide along with confidence.

Cowgirls, if you love to ride or even if you’ve never saddled up, Vista Verde is an ideal setting to delight in a horseback ride.

At the end of the winter season, the ranch offers clinics that will teach even an anxious rider how to handle a horse. Guests can spend quality time in an indoor facility with experienced staff who work to teach you the basics, so that you’re in the know and feeling safe before you ever step out to ride. In 2013, clinic dates are March 17-21. The four-night stay is $1,600 per person and other ranch activities are not offered at this time, allowing riders to focus on their riding style during this horsemanship retreat.

The icing on the cake at Vista Verde is the spectacular cuisine. Food and wine are an art form; from Kobe beef to lobster, the food is delectably prepared. Guests’ preferences are noted and remembered; you’ll find your favorites awaiting you when you choose to visit again. Enjoy some excellent wines with your meals and be sure to enroll in a wine tasting class; Chef Matt chooses some exquisite vintages. Later, relax in first-class accommodations, many equipped with hot tubs. It’s an extraordinary and energetic escape that has guests returning again and again to savor the experience.

-Renee Werbin