Retro A-frame resort brings upscale nostalgia to Winter Park – The Denver Post


You’ll want to pack your best color-block ski suit before checking into Winter Park’s newest choice for lodging, the A-Frame Club, because although the insides of its 31 triangular little cabins are full of modern amenities, the outsides are decidedly retro.

“The vibe we’re going for is that 1970s, old Colorado ski culture mixed with a little European après flair,” says Adam Larkey, the chief operating officer at Zeppelin Development, the Denver-based firm that built trendy projects like The Source Hotel and Market Hall, Taxi and Zeppelin Station, and is now breaking into the high country hotel sector.

A-frames were a common sight in the 1950s, ’60s an ’70s in Colorado when they filled out ski towns and mountain resorts. Cheap and easy to build, the A shape also allowed snow to slide off the steeply-pitched roofs, said Amir Ameri, a professor at the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning, adding that they were first used in Switzerland.

“I think the appeal of A-frames, above anything else, is that the imagery is one that’s associated with leisure time,” he added. Cute in their simplicity, they dial up nostalgia to a post-WW II era of prosperity when Americans started buying weekend homes near lakes, mountains and forests.

It’s true: A-Frames are made for charming mountain vacations, with their steep roofs pointing at blue winter skies and large windows letting in the alpenglow. But the buildings also fit squarely (or, rather, triangularly) into a broader travel trend: A-frames have been trending on vacation booking platforms like Airbnb for the last several years as the tiny home trend meets mid-century mania.

Think an A-frame cabin with a lofted bedroom that’s anchored by a colorful Malm fireplace and accented with cedarwood panels and a globe floor lamp. Then, throw in some trail maps and magazines that have a rounded Cooper typeface to hint they’re from a groovier era.

Looking to book a cabin getaway this winter? These stays earn an easy A.

A-frame cabins in Colorado

The interior of one of the new A-frames in Winter Park. (Stephan Werk for Zeppelin Development)

A-Frame Club at Winter Park

From $550 a night

The club is situated on a two-acre wooded site on the Fraser River. Elevated slightly on piers, the cabins are connected by boardwalks, and they come with individual decks. Each 475-square-foot A-frame includes a kitchenette and lofted bedroom that’s outfitted with an Onsen-style soaking tub. Tall windows let the light in. The Lodge bar and restaurant is in a historic saloon building. To boost the vibe, ask the bartender to make you a Harvey Wallbanger after a day on the slopes.

This A-frame near Jefferson offers panoramic views -- and a hot tub. (Provided by Airbnb)
This A-frame near Jefferson offers panoramic views — and a hot tub. (Provided by Airbnb)

A-Frame cabin with panoramic views

Average rate: $244 a night

The tip of this A-frame in Park County locale of Jefferson peaks out from a small stand of trees and highlights undulating mountains in the background. Behind the red front door, a spiral staircase leads to a lofted bedroom. Patterned tiles and a retro refrigerator pop in the kitchen. Take in the views from a hot tub.

A classic A-frame cabin on a creek near Grand Lake that is available for short-term rental on Airbnb. (Provided by Airbnb)
A classic A-frame cabin on a creek near Grand Lake that is available for short-term rental on Airbnb. (Provided by Airbnb)

Classic A-frame in Grand Lake

Average rate: $297 a night

Close to Grand Lake and Rocky Mountain National Park, this stylish A-frame has been one of the most popular Airbnb rentals in Colorado. Tongue-and-groove wall paneling is juxtaposed with modern furnishings in this light-filled cabin that’s bigger than most A-frames (it can accommodate 12 guests). Tucked away in trees, the cabin has large decks off the front and back and is outfitted with Adirondack chairs and portable fire pit.

This A-frame near Bailey is available for rent via Airbnb and includes a outdoor hot tub. (Provided by Airbnb)
This A-frame near Bailey is available for rent via Airbnb and includes a outdoor hot tub. (Provided by Airbnb)

Renovated A-frame with cedar hot tub

Average rate: $258 a night

An hour outside of Denver and nestled in ponderosa pines, the well-designed A-frame rental near Bailey has a spacious deck, propane fire pit and modern interior with cheerful patterns on the tiles and rugs. (The cabin was once featured on HGTV.) Soak and stargaze in the cedar tub after exploring local trails or playing disc golf on the nearby course. Keep an eye out for wildlife; deer are known to drop by.

This off-grid A-frame near Westcliffe offers wonderful views of the Sangre de Cristos and dark skies for stargazing. (Provided by Airbnb)
This off-grid A-frame near Westcliffe offers wonderful views of the Sangre de Cristos and dark skies for stargazing. (Provided by Airbnb)

Off-Grid A-Frame in Westcliffe

Average rate: $216 a night

This off-grid, solar- and wind-powered A-frame chalet has great views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from its perch at 8,400 feet. A large deck is perfect for stargazing in this Dark Sky-designated destination. Inside, find a rainbow of colors and cheerful patterns, plus a clawfoot tub.

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