Vail will no doubt surprise and enthrall you. Even with its small land area and remote location, this Colorado town overflows with mind-blowing fun and adventures. Sandwiched between the mountain ranges of Sawatch and Gore, Vail is home to a cornucopia of famous ski areas.

Unfortunately, despite its small size, there isn’t a lot of info out there when it comes to villages and areas to stay. That can make things rather tricky as you plan your trip.

Thankfully, we’ve created this detailed Vail travel guide to make planning a breeze on your end. We’ve consulted dozens of travel experts, locals, and online reviews to give you scores of fantastic tips on where to stay in Vail.

Where to Stay in Vail

From classy, luxury resorts to cheap condo rentals, Vail has tons of options for accommodations. Most people only visit for a short time or stop over on their Colorado road trip, yo you can find quite a few places to stay at. And, thanks to a free bus service, public transportation won’t be a problem in Vail. 

So, if you don’t mind which village you’re staying in, book a stay at any of these handpicked suggestions. 

Vail, Colorado

The Broke Backpacker is supported by you. Clicking through our links may earn us a small affiliate commission, and that's what allows us to keep producing free content 🙂 Learn more.

Highline Vail – a DoubleTree by Hilton | Fun-filled resort in Vail

Highline Vail a DoubleTree by Hilton

Highline Vail offers non-stop thrills and amusement with an infinite array of activities, from horse riding to fishing. For the not-so adventurous, the hotel has a spa center and outdoor pool, where guests can chill like royalty.

Rooms are ultra-spacious, too, and fitted with all the luxuries you need for a cozy stay. 

Luxury Seclusion | Picture-perfect holiday home in Vail

Luxury Seclusion

If you seek privacy and luxury, you’ll absolutely find your bliss at this fabulous holiday home. Truthfully, this option is a little on the pricey side, but it’s worth every penny. With snug rooms and stunning mountains, it offers a soothing retreat for visitors. 

Best of all, most of the town’s restaurants and attractions are just a short stroll away. 

Turnkey Vacation | Budget-friendly condo in Vail

Turnkey Vacation

Experience a rocking and glamorous getaway in Vail without spending a fortune at Turnkey Vacation. Great bargain rates aside, this condo has elegant furnishings, a laid-back feel, and extremely comfortable beds. 

The location is incredibly convenient and will give you access to numerous restaurants and attractions. 

Vail Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Vail



Lionshead is hands down the best place to stay in Vail for first-time visitors. Not only is it peaceful and safe, but it’s also home to a load of wonderful shops and restaurants.



West Vail is a prime spot to enjoy the best of Vail Valley. It combines the awe-inspiring alpine scenery of the south side and the north side’s abundance of sunshine.


Vail Village

Vail Village is a perfect and convenient zone to stay for vacationing families in Vail. Like Lionshead, Vail Village is also a popular base for the Vail Mountain’s ski adventures.


East Vail

East Vail is a picturesque alpine environment with 14,000-foot mountains and towering evergreen trees. For decades, the neighborhood has been captivating outdoor adventurers with its sheer rock cliffs, ski slopes, and fabulous spring waterfalls.

Vails’s 4 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Vail is an amazingly diverse town with loads of delights to offer everyone. Whether you’re a solo backpacker, a couple, a family or a gang of friends, we’ve got you covered in this Vail travel guide. 

Keep scrolling and heed our words of advice on where to stay and what to do in Vail. 

Lionshead is a terrific choice for anyone visiting the town for the first time. While a little small, this village is home to several shops, restaurants, and attractions. Of course, it has no shortage of options when it comes to lodging. 

For ski enthusiasts, it’s one of the two primary bases for the exhilarating winter adventures in the region. 

West Vail is simply gorgeous. With its spectacular and ravishing alpine backdrop, West Vail will give you the urge to snap a jillion photographs of your vacation. And since it’s less touristy than Lionshead and Vail Village, you’ll find a ton of bargain deals for accommodations. 

The village also has a handful of entertaining amenities and attractions. 

Vail Village is a family favorite. With skating rinks, fun attractions, and an eclectic lineup of restaurants, this village is ideal for a family getaway. Not to mention the spot teems with condos, hotels, and apartments suited for families. 

Like Lionshead, Vail Village is a gateway to the world-class ski resorts in Colorado

With its serene atmosphere and dramatic mountain panoramas, East Vail makes a superb base for couples visiting the town. Though it’s more tranquil than the other villages, it still has dozens of activities to keep visitors busy, including the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.

#1 Lionshead – Best Place to Stay in Vail for your First Time 

Lionshead is hands down the best place to stay in Vail for first-time visitors. Not only is it peaceful and safe, but it’s also home to a load of wonderful shops and restaurants. Even better, Lionshead offers easy and convenient access to a variety of heart-pumping winter sports. 

Lionshead, Vail

And guess what? You’ll find some entertainment on your stay in Lionshead as well. Whether you’re visiting in summer or winter, there’s something fun for you in this village. Pack your skis for the colder months and hiking boots for the hotter ones – you can find some of Colorado’s best hikes here.

Just FYI, Lionshead is a walking village, meaning cars are not permitted here. But there’s a paid parking system and parking area to stash your vehicle in while you explore on foot.

Eagle Bahn | Best condo in Lionshead

Eagle Bahn

There’s no studio condo in Lionshead quite like Eagle Bahn. With a private balcony, comfy bed, and a snug gas fireplace, it’s the perfect place to chill after a day of non-stop skiing, biking, hiking, or sightseeing in Vail. 

Plus, it has a pretty convenient location: it’s steps away from the Eagle Bahn Gondola and a bunch of bars and restaurants. 

Four Seasons Resort Vail | Best hotel in Lionshead

Four Seasons Resort Vail

Relax and let the hotel take care of everything at this upscale resort. There’s even a refreshing 5-star spa and a year-round outdoor pool to make your stay even more relaxing. For winter sports enthusiasts, the resort offers ski concierge services as well. 

On top of it all, the hotel is situated near numerous Vail attractions, including Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. 

Luxury Seclusion | Best holiday home in Lionshead

Luxury Seclusion

With its serene location and laid-back atmosphere, Luxury Seclusion offers guests a refreshing mountain retreat and digital detox. Surprisingly, the property is situated near the village’s exciting entertainment, shopping, and dining scene. 

There’s also a gourmet kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances to help you cook delicious meals. Did we mention that the views are epic? 

 Things to See and Do in Lionshead 

  1. Be mesmerized by Sunbird Park – also known as Nest Park – which is often known as one of the country’s coolest parks. 
  2. Make a pit stop to the village’s fantastic museum, the Imagination Station, if you’re traveling with kiddos. 
  3. Grab some delicious bar bites and enjoy affordable craft beer as you soak up the view of the icy slopes from Garfinkel’s. 
  4. Get some interesting nuggets of information by visiting the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame. 
  5. Think you need to spend a fortune to enjoy the gondola lifts? Not so much? The Eagle Bahn Gondola is open for free to non-skiers from 3:30 PM onwards.
  6. When visiting in summer, take a day trip to the Holy Wilderness Area and savor the beauty of Mother Nature. 
Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
audy on top of a mountain in japan with the osprey aether

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

View on Osprey View on REI

#2 West Vail – Where to Stay in Vail on a Budget

West Vail is a prime spot to enjoy the best of Vail Valley. It combines the awe-inspiring alpine scenery of the south side and the north side’s abundance of sunshine. Of course, it’s an ideal lodging area with plenty of affordable hostels, hotels and condominiums.

Modern comforts and amenities won’t be a problem in this area, with supermarkets and restaurants just a stone’s throw away. 

West Vail, Vail

While it doesn’t have a load of attractions, it still gives visitors access to snowboarding, skiing, biking, ice skating, and hiking. 

There’s even a free shuttle bus that will take you to Vail Village and the other villages of the town. 

West Vail home | Best townhouse in West Vail

West Vail home

Experience the scenic adventures and beauty of the Rockies comfortably at this townhouse in West Vail. With its green space, cozy fireplace, and rustic appeal, this townhouse will give you zen moments after your heart-pumping adventures in Vail. 

The property is located conveniently near Lionshead ski base, bike and hike trails, a dog park, and restaurants. 

Highline Vail | Best hotel in West Vail

Highline Vail a DoubleTree by Hilton

Highline Vail beckons adventurers with a smorgasbord of enthralling activities, including fishing, cycling, and horse riding. When you need to relax from the endless outdoor escapades, you can chill at the hotel’s spa center or outdoor pool. 

Location-wise, the hotel is near Riva Bahn, Wildwood Express, Adventure Ridge, and Cascade Village Lift 20. 

TurnKey Vacation | Best condo in West Vail

Turnkey Vacation

Turnkey Vacation will unleash your inner shutterbug and Instagrammer with its elegant touches and photogenic mountain views. The condo is a short stroll from Gore Creek, which offers a children’s playground, sledding, fishing, and kayaking. 

And you’ll totally adore the living room, which has a wood-burning fireplace and a 36” flat-screen television with cable. In summer, crack open the deck door for some fresh pine-scented mountain air. 

Things to See and Do in West Vail 

  1. Commune with Mother Nature by visiting the beautifully lush West Vail Pass wildlife area. 
  2. Experience the stunning, wide-open landscape of the majestic Rocky Mountains on a thrilling snowmobiling adventure
  3. Go on an adrenaline-pumping snow tubing experience at Adventure Ridge. 
  4. Take a side trip to the historic railroad and mining town of Minturn. 
  5. Socialize with a few furry canines at Stephens Park. 
  6. Relax and spend time making new buddies at Donovan Park and Pavilion. 
  7. Sample delicious culinary treats at the nearby restaurants, such as Nozawa, West Side, Bear Fish, Yellow Belly, and Ale House.

#3 Vail Village – Best Area in Vail for Families

Vail Village is a perfect and convenient zone to stay for vacationing families in Vail. Like Lionshead, Vail Village is also a popular base for the Vail Mountain’s ski adventures. 

A quaint alpine cobblestone-lined village, this area is filled with parks, shopping, ice skating rinks, and restaurants. When it comes to entertainment, Vail Village is not to be outdone by its neighbors and peers. 

Vail Village, Vail

Driving isn’t possible here, though, as it’s a walking village. If you have a car with you, the village has paid parking options where you can leave your vehicle. 

If you want to travel around the town, you can take advantage of the bus service. It’s a free and fun ride for everyone. 

Vail Village also earns a spot as one of the best places in Colorado, although it’s still a hidden gem and not massively known – which means less tourists!

Riva Ridge 740 | Best apartment in Vail Village

Riva Ridge 740

Spacious rooms, a gas fireplace, and complimentary parking make Riva Ridge an excellent and irresistible choice for vacationing families. The new Village Gondola and a host of shops are steps away from this property. 

As a bonus, it comes with a full concierge service that will help guests make reservations for restaurants and ground transportation. 

Eagles Nest | Best condo in Vail Village

Eagles Nest

Eagles Nest has all the hallmarks of an incredible Vail getaway. From the property, you’ll be moments away from restaurants, bars, shopping centers, and the Golden Peak ski lift. Not to mention, its location offers plenty of opportunities for mountain biking, hiking, and skiing. 

You’ll love the picture-perfect mountain views outside the property. There’s also a community patio where you can enjoy an outdoor meal. 

Sitzmark Lodge | Best hotel in Vail Village

Sitzmark Lodge

Although it’s located in the heart of Vail Village, Sitzmark is remarkably peaceful, meaning it’s an excellent choice for families. It has a year-round hot tub and heated outdoor pool that kids will absolutely love. 

If you’re traveling with infants or toddlers and need some time out with the adults, you can use the hotel’s babysitting service. 

Things to See and Do in Vail Village 

  1. Vail Square in winter transforms into an icy wonderland by featuring the Alderhof ice skating rink. 
  2. In summer, Vail Square becomes a hotspot for concerts and cultural attractions. 
  3. CineBistro offers a unique and luxurious movie-going experience with its full bar, full-service dining, and leather rocking chairs. 
  4. Indulge in a rejuvenating massage or spa treatment at the Sonnenalp Hotel. 
  5. Vai Village is a shopping mecca, home to boutique ski shops, designer Western ware, and a flagship Lululemon that features winter athleisure items. 
  6. Drop by Mountain Standard and satisfy your cravings with a smorgasbord of goodies, such as the El Diablo sandwich. 
The Future of the SIM Card is HERE!
mockup of a person holding a smartphone in white background with Holafly logo

A new country, a new contract, a new piece of plastic – booooring. Instead, buy an eSIM!

An eSIM works just like an app: you buy it, you download it, and BOOM! You’re connected the minute you land. It’s that easy.

Is your phone eSIM ready? Read about how e-Sims work or click below to see one of the top eSIM providers on the market and ditch the plastic.

Grab an eSIM!

#4 East Vail – Best Area in Vail for Couples

East Vail is a picturesque alpine environment with 14,000-foot mountains and towering evergreen trees. For decades, the neighborhood has been captivating outdoor adventurers with its sheer rock cliffs, ski slopes, and fabulous spring waterfalls. 

East Vail is relatively quiet compared to the other neighborhoods in Vail Valley. It’s perfect for couples who are aching for a serene and romantic area to stay in Vail. 

East Vail, Vail

The opportunities for adventure are seemingly endless in this Vail neighborhood. From hiking to tennis, the neighborhood has dozens of activities to appease visitors of all tastes and ages. 

To top it all off, it’s a convenient base for travelers who are planning to venture to Denver

Modern Getaway | Best condo in East Vail

Modern Getaway

Chic and artsy, this modern getaway delights guests with its sparkling clean rooms and sophisticated ambiance. With outstanding mountain views and fresh mountain air, this retreat also has a romantic vibe, making it ideal for couples. 

There’s a wood-burning fireplace, comfy seats, and a 55-inch TV to make your stay even more epic. 

Marriott Streamside Birch | Best apartment in East Vail

Marriott Streamside Birch

From mountain shuttle to outdoor-indoor pool, jaccuzi and a comfy living space, this Airbnb apartment offers everything you might need during your stay. Accommodating up to 6 people, it’s great for families or a group of friends. There are restaurants pretty much right in front of your doorstep, and the hotel’s free shuttle will pick you up and drop you off at any time. The front desk is open 24/7 in case you need any help or recommendations.

Vail Racquet Club Mountain Resort | Best hotel in East Vail

Vail Racquet Club Mountain Resort

If you’re looking for a romantic and upscale experience in East Vail, stay at this resort. With deluxe accommodations and first-class service, this hotel guarantees you a chilled vacation. There’s also an on-site all-inclusive health spa with rejuvenating couple treatments. 

Each room boasts a patio with BBQ grills. 

Things to See and Do in East Vail 

  1. Take in the breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains as you stroll through the streams, waterfalls, and brightly-colored flower beds of the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. 
  2. The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater hosts some of the region’s most beloved events, such as the Bravo! Vail music festival and the Vail Dance Festival. 
  3. Gore Creek offers a myriad of outdoorsy activities for visits, including rafting and trout fishing. 
  4. The Vail Racquet Club is home to a children’s playground area and a park. 
  5. Keep your eyes out for wildlife in the neighborhood. It’s pretty common to spot beavers, bighorn sheep, elk, deer, raccoons, foxes, and black bears. 
Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Vail

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Vail and where to stay.

What To Pack For Vail

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Vail

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Vail 

Vail is a slice of heaven on earth, especially for thrill-seekers, nature lovers, and winter sports connoisseurs. From skiing to sightseeing, the town teems with experiences for all ages. 

When it comes to the best village to stay in Vail, we have to go with Lionshead. It’s well connected to the other villages in the town, thanks to its ideal location and free bus service. 

You’ll have loads of accommodation options to choose from to suit your tastes, needs, and preferences. 

Did we miss anything? Is there anything you’d like to share with us? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comment section below. Ciao! 

Looking for more info on travelling to Vail and USA?