Melissa Nightingale stays at Fairmont's Franz Klammer Lodge in Telluride, Colorado.


: It's hard to go wrong in a location like Telluride. This old mining town, which has been turned into a ski destination, is surrounded on all sides by stunning views, so any accommodation you choose here will be extraordinary.

The lodge is in Telluride Mountain Village, the resort-filled area over the hill from Telluride town. But travel between the two is easy thanks to the free gondola service that runs until midnight during weekdays, and 2am on weekends. The mountain village is easily walkable and the lodge is handy to plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants, plus a few shops to get all your tourist needs.


Check-in experience: There's a little confusion at first as to who is going where, and despite our late-afternoon arrival the suite we are staying in isn't quite ready. However the staff are happy to let us head up as they do their final inspection.

The room: A three-bedroom "residence" shared between myself and two other reporters. The moment we walk in I'm blown away by the views of the nearby San Juan mountains and gorgeous golden aspen trees — pro tip: visit in autumn when the colours are amazing.

The suite has a good-sized kitchen, large lounge and dining area with a natural gas stone fireplace, and a balcony overlooking the village and mountains. There are three bathrooms, two of which are ensuites. My bathroom has a spacious double vanity, huge bath with jets, as well as a separate shower. The king-sized beds are great to flop down on after a hard day of travel or skiing, and the bedside lamps have USB ports for charger cords, meaning I didn't have to dig out my plug adaptor and find an outlet.

Toiletries: Fairmont uses Le Labo's Rose 31 toiletries throughout its locations. I don't usually bother taking the hotel soaps and shampoos when I leave, but I made an exception for these ones.

Food and drink: There are plenty of options within walking distance of the lodge, even more if you take the short gondola ride over the hill. The lodge doesn't have a restaurant.

Noise: It was quiet in our area, though that may have something to do with the fact we were visiting in autumn. Had it been winter this little ski village may have had a bit more buzz.

The price: About NZ$2400 a night for a three-bedroom suite, or $2000 a night for a two-bedroom, depending on the time of year you visit.

Perfect for: Snow bunnies, obviously. This whole village is built for winter tourism, but that doesn't mean it isn't a great spot to visit at other times. I would recommend mid-September to mid-October when the trees have all changed colour.


Would I return? If I can afford it! This location was the highlight of my trip.