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14 Best Lodging Options in Steamboat Springs, CO – Hotels, Resorts & Campgrounds

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Steamboat Springs, Colorado, is a beautiful vacation town in the mountains northwest of Denver. It’s best-known for Steamboat Ski Resort, an international destination for skiing enthusiasts, as well as the smaller, more budget-friendly Howelsen Hill Ski Area. But Steamboat is a year-round destination, thanks in part to the thousands of acres of untouched wilderness within a short drive or bike ride from the city center.

If you’re planning an outdoor vacation in Steamboat Springs, you’ll need a place to stay. Here’s a look at the best lodging options in the Steamboat area, plus some tips and tricks for stretching your vacation budget further.

Hotels, Resorts & Rentals in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

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Steamboat only has about 12,000 year-round inhabitants, but it’s got enough hotel, resort, and rental rooms for a much larger city. Some options cater to an upscale crowd, while others appeal to budget-conscious travelers. These hotels, resorts, and rental properties mix the best of both worlds – and most offer special deals or booking options that can significantly reduce their total cost. Unless otherwise noted, these hotels are open year-round.

1. Steamboat Resort By Wyndham Vacation Rentals

Steamboat Resort By Wyndham Vacation Rentals boasts about 40 distinct complexes and hundreds of professionally managed condos, townhouses, and hotel rooms/suites, including the renowned, formerly independent Inn at Steamboat. Many Steamboat Resort properties are either on or adjacent to the slopes at Steamboat Ski Resort, and some are ski-in/ski-out. Plus, some of the larger townhouses sleep 10 or more, making Steamboat Resort By Wyndham Vacation Rentals a great option for larger groups.

Nightly unit costs vary widely based on unit type, size, and location, but you should expect to spend at least $100 per night during peak seasons, and at least $300 per night for large, centrally located units. Prices are likely to be higher on weekends and holidays.

For the best available rates, book directly through Wyndham Vacation Rentals’ website. Also, pay attention to periodic deals, such as end-of-ski-season discounts (up to 15% off posted room rates) and spring break promotions (up to 35% off posted room rates). Before you book, check Wyndham’s cancellation policy to ensure that you’re permitted to cancel and re-book if you come across a better rate later.

2. The Steamboat Grand

The Steamboat Grand is an upscale property in the heart of Steamboat Springs. Accommodations include studio units, classic hotel rooms in various configurations, condominium units, and luxurious penthouses. With ample facilities for large groups, The Steamboat Grand is a popular choice for corporate retreats, weddings, and reunions. Guests can choose from several dining options, including The Cabin (a high-end restaurant and bar) and the more casual Poolside Bistro. Other amenities include a decadent spa, cute shops, and a year-round heated outdoor pool.

Needless to say, The Steamboat Grand isn’t the most budget-friendly accommodation option in Steamboat. But it’s not impossible to find good value here – if you know where to look. Start with seasonal activity packages, such as the Grand Experience – good for up to 30% off room rates, 20% off lift tickets and equipment rentals, and 15% off at the resort spa. Transition season packages are great too – the Springalicious package halves your two-night stay’s second-night room rate and deeply discounts your three-day ski pass.

3. Legacy Vacation Resorts – Steamboat Springs Hilltop

Legacy Vacation Resorts – Steamboat Springs Hilltop is a family-friendly property on the slopes near Steamboat Ski Resort. With breathtaking views of Steamboat Springs, the Yampa River Valley, and the surrounding ranges, it’s one of the most picturesque hotel properties in town.

Though not as luxurious as The Steamboat Grand or the Wyndham Vacation Rentals properties, Steamboat Springs Hilltop is a great value – you can find rooms for less than $100 per night here, even at the height of ski season (though weekends and holidays are pricier). If you plan to ski or snowboard, take advantage of Legacy Vacation Resorts’s partnership with Christy Sports, a local equipment rental shop. It’s good for 20% off your order with Christy when you book in advance and prove that you’re a Legacy guest.

Legacy Vacation Resorts

4. Hotel Bristol

Hotel Bristol is a charming, centrally located inn that’s quite literally from another era – it first opened in 1948, and its bones haven’t changed much since then. The property’s marketing is pretty kitschy, with promises of “off-street parking for your iron steed” and “the finest libations a trail-dry throat can imagine,” but the operators definitely mean well. Plus, rooms are pretty cheap compared with higher-end properties closer to the slopes – even in winter and summer, basic rooms go for less than $100 per night, and periodic discounts (such as 20% off late-winter stays of three nights or more) sweeten the deal further. The location is a bonus too, as Hotel Bristol is within walking distance of downtown Steamboat Springs’s souvenir shops and thrift stores.

5. Steamboat Mountain Lodge

This homey, privately owned property lacks the glitz of The Steamboat Grand or the more upscale Wyndham Vacation Rentals properties, but its authentic small-town charm more than compensates. The mountain lodge-like Great Room is definitely a highlight, as is the seasonal hot tub. Steamboat Mountain Lodge is cheaper than Steamboat’s higher-end properties – you can find rooms for less than $90 on winter weekdays here. Keep in mind that, aside from a continental breakfast and communal grill, on-premise dining options are limited.

6. The Nordic Lodge of Steamboat Springs

The Nordic Lodge of Steamboat Springs, or just The Nordic Lodge, is a modern motel with a distinctly rustic feel. Located near downtown Steamboat Springs, the recently remodeled property has a wide range of budget-friendly room options. Rates start as low as $80 or $90 per night during non-peak times, though winter and summer weekends can be pricier. There’s a free shuttle to Steamboat Ski Resort every 10 minutes, and the property claims to be within five blocks of 20 restaurants. Don’t miss the secluded backyard lounge area, indoor hot tub, and heated outdoor pool (summer only).

Campgrounds In and Around Steamboat Springs, Colorado

If indoor plumbing isn’t a top priority, you can save a boatload on lodging by sleeping under the stars in Steamboat Springs. The parkland surrounding Steamboat is sprinkled with hundreds of rustic campsites and cabins, most of which go for just a fraction of the cost of local hotel and resort rooms. Though backcountry options exist, vehicle-accessible campsites with convenient water and outhouse access abound as well.

A couple caveats about camping in Steamboat Springs. First, even if you’re not planning a long-distance hike, camping requires advance preparation and plenty of items you wouldn’t normally take to a hotel, such as rain tarps and tent stakes.

Second, many campgrounds around Steamboat Springs are seasonal – they’re only open during the summer and early fall months, with exact open/close dates dependent on weather. If you visit during the winter, your camping options are likely to be constrained. And, even if you do find a suitable winter camping option, remember that winter camping is downright dangerous for the unprepared. Always bring proper clothing, equipment, and emergency supplies.

7. Steamboat Springs KOA

  • Cost Per Night: Approximately $20 and up for single tent sites, approximately $60 and up for cabins
  • Number of Sites: More than 100
  • Max Stay Length: Not indicated
  • Facilities: Potable water, showers, modern toilets, electric and RV hookups, trash service, TV/Internet, shuttle bus to Steamboat
  • Season: Year-round

Steamboat Springs KOA is conveniently located on the banks of the energetic Yampa River, a popular angling option for locals and tourists alike. With hot showers, modern restrooms, and a TV/Internet room, this facility is probably the fanciest, or at least most comfortable, campground in all of Steamboat Springs. There’s a shuttle to and from Steamboat Springs, so it’s also a great camping option if you’re sick of driving (or don’t have a car).

8. Steamboat Lake State Park

  • Cost Per Night: $18 for a single campsite, $20 and up for electric hookup sites
  • Number of Sites: 188 summer, 14 winter
  • Max Stay Length: Not indicated
  • Facilities: Vault toilets, potable water and laundry facilities, trash service, electric and RV hookups in parking lot
  • Season: Year-round (winter camping in parking lot with electric hookups only)

Steamboat Lake State Park is a large, popular state park near famed Hahns Peak. At 8,100 feet up, it offers amazing views of the surrounding peaks and valleys, plus easy access to the teeming lakes and streams above Steamboat Springs. Reservations are accepted during the summer high season – roughly Memorial Day through Labor Day. Campsites are first come, first served all other times of year. Once the winter snowpack forms, usually by early November, tent sites are closed to campers. Parking lot sites remain open year-round.

Steamboat Lake Skate Park

9. Strawberry Park Hot Springs

  • Cost Per Night: $55 for campsites, $60 and up for cabins
  • Number of Sites: Not indicated
  • Max Stay Length: Not indicated
  • Facilities: Potable water, modern toilets, showers, trash service, electricity (no hookups – central location)
  • Season: Year-round

Strawberry Park Hot Springs is a private camping and cabin facility with beautifully landscaped hot springs and a range of eclectic lodging options, including a repurposed caboose and rustic cabins. There’s a convenient shuttle to and from Steamboat as well.

After dark, Strawberry Park Hot Springs is a no-children, clothing-optional zone, so it’s definitely not suitable for families with kids. It also has an old-school reservation policy and a very strict cancellation policy: All reservations must be mailed in by hand, all payments are final, and you can’t make changes to your reservation within two weeks of your stay.

10. Dumont Lake Campground

  • Cost Per Night: $12 for a single campsite
  • Number of Sites: 22
  • Max Stay Length: 14 days
  • Facilities: Potable water, vault toilets, no electric or RV hookups
  • Season: Late June through October

Located about 20 miles southeast of Steamboat Springs, Dumont Lake Campground is within hiking distance of the Continental Divide. At 9,500 feet, it’s high enough to provide stunning views of the Divide itself and several surrounding ranges, though the altitude makes for chilly nights even at the height of summer. Dumont Lake itself is a fisherman’s paradise, and the shores and surrounding forests teem with birds. This campground is rarely crowded, so it’s a good last-minute option.

11. Hahns Peak Lake Campground

  • Cost Per Night: $12 for a single campsite
  • Number of Sites: Approximately 25
  • Max Stay Length: 14 days
  • Facilities: Vault toilets, no running water, no electric or RV hookups
  • Season: June through mid-October

Hahns Peak Lake Campground is just a few miles outside Steamboat Springs. At 8,300 feet, it’s well above the valley floor, making for spectacular views of nearby ranges. Bring your mountain bike and take advantage of the beautiful local trail network. Despite its lack of basic facilities, Hahns Peak Lake Campground is frequently crowded, so be sure to reserve a campsite in advance.

12. Hinman Park Campground

  • Cost Per Night: $12 for a single campsite
  • Number of Sites: 13
  • Max Stay Length: 14 days
  • Facilities: Potable water, vault toilets, no electric or RV hookups
  • Season: Late May through early October

Hinman Park Campground is about 30 miles north of Steamboat Springs. Located on the picturesque Elk River at 7,800 feet above sea level, it’s a popular home base for anglers and bird-watchers. However, its relative seclusion and distance from Steamboat means it’s far less popular than Hahns Peak. That’s good news, because you can’t make reservations here anyway – all sites are first come, first served.

13. Meadows Campground

  • Cost Per Night: $12 for a single campsite
  • Number of Sites: 30
  • Max Stay Length: 14 days
  • Facilities: Vault toilets, no running water, no electric or RV hookups
  • Season: Early July through October

Meadows Campground is close to Dumont Lake Campground and affords similarly breathtaking views. At 9,300 feet, it definitely gets chilly here at night. Make sure to bring plenty of your own water, as there’s no running water here and the altitude accelerates dehydration. Meadows is another first come, first served option, but it’s relatively lightly used and thus often has available sites.

14. Seedhouse Campground

  • Cost Per Night: $12 for a single campsite
  • Number of Sites: 24
  • Max Stay Length: 14 days
  • Facilities: Potable water, vault toilets, trash service, no electric or RV hookups
  • Season: Early July through October

Seedhouse Campground is located near the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, about 30 miles northeast of Steamboat Springs by road. At 8,000 feet above sea level, it’s in the heart of the vast alpine spruce and pine forests that blanket this part of Colorado. The adjacent Elk River is a popular trout fishery, as are nearby feeder streams. This campground gets very busy during the height of summer, so book well in advance if possible.

Seedhouse Campground Summer

Tips for Saving on Lodging in Steamboat Springs

To stretch your vacation budget even further, consider doing the following:

1. Travel at Non-Peak Times

If your travel dates are flexible, consider traveling at non-peak times. That means mid-week during peak seasons (winter and summer) and any non-holiday weekends during the off seasons. (Avoid winter and summer holidays if at all possible, as these times tend to be the most expensive.) There’s a non-financial incentive to travel at non-peak times too: thinner crowds.

2. Try House Sharing on Airbnb & Vrbo

For a fairly small town, Steamboat Springs has Airbnb listings galore. Like regular hotels and resorts, pricing and availability varies by season, but is generally comparable to or cheaper than local hotels. Outside of peak times, you can likely snag an entire small house, condo, or townhouse near Steamboat Ski Resort for less than $100 per night. This is a great option if you want all the trappings of a rental property without the added cost. Be sure to check out listings on Vrbo as well.

3. Try Different Booking & Coupon Websites

Many high-end resorts offer website-exclusive discounts and deals. These opportunities aren’t available to visitors who don’t book through their proprietary reservation systems – and thus aren’t visible in searches on Trivago, Hotels.com, and other travel booking websites.

On the other hand, some booking websites have deals better than those posted on actual properties’ sites. So too do coupon, social deal, and daily deal sites such as LivingSocial and Groupon. Make sure to check all of these sources before pulling the trigger on a booking.

4. Look Into Package Deals

Several Steamboat Springs hotel and resort properties offer package deals that combine lodging with lift tickets, equipment rentals, spa services, and other things that normally need to be purchased separately. These package deals are typically more expensive than the full price of any individual inclusion (for example, a nightly room rate), but are much cheaper overall than the cost of purchasing each inclusion on its own. For instance, The Steamboat Grand’s “Grand Experience” deal slashes lodging rates by up to 30% and equipment rentals by up to 20%. It’s sometimes possible to find package deals on third-party booking websites such as Expedia, where packages combining hotels, flights, and rental cars are common.

5. Verify Cancellation Policies & Keep Checking Rates Even After You Reserve

Before you book, particularly at pricier properties, verify the merchant’s cancellation policies to ensure that you can cancel and re-book once you make the reservation. Some Steamboat hotels and resorts, including The Steamboat Grand, offer last-minute deals that can dramatically reduce overall lodging costs. These are particularly common at the beginning and end of winter, when unpredictable weather conditions delay or hasten the slopes’ opening and closing. But they can happen whenever there’s an abundance of available accommodations too.

Final Word

Affordability is a huge issue in many Colorado mountain towns. Rugged topography, surrounding protected lands, and high demand for prime real estate squeeze lower- and middle-class locals in these areas, pushing them out of close-in neighborhoods and lengthening their commutes.

Though it’s not as exclusive as super-trendy mountain communities such as Aspen and Breckenridge, Colorado, or Park City, Utah, Steamboat Springs does have an affordability problem that impacts local residents. But, to its credit, it’s far more budget-friendly for visitors than many of its peer towns. If you’re planning a frugal vacation to the Rocky Mountains anytime soon, that’s probably music to your ears.

Have you ever visited Steamboat Springs, Colorado? What’s your favorite place to stay?

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

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