Photo Credit: @jaddavenport
You’d say ‘send us the link,’ right? Yup, thought so. For real, we could talk about crystal blue, beachy honeymoon places until we were blue in the face, especially in the winter, when we DIE to get away to warmer, sunnier spots. But when it comes to winter honeymoons, in locales where the temps and types of fun are far from steamy and splashy, we kind of hit a wall. 🌞 over ❄️ any day. Until now, that is. One of our own took a mid-winter vacay last week to Steamboat Springs, Colorado - and as much as she hates the cold, she couldn’t stopppp gushing over this place. ((And that means a lot, because she’s a Cali girl, perfectly content with sunshine and shorts on the reg)).
I was actually thrilled to hear that she was going to SS, because my husband and his family (all intense skiers) used to go there all the time for their winter vacations; he always had the most amazing things to say about the snowy scene. And she came back with all the same frosty, yet unforgettable feels // validating all my husband’s memories from his childhood and teen years.
She stayed at Vista Verde, a luxury, all-inclusive (and we’ll touch more on that later, because it should really get an all-inclusive+ rating) dude ranch in Steamboat Springs, and, chicks, this place is heaven for any honeymooning couples. Really, just take a peek at the website. The full-bleed carousel of images - from the window-lined lodge to the gloriously-green mountain hillside punctuated by rustic+refined cabins and horses happily galloping through soft, falling snow - is entrancing and truly encapsulates what the ranch describes as the ‘winter at its best.’
And yeah, winter wonderland seems a little cliche, right? Well, if there’s anything we learned from Kim and Kanye’s Whoville Winter Wonderland, how stunning and magical that all looked, it’s that winter vibes are hot as hell. #totalhoneymoongoals.
We’d stop at the photos, really, but for any couples who need just a little more rationale to get away into the cold, post-nuptials, here are a few more reasons you’d love this place - mixed in with some first-hand feedback from couples who honeymooned there just a hot second ago!
First things, first, though. If you’ve thought about honeymooning in the winter, in wintry conditions, but gave up because you couldn’t find much to grab your attention, take it from Brenna+Andrew.
Photo Credit: @lizziemariephotography
“We were searching online for domestic, all-inclusive honeymoons and we saw Vista Verde on Honeymoons.com. We looked at the website, reviews, and pictures of the accommodations and decided it looked like an amazing deal. We were either wanting to go somewhere tropical or somewhere cold (since we don't really get a winter fix here in Arizona), and we decided that Vista Verde looked way better/more affordable than anything else we looked at.”
Couple: Brenna and Andrew
Log cabin luxury is no joke.
Log cabin luxury literally sounds like the biggest oxymoron, but it’s 100p true at Vista Verde. Yes, from the outside, the private accommodations have that cozy, in the mountains appeal, but with elegant master suites, Italian linens, spa robes, complimentary snacks and beverages … even your own hot tub, it’s charming, but insanely classy. And let’s be honest, if you and your S.O. watch The Bachelor together, you’re probably still thinking about those camp cabins Colton and his ladies were lodging in in last week’s episode. Vista Verde buriessss those bungalows.
Cowboy cuisine is the best blend of ranchy and fancy.
When you’re on your honeymoon, it doesn’t always have to be first-class cuisine all day long - room service makes sense for more than one reason 😉. But at Vista Verde, the chefs work collaboratively and creatively to offer guests a mix of relaxed, family style meals and private, more next-level and multi-course dining service. It’s all DELICIOUS. Plus, those family-style servings are great for getting to know the other vacationers. It’s always fun to make friends with other honeymooners, so here’s where you can start.
Things to-do is a list that just snowballs and snowballs.
Fact or fiction: honeymooning couples just want to chill, excursions and activities are a little too much. Obvi that’s fact for some, but we know a TON of just-married misters and misses who loveeee adventure on their first trip away as newlyweds. And Vista Verde has so much going on to keep them busy. From horseback riding to hiking, snowshoeing to snowmobiling (and everything in between), there’s a myriad of activities on the docket at VV every day, and they can be attended to in the most to least high-touch ways possible. Programs are filled with talented guides, great equipment, and the experiences can be customized to each guest based on their skills, fitness level, and interest.
Photo Credit: Rebecca Theresa
“Scott and I really enjoyed ice fishing. It was relaxing and such a beautiful environment. I also really enjoyed the feed sleigh! I learned during this trip that I love to look at horses, but getting on and riding one is a different story. That’s why the feed sleigh was so fun, because the horses came right up to the sleigh and ate the hay practically out of your hands! It’s so hard to pick one activity, because we also really enjoyed the backcountry skiing! It wasn’t like anything we were expecting. We had only ever downhill skied before, and were pleasantly surprised with how fun and challenging it was!” ~ Katie+Scott
The staff is unmatched.
Guests come to Vista Verde for the promise of perks and fun, privacy and freedom, but they stay (and come back for) the people they meet while they’re there. According to one couple who we caught up with, who were there on their honeymoon, it would be a total missed opportunity not to “take the time to make friends with the staff. They’re amazing people, and they all have unique stories about how they ended up working at such a magical place, so be friendly to them because they are some of the greatest people we’ve ever met!” Greatest. People. Ever. Wow, if that’s not making those wheels turn in your heads, then we don’t know what will….
Photo Credit: Max Photography
Oh, and ONE last thing.
Of course, you’ll want to be prepared with clothes you can bundle up in, it’s freakin freezing!! But the beauty of Steamboat Springs and Vista Verde is that with so much to occupy your attention and keep you busy, you kind of forget about the blistering cold.
Straight from Ali+Jack, “We would suggest bringing lots of layers of clothing. We learned that 10° is variable on how that temperature will actually feel. If it’s super windy outside, you’ll want to bundle up. But if it’s 10° and sunny while you’re doing an activity outside, you’ll be fine just wearing a short sleeve T-shirt, it’s crazy!”
Couple: Ali and Jack
Kidding, we also wanted to throw in a packing list for you to refer to, just so you don’t end up like Katie+Scott and Brenna+Andrew:
“A must bring are hand and foot warmers! I am so happy we brought these, because they saved our lives a couple times with some of the activities. We also haven’t spent much time in the snow and were naive to bringing snow pants, but those are also a must. There are so many outdoor activities and those ended up also saving our legs!” ~ Katie+Scott
“For any other couples coming to the ranch, definitely bring snow pants! I didn't have any and luckily they sell them there, but if you have them bring them because you will need them for ALL the outdoor activities.” ~ Brenna+Andrew
What to bring
- Snow pants (find thin ones that stretch and wear leggings underneath. Regular snow pants can be difficult to move in, especially if you’re doing something like snowshoeing or backcountry skiing outside)
- Shell or puffer jacket
- Light long sleeve shirts for base layers (and in case you want to strip down on the slopes)
- Yoga or thermal pants
- Ugg Boots (don’t bring any cute shoes with you, you have to walk from your cabin everywhere - to activities and meals - so you’ll want something warm and cozy on your feet)
- Heavy moisturizer.
- Snacks for the cabin (although VV stocks the rooms with plenty of snacks, and it’s all included!)
- Downloaded movies or music (the cabins aren’t equipped with TV and they have really weak WiFi, so if you want entertainment - other than each other hehe - you should download before you go!)