Colorado hotels with Christmas-movie inspired rooms, events

Emilee Geist

Holiday movies span the genres, ranging from the quotable comedies to the classics you watch every year and the made-for-television romances that have more sap than pine trees. No matter your Christmas movie preference, though, there’s a Colorado staycation to suit your cinematic personality. At these hotels and destinations, the […]

Holiday movies span the genres, ranging from the quotable comedies to the classics you watch every year and the made-for-television romances that have more sap than pine trees. No matter your Christmas movie preference, though, there’s a Colorado staycation to suit your cinematic personality.

At these hotels and destinations, the silver screen comes to life. Some of the movie inspiration is literal, like the over-the-top Hallmark movie-branded suite at Club Wyndham near Vail. Others deliver a more subtle sprinkling of holiday magic. As we begin the countdown to Christmas, here are the best staycations to take, based on your favorite holiday movie. Don’t forget to pack those Fair Isle Christmas footie pajamas in your overnight bag.

The holiday programming at the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center continues outside at Glacier Point, a winter fun zone with ice bumper cars, ice skating and a four-lane snow tubing hill to schuss down. (Aurelia Shears, provided by Marriott International)

“Elf”: Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center

Ready to graduate from spectator to star? Fans of the 2003 Christmas comedy “Elf” can immerse themselves in iconic movie scenes at the Gaylord Rockies, which has a dozen interactive film set challenges — like a virtual snowball fight in Central Park, the frenetic prep for Santa’s arrival at a New York City department store, meandering through the whimsical candy cane forest and meeting the Christmas Eve toy quota in the North Pole workshop. The Gaylord teamed up with Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment for the marquee programming, “Mission: Save Christmas, Featuring Elf.”

The resort overall is brimming with a whole lot of holiday cheer (enough to power Santa’s sleigh, and then some). Cirque arts meets Broadway-style musicals at Cirque Dreams Holidaze in the on-site bubly theater. Outside at Glacier Point, guests can zip down a four-lane snow tubing hill, go ice skating or glide about a rink in ice bumper cars. Plus, there’s gingerbread decorating, photos with Santa, storytelling and more.

Overnight packages and event tickets can be purchased at christmasatgaylordrockies.com. Advance online reservations are required for all ticketed events. 6700 N. Gaylord Rockies Blvd.,  Aurora, marriott.com. Nightly rates start at $259. 

Race of the Santas on Dec. 7, 2019, in Breckenridge. (Joe Mahoney, provided by Breckenridge Tourism)

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”: Breckenridge

Did you know some of the most memorable parts of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” were filmed in and around Breckenridge? The slapdash sledding incident that sends Chevy Chase’s character Clark Griswold careening down the mountain was filmed at Breckenridge Ski Resort on Peak 8. Then, as Griswold’s greased-up saucer hits the pavement and he is dodging traffic with sparks flying, he’s actually skidding across Summit Boulevard in Frisco. Griswold cuts down a Christmas tree at the Breckenridge Golf Course, which is also where the family station wagon lands after being wedged under a logging truck and then flying off the road.

For a scenic Christmas vacation of your own (but, without, you know, the comedy of errors), head to Breck, which is a winter wonderland during the holiday season with more than 250,000 LED lights glimmering downtown. The Lighting of Breckenridge and Race of the Santas will be on Dec. 4. Or, sync up your visit with the Ullr Fest (Dec. 9-12) in honor of Ullr, the Norse god of snow. Also, you can go sledding at a more cautious speed at Carter Park.

Book a stay at Gravity Haus Breckenridge, a ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel that just landed on Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards. 605 South Park Ave., Breckenridge, gravityhaus.com. Nightly rates start at $195.

One of the themed lobbies inside ...

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

The lamp from “A Christmas Story” is one of the decorations in the lobby of the Curtis Hotel. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

“Home Alone”: The Curtis

With Instagram-worthy vignettes around just about every corner, and each floor with its own dedicated theme (Superheroes! Sci-fi! Sports!), The Curtis Hotel excels at scene-setting year-round. But this time of year, the hotel decks its halls to the max. You can book the “Hyper Holiday Suite” that pretty much looks like the set of a holiday movie. Or, the hotel will be offering a “Home Alone”-themed package that comes with a complimentary movie rental. Order a pizza, bring your own candy and be sure to make Kevin McCallister proud and brush your teeth with a toothbrush approved by the American Dental Association.

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