To spree or not to spree? Whether you pay top dollar for a ski vacation or scam free lodging and eat ketchup soup for lunch, here are high/low lodging choices for three resorts we love

Nov 1, 2001
Outside Magazine
where $per night what you get bonus feast or famine star power
HIGH LIFE Stein Eriksen Lodge $910
Luxury room with Scandinavian woodwork, balcony, and a jet-powered bathtub Down comforters, terry-cloth bathrobes, and overnight shoe-shining service $21-$31 entrees like sizzling Szechuan-crusted duck breast served to the melodious tunes of a jazz band The perfectly coiffed Stein himself, a 1952 slalom gold medalist for Norway
LOW LIFE Hidden Haven Campground $24
A patch of ground for your tent, car, or RV (with full hookup) with views of Interstate 80 Coin-op laundry, hot showers, and loads of Twinkies and Doritos at the Hidden Haven General Store Crackers with Cheez Whiz, served with Châ teau du Coke 2002 No celebrities reported or expected. . . ever
HIGH LIFE Amangani $1,100 307-734-7333,
A suite with a king-size bed, his-and-hers sinks, and a bathtub view of the Snake River Range Woven cowhide chairs, 35-meter swimming pool (no, not in your room), and seaweed treatments at the Health Center Stoli martinis at the zinc-topped bar, and seared onaga with gravlox at The Grill VP Dick Cheney and his tycoon pals
LOW LIFE The Hostel $53
A private room for some quality time with Spot (pets welcome) Ping-pong and pool tables A burger at The Rocky Mountain Oyster (307-734-9438). . . sorry, they're not on the menu Three guys vying to be extras in a Warren Miler movie
HIGH LIFE The Inn at Lost Creek $775
950-square-foot two-bedroom suite with two master baths and a fireplace Rooftop hot tubs, ski valet, and "hot-stone" massages Single-malt scotches in the Lobby Bar and the 9545 Restaurant's poached Alaskan halibut with sun-dried tomatoes Hollywood action figures à la Clint Eastwood
LOW LIFE Oak Street Inn $58
Room for two, bath down the hall, and a five-minute walk to the slopes Sauna, TV lounge, and VCR (BYO movies) Takeout pizza from Baked in Telluride (970-728-4775) Author of this chart stayed there once