A Haute Chocolate

for all seasons

Luxury never takes the day off

at Four Seasons Vail

The days when hot chocolate was restricted to aristocracy are long behind, but the Four Seasons in Vail, Colorado, will make you feel like a peer of the realm.

The Haute Chocolate featured exclusively on the drink menus of Flame and The Remedy Bar (and Room Service) is decadent and luxuriously warm — perfectly complemented by the contemporary Alpine design at the mountain resort. The French-inspired drink is the creation of Executive Pastry Chef Andrew Schweska.

Even the preparation is a luxurious experience as servers roll up to your table (at Flame restaurant) with a trolley of rustic orange cups and traditional French hot chocolate pots.   They muddle Valrhona chocolate and steamed milk, then pour into a cup topped with a dark chocolate lattice and homemade marshmallow. Whipped cream and chocolate shavings come on the side.

As you drink in the rare extravagance, don’t miss the details behind the creation. It’s not a cup of hot cocoa, which is made from cocoa power, sugar, and milk — usually sweet and light. Instead, the Four Seasons’ chef-d’œuvre is categorized as hot chocolate, a drink made from fine shavings of chocolate that melt quickly when combined with hot milk or cream.  The typically rich and thick hot chocolate drink is not as sweet as hot cocoa but so much more decadent.

The Four Seasons in Vail uses Valrhona, a premium French chocolate made in the small town of Tain-l’Hermitage in a wine-growing district just south of Lyon, France. Tain-l’Hermitage, nestled along the left bank of the Rhône River, was a favorite spot for Thomas Jefferson who allegedly loved the views afforded by the hillside vineyards overlooking the river.

Jefferson also loved hot chocolate. In a 1785 letter to John Adams, he wrote, “The superiority of chocolate [hot chocolate], both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain.”

Clearly, he didn’t anticipate coffee shops.

Make it yourself

Try a version of Four Season’s Haute Chocolate at home with these recipes:

PART 2 OF STORY. For more on the history and yes, even art, of hot chocolate see the second part of this story: The French, hot chocolate, and a pot

2018-07-13T15:25:46-05:00By |Food & Drink|


  1. Teresa Lamsam June 13, 2018 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    I would love to hear about your favorite place for hot chocolate. Please leave a comment.

  2. C-Ludik June 13, 2018 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    This post is for all the chocolate lovers ! As I’m living close to Switzerland the chocolate standard is high and therefore any hot chocolate you have here is a good one 🙂 If you really want to satisfy your taste buds, drink a hot chocolate at the following places in Switzerland: the Vivendi Café in St. Gallen, the Café Schober in Zurich and Le Barbare in Lausanne.

    • Teresa Lamsam June 13, 2018 at 3:23 pm - Reply

      Thank you for the recommendations! My son and his finance hope to visit Switzerland on their honeymoon. I’ll let them know about these tips!

  3. Alice Ford June 13, 2018 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    First off I love Vail. I am such a Colorado gal. Secondly chocolate is one of my favorite things and this looks absolutely delicious!!! I might just need to swing by the 4 Seasons and get one.

    • Teresa Lamsam June 13, 2018 at 4:17 pm - Reply

      If you do, tag me on Instagram! This was my first trip to Vail. It was a family trip – my son proposed to his girlfriend on a mountain Jeep excursion. It was a surprise and the whole family (both sides) were in on it. Such a lovely time and wonderful memories.

  4. Samantha June 13, 2018 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    This is such a fancy way of preparing hot chocolate. I always love a good cup of hot chocolate, especially when it is prepared with lots of detail!

  5. Nadia Crowe June 13, 2018 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    Chocolate is my favourite thing in the whole wide world. Unfortunately I don’t live in a place with high quality chocolate, need to go hunting!

  6. Elaine Masters June 13, 2018 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    That does indeed sound so decadent and delicious. I love creative presentations and desserts that aren’t too sweet. Can’t get enough chocolate for sure!

  7. Candy June 13, 2018 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    I’ve never had a fresh hot chocolate drink like this and it sounds divine. I’ve only had the powered kind, so the sound of fine shavings sounds incredible 🙂

  8. Sherrie Fabrizi-Allbritten June 14, 2018 at 10:58 am - Reply

    One- I love Four Season resorts, we try to stay in them where ever they are. Two- I love chocolate (who doesn’t?) I am downloading those recipes for sure- will use them for our holidays..and then again I might just make them for myself too!

  9. Evelina June 14, 2018 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Wow, I haven’t seen anything like this before. Looks amazing. I’d definitely like to try if I ever have the chance. Yummy!

  10. Yvette Benhamou June 14, 2018 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Didn’t realize but chocolate was ever reserved for aristocracy, but given the decadent preparation, I can see why.

  11. Sneha June 14, 2018 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    That moment when the Marshmallow drops in the hot chocolate!!! Looks delicious and I am sure it tasted heavenly

  12. neha July 25, 2018 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    Hot chocolate is my favorite and this one definitely looks delicious. It reminded me of one that was offered in our hotel when we visited Venice last year. Theres nothing like starting your day with the hot chocolate.

  13. Marge Gavan July 26, 2018 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    I’m not a chocolate person but when I looked at the gif I was like, I want that, I want to taste that. I was wondering at first what was the cube on top of the cup, so it’s a marshmallow. What a delectable treat and since you shared the links of the recipes, I might just give it a try especially now that it’s the rainy season in my country. It’d be delightful to just be at home and enjoy hot coco.

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