While searching for skiing accommodations, I came across a Park Hyatt in Colorado, and that was one of the reasons that brought me to Beaver Creek. I had some Hyatt Gold Passport points to redeem for a night and paid for another night at the property. The rate per night was $399 plus taxes which came down to about $430. This was obviously a luxury ski-in/ski-out accommodation but considering the Westin Whistler charges around C$299 during the same period, I think it was a somewhat fair price in the market, considering this was a Park Hyatt.
Entering the Beaver Creek ski resort proper was a grand affair with a gated entrance as I drove past and it was a bit intimidating passing through those gates with a humble Chevrolet Sonic hatchback. A Range Rover or Porsche Cayenne might have been more at home in these surroundings. The guard by the gate enquired if I had a reservation and upon confirmation, I was handed a welcome folder! Yes, a complete folder with tags for guest vehicles, trail maps, resort maps, events calendar and activities brochure for families and skiers. That in my mind just goes beyond what I have usually experienced at ski resorts.
Beyond the gate a winding road brings me closer towards the Park Hyatt as the mountain and the ski trails slowly open up before me! The drive past manicured lawns and tiled pavements shows the planning that goes into this gated ski resort. The sense of arrival places a particular impression that this place is probably skiing for families at its finest!
The Park Hyatt was easy enough to find once inside the gated compound with the directions provided by the gate agent. On arrival, I parked my hatchback by the side as I unloaded my snowboard gear and luggage with the bell boy before I checked in at the front desk. The ambience within the lobby felt very rugged like a traditional ski lodge, and just the way I envisioned all true ski resorts should look like. But there was an added touch of luxury from the vast lobby especially the magnificently named ‘Antler Hall’. Tall floor-to-ceiling windows also afforded warm guests within the lobby the splendour of the ski slopes outside the hotel. It was an awe-inspiring lobby and one of the nicest ski resorts I have been to!
Room No: 4035 Category: Alpine View King
Check-in at the hotel was fast and efficient even with the separate bookings and I nicely enquired if I could have rooms with the view of the slopes but unfortunately they were fully booked though they offered to move me the next day. Since I was just staying for 2 nights, I let it pass, but I have to note the room they gave was not really the best either since it was somewhat far from the elevator lobby being located at the corner. It is not the hotel’s fault though since I think corner rooms are usually deemed more desirable being more quiet and sometimes larger with better views. And my room had a nice view of the valley and partial view of the mountains.
I believe my room is the base standard room and the slightly larger Park Deluxe would be outfitted with a pull-out sofa bed. Thus no upgrade this time round but the rooms were still quite spacious for one person. There was a large King bed and a lounge chair by the window with an ottoman. A large work desk lay by the corner and beside it was a medium sized TV cabinet. By the entrance foyer there was a standard hotel wardrobe.
On the other side of the wardrobe was the door to the bathroom which was spacious by North American hotel standards but was quite disappointing for only having a bathtub and shower combination. Even the Westin Snowmass was better in having a walk-in shower. It was disappointing really to have this bathroom. The only thing I was glad of was that the amenities were by Le Labo, and the scent was Bergamote, something that I liked.
After checking out the room, I headed down to the lobby to check out the outdoor plaza and fire pit. The view was wonderful there with the sun set, and the outdoor plaza was definitely the place to chill after a day on the slopes as the hotel supplies complimentary make-your-own s’mores kit outside every afternoon around the time the last ski lift closes. Between the Antler Hall and the beautiful outdoor plaza I think the public spaces of this hotel was outstanding even if the rooms were below average of Park Hyatt standard.
As a Hyatt Diamond member, there was some perks to be had and that included free breakfast, and in-room dining is included as well. I find Hyatt provides this benefit more often than other hotel chains as the Hyatt Bellevue Philadelphia allowed this as well. So for the next morning I ordered in-room breakfast of egg white omelettes served with toast and avocados. It was definitely a very healthy breakfast, and filled with a nice jug of coffee, a glass of juice and all the condiments you could possibly need.
On the last morning, I chose to have breakfast at the 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill, which is also the main hotel restaurant and located in the lobby. Breakfast was served buffet style with a limited menu from where diners could order from. I went for the buffet and ordered some eggs benedict from the the menu, as the buffet was one the best I have seen for a US-based hotel. There was some great gourmet salad, the usual cold cuts, pastries and toast.
But the great part of the buffet was the savoury hot selection which included schnitzels, pizzas and biscuits with gravy, showing some nice American breakfast fare and something that could even fill you up for those mountain runs. Overall it was a breakfast worthy of champions and it could already be seen by the numerous types of toppings they have for the eggs!
To end the breakfast, there was also a nice selection of freshly cut fruits and juices so I have to say it was a very complete and filling breakfast. On most hotels in North America, I hesitate to recommend having breakfast in the hotel since you can easily get better fare from Tim Hortons/Starbucks or some cafe across the street. But for this Park Hyatt, the breakfast is well worth it!
And of course, for such a quality resort, the bill folder comes in a shiny aluminium folder as well. It was all complimentary though as I just needed to sign my room number.
The other facilities I got to try was to have a soak in the outdoor jacuzzi after snowboarding. The jacuzzi is actually located beside the slopes and to access them, guests would have to walk past the spa and the fitness centre on the opposite side of the lobby restaurant. The spa felt a bit like a boutique as well since it was selling all kinds of clothing and the fitness centre was adequately equipped. I just wonder the rationale of a fitness area in a ski resort though. Wouldn’t you want to work out in the slopes instead taking in the fresh mountain air?
Anyway there was some people at the main hot tub/jacuzzi when I arrived though there was 5 in all so I got to one of the empty ones to have a dip! It is always nice to have a hot tub soak while letting snowflakes fall on you and that was the case that evening.
Besides the hotel amenity, the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is also well situated in the village and there is a huge ice skating rink by the village entrance to the hotel. Rentals and use of the rink are extras, naturally since it is run by the Beaver Creek Resort. Around the rink are the usual art galleries, restaurants and ski/snowboard apparel stores. This was a bustling village even with the relatively heavy snowfall that evening and thus the ambience was more lively compared to that in Snowmass. Though Beaver Creek is also closer and more accessible from Denver!
Since I drove to the hotel, I parked my car with the valet and I remembered the cost was acceptable. Service was above average I must say since the wait for the car is not too long either. The hotel also provides guests with a free shuttle service to the town of Avon that was outside of the gated entrance where more dining options awaits guests. And it is also one of those hotels that provides a turn-down service in the evening. Housekeeping will place 2 chocolate bars (one dark, one milk) by the bedside and I have a partial preference for the dark chocolate ones. Service-wise, it is on par with the luxury hotels of this calibre.
While I was disappointed in the state of the rooms, there was some pleasant surprises in the hotel such as the breakfast, the vast yet cosy public spaces and amenities and I think it makes for a decent ski resort. There was also the s’mores provided for guests daily by the fire pit and that makes this a very family friendly ski resort! Though considering the prices, the relatively sad state of the rooms, I would not say I recommend a stay here. Amongst the Park Hyatts I have been to, this one probably is one of the most forgettable.