In a world overflowing with luxury travel opportunities, it is the exquisite attention to detail that distinguishes Beaver Creek as the ultimate winter vacation resort. Unparalleled natural beauty and elevated service ensure a seamless experience for the sophisticated traveler. From the moment your plane lands down (the Eagle County Regional Airport is minutes away, or comfortable shuttles will navigate traffic from Denver International Airport) until checkout, Beaver Creek delivers the level of service you expect from the world’s most prestigious resorts. This is no small feat considering Beaver Creek’s size and varied offerings. But one should expect nothing less from the resort where champion skiers routinely carve their place in history during Beaver Creek’s celebrated World Cup races. After all, this is where winter means fun, food is epicurean, and relaxing means not exactly roughing it. —Rachel Walker
1. White Carpet Orientation
Situated in the center of Beaver Creek Village, the White Carpet Club is a private retreat ready to serve as basecamp. The on-site concierge will take care of everything—lift ticket purchase, registering for lessons or guides, dining reservations, and overview (and advice) on the myriad activities available. Ski valets will store gear (and make sure your boots are warmed up before you don them), and the club’s elegant lounge invites you to immerse yourself in the mountains. Whether you’re finishing up a work deadline or simply hydrating as you acclimate to life at 8,100 feet, regroup here.
2. Your Private On-Mountain Retreat
Hop into your private ride to Trappers Cabin, which redefines “ski in/ski out.” This two-story, four-bedroom house is a refined mountain lodge nestled among aspens at 9,500 feet on the ski resort. Inside, window seats abound and the floor-to-ceiling granite fireplace ensures cozy warmth (the on-deck hot tub offers the same). Upstairs, each bedroom is well-appointed with the same level of detail one expects from a high-end hotel. Book a personal chef and dine on gourmet meals, and arrange for a ski school ambassador from Beaver Creek’s famed Ivy League of Ski Schools to meet you at your porch the following day. Trappers, which sleeps 12, is spacious and accommodating, equally good for families looking to reconnect or couples seeking an intimate getaway.
4. Higher Education
The reason Beaver Creek’s Ski and Snowboard School retains the majority of its instructors and attracts the industry’s best professionals is simple: the standards here are high, and the instructors appreciate the opportunity to share their knowledge in such an effective environment. I know this from experience. Both my sons learned to carve their first turns at Beaver Creek (they are now ages four and six and can ski all intermediate and some expert runs), and when they were in school, my husband and I occasionally tuned up our own technique with a semi-private. The school offers the Elevated Ski School Private Lesson, a customized day with lunch at SaddleRidge (more on that in a minute). There is also a Women’s Social Tour, a two-hour, women-specific clinic that starts at 10:15 a.m., is led by a woman instructor, and aims to create camaraderie and confidence among like-minded skiers and snowboarders.
5. Gourmet Lunch
Come for the fois gras, stay for the extensive immersion in American Western art and artifacts (the largest collect outside of a museum). Lunch at SaddleRidge begins by ditching boots for cozy slippers and reposing in the rustic, grand dining room. The unique menu offers a range of wild game, succulent seafood and seasonal fare, and a wine list that features more than 450 vintages from around the world.
6. Retail Therapy
Grab a homemade cookie at the base of the resort, swap your mountain gear for street clothes at the White Carpet Club (your concierge can arrange for this), and stroll the magical village with its eclectic boutiques and galleries. First stop: Q Boutique, a sister-owned shop featuring contemporary fashion, designer accessories, and a constantly evolving collection of distinctive jewelry from around the world. Also not to be missed is “gallery row” in the heart of the village. With art, jewelry and textiles to appeal to all tastes, the art is eclectic and ambitious. There are hundreds of shops here, from Hawick Cashmere of Scotland to Allegria Spatique (taking athleisure wear to new levels), to Beaver Creek Sports.
7. Drinks, then Dinner
Catch a shuttle to the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch for a cocktail in the hotel’s grand lobby before tucking into a sleigh ride up to Zach’s Cabin, an intimate on-mountain eatery (adults-only) renowned for its cuisine and wine collection. The charming cabin is an ideal setting for the hearty, epicurean dinner. Between the sleigh arrival, the delicious food, and the remote setting, this is a meal you are guaranteed to remember.
9. Spa Time
Work out any remaining kinks at Allegria Spa, a 30,000 square foot facility modeled on ancient Roman baths. The spa’s “Aqua Sanitas,” water sanctuary, is a self-guided water ritual that takes you from hot to cool water experiences. Located in the Park Hyatt and featuring 23 massage and facial treatment rooms, along with a salon, gym, and boutique, the spa’s offerings range from classic (think hot stone massage) to the unique Wildflower body scrub. Reservations recommended.
Rachel Walker is a freelance writer and editor in Boulder, Colorado, whose happy place is among the trees in Royal Elk Glades on a powder day.
With the Elk and Bear lot moving to $10 per day (or $75 for a 10-punch pass), we wanted to share some free parking options that are available. There are a number of spots within a short walking distance from the Riverfront Gondola where you can access the mountain from Lower Beaver Creek Mountain Express lift. You also have the option of taking the Avon Skier Shuttle which offers 15-minute service to Beaver Creek Village. Here are the parking options, as found from the Town of Avon Website: Town Hall parking lot and Lake Street on-street parking: 123 spaces Please observe
We were blessed with over 5 FEET of snow in December. We can’t wait to see what January brings! Here are some of our favorite snowy shots from the month (photos by Jon Resnick):