The Best of Colorado

The Lodge at Vail’s (www.thelodgeatvail.com) unbeatable location at the base of Vail Mountain affords guests ski-in and ski-out access to the slopes and easy access to the area’s outdoor summer activities.

Luxury Guest Rooms, with either mountain or village views, provide the best views and are the most requested. Larger groups, such as families or entourages, choose Deluxe Townhouses, which are outfitted with their own kitchen. Insider tip: Resort staff can stock kitchens with groceries prior to guests’ arrival.

luxta1



The Lodge’s Game Creek Chalet is a private hideaway 10,500 feet up Vail Mountain. The Game Creek Chalet starts from $700 and $1,600 depending on the package, and is toughest to secure during the holidays. Book the chalet several weeks in advance by calling 877-LAV-ROCK. Head Concierge Jenny Roussel handles guest requests at the resort, from securing lift tickets or arranging dog sledding to arranging hiking and white-water rafting. She’ll also set up tee times at Red Sky Golf Club (www.redskygolfclub.com), where guests of Vail Resorts properties enjoy exclusive golf privileges. Travel agents can contact General Manager Wolfgang Triebnig at 970-477-3702 for VIP needs.

Clients can ride in a Sno Cat-driven sleigh to Beano’s Cabin (Beaver Creek Mountain, White National Forest, Avon), for fine American cuisine next to a crackling fire. Beano’s Cabin is open from June through September and December through April. Fixed-price meals start at $85. Reservations are required: Call 970-949-9090.  
Vail Cascade Resort & Spa (www.vailcascade.com) underwent a $5-million renovation last July and is now managed by Doug Brooks. Most guests request the Deluxe Mountain View Guest Rooms, while groups opt for the more-spacious condominiums. The Gore Creek and Ford Presidential Suites are the resort’s most decadent accommodations. For reservations, call 970-476-7111—reservations are not available via GDS.

The highlight of the resort is its spacious Aria Spa & Club, which is managed by Maggy Dunphy (970-479-7003). The most popular treatment inside the spa—which houses 14 treatment rooms—is the Organic Body Masque. Request masseuse Brian Dalrymple for a soothing rubdown. The spa, which is directed by Ingrid Middaugh (970-479-5964), is open Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. in winter, and Monday through Sunday, 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. in the summer. Book treatments well in advance in order to secure treatments and times. 

Head Concierge Steve Trombetta can assist travel agents with their clients’ special needs, such as a hike or bike ride through the mountains or a tee time at one of Vail’s challenging golf courses. Director of Conference Services Karen Conklin assists agents with clients’ business and professional needs.

Ten miles west of Vail in posh Beaver Creek is the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek (www.beavercreek.hyatt.com), which has undergone a complete renovation. Individual Travel Sales Manager Cory Carlson works with travel agents to fulfill client requests, from limousine transportation to and from the airport to treatments at the resort’s 20,000-square-foot spa, Vail Valley’s largest. VIP Manager Kendra Leyh sets up dinner reservations at on-site restaurants Vue and Bivans, and arranges special outings like llama treks and golf on the resort’s Robert Trent Jones-designed golf course.

A couple of hours away by car and tucked at the base of Aspen Mountain, The Little Nell (www.thelittlenell.com) offers a quality and level of service its repeat visitors tout as the best in the business. The most requested accommodations at The Little Nell, whose general manager is Eric Calderon, are the Premium Mountain Rooms. Some suites, such as the Executive, Paepcke, Pfeifer and The Little Nell Suites feature adjoining rooms and are best suited for larger groups and families. Hint:  Book these suites early. Room rates run from $200 to $1,800 in the fall and from $625 to $4,600 during ski season. Send requests to reservations@thelittlenell.com.

An attentive concierge staff, headed by Clefs d’Or member Joy Connor, and a six-person ski concierge tend to guest requests, from private plane transportation and special restaurant seating to ski and boot care and rental and outdoor summer excursions. Guests are also welcome to contact General Manager Eric Calderon directly.  Helpful Hint: The Little Nell welcomes pets, who are treated to the same world-class comfort and service as their doting owners at no extra charge. 

The St. Regis Resort Aspen (www.stregisaspen.com) kicked off the 2004-2005 season following a $37-million renovation. Its new spa houses 15 treatment rooms and a fitness center. Under the direction of Tim Power Smith, Remede Spa offers a complete menu of body and facial treatments. Two of the most sought-after are the Apres Ski treatment, most popular between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., and the Hematite and Basalt Stone Massage, an Aspen Signature Service. Request lead therapist Tommy Toth for a relaxing massage or esthetician Michelle Baker for a purifying facial. Appointments fill up quickly, so be sure to book in advance. Call 970-920-6783.

luxta2



The most popular of The St. Regis’s guest accommodations are the Presidential and Alpine Suites. Request rooms on the Alpine Floor for VIP guests in search of extra privacy and personalized service. The Alpine Floor is accessible only by a key-activated elevator and offers private check-in and its own concierge staff.

The St. Regis Suites comfortably accommodate large families, as do the residences at the St. Regis Residence Club, which are available nightly, based on availability. New this month: Twenty guest rooms and suites will open in the Red Mountain Wing of the hotel. Room rates start at $495 per night. For reservations, call 970-920-3300.
With the completion of the renovation comes the addition of 24-hour butler service for guests of the Alpine Level and suites. Ski butlers assist with ski and snowboarding equipment, boot warming, ski instruction and transportation.

Travel agent liaisons Nathan Boyd and Tim Sanders assist with VIP needs. Head Concierge Stefanie Borgo oversees a skilled and well-connected concierge staff that can help coordinate special details of each guest’s stay. Guests have access to the otherwise private Ironbridge Golf Course and can downhill and cross-country ski during the winter and go hot-air ballooning, hiking, fly-fishing, paragliding
and horseback riding during warmer months. Dogs are welcome at The St. Regis Aspen for a $100 flat fee. 

Further west of Vail and Aspen, Elk Mountain Resort (www.elkmountainresort.com) opened last June in Montrose. Guests can choose from 21 Luxury Lodge Rooms and 18 cottages, best for larger groups traveling together. For clients seeking romance, book the more secluded Honeymoon Cottage, located next to the chapel.

Butler service isn’t included at Elk Mountain but can be arranged upon request. Contact the resort’s sales team—Erica Schatz (970-252-4906), Traci Coven (970-252-4914), Drew Carnahan (970-252-4946) or Mary Jo Mills (970-252-4921)—for special requests in advance, which, along with reservations,
are also handled through the front desk (970-252-4900).  Reservations are also available via GDS and the resort’s website.