We just returned from what I hope will now be (at least) an annual family ski vacation. Our daughter has hit the magical age of 3 where she can attend ski school and start to learn the basics of skiing. That means that not only is there more for her to do on the trip, but it also gives us a chance to hit the slopes while she is learning. Well, at least for a little while until she poops out or starts crying excessively.
We stayed at the Westin Beaver Creek Resort and Spa in Avon, Colorado last year and really enjoyed our time, so we returned for a portion of our trip this year. I knew that since we would be skiing some this year (as opposed to last year when we just did other winter activities) that the location would not be as good as the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek (that we also visited this time – review to come), but I enjoyed it too much to skip it entirely. Plus, it is a tremendous SPG points value during ski season at just 12,000 points per night (most nights) when rates are easily $350+. I really hope this property does not jump to a Category 6 the way the Westin Beaver Creek Villas did last year.
You can check out last year’s review of the hotel here and here. I will try to not duplicate too much from last year, but rather expand on a few things that I didn’t cover last year, or that were a bit different this time around.
The One-Bedroom Suite:
Just like last year we booked the basic room on points and then contacted the hotel to see about confirming a one-bedroom suite ahead of time. Their suites are very nice and after staying in one last year we probably would have been a bit bummed to just be in a standard room this year. Plus, with a three year old who still naps, having two rooms is very helpful. Last year they were able to confirm me to a one-bedroom suite for just $100 extra per night (above the points rate). I was hoping/assuming that would be roughly the same this time. However, they charged an $180 extra per night this time. That was a pretty large increase, and I don’t know if “hang up call back” would have resulted in a different answer, but that was the story this go-round. Basically it is more or less the difference in the cash price from the traditional room to the one-bedroom.
Last year our one-bedroom suite blew our socks away (especially for the price). However, we weren’t as impressed this year. The website lists the square footage of the suites as being between 850 – 1,151 sq ft and I think last year we must have been on the upper end of that spectrum, and this year the room we got was on the lower end. Don’t get me wrong, it is a beautiful suite, but we were a bit bummed knowing we paid more and got less than the year before.
Here is a shot of the one we got last year……
And here is the one this year. You had to do a little gymnastics and suck in your gut to get into the much smaller dining table.
This year’s was also missing the very helpful bench/coat rack that the one last year had. With coats, boots, ski stuff, etc. it was really helpful to have an organized spot at the entry for all the gear. However, it was still fantastic to have a full kitchen and we did indeed make a trip to the local grocery store so that we could cook some meals in the suite. It saves a ton of money to do a few meals that way. The kitchen comes stocked with plates, pots, pans, utensils, soap, etc. You just need to add food and a chef (er, yourself).
The bedroom and bathroom were very nice and quite similar to the suite we had last year.
As you may know if you read this post, my kiddo got sicker once we arrived in Colorado, so we were pretty much held captive in the suite for the first couple days. As a result, the extra space really came in handy. Once we decided we were going to fly Super Grandma up to help out, we negotiated with the hotel to move to a two-bedroom suite so that Grandma would have a place to stay. It was going to require more financial outlay, but it was cheaper and more convenient than getting a second room (plus we weren’t in love with our particular one-bedroom anyway).
The Two-Bedroom Suite:
We were absolutely in love with this two-bedroom suite the moment we opened the door. The combination of knowing that grandma was on the way to help, and seeing that we now had much more space made us all much more relaxed. If we were going to be stuck inside with a sick kiddo, at least we were now stuck in a much larger space. It really was fantastic and you could easily have a large number of people comfortably sharing this space.
It had a spacious full kitchen with an island.
A much larger dining table that got good use from us during multiple meals.
There were two couches and multiple chairs in the living room – complete with a fireplace and balcony.
A master bedroom and bathroom that were very similar to the ones in the one-bedroom suite.
The second bedroom had two queen beds and its own bathroom.
I absolutely loved the two-bedroom suite, and would not hesitate to stay in it again. However, there were a few issues that I don’t want to skip over. First, the room did show a bit of wear in a few places that should be pretty easy fixes. This lamp shade in the living room was one example.
Also, the drawers in the one-bedroom didn’t open and close very well at all, so it was like a puzzle trying to get them to open and shut without getting stuck on other drawers that also wouldn’t open and shut all the way. The washer and dryer in our two bedroom were very problematic. The washer would leave the clothes so wet that even after ringing them out yourself several times they were still soaked. The dryer literally took six cycles to get the very small load (of very wet) clothes dry. If you planned on doing lots of laundry while there it would literally consume all of your time trying to get them dry.
Considering that these two bedroom units rent for around $1000+ per night during ski season, those are details that I feel should be fixed. However, the service we got from everyone was exceptional and those issues didn’t have much of an impact on our stay. Everyone from the front desk agent who sent my daughter a “Get Well Soon” note and stuffed animal, to the cleaning ladies who were a huge help (especially with our messy/sick kid), to the bellmen who helped us move our bags from one room to another, everyone was great.
Stay tuned for the rest of the family ski trip review including Part 2 of the Westin overview that will include Platinum benefit recognition, the restaurant, ski valet service, and more.